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  • 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.
  • At the end of Disney's animated The Great Mouse Detective (see the image on the right), Ratigan goes from being a smarmy, smug intellectual to a feral, crazed rat, savagely attacking Basil. Although he does have quick seconds of losing his cool throughout the film, he is just as quickly able to recollect himself as calm and collective. Until the end, when Basil saves the Flaversham clan, whom, thanks to Ratigan, had been kept separated from each other. But when Basil both humiliates Ratigan in front of dozens of aristocrats and saves and reunites Olivia and her father, Ratigan breaks down.
  • In the A-Team movie, 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.
  • 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.
  • In 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 disgusts 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.

Juror #4: I have. Now sit down and don't open your mouth again.

  • Norman Stansfield from Leon.
  • Rock and Rule. Mok has a spectacular breakdown when his climactic demon-summoning plan goes badly awry:

 Mok: You can't do this to me! I! AM! MOK!

"The magic of one voice!...of one soul!...But there is...NO...ONE!..."

    • It's also foreshadowed in his crazed rampage after Angel comprehensively spurns his advances...

  Mok: ...she can sing, or she can SCREAM!!!...but she still pissed me off.

  • 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 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.
  • Sanchez in Licence to Kill had a minor case of this during the final action sequence. 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 James Bond, cutting the air brake on his oil tanker truck, which naturally leads to Stuff Blowing Up.
    • 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 making sounds more appropriately shrieked by demonic monkeys. His fury gets the better of him when he axes himself in the foot.
    • LeChiffre goes from coldy and effortlessly dismantling his opponents at the poker table to a screaming, sweaty nervous wreck that has to resort to his own dirty work.
  • Number Two, normally a calm executor of Dr. Evil's plans, throws a hissy fit at the climax of the first Austin Powers:

  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.
  • 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.
    • This goes double for Gruber's icy Germanic moll, who is quite the Smug Snake until McClane shows up at the end, whereupon she screams in rage and opens fire on McClane.
      • This probably was in part due to "coitus interruptus". Anyone would be frustrated in this situation.
  • In Agent Smith's "Why do you persist" monologue to Neo in the last Matrix movie, he seems to suffer from this.
    • Seems to? It's tough to tell in the rain, but by the end of it there appears to be spittle and froth flying from his mouth.
  • 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.
  • The Big Bad of the Die Hard-on-a-bus film 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.
  • The Operative in Serenity 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 where he freaks out.

 (Serenity is followed through the ion cloud by a fleet of Reavers)

Operative: ... target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! SOMEBODY FIRE!

    • And then he shoots Mal in the back. Truly, no power in the 'verse can stop Mal from pissing people off.
  • 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.
    • Another example fits this trope better: near the ending, Zorg opens a box supposedly filled with Cosmic Keystones, does an Evil Laugh... and starts to cry, as it is empty.


 "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!

  • 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.

  • 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 says "It's just... good business" and walks down the stairs to his doom.
  • "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.
    • Jane to Blanche: "You mean, all this time we coulda been friends?"
  • Tony Montana from Scarface 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.
  • 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.
    • It's also worth mentioning that this breakdown is likely an intentional case of dramatic irony, as earlier in the film, the Joker spoke to Harvey Dent/Two-Face about how normal people break when things "don't follow the plan" and that he's immune to this because he "has no plan". But when things don't go the way he thought they would, he is clearly upset by it and has his, as it were, reverse breakdown (going from his usual hysteria and out-and-out insanity to a quiet, solemn tone... the exact opposite of a normal example of a Villainous Breakdown.) Despite what he may have said or even thought, the Joker did have a plan... and he was not happy when it failed.
    • He has a similar breakdown in the graphic novella The Killing Joke when Batman reveals that he hasn't succeeded in driving Gordon mad, proving that not everyone snaps after just "one bad day". This manifests as an all-out attempt to kill him and, when that fails, a moment of near-sanity when he actually considers Batman's offer to rehabilitate him.
    • In Batman, 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 ("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)")
  • In Batman Forever the Riddler, already half-sane at best in this version (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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

 Munau: The Death of centuries! Moonchaser! Blasphemer! Monkey! Vase of prehistory! Finally to Earth, and finally born! Yes, yes, you take the sun! (To the producer's corpse) Albin, collect the wooden stake and return it to its rightful place; it is necessary for the final frame, to remind us of the inadequacies of our plans, our contingencies, every missed train and failed picnic, every lie to a child.

(Max finally evaporates into nothing with an agonized scream. Seconds later, the screenwriter and some of the crew enter, looking a bit confused.)

