Tranquil Fury

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For the record, that glare is his standard face for most of the movie. His actual level of anger is expressed by how dreadfully he kills you.
"Astfgl had passed through the earlier stage of fury and was now in that calm lagoon of rage where the voice is steady, the manner is measured and polite, and only a faint trace of spittle at the corner of the mouth betrays the inner inferno."
Eric

In every Badass's life, there may come a time when going berserk simply does not work. In this case, many people choose to turn to Tranquil Fury. This state of mind allows much whoop-ass to be uncanned without undue stress. When the time comes for the showdown between the Hero and the Big Bad, do not expect to see furious angry rage. Instead, expect The Hero (or Anti-Hero)'s face to be serenely, eerily calm. They will not appear to be even slightly put out with the villain. Of course, that won't stop them from trying to hack the villain to hundreds of tiny pieces. A defeat by someone in the grip of Tranquil Fury is likely to be more comprehensive than others, as the job will be done in a properly thorough fashion.

This is different from The Quiet One and The Stoic. The character in the grip of Tranquil Fury isn't necessarily an emotional cripple, and in day to day life they may be perfectly normal and happy. What defines Tranquil Fury is the tendency to become deadly serious when it gets deadly serious.

Tranquil Fury is often preceded by the phrase "I didn't want to have to do this," or something similar. A loose real-life equivalent would be the concept of mushin. Typically, a Meditation Powerup invokes or results in such a state.

Compare Don't Make Me Destroy You, Bored with Insanity, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Rage Breaking Point, and Heroic Safe Mode.

Contrast: Berserker Tears, Unstoppable Rage. Compare and contrast Dissonant Serenity. These characters often use Creepy Monotone, Death Glare, and Slasher Smile.

Examples of Tranquil Fury include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's Giorno Giovanna can seem calm at the most tense of moments, but really, he is just plotting your demise in a very sneaky and sometimes quite horrific way. The best example of this is once he gains Gold Experience Requiem and faces off with Diavolo floating in the air with his new stand.
  • One Piece:
    • Monkey D. Luffy is a master of this, especially in the original Japanese. There are few times when Luffy will go in screaming and rip roaring mad, though to look at him you'd suppose otherwise. His most angry, serious look tends to be blank eyes.
    • Whitebeard is known for going apeshit over anyone harming his "sons". Killing one of them is a different story. In fact, it's this trope when Akainu kills Portgas D. Ace, and Whitebeard silently but brutally punishes him by using a Megaton Punch and sending him through a fault with his earthquake-powers. The only words he said were after Akainu burnt half his face off: "I'm just getting started". Fittingly, the chapter was called Silent Rage.
  • Bleach:
    • This can be a fairy common attitude that indicates a character has gained superiority, or is feeling superior, in a fight. It's a way of showing the character is in completely control, even over their rage. One particularly glaring example occurs in the Mood Whiplash battle between Charlotte and Yumichika. This swings from a Silly Reason for War into a What You Are in the Dark character reveal, with both characters having initially vented their emotions in a comically melodramatic fashion. The moment the fight changes from comic to deadly serious is the moment Yumichika stops playing the emotional goofball and turns into something that is pure Tranquil Fury and curb stomps Charlotte into oblivion. This is a common pattern for fights in this manga.
    • When Yamamoto defeats Halibel's three fracción, Halibel proceeds to unleash a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Hitsugaya in an attempt to finish the fight as fast as possible so she can take her revenge against Yamamoto. She fails (mainly due to the intervention of the Big Damn Heroes, but it's the thought that counts).
      • Speaking of Yamamoto, he's now in a constant state of this due to the death of his lieutenant, Chojiro Sasakibe.
    • Hisagi displays some tendency towards this during his fight with Findor, especially at the end when his rage at Findor trying to pass himself off as captain-class results in very softly-spoken anger.
    • In a Filler arc, Shusuke Amagai is so chillingly icy during his fight with Ichigo that he seems to combine Tranquil Fury with Creepy Monotone.
    • Ichigo himself shows signs of this at the start of his Deicide battle with Aizen, mostly at the beginning of the fight when he first arrives and assesses the torment and mayhem Aizen has created. He softly tells Aizen they will adjourn to a different battlefield and when Aizen tries to stall, Ichigo simply grabs him by the face and drags him there. All done with such icy calm and detachment that is so abnormal for his usually fiery temperament that it borders on Dissonant Serenity.
    • Byakuya is the king of this trope. When Zommari tells him he's planning to kill Rukia, Byakuya's eyes narrow. For Zommari, it's all downhill after that.
    • Recently, the newly re-instated Third Division captai Rojuro "Rose" Ootoribayashi has slipped into this state as well, after seeing half of his squad (including Kira, his liutenant) brutally and horribly curbstomped by the Vandereich. It's awesome.
  • Briareos in Appleseed is quite good at this. Having a blank metal plate and five cameras in lieu of a face certainly helps.
  • In Tsukihime, Shiki's occasional bouts of homicidal insanity come in a variety of flavors, depending on what triggers them. His usual version tends to be a "cold" fury, and he rarely if ever falls prey to a "hot" fury.
    • There's a convenient scale on Arcueid's path: Killing Arcueid? Definitely heated fury. Killing Nero? Middle-ground. Killing Roa? Pure calm.
  • In Dragonball Z, the Super Saiyan form is typically unlocked after emotional stress and anger reaching peak. Once they do this, the Saiyan becomes truer to their nature, becoming colder and more sadistic, although with enough training these negative traits fade away.
    • The trope was used much earlier on in the series, when Goku returns from King Kai's planet and proceeds to tear Nappa a new one with a somewhat stern look on his face the entire time. The chapter was fittingly called The Quiet Wrath of Son Goku.
    • The actual way Goku describes Super Saiyan the first time he reaches it is "a calm quiet heart awakened by intense anger". Sounds like this trope to me.
    • Goodness, no mention of Son Gohan during the Cell games? When he hits super saiyan 2, he becomes completely calm and completely cruel. He spends several episodes just dodging Cell's attacks with no effort, giving him cold gazes in-between. It's it's more noticeable in the movie Bojack Unbound when he reaches super saiyan 2 once again. In that state, he's merely advancing towards big bad with a most eerily slow walk. Minions use some sort of ki-attack that tries to trap-bind him, but he just keeps walking, not giving a damn, still creepily slow.
      • It's actually a technique, it first debuted when he first reaches SSJ2 in the Cell Games, where he spends the first few minutes slowly walking to the Cell Juniors and one-by-one kicks and punches them all in half, with the same eerily slow-walk from the following movie. The name of said technique? Quiet Rage.
    • In the abridged series, Vegeta himself has arrived at a moment of tranquil fury upon having his tail cut off.

Vegeta: [Calmly] You know... I thought I'd be angrier, what with the utter humiliation and loss of my tail... Or maybe I'm just so unbelievably enraged that I've come full circle. Oh well! Either way, it's time to put an end to this.

  • This is said to be the highest state of mind for a fighter in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, a serene calm that cannot be broken by the strongest of maelstroms. It is through this rather than his trademark Unstoppable Rage that Domon Kasshu finally manages to become truly worthy of his status.

It should probably be noted that this is a state of mind only- Domon becomes arguably more hotblooded when his Hyper Mode activates. I guess his is a hot blood tempered controlled, but not stemmed, by calm. It also demonstrated the difference between excitement and flat out anger.

