Heroic Overview
Imagewoman meditating

Releasing Stress

Get it together. Control it.
~ Queen Elsa

As opposed to the Villainous Breakdown, in which the villain loses his sanity and goes on a rampage, releasing stress is when the hero or heroine is upset about something, like when things don't go his way, he has a big fight that goes over the edge, or when it seems like all hope is lost. It can also happen when the hero learns to control his rage, and releasing stress can also add to the hero's sensitivity. The hero or heroine can release stress by:

  • Breathing calmly.
  • Screaming into a pillow.
  • Crying.
  • Facepalm.
  • Hugging a toy.
  • Embracing someone.
  • Singing softly.
  • Thinking straight.
  • Realizing his or her mistake.
  • Banging his or her head on wall.
  • Yelling, roaring or screaming with frustration.
  • Drinking water.

In either methods, heroes would eventually regain his/her lost composures. Had they regain their composures after releasing their stress in the middle of the fight, they would likely shift their strategy from simply attacking blindly to strike their enemy in the better method.



  • Bulma crying after discovering that Vegeta is killed by Majin Buu.
  • Pan crying after seeing the metal Trunks slab being shattered.
  • Chi-Chi crying after discovering about Goku's death and will not come back this time.
  • Sora Takenouchi crying after realizing that her crest of love will not glow.
  • Gohan screaming about Piccolo's death in order to turn the Black Star Dragon Balls into stone permanently.
  • Jeri Katou crying after Beelzemon kills Leomon.
  • Goku releasing stress after failing to save Gohan, Goten, Trunks and Piccolo after Kid Buu destroyed the Earth.
  • Tai Kamiya crying after seeing Sora getting kidnapped by Datamon.
  • Videl releasing stress after hearing that Gohan is killed by Majin Buu.
  • Goten and Trunks crying after discovering that Gohan and Vegeta are dead.
  • T.K. Takaishi cries after he and Patamon are alone while being separated from the other Digidestined by Devimon.
  • Vegeta screams after seeing Future Trunks getting killed by Cell.
  • Android 18 cries after seeing her husband, Krillin getting killed by Android 17.
  • Mimi Tachikawa cries after Izzy ignores her.
  • Matt Ishida sheds a tear after realizing that T.K. is all alone.
  • Future Trunks releases stress after seeing Future Gohan is killed by the Androids.

Animated Movies

  • Nani screams into a pillow after she and Lilo have an argument; Lilo does the same thing.
  • Merida releases her stress several times in Brave, starting off when she practices what to say to her mother. Later, she sheds tears when riding off on Angus after her fight with Elinor, realizing that she put her mother in danger, and reconciling with her at the end of the film.
  • The Beast places a hand on his face when he realizes he has scared away Belle, but he truly releases his stress when he lets out a roar of defeat after letting her go to her father.
  • Simba releases his stress many times. He sheds tears after being scolded by his father and after Mufasa is killed by the wildebeest stampede. Later, he lets out his stress by yelling toward the heavens, "You said you'd always be there for me! But you're not...and it's because of me."
  • Pocahontas releases her stress after her father harshly berates her foolishness for causing Koccoum's death.
  • Hiccup yells in frustration and confides in Toothless after an argument with his father in How to Train Your Dragon 2.
  • Tinker Bell: Cries Because She Lost Her Chance To Break the Moonstone
  • Po releases his stress by talking to Shifu about how he felt being unjustly mistreated in the first film. In the sequel, he meditates, guided by the Soothsayer, leading him to gather the strength he needs to stand up against Lord Shen.
  • Doraemon is devastated by his failures and it's boosted by mistakely drinking sorrow potion, he cried 3 days and nights until his sister Dorami found him, he embraced her, describing his problems.
  • Peaches blames herself for her father being separated from her by an earthquake after a harsh argument with him that resulted in her disowning him.
  • Judy Hopps crying while apologizing to Nick Wilde for her earlier speech of discrimination.
  • Dimitri releases stress after seeing Anastasia has finally been reunited with her grandmother.