Murnau: Softly, please. Our work is nearly complete. Our very own painting on our very own cave wall. Time will no longer be a dark spot on our lungs. They will no longer be able to say "you would have had to have been there", because the fact is, Albin, we were. Is there one among you who might wear the mantle of camera assistant? Could I possibly impose upon you to collect the slate at my feet and provide me with an end-board?

(A baffled crewmember takes up the slate and holds it in front of the camera.)

Murnau: Turn it...

(He does so. There is a pause, and Murnau finally stops filming.)

Murnau: Thank you. I think we have it.

  • 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:

  "Turn those machines back on! (echoing throughout the Exchange) TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON!"

  • 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.
  • AUTO in WALL-E sums up the trope with one sequence. The captain has raised the Holo-Imager on the lido deck, so AUTO knocks him aside and hits the button to retract it. WALL-E blocks it from retracting with his body. AUTO hits the button again, and when it still hasn't gone down, he hits the button so hard and rapidly it cracks. AND THEN TASERS IT.
    • You can see the beginnings of his breakdown when he sics huge numbers of Steward bots on the heroes.
    • There is also a fanfic where the author humanizes all characters. And Human!AUTO's breakdown is... well, it's a much worse version of this, since he's an indoctrinated officer, bent on following orders completely. He isn't sane already and, seeing the orders he was raised to follow being broken isn't very good for temper and mental health. Humanizing him made his breakdown much scarier.
  • General Hein in Final Fantasy the Spirits Within was never the most balanced individual, but he rapidly loses what marbles he did have when given permission to fire the Zeus Cannon. He continues to fire the cannon even though it is overheating, ignoring all warnings:

 Warning: System Overload

Hein: I know.

Warning: System Overload

Hein: I Know!

Warning: System Overload

Hein: I! KNOW!

    • His persistence, at least, is admirable: he is still firing the cannon as it explodes around him and only death manages to finally stop him.
  • 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?"
  • Adolf Hitler in virtually the whole of Downfall (past the opening Pet the Dog interview with his new secretary)
    • When he's told that one of his generals could not muster up enough forces to halt the Allied offensive on Berlin. Hitler quietly 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. Has provided hilarious spoof material for Gag Sub Youtube videos, such as this one with Hitler getting banned from Xbox Live.
    • 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.
  • The 1939 film 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.
  • Star Trek (2009). Nero's "Fire everything!" when he realizes Spock is doing a suicide run. But Ayel also has one when we first see him, upon realising he's arrived 25 years too early. This is in contrast to Nero who 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. "DON'T TELL ME IT DIDN'T HAPPEN! IT DID HAPPEN!! I SAW IT HAPPEN!!
    • 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!"
  • 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 --

Khan: THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Last Words of Captain Ahab during that character's own Villainous Breakdown.
        • "Full POWERRRRR!' - damn you!"
  • In Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes, 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.
    • Well, that's not the last we see of Thade . . .
  • President Evil Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Trying to track his Breakdowns can be... challenging.
  • 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.
  • Happens toward the end of Training Day, when Alonzo Harris 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 subdues him in the middle of the street.
    • The exact same ending happens in Pride and Glory!
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • This performance was similar to Pris' death rages in Blade Runner.
  • 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.
  • Speed Racer: On the final lap of the Grand Prix...


  • Falling Down is essentially one of these spread throughout a movie.
  • 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 Violator has a minor one in the middle of the Spawn movie. 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.
  • "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 anybody else 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!!!"
  • 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..."
  • 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.
  • Commodus in Gladiator after learning of his sister's betrayal. "AM I NOT MERCIFUL?!?"
  • Jackson Rippner in Red Eye loses his suave, intimidating demeanor just after Lisa stabs him in the neck with a pen.
  • In The Departed when Sullivan (The Irish Mob's Mole inside the police) is finally caught by Costigan, He tries threatening and intimidating Costigan out of arresting him, then, nearly in tears, he starts begging Costigan to "Just kill me. Just fucking kill me!"
    • "I am killing you."
    • Frank grew less stable as the film went on, too. "Don't laugh! This ain't reality TV!"
  • 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.

