Created By: Jordan on May 11, 2011 Last Edited By: Jordan on September 21, 2012

Rescue the Weakling From Bullies

Common way for a hero to meet their sidekick is to rescue them from bullies

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First, I know that there is a Bully Hunter trope, but I think this could be different since it involves rescuing a specific person who is the target of abuse and doesn't necessarily involve a general crusade against bullying.

The way this generally plays out is that character A who is physically weak and often fat is being picked on and character B, the hero rescues them. Character A will be extremely grateful and will be the hero's loyal supporter thereafter.

However, it's possible that character A is the hero, in which case character B is the Big Brother Mentor.


  • One of the earliest examples is probably Tom Brown's Schooldays which is like the ur-example of the "school story" genre. First, I believe to a degree, this plays out with Scud East protecting Tom (the hero) from Flashman, but the more trope-worthy example is an older Tom protecting George Arthur, who is physically weak and a sensitive intellectual.
  • Given a deconstruction or possibly Unbuilt Trope in Vanity Fair. Dobbin rescues George from bullies at school, but in the past, George had bullied Dobbin himself and while this incident makes the two friends, George is a spoiled jerkass and as the two grow into adults, George tends to take advantage of Dobbin and Dobbin ineffectually tries to appeal to George's better nature.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jon Snow rescues Samwell Tarly, who is fat and a self-proclaimed coward, from bullying and sadistic treatment by the trainer at the Wall, and the two become friends. Samwell is a POV character who is really more like The So-Called Coward and even though he's not really a warrior, he manages to accomplish a lot through his intelligence.
  • The Harry Potter series borrows a lot from the school story genre, and this tends to play out with Harry and friends protecting Neville Longbottom from Malfoy and co. However, Neville ends up Taking a Level in Badass by the end and even has Memetic Badass status.
  • Interesting subversion in the manga Alive: The Final Evolution. Taisuke the hero is kind of a Bully Hunter and befriended the physically weak Hirose after rescuing him from bullies. Hirose initially ends up Brainwashed and Crazy, but then gets freed from that and becomes a cunning Omnicidal Maniac. In part, this change was due to his resenting Hirose, as needing to be protected underscored his feeling of weakness.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • May 11, 2011
    on Kid's Next Door, it is stated that it was this way that Numbah 1 met 4 (1 being the savior)
  • May 11, 2011
    In Theres Something About Mary, Ted gets Mary's affection when he defends her brother from bullies.
  • May 11, 2011
    How Sonic met Tails, if I'm not mistaken. This may not be the same for the games and plethora of comics.
  • May 12, 2011
    In Animorphs, Jake met Tobias by telling off some bullies who were giving him a swirly.
  • May 12, 2011
    How Ichigo met Chad in Bleach. Slightly subverted as Chad is by no means weak, he just chose not to fight, even to defend himself
  • May 12, 2011
    Web Comics
    • El Goonish Shive. Elliott has rescued both Justin and Tedd from being beaten up by bullies.
  • May 12, 2011
    Bamboo Blade: This is how Tamaki and Yuji met when they were children. And in the first few episodes, Tamaki rescues Dan from the bullies Toyama and Iwasa, which motivates her to join the Kendo team.
  • May 12, 2011
    This was how Shrek and Donkey first met.
  • May 12, 2011
    Subverted hard in Akira. Kaneda sticks up for Tetsuo when they meet as young children and they become best friends. Over time, however, Tetsuo grows resentful of Kaneda always saving him. These angry feelings combined with his newfound and unfathomable power provide the premise for the anime.
  • May 12, 2011
    ^^^^^^^ That is only for Sonic X.
  • May 13, 2011
    In Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny Jables is beaten by some Street Punks. Kage walks over to see what's going on as the punks decide that they're done & leave. Kage sees Jables coming to so he yells after the punks, "yeah, you better run!" so that Jables thinks Kage has frightened them off.
  • May 13, 2011
    Rosario Plus Vampire: this is how Yukari joined the Harem, both Moka and Tsukune protected her.
  • May 13, 2011
    Ice Age: Manny saves Sid from two rhinos.
  • May 14, 2011
    Kyo Kara Maoh! The Demon king Yuri saves another boy from a gang of bullies (Who thanks him by running away!) Other boy turns out to be The Great Sage.

  • May 15, 2011
    Web Games
    • But That Was Yesterday. The Boy in Green protects your character when you're knocked down by bullies, and you become friends.
  • September 21, 2012
    Kuroyuki-hime helps Haruyuki in "Accel World", however, since in the real world Kuroyuki-hime is just a "normal girl", instead of using physical force, she set up a situation where Haruyuki's bully would be on a public place when he beat him up with everyone withnessing it ,and finally being punished fo it
  • September 21, 2012
    A flashback reveals that this was how Danny and Joey met in fifth grade on Full House. Danny was being bullied and Joey stepped in with a bunch of witty insults that scared the bully off.
  • September 21, 2012
  • September 21, 2012
    Fist Of The North Star has this be the way Ken meets up with the tagalong kids Bat and Lin, with Ken saving Lin from Zeed while Bat tagged along.