  • Kira Yamato's "SEED Mode" in both Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. At first it was a sort of Unstoppable Rage but even after it became this, it is still just as exciting.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, the standard Dying Will mode is a form of Unstoppable Rage, while Hyper Dying Will mode is more Tranquil Fury.
  • The eponymous Afro in Afro Samurai uses this to call upon his subconscious to come up with an on-the-fly fighting style to counter his Mirror Match robot double.
    • It could be argued that Afro is in a constant state of quiet rage for the entire series.
  • Jin of Samurai Champloo is nearly the personification of this.
  • Kenshin's golden-eyed "Battousai" state in Rurouni Kenshin is his state of Tranquil Fury. He's not necessarily mad, he's just done playing nice and is now ready to beat you to a pulp.
    • Though as the original Hitokiri Battousai he was more of a "kill off my emotion for efficiency" empathic killer.
    • Kenshin loses it in one story arc where the cast attacks a rich mogul who says that his only motivation for doing what he does is plain and simple: Money, saying that it can do anything. After he kills the henchmen that have turned against him with a gatling gun, Kenshin runs at him. Due to the efforts of said henchmen, the gun jams, and the guy starts begging for mercy. Kenshin replies by screaming "If you value your life, PRAY TO YOUR BELOVED MONEY!!" before smashing the guy's face in.
    • And again in the Kyoto Arc. During the fight with Chou "Sword Hunter" Sawagejou, Chou makes as if to impale an infant on his sword, in an effort to break Kenshin's concentration. It works. Sort of. Kenshin does indeed lose his focus, but instead of forgetting about Chou's special attack, Kenshin instead forgets that he doesn't want Chou's cervical vertebrae to part ways. He was only saved by the fact that the new sword was, unbeknownst to everyone, a sakabatou. Even then, the sheer force of the blow might have Darth Mauled him anyway(and would certainly have snapped his spine), if not for the BFS wrapped around his torso like a bandage
  • In Saiyuki, Stepford Smiler Hakkai is very good at this, able to carry on polite conversations as he is engaged in battle. But his past life Tenpou in the Gaiden manga raises this to a very creepy new level, politely saying "excuse me" before he calmly punches his superior's lights out, and in the battle where he sacrifices his life, engages in all manner of meaningless prattle that is totally unrelated to the battle at hand.
  • Luck Gandor demonstrates Tranquil Fury in the first Baccano!! light novel, in contrast to his brother Berga's furniture-smashing rage over the deaths of several of their men. When Berga rejects Luck's request for him to calm down, Luck patiently explains - while gripping a piece of broken wood hard enough to draw blood from his own hand - that he is in fact very angry, and that he wants to rip those responsible to pieces with his own hands, and that he is keeping himself occupied with thinking over the details lest he go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and possibly even kill police or innocent bystanders if they got in the way. He then asks his brother to shoot him if it's necessary to keep him from doing so; all the while, his expression never changes, and by the time he's done Berga apologizes and says that Luck needs to calm down even more than he himself does.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho
  • Circe Augusta von Zerbst, from Zero no Tsukaima. Usually hot-blooded, she gets unusually calm and lady-like when angered.
  • Revy's "Whitman Fever" from Black Lagoon, which is more of a relapse of Ax Crazy than actual anger—when she starts to look like she's sleep-deprived and stops yelling and swearing, there will be blood and there will be lots of it.
  • Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star does this every single time that there's anything shown between the mook of the week crossing the Moral Event Horizon, and Ken getting into his screaming Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
  • Only to be expected given the slightly weird mindset of contractors in Darker than Black. We see it the most from Hei (unless someone hits his Berserk Button, in which case the "tranquil" part disappears), but it's also fairly prominent when November 11 is really mad.
    • Good November 11 example would be after his partner, April, gets badly injured. As he watches her at the hospital, his face is no longer his perpetual smirk, or even the expected rage; it's basically expressionless, although slightly glum. This is pretty much Dull Surprise made terrifying.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, King Bradley is the embodiment of wrath but never actually seems angry. He swaps between this and Dissonant Serenity.
    • Well he is the embodiment of WRATH, not rage. The former lasts longer than the latter, and Big Bad is even more long term in his plans.
    • In the anime, Izumi Curtis enters South Headquarters and tears the place open with a calm, blank look on her face to retrieve Wrath.
    • Lust points this out about Roy Mustang when heincinerates her about eight times without even blinking. Later when he takes on Envy he becomes alarmingly less tranquil, almost to the point of crossing his moral event horizon.
  • When switching on his blue lantern, Randel Oland from Pumpkin Scissors, enters a trance that focuses him single-mindedly on his goal, making him impervious to pain and turning him into a fearless, heartless, lethal automaton. He only retains enough humanity to know when to switch it off, and then he returns to normal.
  • Princess Mononoke had a good example with this when Ashitaka simply walks up to the dueling Mononoke and Eboshi - surrounded by the blue-black glow of the demon inside him, but still calm nonetheless.
  • Sailor Moon has its protagonist in this mode as she confronts Queen Beryl in the final scene of season one after the deaths of her fellow Senshi. Dub hate aside, Sailor Moon's voice actress Terri Hawkes evokes this powerfully:
  • Hunter X Hunter has done this with a number of characters, but most recently and perhaps most extremely, Gon. Ever since his mentor Kaito was savaged by the Chimera Ants, Gon's been getting progressively more scary quiet, to the point that people will recoil from him when he's just sitting there. After finding out Kaito is Killed Off for Real, Gon has apparently aged ten years and unlocked incredible power.
  • In Digimon Adventure season 2, T.K. confronts the Digimon Emperor this way, after giving his "The Reason You Suck" Speech. He takes a whip crack from the Emperor into his face without even flinching, calmly looks at his injury then proceeds to beat the crap out of the Emperor.
  • This was Signum's reaction in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force when Cypha acted flippantly about her massacre of a world. No roaring, no screaming, just pure, controlled rage from Signum as she completely dismantles Cypha, leaving the latter on the ground and missing an arm. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough.
  • Diamond of Pokémon Special. Whenever he finds himself with less than savory characters, he will simply state that he doesn't approve of what they're doing before fighting. What really stands out though, is when he tells Pearl that he has his own mind and refuses to be bossed around without ever raising his voice.
  • Kakashi of Naruto. After Zabuza completely disregards Haku's sacrifice and attempts to cut right through him to get at his enemy, Kakashi decides it's now personal. He proceeds to destroy the previously impregnable Zabuza in four economical moves.
    • After Pain destroyed the village, he came on the receiving end of Sage Mode Naruto's Tranquil Fury. By the time he managed to get control of the battle again, Naruto had destroyed five of his bodies. Pain only triggered his Unstoppable Rage later, when he nearly killed Hinata.
    • One way or another, it seems Zabuza is Kakashi's Berserk Button. In the most recent manga arc Zabuza and Haku's resurrected bodies were taken over to fight in the war and their minds blanked out for greater efficiency. This disrespect to their friendship and sacrifice is the final straw...

"Look, it takes a lot to get me worked up, but this time my boiling point's as low as it's ever been. The Copy Ninja Kakashi, the man who copied one thousand techniques… is about to go on a rampage!"

We're not shown the ensuing fight, but it wipes out the.[1]
  • Negi from Mahou Sensei Negima spends most of Chapter 315 in this state after he sees that Quartum has cut Chachamaru in half. He curb stomps Quartum, culminating in Quartum being ripped in half.
  • If Motoko Gettou is in tranquil fury mode, then that means Zero has come out to play. And if that said tranquil fury is directed at you, you had better start praying. Fast.
  • Though his signature reaction to most serious situations is Unstoppable Rage, Guts from Berserk often starts out with Tranquil Fury. Before he confronts the man who tortured and mutilated Griffith for a year, Guts gives an expression that is on the same level of creepiness as his signature Slasher Smile, just to show how dangerously enraged he is inside.
  • The end of the first arc of the To Aru Kagaku no Railgun anime has Mikoto, a Tsundere with Shock and Awe powers going Tranquil Fury on the AIM Burst. You can pick your jaw off the floor now.
  • In Soul Eater Black*Star, a Hot-Blooded Idiot Hero, is most dangerous when he's not yelling at you.
  • In episode 22 of Fairy Tail, after Natsu learns that Lucy has been kidnapped, he captures a mook and drags him across a mountain trail. While dragging the guy, he orders him to reveal where Lucy is being held. When the mook won't answer, Natsu sets him on fire, then calmly declares that if he doesn't answer, the flames won't go out until he's ash.
    • Black Mage Zeref needs only to flash a Death Glare at somebody and announce they've angered him to have everyone on the floor shitting themselves.
  • In Sekirei, Yume seems rather calm when she beats up two Disciplinary Squad members effortlessly. Miya, the landlady of Maison Izumo, also seems rather calm as she trains Musubi and Tsukiumi in her backyard.
  • In Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou, while Sai Akuto is capable of Unstoppable Rage, in some of his fights, he will comment on how calm he is despite a ton of power flowing through him at the time. Some of the other characters accuse him of this as a sign of him becoming the Demon Lord.
  • In Inu x Boku SS, Soushi does this in episode 3 when two young men are insulting Ririchiyo. After dousing them with his drink, he very calmly, very politely says, "Pardon me, it's just that, you've angered me."
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, Yu drags Namatame over to the TV and nearly throws him into it without a hint of emotion on his face.
  • In Gakuen Babysitters, Hayato Kamitani is The Stoic with a Hair-Trigger Temper, so his rage is manifested as this trope.
    • In the rare moments he actually gets angry, Ryuuichi Kashima shows this trope. A particular example is when Hebihara-sensei (who is Hayato's estranged dad) coldly dismissed Hayato, Ryuuichi angrily delivers his essay detailing Hayato and Taka's activities in the daycare center with few words. Hebihara-sensei commented he felt like being slapped in the face, further lampshading this trope.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • The Punisher will vary between Tranquil Fury and Unstoppable Rage, depending on the situation and writer, although sometimes one hides the other. (The point of the infamous Nicky Cavella incident was to cause him to mess up, and it worked -- once he could no longer hide the Unstoppable Rage under the veneer of Tranquil Fury, Frank knowingly walked right into the trap, only surviving through outside intervention, and it was only by returning to Tranquil Fury that he successfully ends the arc... and Nicky, ever so slowly.)
    • Everyone keeps referring to the Nicky Cavella incident as The Punisher in Unstoppable Rage mode, but it is actually The Punisher in Tranquil Fury mode. If he was truly in Unstoppable Rage, he would have charged straight towards Nicky, but instead he just goes from Bad Guy Bar to Bad Guy Bar massacring unconnected criminals until the city officials rebury his family. Then he goes after Nicky. Tunnel vision is a side effect to Tranquil Fury.
  • Gold Digger: When Julia Diggers went Mama Bear on the assassin Zero, who was waiting in ambush near her first student Gar's body mortally wounded and no longer breathing. He was count on seeing Gar causing Julia to lose her cool and he could take advantage of it to kill her, since Zero needed only the slightest opening to gain the edge. He was badly mistaken.
  • Jack From Jupiter is on the rough end of this trope on The Boys.
  • Darkseid is this all the time.
  • World War Hulk has the Hulk so angry he's calm.
  • Lyra, who is the daughter of the Hulk from a future timeline, actually becomes weaker as she becomes angrier, in contrast to her father. So she is at her strongest when she is calm and collected.
  • Turns out Soundwave is like this so much only he's immune to Frenzy's infrasonic manipulation (which doubles as turning everyone Axe Crazy).
  • Wedge Antilles, in an arc where he confronts the man who killed his parents when he was younger, naturally flashes back to their deaths. When they were in the midst of their Heroic Sacrifice he was almost uncontrollable, understandably, but later he's scary calm. It slips a little, but he was still cold. Outside of the flashback and having to deal with the man, he's rigidly polite... until the guy has him locked up and goads him.
    • The novels mention a few times that the Wedge in starfighter combat is very unlike the usual Wedge - much, much more focused. It may not just be in combat, but when he has a purpose in mind and can't let himself fail - Iella remarks on this. One of his pilots, Wes Janson, is a snarky prankster, but similarly becomes extremely focused and controlled in combat.
  • This is exactly the reason you do not piss off Spider-Man. You wouldn't know it considering how he loves talk, but the nanosecond you get him to stop joking (usually by doing something to threaten his family or friends), you've ensured yourself a very painful and thorough defeat.
    • Or death, if it just happens to be a What If universe. Oh and if it wasn't for a Retcon Spider-man would've committed his first real murder.
  • V of V for Vendetta serves his vengeance cold, not once raising his voice to his targets (unless you count Madam Justice). His kills are usually done quietly and made to look like unrelated accidents, but by the time we see him in the comic, he's elevated killing to high theater. Sometimes he slaughters men while reciting Shakespeare or Bible verses, sometimes he abducts them and puts on little plays, or manipulates an Innocent Bystander into doing the killing for him, and in the "Vertigo" episode simply stands motionless in complete silence and compels his victim to kill himself. The fact that at all times he's wearing a mask with the most cheerful smile imaginable makes him all the more terrifying to those who wronged him.
  • This is how Watchmen's Rorschach operates. Unlike the other characters, who express fury through violent outbursts (The Comedian particularly), Rorschach is almost always calm and quiet in his violence. Even when pushed to his very limit in 1975, he didn't yell or lash out, he retained his quiet demeanor. Of course, Rorschach is emotionally withdrawn and during his adulthood he only makes a facial expression twice in the book (Panel 8 of Page 7 of Chapter 6, when he remembers a childhood incident, and when he orders Manhattan to kill him. For the rest of the story his face is either covered by his mask or a blank stare.
    • This is changed in the movie, however. His blank stare is replaced by a Clint Squint, and he is prone to fits of eye-twitchery. In 1975, when pushed to his limitations, instead of breaking down into the calm psycho he breaks up into an aggressive animal.
  • Word of advice: when Superman gets angry and you don't have kryponite on you, run. Sure, no one but The Flash can actually outrace him, but he'll respect the effort, and your best shot is to hope that something more important will distract him in the seconds he lets you run. However, when he's gone past the point of anger, and entered Batman-levels of rage, Red Eyes, Take Warning and all, pray to your maker, because you'll be lucky to end up in critical condition.
    • When Superman narrowly managed to defeat Subjekt-17, an alien with strength and speed on par with him coupled with Psychic Powers, Subjekt-17 comments:

