out of character

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

out of character

  1. (idiomatic) Inconsistent with one's personality, disposition, or usual expected behaviour.
    The burst of anger was out of character for the normally placid boy.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      In “Treehouse Of Horror” episodes, the rules aren’t just different—they don’t even exist. If writers want Homer to kill Flanders or for a segment to end with a marriage between a woman and a giant ape, they can do so without worrying about continuity or consistency or fans griping that the gang is behaving out of character.
    • 2018 October 17, Drachinifel, Last Ride of the High Seas Fleet - Battle of Texel 1918[2], archived from the original on 4 August 2022, 33:41 from the start:
      Now, that, admittedly, did do an awful lot more damage (the 5th and 6th were almost completely wiped out), but the High Seas Fleet was, in turn, almost completely wiped out (in fact, basically was wiped out, to a man) by the oncoming rest of the British Grand Fleet, and it was decided by everybody that this kind of, like, suicidal, completely suicidal, charge was probably a bit out of character for Hipper, and so we didn't take that particular one into account.
  2. (idiomatic, acting) Not in character; not successfully performing within the mindset of a given character in a theatrical performance.
    I was out of character for most of the first act because those people in the third row wouldn't stop chatting.
  3. (idiomatic, acting, roleplaying games) Not acting; not "on"; behaving within one's natural personality rather than that of a character, or taking actions entirely outside the fictional context.
    After watching him perform so energetically, it is a bit of a trip to hang out with him when he's out of character. In real life, he's really mellow.
    Susan asked the GM, out of character, whether she was able to sense magic in the room.
    The comedian stepped out of character to mug directly to the audience.



See also[edit]