Top Ten Miraculous Fictional Head Injuries

Top Ten Miraculous Fictional Head Injuries

Fiction is full of miracles caused by hitting people on the head. Reality is still catching up.

#5. Charles, Charles in Charge

By Season 4 of Charles in Charge, Scott Baio’s character, who does not even have a last name, confronted a life going nowhere. He was no longer the new boy in the neighborhood. He lived downstairs. It was understood he was there just to take good care of these demanding tweens, sassy teens and irrational adults — like he was one of the family. Which he wasn’t.

Just look at the despair in his face.

Just look at the despair in his face.

And he was saddled with an unfulfilling relationship with the WASPy and unaffectionate Jocelyn Brooks. Were Charles ever to move out of the basement and get a real job, he could look forward to an unfulfilling, unaffectionate marriage to Jocelyn, full of still more demanding and sassy family members causing bizarre problems, only interrupted by alternating afternoon cocaine/Bible parties with Buddy Lembeck.

He was in charge of the days. The nights. The wrongs. The rights. And it was all wearing him a little thin.

Possessed by severe anxiety, Charles finds fortunate release when he strikes his head in the downstairs washroom. The chains binding his mind and soul blast asunder. Instantly, his world and personality are transformed. Charles becomes “Chazz.”

After that singular blow to the head, Chazz was a new man, with an entirely new personality. He stood up for himself. He followed his instincts. He stepped away from the cultural homogeny of the Powells and came into his own. He greased his hair, liked leather jackets and made scowly faces. He said really cool things like, “Aw, ma, why you gotta bust my onions?”

He also followed his heart, leaving the preppy Jocelyn Brooks for the exotic and sexy Tiffani Kovacs, who, due largely to her Polish heritage, was looked shunned by the xenophobic and bigoted Powell family — and by drug-addled Republican Willie Aames.

But Chazz didn’t care about all that, because Chazz was finally free. He married Tiffani and lived a new life — a life where his role was not only in name — a life where he really was In Charge . . . of himself.

11 Comments on “Top Ten Miraculous Fictional Head Injuries”

  1. Ryan #

    The most miraculous thing about Leonard’s injury in Memento is that he is able to remember that he has amnesia. How is it that his head injury stops him from forming new memories, but the doctors were able to inform him of his condition? I haven’t been able to watch the movie since I noticed that inconsistency.
    I think that there’s actually a chapter in the Sacks book that deals with anterograde amnesia. The man with the affliction, when confronted with his reality, becomes horrified for ten or fifteen minutes, then slips back into the time ten or fifteen years in the past just before he developed the brain damage. Great read, btw.


  2. fenzel #

    Yeah, Leonard talks about this discrepancy at some point in _Memento_ – about if his condition is what he tends to think it is, he shouldn’t be able to remember the actual accident, and how therefore it might not be brain damage – he might just have psychological blocks. A software rather than a hardware problem, as it were.

    If that’s true, it potentially changes a lot of the moral implications of what Leonard has done over the course of the movie. But it’s left a bit open-ended.


  3. Gab #

    Oh snap.

    I just remembered _50 First Dates_. Similar memory loss to _Memento_. Imagine being a woman and waking up with no idea why you’re clearly multiple months pregnant…


  4. fenzel #

    If I wake up being a woman, do I have to like _Moulin Rouge_?

    Because that would be a dealbreaker.


  5. Lanthanide #

    I remember Guy Pearce from The Adventures of Prascilla! Queen of the Desert.


  6. Amy #

    It wasn’t Naruto that caused Gaara’s ego death and subsequent alliance with the light side of the force…it was that toad Gamabunta. I think he secretes a hallucinogenic substance from his glands. Gaara embraced his shadow side (Shukaku) and went on to become the Hero. Yep. That’s what happened. Or should have anyway. Most people I know who have experienced head trauma end up worse for the wear. But the toad juice on the other hand…


  7. fenzel #


    Not _To Wong Fu: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar_?

    It’s so weird that that kind of movie also has a movie pair – like you’ve got Armageddon and Deep Impact, Volcano and Dante’s Peak, Valkyrie and Defiance, and a whole bunch of action stars in drag.


    I frickin’ love Gamabunta. All fictional characters should get to drink sake with the giant toad boss of the Yakuza.


  8. Ingrid #

    Very entertaining!!


  9. Ambelina #

    Is this about serious head injuries or just when people bump their heads? Because if it is non seriuos injuries, the scene in Stir of Echoes where Kevin Bacon’s wife goes into the basement to check if the water heater is lit then gets up and bangs her head on…something above her, that really got me i felt it.


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