"You get cold inside when angry, Superman, but never wild."

  • Speaking of Bats... he starts off as The Stoic, then goes into an Unstoppable Rage, and then... let's just say that you really, really, really don't want to make him go past that point. It's saying something when a normal human in that state can scare the hell out of characters akin to gods - then again, Batman ain't a "normal human" per se.
  • One story in Deadpool #900 has the Merc With The Mouth going to a psychiatrist. During the session Deadpool brings up his occasional "pro bono" work when something really catches his attention, and mentions a story about a therapist who took sexual advantage of a young girl who was his patient, eventually driving her to suicide. Eventually it's revealed that he's speaking to that very same therapist. Deadpool then beheads the man and quietly walks away. The kicker? Deadpool's usual wisecracking internal dialogue was notably absent from the story until after the therapist was killed, showing that Deadpool was 100% not fucking around.
  • Wolverine is known for entering Unstoppable Rage moments. In fact, it's kinda his trademark, but also an Achilles' Heel, since he's somewhat mindless when like this, so you MAY be able survive. God help you if you piss him off SO much that he goes past this and regains control...
  • Paperinik New Adventures has Xadhoom. It doesn't look that way, as you usually see her killing Evrons in the most painful way she could think of, but at the end of her introductory story she revealed that if she ever lost control she'd become a nova, and that's when you realize she's in full Tranquil Fury. A later story reveals that Xadhoom is unable to go into Unstoppable Rage mode (in the occasion she was mad beyond reason and tried to let her control slip, but she survived and produced a relatively small explosion), and another showed she's actually able to weaponize her hate when she killed an Evron cyborg capable to absorb emotions by letting her control slip just a little for a single moment, killing the cyborg by indigestion.


Fan Work[edit | hide]

  • Emily Hastings from An Entry With a Bang does this when a friend of hers gets killed, toying with the ASF pilot responsible and taking him out methodically weapon-by-weapon.
  • These lines from Team 8 after Neji demolishes Hinata in the Chuunin Exam preliminaries demonstrate both this trope and his knowledge that Naruto will not take this lightly.

Shino: What variety of flowers would be appropriate?
Tenten: What?
Shino: For your teammate's funeral.

  • Vtan 'Arume goes into this after his old friend Rukth is killed. Vtan's human friend Perry states that this is the first time he's ever been truly scared of Vtan. Torikus also had a moment during which he acted like a "calculating murderer".
  • After his subordinates are wiped out, a Yakuza boss in Kyon: Big Damn Hero enters Tranquil Fury.
    • It's also one interpretation of Kyon's mental state after someone nearly killed Tsuruya.
  • In the last installment of the Elemental Chess Trilogy, Roy Mustang is on trial for the murder of Fuhrer Grumman. As the Amoral Attorney prosecutor continues to badger him about everything under the sun, he gets progressively more and more agitated. Then the prosecutor is pushing the idea that Roy committed the crime to further his ambitions, and Roy points out that even setting aside the other reasons he wouldn't have done it, he could never hurt his wife by committing such an act.

"Well," says the prosecutor, "maybe you love your ambition more than you love your wife."
If Ed were blind, he would still be able to see that this is the Wrongest Thing anyone has ever said to Mustang. He fully expects him to light the prosecutor on fire, although this wouldn't exactly help his case. At the very least, he expects Mustang to explode.
He doesn't. His black eyes are burning a hole through the prosecutor's head, but he remains seated, clutching the arms of the chair in a furious grip. And when he speaks, his voice is dangerously low and hissing, and fully informing the prosecutor that he has crossed the uncrossable line.
"I don't love anything more than my wife."

Fluttershy: I... I will not run! You will not hurt my friends again!

  • In A Month as Naruto Uzumaki, Sarutobi spends a month as Naruto to see how bad the village really treats him. In less than 3 weeks he decides he's seen enough and recalls something the First Hokage told him, "A Hokage must never give into rage. But, should your anger be too much to contain, you must make sure that your anger be three things. Your rage must be cold. Your rage must be reasoned. And your rage must be legendary." In the end, Naruto owns roughly 30% of Konoha, the Uchiha clan is down to six children, and the entire main branch of the Hyuuga clan has been wiped out except for Hinata (Hiashi had told Hanabi about Sarutobi's law).
  • In MSLN Test Dummies, Roland goes into this when he learns about the screwed-up training battle Crash has gotten into.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Act of Valor. After Lt. Rorke's Heroic Sacrifice, Chief Dave gets up and proceeds to solo the cartel and suicide bombers with barely a sound, just intense, cold, focus.
  • Eric Draven, in the big shootout in the club towards the end of The Crow: "You're all going to die." Said so calmly and quietly he probably wasn't even heard over the thumping music.
  • John Preston in Equilibrium. Four words: "No. Not without incident."
    • Accompanied by two other words when the polygraph he's hooked up to flatlines after the Tranquil Fury takes over: "Oh, shit!" So either he was so angry that his heart stopped, or the machine was broken by his PURE RAGE!
  • River's decision in Serenity to charge the Reavers to protect her friends at the cost of her own life is accompanied by a very chilling degree of calm, especially considering what the Reavers would do to her if she lost. And in the scene immediately afterwards, where the Alliance troops break through the wall and have the entire crew covered and ready to gun them down, River is calmly and emotionlessly preparing to kill them too, even with twenty rifles pointed at her.
    • What makes this scene truly powerful? If you've watched the TV series and know that River is not only one of the most erratically emotive characters in the series, but that she is physically incapable of controlling her emotions. Especially fear. So to see her slowly, calmly turn her head, look straight at the Alliance soldiers, and prepare to massacre them too without the tiniest twitch of emotion on her face isn't simply awesome...its a bit terrifying.
    • Earlier in the film she has another. After she wanders into the bar where Mal is meeting with a contact, the Alliance bad guys trigger her Berserk Button with a subliminal message. She proceeds to wipe out everyone in the bar with more or less the same calm as she shows in the previous example. What makes it especially disorienting is that the scene includes a few shots of the fight through River-vision: she's almost alone in a bright, empty space, moving so slowly and gracefully that she's almost dancing. Then it immediately cuts back to the noise and chaos in the crowded bar where she's attacking everyone who comes within reach.
    • Zoe has a similar moment after Wash is killed. She's shown very calmly loading her shotgun, and when the Reavers attack, she slowly rises from behind cover, blasting away, and closes into melee with them with the disturbingly calm look on her face.
    • Why is River not freaking out at all the Alliance grunts pointing rifles at her? She can plot the trajectory of every bullet that will be fired... just like she did in the episode "War Stories".
  • In Mission: Impossible, Ethan Hunt does this when he realizes that, not only is his team dead, his boss thinks he's the mole.

Kittridge: Ethan, I understand you're upset...
Ethan: Kittridge, you've never seen me very upset.

