"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I'm here to talk to you about the very serious problem of schizophrenia. - No he doesn't! - SHUT UP, LET HIM SPEAK!"
"Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I. No, you're not! He is, you know. Oh, shut up, you two and let him speak!"
In Real Life, mental illness of any kind is rarely a laughing matter. In media, however, it can be played with for humor. When a character swings wildly back and forth between different versions of himself, it's almost always used this way.
It's also far too often referred to as "schizophrenia"; while the word literally means "split mind", Psychology Marches On and nowadays schizophrenia is a complicated condition affecting perception of reality, while "dissociative identity disorder" is the much rarer condition relating to multiple personalities.
See also Inner Dialogue.
- Ah! My Goddess: Urd is split into her goddess and demon selves. The attempt to reunite them results in a single Urd that switches between their personalities. The change is shown by her markings changing from blue to red.
- In Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, Kaere/Kaede's split personality as a stereotypical Japanese Yamato Nadeshiko and stereotypical jerkass Eaglelander is played for laughs, as is Kafuka's description of previously having two split personalities who differed in respect to a slight food preference - although the latter is also a sign that Kafuka is actually cute, psychotic and Ax Crazy.
- More broadly, the whole class is some sort of crazy, and it all is played for laughs.
- Well, everyone except for Nami Hito. She's pretty normal (but don't tell her that).
- A decidedly dark take in Air Gear has Agito/Akito, who swings from Ax Crazy to "cute kid" depending on which side his eyepatch is.
- Me Myself and Irene had Jim Carrey's character diagnosed with "Advanced Delusionary Schizophrenia with Involuntary Narcissistic Rage", which was really Multiple Personality Disorder that caused him to flip into his Jerkass alter-ego anytime he got angry.
- Lars and the Real Girl takes a man who is clearly delusional and incapable of connecting comfortably with other human beings, so he buys a life-size sex doll off the Internet and appears to be convinced that she's alive.
- Nutty Nut has a protagonist with a half-dozen alternate personalities, such as Tough Guy (impervious to pain and will beat you up for looking at him funny), the Clown, the Magician (who can do actual magic) and the Dog (don't... don't ask). They tend to switch with the slightest stimulus, such as someone snapping their fingers.
- The Nutty Professor plays it for laughs (at least the Eddie Murphy version does). In this one it's due to Phlebotinum.
- Felsic Current's Thendy Bravura (also known by himself and others as a dozen other names) is the embodiment of Funny Schizophrenia. We are even treated to a chapter written entirely from his point of view, complete with internal conversations and bickering between his various personalities. Although he tends to drive other characters up the wall, his antics are generally of great comedic appeal to the reader.
- Averted on Dollhouse, where Sierra/Priya's symptoms are much more realistic. Even though she doesn't really have schizophrenia at all---her Stalker with a Crush is poisoning her with psychotic medication.
- Played straight with Alpha. He doesn't really have Schizophrenia, but two of his personalities do, and it is indeed played for black comedy.
- One episode of Becker has a very realistic schizophrenic man named Lloyd. It even includes unexciting things like flat affect and mundane examples of magical thinking. It's still played of laughs, though.
- There's a nameless "traditional" summer camp song mocking a huge number of occupations that can include the verse:
...A schizophrenic I would be!
- "The Chosen" by Voltaire has "Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm schizophrenic, and I am too!"
- There's a song on Styx's Kilroy Was Here called "Double Life" with the lyrics "Nowhere to hide though we both might try, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I..."
- Emilie Autumn has a bonus track on the rerelease on Opheliac in which, among other things, she lists the mental illnesses she doesn't have, obviously taking the Michael, including Tourette's Shitcock Syndrome, OCD (OCD, OCD, OCD), amnesia, and schizophrenia: she enjoys the latter, and so does she.
- "Lucky 4 You (Tonight I'm Just Me)" by SHeDAISY plays with multiple personality disorder. It goes from "you always said that I have multiple personalities" to "where'd you dig up the audacity / To ask me how we've all been doing since you broke our heart" in the first verse. It has a chorus of:
Number five just cries a river a minute
- And then just to cross the line twice, "It's not just up to me / I don't know, girls, what do you think?" precedes a repetition of the chorus with the group's vocals overdubbed several times.
- This was one of the laments surrounding the Malkavians in Vampire: The Masquerade. In theory, you have an entire clan of vampires whose weakness is that they pick up some form of madness, from schizophrenia to megalomania to fugue, upon Embrace (that is, if they weren't already insane before), which could be scary seeing as you have an immortal being with supernatural powers, unnatural insight, and little control over their own faculties. In reality, you have a bunch of idiots playing Malkavians who either act like children or use their insanity to commit wacky pranks (hence the term "Fishmalk"—Malkavians who would do something like run up to someone on the street and slap them with a fish, and call it a "prank").
- And to be fair, the game itself suggested this route in the first edition, then, when they decided that True Art Is Angsty, tried to turn it into the more "serious" mental problem area. Most players ignored this, and Malkavians have been a bright spot in the Old World of Darkness ever since.
- Part-fey characters in Footloose are prone to "Multiple Generic-induced Sanity Dysfunction", a form of Funny Schizophrenia that quickly become unfunny if it triggers psychotic episodes.
- Transformers Animated: Wreck-Gar swings between moods depending on the last suggestion he heard. Then of course, there's Blitzwing and his multiple personalities which change accordingly to the mood of his current personality (or just when it's funny):
[Angry Blitzwing]: "The name is Blitzwing! Remember it! Because it's the last thing you'll hear before I-"
- When Pinkie Pie of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic had a total mental breakdown in "Party of One" it quickly moved from your normal 'comic misunderstanding' 'wacky hijinks' to increasingly unsettling schizophrenia, with inanimate objects trying to convince her to snub her friends for not coming to her party. This was still played for laughs (possibly to Get Crap Past the Radar).
- Note that, under normal circumstances, Pinkie still technically qualifies as "psychotic" according to the medical definition of the term, so it's not like treating Pinkie's mental infaculties like a joke is actually a change of pace for this show.
- In "Lesson Zero" Twilight Sparkle begins to absolutely freak out when she cannot find a friendship problem to solve as a letter to write to princess Celestia. At one point, this goes so far as her having a Gollum-like schizophrenic episode while talking to a puddle.
- She gets that way whenever she thinks she might disappoint Celestia. She's a Teacher's Pet...and the teacher in question is their civilization's sun-goddess.
- In The Simpsons according to Carl, he once hired a private eye to figure out who's been cobbling his shoes for him at night. Turns out he discovered that he has server schizophrenia. He says this as if it's not a big deal.
- There's a parody of the famous "Roses are red, violets are blue" poem that goes "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I."