  • In The Powerpuff Girls, various examples of releasing stress can be seen in the following episodes:
    • In Octi Evil, Bubbles cries over her sisters Blossom and Buttercup fighting and arguing
    • In Not So Awesome Blossom, Blossom yells out in frustration
  • In Littlest Pet Shop 2012 Penny Ling cry by Pepper's nasty jokes
  • Jerry Mouse and Tuffy Mouse, in the film Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale, cry over the death over their friend Nelly the Pony who bravely sacrificed her life to save Jerry and Le Petite Ballerina from being crushed by a falling wall
  • In Dan vs. Dan in various episodes yelling to sky
  • In South Park, various examples of releasing stress can be seen in the following episodes:
    • In "Insheeption", Wendy cries after seeing the condition of Stan's locker.
    • In "Ass Burgers", Stan is shown with tears coming out of his eyes after asking Mr. Mackey how could anyone go one when nothing makes them happy.
    • In It's Christmas in Canada, Eric cries, and screams for his mother after Kyle slaps him on the face.
  • In The Simpsons, various examples of releasing stress can be seen in the following episodes:
    • In Bart vs Thanksgiving, Lisa cries after Bart flew into a rage and destroyed her Thanksgiving centerpiece.
    • In Round Springfield, Lisa cries when she finds out her beloved jazz hero Bleeding Gums Murphy has died.
    • In Alone Again, Natura-Diddly, Ned releases stress after discovering that Maude is now dead.
    • In Barting Over, Homer cries after seeing Bart moving away.

Live Action Movies

  • In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla was shown to be crying after Destoroyah killed Godzilla Junior.
  • Spider-Man releases his stress many times during the trilogy, like when he admits to Aunt May that he's responsible for Uncle Ben's death and when he struggles to pull off the black suit.
  • Luke Skywalker releases his stress many times in the original Star Wars trilogy: When he finds his step uncle and step aunt murdered by Darth Vader's stormtroopers, When Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan, When talking to Leia after trying to talk Han Solo into participating in the assault on the Death Star, When he fails to lift his starfighter out of the swamp on Dagobah, When he finds out that Darth Vader is his father, When Yoda dies, When his father dies and finally at his father's funeral.
  • Dorothy Gale, from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, cries over her beloved dog Toto getting taken away by Miss Gulch to the Sheriff to be destroyed
  • In High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Troy is not sure of what to do with his life so he goes into the song "Scream."
  • Charlie Bucket tells his mother about how disappointed he is of not getting the opportunity to get out of his poor neighborhood and help his family. He takes a long walk while his mother sings "Cheer Up, Charlie."
  • In the 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan, Peter himself cries over Tinker Bell after she drinks the poison that was about to be given to him by Captain Hook, then chants "I do believe in fairies", which revives Tink.
  • Caesar releases his stress by hugging Will's father after the fight with his neighbor.
  • In Pan's Labyrinth, Ofelia breaks down in tears after being attacked by Captain Vidal.
  • In Bridge to Terabitha, after going through anger and denial of Leslie's death, Jess is chased in the woods by the Dark Master, before breaking down in tears. Jess is found by his father who tells him that it's not his fault that Leslie died and that she gave him something special, so he'll have to hold onto that to keep her memory alive.
  • In The One, Gabe breathing calmly before shift his strategy against his alternate counterpart Yulaw from simply attaking in blind manner to Baguazhang technique, a battle technique that requires balanced emotion and eventually overpowers him in the end.
  • In Jumanji, Alan Parrish releases stress after discovering the fate of his parents and the Shoe Factory.