    • In the actual book, it is explained that this is what Vizzini becomes like when he gets mad: he speaks in a very soft voice, with a very calm face, and scares the hell out of Inigo and Fezzik. Of course, in the movie, he just gets higher and higher pitched.
  • Dustin Hoffman's long-awaited rampage at the end of Straw Dogs. He's slightly nervous, and that's about it.
  • William Wallace in Braveheart after his wife is killed. His expression is virtually blank from the moment he rides into the village to the moment he cuts the murderer's throat.
  • In Aguirre, the Wrath of God, when Aguirre makes his final monologue proclaiming eternal vengeance on any who would disobey him, to a raft of corpses and monkeys no less, he speaks with in a low, sedate voice. This was Enforced Method Acting on the part of Werner Herzog. Klaus Kinski wanted to do the scene in a rage, but Herzog intentionally infuriated him off-camera until he was so exhausted that he performed the scene in what appears to be tranquil fury.
  • The scene in Over the Hedge in which Hammy, an exceptionally hyper squirrel, tries caffeine for the first time seems like a good example of this trope. From his (and our) POV, time appears to almost stop as he calmly walks through a laser grid, though in the reality of the story, he is likely going berserk faster than the eye can see.
    • Which is shown by the fact that he is casually strolling ahead of a newly activated laser beam. That's faster-than-light strolling.
  • The assassin named T, from the Singaporean movie One Last Dance, has this as his signature style. It is shown mainly in the confrontation with his former partner-in-crime, as well as the ensuing revenge on the men who raped his friend's sister.
  • Michael Corleone in The Godfather. You do not desire to make him think it's not just business.
  • Would-be presidential assassin Mitch Leary in In the Line of Fire.
  • The protagonist of I Saw the Devil may qualify, as he gets on a revenge fest, looking very calm and cold most of the time. His fury goes on during the WHOLE. MOVIE.
  • Gru in Despicable Me when in his Papa Wolf mode. Culminated with him offhandedly punching out a shark.
  • Erik's powers in X-Men First Class are manifested through anger, until Charles helps by telling him "true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity." Then, he lifts an entire submarine out of the Caribbean Sea.
  • In Snatch, Brick Top is always very loud and aggressive. Until he gets truly pissed off. Then he gets very, very quiet.
  • When Ip Man challenges the ten Japanese pugilists after seeing Master Liu get shot, he is calm and focused, with only a steely Death Glare to show his anger, even when he's dislocating joints and dealing out other brutality.
  • For most of Star Trek: First Contact, Jean-Luc Picard appears to be the very same composed, rational man that we see throughout the series. As the movie progresses, however, several out-of-character actions betray Picard's utter fury at The Borg, and show that he sees the situation as an opportunity to take revenge on The Collective.
    • Specifically, Picard dispassionately kills a partially-assimilated crew member who was asking for help, shows obvious pleasure at gunning down two drones, and finally shatters a display case in the observation lounge during a argument.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, Ratigan spends most of the movie like this whenever his lackeys mess up, reigning in his anger enough to threaten and kill them in a polite sort of way. During the climax with Basil, however, his patience finally gives in.
  • In Cape Fear, Max Cady has a quiet, permanent animal rage under his skin. And occasionally, it breaks out.
  • At the climax of The Avengers, Bruce Banner reveals that he can turn into The Hulk at a second's notice with no drawn-out transformation sequence required.

Captain America: "Doctor Banner. Now might be a really good time for you to get angry."
Bruce Banner: [smiling] "That's my secret, Cap. I'm always angry."

    • This trope is the reason why Bruce creeps out almost everyone he meets who knows he's the Hulk. On the outside he's calm, soft-spoken, and agreeable, but there's still...something off about his demeanor that makes it clear that a raging beast is lurking right below the surface.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The titular character in "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" After being blackmailed and brutally raped by her new caseworker, Lizbeth Salander reminds us that "cooperative" is very much NOT the same as "submissive." Where another might fly into a homicidal rage or even BSOD, our heroine instead puts the scumbag in his place with a focus and purpose not unlike channeling a nuclear blast through a gunbarrel. having capture the rape on camera, she turns the tables an blackmails HIM, but not before giving him a taste of his own medicine, tattooing I Am A Rapist on his chest, and leaving him tied up to think about what he did.
  • In one of the Callahans Crosstime Saloon stories Jake mentions that Callahan doesn't shout or get loud when he's really angry, but he'll do that to people who don't know him if they act like jerks to intimidate them. When he well and truly pissed, he doesn't say a word.
  • Harry's entire fight with Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was a great example of this. In fact, if Mr. Potter isn't going out of his mind with rage—if he is in fact calm and collected—be afraid. Because you're about to get had.
    • Also, Professor McGonagall's conversation with Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix. Actually, everytime McGonagall's angry, you will see this trope.
      • Which is why, when she very uncharacteristically flies into a screaming rage at Fudge over the Dementor incident at the end of Book Four, it really smacks the reader (especially a younger one) with just how colossal a trainwreck has been set in motion.
    • This is Snape's default setting, along with Deadpan Snarker. Him snapping at Harry in a fury towards the end of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince makes the Wham! Line all the more potent.
  • A trait of Elenium's Sparhawk. In fact, when his wife is kidnapped, he acts so calm that one of the knights (who's infatuated with her) actually tells him that he doesn't love her, or he would be angrier. Some very scared friends of Sparhawk have to stop him and basically describe this trope for him before something unfortunate happens.
    • Also, the final battle of the Tamuli Trilogy. Of course, being a God kinda helps.
  • Invoked ad infinitum in The Black Jewels Trilogy, where hot anger is the lesser danger; Blood can be pushed to something called the 'killing edge' which is a sort of glacially calm-seeming berserker state. You can be sure that when a character is speaking "too gently" or is "too calm" that they are a breath away from tearing someone apart.

There were winds that came down from the north, screaming over miles of ice, picking up moisture as they tore over the cooling sea until, when they finally touched a man, the cold, knife-sharp damp seeped into his bones and chilled him in places the hottest fire couldn't warm. Saetan, when he was this calm, this still, was like those winds.

  • Captain Carrot, in Men At Arms dropped the Big Bad with barely a word. He would be just doing his duty... if it weren't for the Big Bad having shot his girlfriend. Significantly, he does so by putting a sword into (well, through) a stone, which earlier in the book is described as vastly more impressive than drawing a sword out of a stone.
    • For clarity's sake, it should be noted that said Big Bad was between Carrot's sword and the aforementioned stone. Carrot's expression does not change.
    • Vimes' thoughts on the subject are virtually the definition of Tranquil Fury.

"If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you are going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat. They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the murder like another man will put off a good cigar. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word."

    • Vimes himself gets into one of these—most of his rages are barbaric, but at the end of Night Watch, facing Carcer, he calmly, carefully, and methodically disarms him, pins him against a wall, and arrests him.
    • Normally accompanied by Carrot calmly pointing out that "personal isn't the same as important." He really believes this too—in Jingo he manages to have a quiet sleep while sailing after his kidnapped girlfriend, because it won't do him any good if he's tired once he catches up to her.
      • It should be noted that the one time we see Carrot abandon this trope (When he chases after Angua in The Fifth Elephant), he ends up getting utterly pwned by Angua's Complete Monster brother.
      • Which is very likely a (perhaps subconsciously planned) Xanatos Gambit on Carrot's part, to put himself in a position where Angua would have to come to his aid, and therefore force her hand against her brother.
    • Terry Pratchett quite likes having his heroes remain outwardly calm as they knock seven bells out of the villains. Granny Weatherwax seems to do it once per book, and is described as storing up her anger behind a mental dam in her head, so that when she really needs it she can turn the tap and let it out.
      • Though it may be that Granny Weatherwax exists in a permanent state of Tranquil Fury because she wanted to be a wicked witch, but her sister chose to be the "wicked" one and didn't even have the common courtesy to enjoy it which left Granny with no choice but to be the "good" witch. Again and again, we see how much she despises the people of Lancre, her own closest friends not excepted, yet her entire life is devoted to helping them overcome their various troubles. Of all the characters in the Discworld novels, she seems to be the most effective force for good, and the most glaring example of Good Is Not Nice.
  • At least one Badass in every single one of David Gemmell's novels—if it's a secondary character, they will die by the end of the novel; if the main character doesn't do this at the beginning, he'll probably figure out how by the end.
    • Waylander especially epitomises this trope. In the first novel, Dardalion uses his powers to observe Waylander's aura and describes it as a state of "controlled fury."
      • And his long-time friend was clearly a case of Dissonant Serenity, as his aura was one of calmness. This is maybe the time to remind you that David Gemmell has probably known violence first-hand as a bouncer. It might be a case of Truth in Television or not, everyone has to make up his/her own mind on this.
  • Richard Rahl from the Sword of Truth series, both when turning the blade white and when he dances with the spirits of previous Seekers. Which is probably the reason that it's alluded to that people are flat fucking terrified of the Sword of Truth and its wielder. In fact, learning to control his temper is a key part of Richard being the Seeker in the first place.
    • Worth noting, though, turning the blade white is actually the opposite of Tranquil Fury. While hate and anger normally fuel the Sword's magic, it's love that turns it white.
  • Guido usually regards violence and threats as work, but shows this in M.Y.T.H. Inc in Action:

"What are you? Some kind of PACIFIST?"
"What... did... you... call... me...?" I sez in my softest voice, which I only use on special occasions.

    • This also tends to happen on the rare occasions when Skeeve really loses his temper. He gets very cold and very calm and people start backing away very fast.
    • In Phule's Company, it is shown that when Phule gets mad, he becomes coldly calculating, and is truly terrifying to behold.
  • Two examples from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. The first is from Barrayar when Aral apparently catches Cordelia canoodling with Lt Koudelka. When Cordelia goes to have it out with him she wonders if she can keep her voice down and reflects: "Aral's no problem; when he gets mad he whispers."
    • The second is referenced in this exchange from A Civil Campaign:

Ivan: . . .You don't what to know what [Emperor Gregor] looks like when he gets mad.
Byerly: [Interested] Why? What does he look like?
Ivan: Exactly the same as he does the rest of the time. That's the scary part.

    • Incidentally, that event? Gregor was confronting the man who tried to murder his head of security, framed his foster brother for the crippling attack, then framed his new fiancee's friend and tried to bribe the aforementioned foster brother when that did not stick. The foster brother in question observed that he was "so neutral he was grey."

Miles: [Thinking] So this is what rage looks like on him.