  • Deliberately exacerbated by Mameha to Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha.
  • Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon, turning on Sidney Greenstreet after finding out the eponymous statue is a worthless fake made of lead:

 "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*)

  • In Fargo, as his plans (which weren't that incredibly well thought out to begin with) spiral rapidly out of control, Jerry Lundegaard 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, and when the police finally catch up with him he's reduced to a hysterical, shrieking wreck of a man writhing about on the bed of a motel room as the cops try and 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's gotten himself.
  • Synoamess Botch from Twice Upon a Time goes absolutely ballistic when his evil plot is foiled by Ralph. He then becomes terrified to the point of begging for his mother by the threat of a leftover nightmare bomb going off in his face. Said bomb is really Ralph's buddy Mumford in disguise.
  • Though he's not exactly calm for the whole movie, Total Recall's antagonist Cohaagen is very mean to virtually everyone, even his right hand man Richter. The only ones he is ever nice to are his friend Hauser (who had his memory erased to become the freedom fighter Doug 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, and Cohaagen gives Richter the order to kill him as he is close to ruining Cohaagen's plans, Cohaagen knocks over his fish tank, killing the fish by suffocation.
    • "but NOOOOO! You want to be Quaid!"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars 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 the entire saga, things have not followed his script and he is not pleased about it.
    • It didn't help that Palpatine was offering the one thing to Luke that he never really sought: power. Luke wanted to defeat the Emperor, save his father, his friends, and free the galaxy, but he never wanted power for its own sake the way Anakin did. The Emperor having enjoyed absolute power for so long, simply couldn't fathom that any Force user would reject it.
      • You could argue that the Emperor didn't really care whether or not Luke accepted his offer. Either he kills Darth Vader and becomes the new #2 Sith (and a powerful one at that), or he refuses and faces the Force Lightning.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: "YOU ARE FAILING!!!!"
    • A more subtle instance: Red Skull attempts to invoke his Hannibal Lecture about what Dr. Erskine stated to Steve Rogers about the formula, and how he 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 seen irritated, but he regains his composure and deduces that he must have seen something inside him that Erskine believed deserved the formula far 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.
  • Towards the end of The Avengers, Loki, after seeing his plans turning south, begins throwing a hissy fit at the approaching Hulk. He doesn't get far. His final reaction after the battle is much more composed, however.

 "If it's all the same with you, I'll have that drink now."

  • In Kung Fu Panda, Tai Lung's composure really starts to fall apart once he actually sees the Dragon Scroll he so coveted. Instead of fighting intelligently and using environment to his advantage, like he did in every fight before, he single-mindedly pursues the scroll, losing more and more of his cool, as Po starts to give him problems. After he obtains the Dragon Scroll and finds it to be blank, he suffers from this full out, and it just gets more intense after he discovers his pressure point technique to be ineffectual against Po, causing him to throw all semblance of strategy and martial arts mastery out the window, and after getting beaten and barely able to get up and stumble around, he just keeps rambling and trying to fight back.
    • And in the sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, Po appearing as Shen is about to sail to triumph seems to result in the peacock finally losing it; while he remains sane, he kicks the Attack! Attack! Attack! strategy he'd employed with his cannons up to 11, even willing to fire on his own fleet to clear out all obstacles and casually knifing his own Dragon when he refuses. This results in Shen refusing to cease using his cannons even when Po has perfected the catch and return technique, resulting in a pretty epic Oh Crap when Po's final returned shot makes a yin-yang symbol before striking his flagship. When Po confronts him on his ship after crippling it, he finds Shen completely stunned by both the fact everything he created has been destroyed and the fact that Po managed to overcome his traumatic past and find inner peace. When Po explains it to him, he snaps and tries to kill Po. Unlike Tai Lung, however, Shen doesn't lose his head, managing Tranquil Fury despite his breakdown, resulting in a much more even fight.
    • This is most likely due to the Soothsayer's prediction starting to come to pass and by this point Shen is getting desperate to change it. His Mind Screw didn't work and force is his only option. You can sense it in Shen's voice when he ask how Po overcame his trauma. Even if its calm, his ambition has been left in ruins and he got nothing to lose. Leading to the final assault and ultimately death at his own hands.
  • Darla Dimple of Cats Don't Dance gets a big one at the end. Darla's attempts to sabotage Danny's last-ditch effort to show that animals can be stars actually helps them. At the end, frazzled, exhausted and more than a little mad, Darla crawls up to Danny and, in front of the audience, accidentally outs herself as the one who sabotaged his earlier attempt.

  Darla: I... should have gotten rid of you all when I flooded the stage!