Video Games

  • Urdnot Wrex is incredibly angry when he learns his enemy Saren created a cure for genophage for his krogans and his ally Shepard tries to destroy it. He talks to Shepard and can be convinced that this cure isn't for his people but for Saren's slaves and if he succeeds, he'll betray his soldier, when he won't need them.
  • Mordin Solus wants to cure genophage, but if Wreav is in charge of krogans, he'll be a problem without Eve to stop him. He has an argument with Shepard about it, but can be convinced that Wreav will amass army to fulfill his revange on turians and salarians. Mordin hardly agrees for deception, but thanks Shepard for talking to him.
  • Trevor Phillips: Trevor suffers stress throughout the events of Grand Theft Auto V. His first one was caused after he copulated with Ashley Butler which was Johnny Klebitz' girlfriend. Johnny confronted Trevor about his sexual relationship with Ashley that he had behind his back. However, because Trevor discovered that Michael De Santa is still alive in Los Santos, he snaps at Johnny and even goes as far as to ask him for sex. Trevor then throws Johnny to the ground, smashes an empty beer bottle against his face and stomps on his head repeatedly while yelling strong profanity at him. He then callously leaves Johnny's corpse on the sand while Ashley mourns the death of her boyfriend. Trevor looks back on killing Johnny and tells Ronald that it is disgraceful to disrespect women like Ashley Butler, that they should be respected by their male partners. He also experienced stress when he was informed that Mr. Cheng and the triads plan on making business deals with the O'Neills instead of Trevor Phillips Industries. He rushes to the O'Neill farm, killing everyone on the property and destroying the farm single-handedly while making loud screams.
  • Starkiller: When Darth Vader seemingly kills Juno Eclipse, Starkiller goes into a blind rage, and uses the full extent of his powers in a brutal attack on Vader, screaming "I WILL KILL YOU!" and "YOU WILL DIE!" multiple times at him, relentlessly attacking him in multiple ways, including strengthening his own force lightning by absorbing a tremendous amount of electricity then channeling it into a massive force lightning blast on Vader. However, he eventually calms down and allow Vader to live.
  • In Asura's Wrath, Asura yells in anger when he discovered his wife Durga was killed by Sergei.
  • Marcus Fenix: Marcus suffers multiple instances of stress during Gears of War 3. While fighting off hordes of Lambent and Locust, he notices Dominic Santiago driving the fuel truck away from the firefight. Marcus repeatedly asks him what he is doing. Dom tells Marcus that he is shutting down the Lambent and the Locust from causing chaos. He then orders Marcus to take cover. Marcus stands still in horror helplessly watching Dom kill himself. He screams Dom's name as he crashes the fuel truck into the depot, which knocks Marcus off of the roof. He tries to pull Dom's corpse out of the wreck with Anya Stroud holding him down. He mourns Dom's body. Dom's death affects him throughout the rest of the game reflecting that he would make sure he didn't die for nothing. He also suffers stress after the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon kills his father, Adam Fenix. He kneels down taking in the reality that his father is gone. Marcus listens as Queen Myrrah insults his father, even going as far as to say that he was arrogant and that caused his own demise. Overcome with rage, Marcus stabs Queen Myrrah in the abdomen remarking that she's responsible for his best friend's death and the billions her Locust Horde have caused before she collapses to her death. A depressed Marcus sits on the beach when Anya joins him. Anya tells Marcus that she's here for him. Marcus then tearfully questions on what humanity has left. Anya assures him that the sacrifices of Adam Fenix and Dominic Santiago and many others have guaranteed humanity to live another day. She puts her hand on Marcus's and Marcus grabs hers as the two embrace on the beach, Marcus however is unhinged by Anya's affection.
  • Kinzie Kensington: Kinzie suffers multiple instances of stress during Saints Row IV. During the mission "The Real World" in Saints Row IV, Kinzie desperately tries to call Oleg to warn him that Zinyak is about to blow up Earth with him on it. Oleg disregards the call as he is hanging out with Josh Birk and Oleg assumes the caller was a telemarketer. Kinzie asks The Protagonist to leave a message. Just before she does, a laser hits Earth and destroys the planet. Knowing that Oleg was on Earth during Earth's destruction and coming to the conclusion that Oleg is dead, Kinzie can be seen briefly breaking down with tears dropping from her eyes. This is also proven as Kinzie coldy states to Zinyak that she is done talking to him before disconnecting the call. Kinzie then tells Keith David that she can kill anyone with a computer. Wanting revenge for her love's murder, Kinzie calms down and puts The Protagonist into the simulation. An audio log can be found in the simulation where Kinzie reflects on Oleg's death as being the worst possible thing that could have ever happened to her and states that she misses him. She also suffers stress after being rescued from her nightmarish simulation. Even though The Protagonist attempts to temper her rage by stating that she looked cute in the poodle skirt, she slams her fist into his/her face as The Protagonist falls to the floor from the impact. Kinzie then summons The Protagonist into the simulation and tells him/her that she is serious about deleting the program of Cyrus Temple (whom made her wear a poodle skirt). She orders him/her to destroy all STAG equipment in the simulation to draw out Cyrus's attention. After the Protagonist weakens him, Kinzie beats Cyrus to death in a blind rage, resulting in the program's deletion. She then calms down after Cyrus is killed stating that she's done.


  • Bowser cries while suffering a tragic breakdown after seeing that his favorite show Charleyyy and Friends has been canceled and replaced by Fishy and Friends in "Bowser's Depression".