  • Honor Harrington:
    • Honor personifies this in her duel with Pavel Young. He tried to rape her in the academy, he's used his family connections to block her advancement, he's left her to die when he was her superior, he arranged the death of her lover, and when she managed to corner him and challenge him to a duel, he broke the laws on dueling by turning early. Her response was to send 3 bullets into his heart without a single twitch of facial muscle despite his cheating in the duel and turning around early to shoot her in the back.
      • From the (first) climax of Flag in Exile:

Honor raised a hand, and shock stopped him in midsentence. No one ever interrupted the Protector of Grayson when he spoke from the throne! It was unheard of, but she seemed unaware of that. She simply gazed up at him, never even turning to glance at Burdette, and her cold, dispassionate soprano was as clear and carrying as his own voice had been.
"Your Grace," she said, "I have only one question. Do you wish this man crippled, or dead?"

      • Moreover, she maintains that utter calm throughout the (very short) duel, and it's exactly what enables her to kill the far more experienced swordsman Burdette.
      • This is how her husband sees her.

It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not—could not—relent or rest.

      • Her reaction when she finds some of her captured subordinates who have been brutally raped and beaten over and over and over, in The Honor of the Queen. She calmly walks out of the room, finds the CO of the base that allowed it to happen, and is only barely prevented from calmly blowing his brains out when a marine in power armor physically interposes himself, while begging her to not do it. She doesn't actually lower the gun, however, until a man representing the local authorities promises the man will be executed by the courts.
    • Havenite leader Eloise Pritchart is manages to remain calm, if frustrated, while negotiations with Manticore spiral downward during War of Honor. Arnold Giancola, who's been manipulating diplomatic correspondence realizes too late that he went too far and Eloise's outward calm actually hid the fact that she was pissed off enough to order a resumption of hostilities.
    • Really, anybody in the Honorverse who can maintain a level of Tranquil Fury is going to be about twenty times more dangerous than someone who rants, raves, and screams. Perhaps best highlighted with Manticore's Queen Elizabeth. She's an intelligent, crafty, and very effective leader. If she keeps her head. Her biggest blunders, such as failing to get into a better position to head off the High Ridge Government's excesses and resuming hostilities with Haven after peace talks were sabotaged, occurred primarily because the "famed Winton temper" was provoked.
  • The Outlaw Chronicles have Robin Hood himself as being almost perpetually like this, being described by Tuck as a 'Cold-hot man' fire inside, icy control on the outside. And the results are terrifying. The narrator, Alan Dale, has by Book 3 begun to become something similar, previously mentioning his wife (who has an incredible temper matched only by her courage) having described him as ruthless, without pity, and Friar Tuck as being a cold man.
  • Gordon Dickson wrote a short story about this, in which the dominant powers of the galaxy recruit a Token Brigade of humans and other less-advanced species to help fight an oncoming invasion--we're useless, but we have a stake in the outcome and deserve to have our shot. Turns out said dominant powers are Straw Vulcans—when they see how large the invasion fleet is, they prepare to surrender because their calculations indicate there's no way to win (even though surrender means the destruction of all life in the galaxy). The "less-advanced" folks pass through a state of fury and into Tranquil Fury, allowing them to use the ship's psychic weapons more effectively; it then turns out that the super-aliens never considered a berserker one-ship attack as a viable tactic. The enemies are thrown into disarray, and the defenders win the day.
  • Chili Palmer, the Anti-Hero of Get Shorty originally got his nickname on account of a Hot-Blooded personality. Over time though, he cooled down to the point of icy calmness and his nickname took on a new meaning. He is a Loan Shark who can get payment without raising his voice or ever needing to use violence. When someone gets on his bad side, he evidences only a slight irritation.
    • "Look at me."
  • The eponymous hero of Andrew Vachss' Burke novels is a master of this:

You know what it takes to sit across the table from a man, listen to him talk, look into his eyes ... and then blow his brains all over the wallpaper?
Nothing.
And the more of that you have, the easier it is.

  • John Kelly/Clark, from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels, is another shining example; indeed, the Dryden quote in the quotes page for this trope appears on the opening page of Without Remorse, the book that explains how and why Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet John Kelly became the CIA's deadliest black operative, Mr. Clark.
  • In the Iain M Banks Culture novel The Culture, there is an example of Tranquil Fury against a whole civilisation. The protagonist, Jurneau Gurgeh is sent to the foreign Azadian empire to play in a games tournament (winning the tournament makes you the emperor). After having a fairly enjoyable time playing and drinking in what he sees as a crude but still interesting society, Jurneau's companion shows him just how bad things are in the empire (exploitation of mentally sick people, no support for the elderly or poor, brutal police force etc). He gets a bit upset, but doesn't think much of it. He's then shown a series of TV programs showing, in order, normal pornography, sado-dominative pornography, and finally, the most twisted kinds of sexually motivated anatomically horrific torture possibly conceived (a particularly vile example shows a pregnant woman being thrown into a room with a violently psychopathic prisoner armed with knife and injected with a massive amount of sex hormones). He is then informed that this kind of thing happens all the time in the Azadian Empire. Cue his next games match. Where previously, he'd been playing out of sport and fun, Jurneau utterly annihilates his opponent in the most absolute way possible.
    • And it's a sign of how complex a writer Banks is that the opponent being annihilated is the most sympathetic one Gurgeh has ever faced and the penalty for losing is gelding. And what makes it worse is that the opponent is pregnant for the first time and will lose all hope of ever having children, as well as his/her job (the ruling class in the Empire are hermaphrodites.) There are strong hints that Gurgeh has been driven somewhat Ax Crazy by seeing the dark side of the Empire up close and personal.
    • Lampshaded in the passage where Gurgeh's opponent (a judge) looks in his eyes and realizes that this is what every convict he has ever sentenced has seen... judgment, without mercy.
      • It's even worse than that: Gurgeh was chosen because he is the best player of games in the Culture, a civilization which sees games as a very important elaborate form of art, and his play style actually epitomize the way the Culture behaves as a civilization: the way he plays is basically the way the Culture conducts politics, diplomacy and war: they're good at it, they tend to be decontracted about it, until someone push the wrong buttons, at which point their happy go lucky attitude collapse and they turn into one of the most ruthless civilization of the known universe. If anything the first chapters showing Gurgeh's ordinary life are here to show that the Culturniks are really a nice people and their happy go lucky attitude is not merelly a facade.
  • Yo-less, in Johnny and the Bomb.

[Johnny]'d never seen Yo-less so angry. It was a kind of rigid, brittle anger.

  • When Kate Daniels is angry, she swears and threatens violence. When she's really angry, she sits still and speaks calmly, and only her Empathic Weapon gives her away.

Red made me very, very angry.
"Your sword's smoking," the female bouda said.
"It does that occasionally." My voice sounded flat.

  • Douglas Hill's series Last Legionary. A sci-fi story, a entire planet of warriors trained from birth to the utmost levels of physical and mental perfection, to sell their services as mercenaries. Until all but one gets wiped out by a planet-killer bomb. The best part? This is the state of mind every last one of them gets trained in for combat purposes.
  • In The Gathering Storm, Rand spends most of the book after killing Semirhage in a deliberate state of Tranquil Fury. Everyone, including Cadsuane and Tuon, find it infinitely creepy and terrifying, especially considering the contrast with his highly vocal releases of rage which had increased in both duration and frequency during the course of his six book mental breakdown.
    • For that matter look at the Aes Sedai all throughout the books. An angry Aes Sedai is always described as being "cool" and not showing outward signs of emotion.
  • Niko, the martial-arts expert, self-educated, "Buddha-loving" swordsman brother of Cal Leandros is almost always tranquil, the epitome of Zen. But threaten the ones he loves, especially his little brother, and that tranquility turns into a cold rage that makes him the perfect weapon, driven by nothing but the desire to bring death. He says himself that the thing he does best is kill.
  • In Raymond E. Feist's Rise of A Merchant Prince After his father in law is killed, Rupert notes down that the way of getting revenge is keep the fury cold and calculating, so one can properly formulate a plot that can succeed, and then let the anger burn hot and fierce when it completes.
  • In Changes, this pretty much defines how Harry spends the majority of the book, with him struggling to keep his ever-intensifying anger at what is happening to his daughter from transforming into an outright Unstoppable Rage. As he points out at the beginning of the book, a wizard who cuts loose can level city blocks in their fury, so he has to keep his anger on a tight leash. It nonetheless leaks out; for example, when fighting the vampires in his office building, Harry keeps his cool but unthinkingly pumps soulfire into his flame blasts, without even considering the consequences, because he's that damned angry, proving that even Tranquil Fury can potentially be self-destructive.
  • In the last book of The Thrawn Trilogy, Ax Crazy Jedi Master clone Joruus C'baoth (half of the trilogy's Big Bad Duumvirate), goes into a quite spectacular Villainous Breakdown during the climax. At first, he's completely flipped and incoherently raging, but then he goes right past that and straight into Tranquil Fury. Everyone thinks it's much more disturbing than the mad screaming.

C'baoth (in a perfectly calm, level voice): You will die for that, Mara Jade. Slowly, and in great pain.

    • Also in Star Wars, Legacy of the Force has this happen to Luke Skywalker, of all people, after his wife is killed. No hammy temper tantrums like his father; simply an unbreakable resolve to avenge her that probably nothing in the galaxy could stop.
  • In Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce, the third book in the Immortals Quartet, this happens to Daine when she finds out the Emperor Ozorne has already executed her teacher Numair while she was out of it. And scares the living shit out of everyone nearby.