  • Cal of Titanic 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.
  • Orphan: After failing to seduce John, Esther runs to her room, removes everything she uses to pass herself off as a nine-year-old, while throwing a screaming fit and wrecking the room.
  • Hopper in A Bugs Life has two: first, when the fake bird is exposed and the ants then stand up to the grasshoppers; second and more acutely, when his taking Flik hostage is thwarted by Atta and Hopper gives chase, viciously pursuing Flik to an actual bird's nest, where Hopper doesn't think that the birds are real until it's too late.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes film A Game Of Shadows, the chess match between Moriarty and Holmes. It starts when Watson and Sim catch the assassin; Moriarty is slightly perturbed, but he quickly points out that all Holmes did was delay the inevitable, as Moriarty is banking on human nature to bring about his world war, which is something that Holmes can't stop. Then Holmes reveals that he palmed Moriarty's little red book about halfway through the movie, and that Scotland Yard and Watson's wife have been cheerfully decoding it and ripping apart Moriarty's entire criminal empire the whole time. Moriarty's breakdown and rage is subtle but clear, right up to the moment where he and Holmes have their climactic final brawl in their minds.
  • In the final Harry Potter movie 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 forget the practicalities, he wants to hurt Harry, and doing so with magic isn't satisfying enough.
  • Lord Barkis Bittern from Corpse Bride after finding out that Victoria is poor after he married her and especially at the end where he has a major Freak-Out moment after he dies from accidentally drinking poison and the dead attack him.
  • Debbie in Devil In The Flesh on account of being such a Yandere.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ursula towards the end after Ariel destroys her eel pets. Also, when she transforms into Vanessa, its implied that she lost quite a bit of sanity (to the point of becoming a borderline Ax Crazy) when turning into her, as she talks to her mirror in a manner similar to a schizophrenic, emits a psychotic grin when throwing a pin at a mirror's head with enough velocity to knock the mirror back, and most certainly tries to kill a person had that been a human being, and her cackling.
  • Chicken Run: As Mrs. Tweedy tries to stop the chickens from escaping, wielding an axe, Rocky knocks her out and the chickens all manage to escape. But when Mrs. Tweedy comes to, she lets loose with primal rage and goes Ax Crazy in her determination to stop the chickens in general and execute Ginger in particular with the axe.
  • Screwface, the Big Bad of Steven Seagal film Marked for Death has one moment a little less than halfway in the movie where he loses it. He goes to sit down at a card game with his Mooks, then notices one his men is missing and asks where he is. For a second or two after Screwface is told that Seagal's character killed that mook, he seems to take it calmly, then he start pounding on the table, turns it over, rips a leg off the frame and starts beating a mook who can't get out of the way fast enough with it. Then he screams that he wants Seagal and Seagal's whole family dead, and if they aren't up to it, he'll do it... then he'll kill all of them.
  • 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.


  • The Other Mother is normally a creepy Stepford Smiler. She loses her fragile composure after Coraline refuses to apologize to her and after Coraline throws the cat at her face and it claws off her button eyes. Also, when Coraline is escaping to the real world from the other world the Other Mother looses it and screams "DON'T LEAVE ME! DON'T LEAVE ME! I'LL DIE, I'LL DIE WITHOUT YOU!!!!!!" Also, after they throw the hand and the key inside the well, if you listen closely, you can hear the Other Mother whispering 'No'.
  • Misery: Annie has these frequently being so Ax Crazy. Like after Paul supposedly burns the manuscript.
  • In The 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.
  • 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 The Adventures Of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina the Mole King goes Ax Crazy when Thumbelina rejects him and chooses Tom instead and when Tom smashes his High-Class Glass that allows him to see.
  • Jafar has this after learning that Aladdin took back the lamp at the cave of wonders. And then there's his Laughing Mad moment after the Prince Ali Reprise and his Big No when he realizes that he's a slave to the lamp after becoming an all powerful genie.
  • A disturbing Up to Eleven version Judge Doom of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? has not once, but twice at the climax, both involving his "deaths". He's 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. Doom is very serious prior to being stuck with super glow to a steam roller, once he is caught, he immediately blows his cover through screaming gibberish, after being reduced to a card board cutout, casually remarks in a loud voice on how surprising it was for him to be a Toon. When met with sarcasm, he blows himself up to reveal he is a sick parody of a humanoid Toon with constantly warping eyes and a nightmarishly high pitched voice not only causing the normally cynical Eddie into a scared panic, but scaring half of the audience. From there, he is a silent, yet clearly devilishly sadistic monster who's only aim to bring Eddie despair as he takes away any hope of saving his friends and making him quiver in fear as he slowly moves toward him with a golden saw, with clear murderously gleeful intent as his eyes become more and more demented. This however is a Villain Ball, as Eddie is able to escape and turn the Dip against Doom, reducing him to screaming "I'm melting" as he melts away to nothing, talk about two Family Unfriendly Deaths; not that he didn't deserve it considering he was planning on mass-genocide on his own kind.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reservoir Dogs have Nice Guy Eddie yelling at Mr. Orange when he found his best friend, Mr. Blonde, laying dead in the warehouse, and again when he gets involved in a Mexican Standoff between him, his dad and Mr. White.
    • 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.
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