Trope Workshop:Therapeutic Manifest Nightmare

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is a Trope Workshop page, still under consideration for creation.
Help out by editing the current page, or leave a comment on the Talk page.
Trope Workshop Guidelines

Making someone face their worst fears is supposed to defeat or disable them. Sometimes however making them face their worst fears just gives them a target they're more than happy to beat up. Also called "desensitization".

Contrast Villainous BSOD.

Examples of Therapeutic Manifest Nightmare include:


Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Fan Works



  • Several hunters confronted by their nightmares in Monster Hunter Legion handle it quite well, thanks to their fears being based on events from before they became heavily armed badass professional monster killers.

Live-Action Television


Myths and Legends

Newspaper Comics

Oral Tradition



Professional Wrestling

Puppet Shows


Tabletop Games


Video Games

  • In Silent Hill 2 Eddie is faced with the visages of all the people who have tormented him throughout his life. Ignoring that he's in a horror game, Eddie sees this as an opportunity to dish out Disproportionate Retribution against his tormentors and takes full advantage of it.

Western Animation

  • In the Xiaolin Showdown episode Dreamscape after the monks are forced to fight their fears instead of having their partners deal with them, they quickly realize how ridiculous the things they fear (a creepy doll, a grandma that won't stop pinching cheeks, squirrels) are.

Web Animation

Web Comics

Web Video

Other Media

Real Life

  • Allergists essentially do this for a person's body when they treat allergies by desensitization -- tiny samples of an allergen are injected into the patient's skin, (hopefully) too small to trigger a full-fledged reaction, but sufficient for the body to recognize, with the intent that the patient will slowly build up a tolerance to the allergen due to repeated exposure.