Coolness trickled into her mind until her skull was filled with it. Her world seemed extra sharp and extra real. Part of her, someplace deep inside, wailed; that seemed unreal, as if she watched a crying baby from a great distance.
Kaddar was shaking her. "Daine! Can you hear me?"
She gently pushed his hands away. "Stop that. I'm thinking."
His eyes and Tano's held the same worried, frightened look. "You weren't answering. You looked frozen-"
She put a finger to her lips, and he shut up. A thought was coming in the distance. She waited, patiently, skin rippling in brief shivers, until it reached her: Ozorne had to pay.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Admiral Adama is truly terrifying to behold when pissed off - and speaks in little more than a whisper when he is.
    • The Original Series Adama, could be even worse when he got pissed. Because he's frakking Lorne Greene.
  • In Doctor Who, the Tenth Doctor, in contrast to the Ninth Doctor, is very fond of doing this. At the big showdowns against the Sycorax (Christmas special 2005), the Racnoss (Christmas special 2006), the Family of Blood (2007), and the Vashta Nerada (2008) he has displayed very little emotion. Then again, loud is his normal state.
    • In "The Christmas Invasion", the Doctor kills the Sycorax leader by arising open the floor beneath his feet, announcing "No second chances. I'm that sort of man." Moments later, he has a second moment against the Prime Minister, after she shoots down the retreating fleet, killing thousands needlessly, as he sees it. He talks over her pleas, saying "I could bring down your government with a single word... No... six words. Six." He whispered to her aide, "Don't you think she looks tired?" This alters the course of history and strongly reverbarates all the way through to the end of series 3 of Doctor Who and the Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth.
    • There's a quote from "The Family of Blood" that pretty much sums up this trope:

"He never raised his voice. That was the worst thing. The fury of the Time Lord. And then we discovered why. Why this Doctor, who had fought with gods and demons, why he had run away from us and hidden... He was being kind."

    • Faced with his own daughter's dead body, the Doctor picks up the gun that killed her, holds it against the head of the man who fired it and delivers the spine-chilling "I. Never. Would.", destroying that man's support with three words. If you pay attention to the background music as he holds the guns, guess what it is? Drums. Yeah that's right. The Doctor was nearly pushed into becoming The Master mk2.
    • To be honest, most of the Doctor's incarnations have behaved similarly at least once. As he gets angrier, he tends to go from smiling to annoyed scowling to shouting to steely-eyed gazing.
    • In The Big Bang, When the Eleventh Doctor pulls off his first Disney Death thanks to being shot by a stone Dalek, River Song gets seriously pissed at said Dalek. She lets it ask for mercy three times, all that time remaining completely calm and emotionless. Then she shoots it. To recap: River Song made a Dalek ask for mercy, and then she didn't give it. All without raising her voice. Oh, here -- watch it for yourselves.
    • The Eleventh Doctor shows flashes of this a couple times [2] and is genuinely menacing. You do not want to get him angry at you. He also displays some truly fearsome Tranquil Fury in "A Good Man Goes To War", complete with the Humiliation Conga for the target of his anger.

The Doctor: Those words. "Run away." I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want people to call you Colonel Runaway. I want children laughing outside your door, 'cause they've found the house of Colonel Runaway. And when people come to you and ask if trying to get to me THROUGH THE PEOPLE I LOVE!...is in any way a good idea, I want you to tell them your name.
The Doctor: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.

      • Rory demonstrates this trope at the start of the episode as well, with the "fury" of it trickling through when he orders the Cyber Commander of the 12th Cyber Legion to tell him where his wife is. When his question goes unanswered, every single other ship of the 12th Cyber Legion is destroyed.

Rory Williams: Would you like me to repeat the question?

      • Amy Pond finally goes off the deep end in "The Wedding Of River Song", and very calmly murders Madame Koravian. Went she returns to her normal life, she reveals that she's traumatised by it.
  • Murdock is the sweetest, friendliest, insane guy you will ever meet. Unless you shoot his best friend. If you are stupid enough to do this, he will stare silently at you with a look that could kill, he will walk up to you, unarmed, while you are still holding a loaded gun, and he will calmly tell you that you are just one step away from being in the same condition as his best friend that you just shot. Then, when he and his other friends have regained control of the situation, he will pin you against a wall and pound you relentlessly until he is forcibly pulled off of you. Do. Not. Hurt. Murdock's. Best. Friend.
  • Starsky is generally the most impulsive of the Zebra Three pair. But the calmer he looks, the more worried you should be. In other words, if you mess with his partner, Starsky will hand it back to you in a silver platter.
  • Teal'c, The Big Guy in Stargate SG-1, is exceptionally good at this.
    • Indeed.
    • The episode "Talion" showcases it nicely, as seen in the excerpt currently at Stargate Verse.
  • "I am not frightened. I'm gonna blow them off the face of the earth with the fury of God's own thunder." Don't mess with anyone who President Bartlet likes. In fact, don't mess with Americans, period.
  • Cameron, being an almost emotionless robot, can only enter Tranquil Fury when she gets angry - usually when someone lies to her.
  • Angel can do this when he's especially angry. Of course, judging by the Darla plot arc in the third season, this is a sign of a descent into darkness that we'd prefer not to see.
    • Wesley as well, in late season 5, though that's also just total despair on his part after Fred dies
    • Giles often fell into this on Buffy.
    • Still in Buffy, The Mayor shows this when trying to smother Buffy at the hospital.
    • Xander is a surprising example of this trope given his usual goofy temperament, but threaten some one he cares about and it doesn't matter how much stronger than him you may be he will calmly inform you that he will kill you (see his conversation with Buffy after she got Willow kidnapped, or his conversation with Angel at the hospital.) It is telling that none of the super powered characters he has threatened have ignored the threat. The man can be scary when he wants to be.
  • This is what Jon Stewart goes into when he is truly angry. See his slaughter of Crossfire for an example.
  • David Letterman in this video.
  • Raylan Givens in the very first minutes of the first episode of Justified and several times after.
  • Gene Hunt from Life On Mars is normally given to yelling his head off at all and sundry... but when one of Ray Carling's screwups results in a death in police custody, his punishment is cold, calm and severe.
  • Vulcans in every incarnation of Star Trek are pictures of perfect tranquility, even when fighting. Whether they take someone out with a nerve pinch, fight hand-to-hand or blast it out with phasers, they always have a blank look of complete calm.
    • Sometimes that calm slips a bit, and we get a glimpse of the Hot Green Blood that made them choose this path as an alternative to completely destroying themselves.
  • Dads Army, "High Finance": Wilson, after hearing Hodges would write off a £50 debt he was owed to him in rent by Mrs. Pike (Pre-decimalisation, remember) if she'd be "nice" to him. Cue Wilson walking calmly from one end of the table to the other:

Wilson: I say, would you mind awfully if you could stand up.
He stands and Wilson promptly lands a punch on his face.
Wilson:(to Mainwaring) Do carry on sir.

  • Dan on Roseanne often played into this trope when he was really angry or disappointed.
    • When he learns that Fisher has been violent with his sister-in-law Jackie, Dan calmly puts on his coat, leaves the house and off-screen beats the living hell out of him. He stays calm and serene as his cop buddies show up to arrest him after Fisher lays charges of assault on him, even joking around with them as he gets handcuffed and taken to the station. Do not hurt Dan's family.
  • Chuck, since Intersect 2.0. When he is upset, he is a rather harmless geek as he cannot flash in that state. When he is calm, run!
  • Played with hilariously in an episode of My Name Is Earl . While on court ordered happy pills, Joy turns from blonde bitch to annoyingly calm, even putting up with some obnoxious neighbors who park their trailer right next to hers... until they tag Earl Jr. with a beer can. Even the pills couldn't turn off her Mama Bear instincts. She explains in a scary happy voice that she's gonna come back in a few days, when the chemical calm wears off, and thrash them in several unpleasant ways. They decide to move before she does.
  • Ben Stone was a master of this. If he's yelling, he's losing. If his voice doesn't rise, someone's going down hard.
  • Kim from Yes, Dear did this once in one episode—by swinging a bat and vandalizing the truck of a contractor with inefficient work performance while whistling to herself.
  • On Babylon 5, when Alfred Bester learns that Captain Sheridan may have used his lover (and the mother of his child) as a living weapon in the liberation of Earth, he drops his usual Deadpan Snarker persona completely and replaces it with blunt threats on Sheridan's life. But he never once raises his voice.
    • Delenn usually expresses anger with an imperious "The Reason You Suck" Speech. But during the Drakh attack in Lines of Communication, when she said "who said we were leaving" you knew the drakh were doomed.
  • Wash of Firefly was supposed to become deadly serious when things got serious. As the DVD commentary explains, that plan did not survive contact with Alan Tudyk. However, despite the jokey lines, Wash is usually extraordinarily calm, beyond even Deadpan Snarker.

Wash: Yeah, well, if she doesn't give us some extra flow from the engine room to offset the burn-through, this landing is gonna get pretty interesting.
Mal: Define "interesting."
Wash: "Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die"?

  • In the Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia," the title character returns to 221B Baker Street to find a number of American agents holding his landlady Mrs. Hudson at gunpoint. He coolly tells Mrs. Hudson to "stop snivelling" and shows little outward change in demeanor; however, his trademark Sherlock Scan of both Mrs. Hudson and her captor shows, among other things, indications that the man had given her a nasty backhand across the face, and the on-screen text that would normally show Sherlock's various deductions about him is replaced by crosshairs pinpointing possible kill-shots. He then disarms him and coolly calls him an ambulance for injuries hasn't sustained, yet…
  • John Reese on Person of Interest is quite capable of taking out enemy assassins without so much as raising his voice, even when it's personal.