Angie was right. I am a joke.
~ Oscar realizing the downside of his Sharkslayer scam after a violent argument with Angie
(gasps) Oh, it's hopeless! I'll never fix this flippin' machine. (Hutch :Oh!) Me mind's just a rabbit-y mush. (sobbing) Oh, Gromit. I don't wanna be a giant rabbit! (blows nose) (sobbing) (Hutch: Aw! The bounce is gone from his bungee.) (Wallace continues sobbing)
~ Wallace sobs because he doesn't want to be The Were-Rabbit
"*crying* Nobody loves me! Not Bowser, not my dad! Gyargh! I hate my life! THIS IS THE WORST BIRTHDAY EVER!!"
~ Chef PeePee releasing stress in "Chef PeePee's Birthday".
Ratchet: "Alister?" (He picked up pocketwatch and sadly looked the pictures of Alister and his father, Kaden.) Clank: "He did it a brave thing, Ratchet. You should be proud of him."
~ Ratchet and Clank watched sadly to Alister's Death at The Great Clock.
Ratchet: "General, will you just stop for a second? I wanna know what happened." Alister: "Questions, questions... You ask all these questions. Ask yourself this! How relevant is the past when it can be changed? Your father would have said "not very"". Ratchet: "That's him. And you still haven't given me a straight answer. Now, why aren't you with the Lombaxes?" (Alister shout for answer) Alister: "Because I failed them! I failed them. I made a mistake." (Alister begin tell Ratchet his story about Lombaxes, Tachyon the Inventor, Kaden, and his exile.) Alister: "After the Great War, Polaris was a dangerous place. Even with the Cragmites gone, I knew steps needed to be taken to protect the galaxy. One day, we were spproached by an inventor with incredible ideas; technology light years beyond what we were using. The inventor was someone... Someone your father warned me not to trust. Our kind had grown suspicious of him, but I was convinced this was the right thing to do - for the galaxy. I granted him full access to our technology. All of our secrets. Only when was finished... They took refuged in the court, but your father refused. He would never left your mother, but when he made it back, she... she was already gone. I don't know how long he survived before Tachyon caught up with him. But I know I was responsible for his death. For my crimes, I was forbidden from joining the Lombaxes, and so I live in exile. I can make it right, Ratchet. All of it. I... We can fix it. With the clock under our control, it'll be like like none of this ever happened! Stay with me and I promise I'll get your family back!"
~ Alister feeling stress as he explain Ratchet about his mistake and exile story while inside the cave to find Krell Canyon.
~ Samurai Jack releasing his anger in "Jack Vs. Mad Jack".
Trunks (sad): What, no that can't be. That could never happen to my dad. Nooo. Goten (crying): My brother's not dead! (sobbing)
~ Goten and Trunks crying after discovering that Gohan and Vegeta are dead.
F***ing s***! C***! C***! C***! C***! Agh, C***! Who the f*** are you speaking to? Who? Who? I'm talking to you, huh? You f***! Next time don't get in my f***ing face! I just saw a f***ing ghost and I got to hear your crap! Get up! GET UP! F*** you then!
~ Trevor Phillips suffering stress after killing Johnny Klebitz to release his rage in finding out that Michael De Santa is still alive.
Oleg! It's all gone....
~ Kinzie Kensington suffering stress the first time after witnessing Earth's destruction and knowing that Oleg is dead. She can be briefly seen crying during the cutscene.
(Screaming in rage) I will not be your f***ing slave you piece of s***! (Screams in rage again)
~ Kinzie Kensington suffering stress a second time while beating the Cyrus Temple program to death for making her wear a poodle skirt.
You did! You! Two bit gangster gone three bit! And now your gonna... cap the only one who was ever decent to you?! No, I trusted you. I took you in, treated you like family. F*** you! You hypocrite, I should have clipped you when you broke into my house! You don't understand nothing! I'm all you got! You made the wrong call!
~ Michael De Santa suffering stress during Franklin Clinton's betrayal in the "Kill Michael" ending.
(Peaches helplessly watches her father bing separated from her by the landmass) Manny: STAY ALIVE! No matter how long it takes, I WILL FIND YOU! Peaches(sobbing): Mom! This is all my fault! If I had just--Ellie:Peaches! This is NOT your fault, alright? Peaches: What if I never see him again? And the last thing we did was fight! Ellie: Hey, your father is the toughest, most stubborn mammoth I've ever met! He'll come back for us. (wraps her trunk around Peaches) That's a promise.
~ Peaches blaming herself when her father gets separated from her by an earthquake, after a harsh argument with him that resulted in her disowning him
Frankie, no! NOOO!! This is all my fault! I'm so sorry, Frankie! How am I ever gonna explain this to Pop? Oh no!!!
~ Lenny grieving after his brother Frankie was crushed to death by an anchor.
~ Eddy cries because, he pleaded guilty.
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