Music[edit | hide]

Caught my breath hit the fry and I stepped calm
Opened fire like a lunatic from Vietnam

  • Scottish traditional song Jock O'Braidosly, which describes a Scottish poacher who is ambushed and fatally wounded by a party of English foresters while sleeping in the forest. Leaping to his feet, he props himself against a tree, calmly strings his bow and proceeds to kill six, driving away a single grievously wounded survivor.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Drizzt Do'Urden normally does an Unstoppable Rage when he's pressed enough; he calls that mindset The Hunter. But he also has a "level 2" variant, referred to as the Warrior Incarnate, that's much more Tranquil Fury. He's only ever entered that once, and then only when he thought all his friends had been killed at the same time.
  • The berserkers of the Crab Clan in Legend of the Five Rings were originally portrayed as this, but are occasionally Flanderized into the normal, Unstoppable Rage kind of berserkers.
  • In D&D 4th Edition, a Paragon Path for the rage-focused Barbarian class called "Calm Fury" is available in the supplement "Primal Power," allowing them to use some of their most powerful abilities while not explicitly raging. According to the flavour text, "You now attain the furious clarity on the far side of rage".
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Space Marines and Eldar deliberately try to enter this state rather than "hot" fury. Given what they know about Chaos, justified trope. Tau are also normally calm during battle unless their Berserk Button gets pushed.
    • In fact, Tau are so calm during battle, that when their Berserk Button is pushed, this is the trope they exemplify. The Tau Codex gives a very good description of a Tau force advancing relentlessly pouring an ever-increasing torrent of fire into the enemy after their Ethereal is killed.
    • Even the home-brew Angry Marines aim for this. While their motto is "Always Angry, All the Time", it's a focused anger.
  • In Exalted the Lunar charm Relentless Lunar Fury, a key warrior-type technique that enables a keyword on other Lunar charms, specifically suggests tranquil fury as one of the ways to portray the effect.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of Othello in the BBC TV show, during the climax, was mostly like this.
  • In Peter Shaffer's "Black Comedy", Shaffer even writes this into the stage directions. The main character has surreptitiously borrowed his neighbor's very expensive furniture to impress a guest, but then there is a power outage and the neighbor comes home unexpectedly, prompting the lead to scramble about replacing the furniture while his girlfriend stalls the neighbor. At some point, the lead accidentally drops a priceless sculpture at his neighbor's feet—and the neighbor, who finally figures out what's going on, simply says to the lead, "I think I'm going to have to smash you." On top of this, the stage directions say that he is speaking "in the quiet voice of the very, very dangerous."


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The BSOD undertaken by the main antagonists of both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX the first by setting fire to a village, the latter by setting fire to an entire world are both done with just the hint of a serene smile on their faces... although both of these may be more properly described as Dissonant Serenity.
  • Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII. In any scene he is, whether he is single-handedly fending off two super soldiers at the same time, or burning down an entire town, you will never see him raise his voice.
    • During the entire Nibelheim incident, the most you'll get from him is, "Don't TEST me..." (Ironically, that's right before he is defeated).
  • Considering Squall in Final Fantasy VIII is Not So Stoic, an Alternate Character Interpretation could have him being in a state of this for at least half of the game.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, when protagonist Layle attempts to crush Jegran to death after the latter kills Amidatelion, the expression on his face seems almost like one of boredom.
  • Kazuma Kiryuu of Yakuza exists in a state of Tranquil Fury pretty much all the time. Which makes the moments when he does get visibly pissed off that much more awesome.
  • In Ratchet and Clank: Deadlocked, when Vox catches Ratchet in his attempt to deactivate the cells holding the other heroes captive, Ratchet just smiles as if to say, "Congratulations, now watch me destroy your frickin' space station."
  • Kyosuke Nanbu of Super Robot Wars. In the first Super Robot Wars Original Generation, his fellow allies wonder how he can be so calm and monosyllabic when confronted by a taunting, Brainwashed and Crazy More Than Mind Controlled Excellen Browning. Other members of the team, who've been working with him since the beginning of the game, recognize they need to get out of the way because some bad guys are about to get utterly, utterly wasted. He then proceeds to silently activate the in-game powers of Love, Rage, Focus, Determination, and Hotbloodedness.
    • Ironically, it's the Ascended Fanboy, Hot-Blooded pilot Ryusei Date who notices this trope induced first. Bonus points for him because he's only known Kyosuke for a short while in comparison to his comrades:

Katina: Wow. He can stay calm even through this?
Ryusei: No. I've never seen him this angry before.

    • Katina's...special with rage.
    • The side-story manga Record of ATX gives readers a disturbing, visual image of his Tranquil Fury right after Excellen's been kidnapped by the Aerogators and Bullet (whose blaming himself for what happened) makes the mistake of talking back to him after he (Kyosuke) ordered him to stop moping and do his job. Thankfully, someone stops him before he can tear his teammate apart with a new orifice or twelve.
  • In the briefing for the penultimate mission of Modern Warfare 2, Soap angsts about how it's just him and Price up against Shepherd's entire Shadow Company. Price is simply checking inventory and explaining, in a voice so calm that it sends shivers down any player's spine, that there's a certain satisfaction to knowing when you will die, and that Shepherd's number is up.
    • And in the mission briefing for the one right before it, Soap's quiet uttering of "Sheperd betrayed us." really shows his rage about Roach and Ghost and presumably more of the 141 being killed.
  • Agent 47 of the Hitman series is the epitome of this. He takes out all of his targets without displaying any sort of emotion, even if they beg for their life in front of him. Even when he killed his creator, Dr. Ort-Meyer, by snapping his neck, he still remained as coldly detached as always.
  • The Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft seem to have a talent in the Arms tree for the warrior class called "Deadly Calm". It makes the warrior's abilities cost no rage, which is a resource to use their abilities. As reaching the maximum for the rage resource will also increase the damage of the warrior's abilities, this ability can allow a warrior to reach or continue doing a lot of extra damage during the duration.
    • "Deadly Cam" was reworked and now just let you use any attack for no rage while you gather more rage. Nothing more, nothing less.
    • And the final straw it's a universal skill for warriors named "Inner Rage", in when you use it the cooldown in Heroic Strike (strong blow with lots of threat that can be used with other attacks) and Cleave (same, but striking two objectives) are reduced in half for 15 sec. The thing is, even if a Protection warrior use it always because it means he will do more threat, and Fury warrior can achieve a rate of decent rage generation to allow him to use it from time to time, you cannot use Deadly Calm and Inner rage at the same time as Arms (using one locks the other), and where Deadly Calm it's beneficial for the Arms warrior, he never have a rate of rage generation comparable to that of the Fury warrior. It's like the devs saying that those Arms warriors are the real badasses of the crew and they actually are in peace at themselves.
  • At the end of Tails' story in Sonic Adventure, Tails defuses Robotnik's missile, foiling Robotnik's final attempt to salvage something from the situation after having his plans summarily collapse around him over the past several hours. When Robotnik comes after Tails in his final robot, he lapses into this instead of being his usual bombastic self. It's... surprisingly unsettling, actually.
  • Even though he may yell from the force of his attacks, don't expect Henry Townsend to have much, if any, expressed anger or fear.
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future has, surprisingly, Layton himself display this. Normally his voice is calm and pleasant, and his eyes are round black dots that convey a benign disposition. When the Big Bad kidnaps Layton's adopted daughter, he adopts a steely harsh tone of voice and his eyes become flattened, yet he manages not to let loose with the anger he's so obviously feeling. Once he gets her back, his features go back to normal, even while confronting the Big Bad.
  • A Renegade option in Mass Effect 2 plays this quite well.

Shepherd: [draws a gun and speaks in a calm voice] Conrad, let me make this perfectly clear. [shoots Conrad in the foot] This is not acceptable.

    • In the Operation Overlord DLC, one can hear this in Shepard's voice if s/he chooses to spare David and take him to Grissom Academy. When Dr. Archer draws his gun, Shepard's only response is to Pistol Whip him and then tell him, in cold, calm, enraged, and entirely certain terms, that if Archer tries to come after his brother again, that "This bullet will be waiting for you."
    • Mass Effect 3: Talk to Kaidan (generally the most LG guy on your team) after the mission on Sanctuary, and you'll find him calmly and evenly describing how the Illusive Man is a murderous asshole who had better say his prayers. Tali has a good one during the endgame, especially if Shepard romanced her. After viewing a video showing how The Illusive Man planned to emotionally manipulate Shepard, she has only 4 words to say in response.
    • Shepard's final confrontation with Kai Leng. After Shepard curb-stomps him, leaving him defeated-but-alive, s/he calmly goes back to what they were doing before the assassin showed up. Kai-Leng slowly gets back to his feet, picks up his sword, walks over and prepares to strike Shepard from behind. In a split second, Shepard turns around, either dodges or breaks the sword in half with their bare hands, unfurls their omniblade and stabs him hard in the gut.

Shepard: That was for Thane/Miranda/Kirrahe, you son of a bitch.

  • Diego Armando at the end of Case 3-4 of Ace Attorney. Having witnessed what Dahlia Hawthorne has done, he calls her a witch, claims that This Is Unforgivable! and then squeezes his coffee cup so hard that it shatters and the shards cut him. Then he turn to Mia, smiling and with his hand full of blood and tells her it isn't over yet.
  • In Dragon Age II, Fenris is nearly permanently in this state. One of his abilities (Veneer of Calm) even invokes this, noting that while outwardly he appears calm and emotionless, inwardly he's infuriated and deals more damage based on the amount of damage he himself has taken.
  • Joshua Graham of Fallout: New Vegas is a calm and patient man towards the Courier. However, this doesn't make him any less of a terrifying Knight Templar who believes in the utter obliteration of his enemies whenever possible.
    • As your constant conversing with him along the Lonesome Road shows, Ulysses speaks to you calmly, slowly and with pure unbridled hate dripping from every word.
  • This is presumably why casting Calm in the middle of combat is a very bad idea in Quest for Glory I.

Why, how cute! You cast the Calm spell, and the monster visibly relaxed. Why, now it's calmly and relaxedly ripping you to shreds and eating you.

  • Garrett from Thief. He's hardly interested in the City's various nutty goings on and has nerves of iron, but even at his most emotional he rarely so much as raises his voice. Try to assassinate him and narrowly fail? He's annoyed by the lack of style, and proceeds to comprehensively destroy the enemy's credibility. Eyeball ripped straight out of his head? Well, he screams at the time, but recounts the event with at best mild irritation. Robbing a god - the one who ripped his eye out? He's intrigued by the challenge. Fanatical splinter group converting homeless people into cyborg slaves, consciousness intact but tormented, without will and unable to die? "I could really learn to hate these guys." Threaten to destroy the entire city, and possibly more? He'll take his time to think of a nice, methodical way to crush you. Kill his friends, and all hell will break loose...but he'll remain chillingly calm throughout. And then you'll die very suddenly, without ever seeing him at all.
  • With all the anger tropes in the game, Asura's Wrath would obviously use this at some point. His Mantra Form is basically all the anger of Asura's berserker form, concentrated into a much more powerful, more controlled form. His anger hasn't diminished in the slightest, but he no longer has any control gone.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, after seeing that the Penguin is torturing and murdering captured cops, Batman never raises his voice at all, but it's quite clear that he is absolutely enraged.

Batman: I was only here for Fries and the hostages. But now, I'm taking you down to.
Penguin: Aren't you scary! (Evil Laugh)
Batman: You're about to find out.

  • Do not let Ellen find out that you decided to forgive Damien. She will quietly, emphatically back Virginia up as the born-witch kicks you out of the room, stating that you can come back at night to sleep, but otherwise they don't want to see your face. She will then wait until the final exam where she will attempt to blackmail you into dumping Damien, threatening to throw the exam if you refuse to comply. Think you can just break your promise? Doing so gives you the absolutely darkest ending in the game, as you lose your magic and would lose your memories of all your time in the magical world if not for Damien carrying you off to safety as he promises you he'll help you regain your powers...netting you the "Walking in Darkness" achievement, as his methods are strongly implied to be less than morally pure.
  • Pit in Kid Icarus:Uprising is prone to throwing out one-liner's, snarky comments, and even manages a few In the Name of the Moon speeches. But when [spoiler: Hades mockingly presents the very real possibility that Pit may be forced to kill his Goddess, Lady Palutena when she is possessed by an evil force] all Pit manages is an oddly calm, very blunt, "Go home."


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Sam and Fuzzy, what did begin with a normal and quite amusing, really, Unstoppable Rage, became first a little monologue from Mr. Black (that, actually, made me feel really bad for Mr. Blank), then Tranquil Fury from Mr. Blank. The funny thing? I'm even more sorry for Mr. Blank... even if that is, probably, a Kick the Dog moment. Or... Shoot the Dog. Choose the best.
  • In The Order of the Stick prequel book Start of Darkness, the lich Xykon discovers that he no longer has a sense of taste after attempting to chug a cup of truly horrendous coffee. What follows next is a terrifying example of this trope that demonstrates the gulf between the mortal Xykon and the undead version, as he coldly murders a waitress he had earlier described as very attractive. When Right-Eye gets angry, Xykon throws him against the wall and begins strangling him to death. Redcloak is only able to prevent Xykon from killing them both with a desperate bluff, though he still throws both goblins through a nearby window before announcing that he is now in charge. During the entire encounter, Xykon never once raises his voice.

Pathetic little green worm. I ought to pop your sickeningly warm head off of your disgusting fluid-filled sack of organs.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Aeanas stared at the scene with cold fury. He did not angrily demand that they throw caution to the wind and charge in to save the children, a hot-blooded rage that blinded its victim to common sense would have called for that. Instead, stone-faced, he watched the merchant empty his wagon, pack up his other trinkets, and be off down the rutted dirt road. So did Cassidy and McElroy. There would be a time for vengeance, a time when debts like this one would be paid but this was not it. Three humans attacking 300 baldricks with edged weapons was simply a way to die. Or be thrown back in the lava streams.

  • Vegeta temporarily passes through this phase in Dragon Ball Abridged after losing his tail and admits his own surprise at the state of mind.

Vegeta: You know, I thought I'd be angrier, what with the utter humiliation and loss of my tail, or maybe I'm just so unbelievably enraged that I've come full circle.

  • Linkara getting angry is shouting and speaking in an immature tone. Lewis Lovhaug getting angry is deathly cold and collected. As Cry For Justice and Holy Terror found the hard way, you don't push him to that point.
  • Ink City saw Optimus Prime go into this when Trevor kidnapped Aisling. Trevor's insistence on blatantly lying about her presence reminded him all too much of the Decepticons, causing him to very calmly and methodically tear Goodchild's compound apart.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

Optimus Prime: You, who are without mercy, now plead for it? I thought you were made of sterner stuff.

Prowl: "Stillness... then strike."

    • Megatron in the first episode of the same series has an especially good moment as well. After being half blown-up (by none other than Starscream), he still manages to get aboard the Autobots' ship and pins Optimus Prime to the wall whilst demanding the whereabouts of the All Spark. Prowl and Ratchet attempt to attack him from behind; he casually swings around (still holding Optimus) and knocks them away, then pins Optimus again. He then very calmly states, "I grow impatient."
      • In fact, the only time he really seems to lose his cool is at the end of the final episode, though in the latter half of season 3 the strain starts showing.
    • And this moment from Beast Wars:

Danny: Let me go!
Spectra: Why would I do that? Your grief, your misery… oh, it's delicious! And the best part is, as soon as that silly speech is over, and the last domino falls and the sparklers vaporize the speaker, we'll leave you here to take the blame!! And by the time I'm done with you, you'll be sure it was all your fault!
Danny: Man, I am so tired of you dumping on me. And I am so tired of dumping on myself. Jazz never did that, even when I was mad at her. And I won't. Let her! DOWN!! *blasts Spectra*
Spectra: Bertrand? Sic 'im!
(Bertrand turns into ninja, much posturing ensues)
Danny (flatly): I so don't have time for this. (sucks into thermos)

  • The Ren and Stimpy Show: after Sven and Stimpy wreck the house with their antics in "Sven Hoek", Ren is volcanic with rage... until he begins to calmly tell them what he's going to do to them. See for yourself. It's borderline Nightmare Fuel.
  • In South Park, Eric Cartman had been through this three times:
    • In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman appears to be making himself the Butt Monkey by constantly asking Scott to give him his money back. Turns out he was keeping Scott complacent all the while putting in motion his plan to serve Scott his own parents in a big pot of chili, then have Scott's favorite band call him a loser. When this is calmly revealed in detail by Cartman the other kids just stand there, open-mouthed, totally in shock. The only comments they can manage are Stan's horrified "Jesus Christ, dude!" and Kyle's episode-concluding "Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss Cartman off again."
    • In "T.M.I.", a therapist tries to test Cartman's anger response with a barrage of fat jokes. Cartman calmly types away on his iPhone, while the doctor comes to the conclusion that the boy has no anger problems at all. Then the doctor gets a call from his wife, hysterically ranting about web chat logs with a 14-year-old girl and a police report before shooting herself. Cartman calmly but firmly replies, "I'm not fat; I'm big-boned." The therapist obsequiously cowers before Cartman for the rest of the episode.
    • In the ending of "Bass To Mouth". Cartman gave laxative-laced cupcakes to the school administrators as revenge for getting thrown under a bus, which said bus effectively gave him a broken arm and leg, all while calmly saying "are you okay?"
  • In Batman the Animated Series, when a bunch of gangsters, having learned about his Big Bad Harv persona, kidnaps Harvey Dent and mocks him with the imminent ruin of his public image, while he keeps shaking and sweating with anger. However, when they cross the line, his evil personality takes over and he suddenly becomes calm and collected before he attacks them.

Harvey Dent(oddly calm): "There's just one problem...you're talking to the wrong Harvey."

(Mood Lighting on Homer's face shifts to dark accompanied by music sting)
Homer (unnervingly calm): Yes...that's a real pickle. Would you excuse me for a moment?
(puts on Hazmat suit helmet and screams loudly and incoherently for several seconds, fogging the face plate)
Homer (calm once more): All right, I have thought this through. I will send Bart the money to fly home. Then I will murder him.

    • "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part 1" has Homer saying this...

(lowers letter slowly, his pupils shrink in anger)
Homer (dangerously calm): Kids, would you step outside for a second?
(Bart and Lisa do so, Homer stands up and inhales deeply)
Homer (Loudly) F- (The rest of it is (luckily) drowned out by a loud, harsh F-cord on a pipe organ).

How dare you...

  • The Powerpuff Girls: This is how Blossom reacts in "Stuck up, up and away" when Princess uses her newly-bought supersuit to temporarily knock out Bubbles and Buttercup.

Princess: "So Blossom. Are you jealous? Are you scared? Seeing how easily I thrashed your sisters, without even breaking a sweat! Oh, what's the matter? Cat got your tongue? Very well then! Prepare to bow to your Princess!

    • Blossom's response to this is merely a furious silence, followed by her dodging every single one of Princess' attacks, and then her sisters wake up and deliver her one deliciously awesome No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The U.S. Army's Delta Force selects for this. Their usual send-off before training or a mission is a calm "Have a good one".
  • On January 27, 1967, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed when a fire broke out in the cockpit during a routine test on the launch pad. The Monday after the fire, Flight Director Gene Kranz called everyone at Mission Control in for a meeting and gave everyone the biggest ass-chewing that they had ever experienced. The speech he gave that day became known as the Kranz Dictum:

"Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily. Nothing we did had any shelf life. Not one of us stood up and said, 'Dammit, stop!' I don't know what Thompson's committee will find as the cause, but I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle. We were pushing the schedule and betting that the Cape would slip before we did. From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: 'Tough' and 'Competent.' Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write 'Tough and Competent' on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control."

  1. Seven Ninja Swordsmen
  2. The Beast Below, Victory of the Daleks, and The Hungry Earth, among others