Created By: XiaxxioApril 18, 2011 Last Edited By: InTheMirrorNovember 7, 2013

Giant Ex-Boyfriend

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Trope
So you are the socially awkward main character who finally gets the confidence to approach a girl. You say "hi", she smiles and she seems like she's into you when all of a sudden this massive, hulking guy either walks up behind her and glares at you or taps you on the shoulder from behind. "Oh, that's my ex-boyfriend," she'll probably say in a totally apathetic way. Expect him to be about 7 feet tall and built like a brick shithouse. He will also be angry and ready to grind you into paste.

If you are the main character you may get lucky and be challenged to some sort of contest that for some reason does not involve a great deal of physical strength and allows you to defeat him. If you are not a main character then you will be lucky to merely get thrown out the door, but probably pounded into the pavement as well. Either way, murdering the hypotenuse is in order here.

You can expect the girl to offer you absolutely no assistance, either because she knows that he won't listen to her anyway or more likely because she just doesn't seem to care. Although she usually is not creeped out by you approaching her in the first place and actually usually seems to like you. She will usually disappear into the corner as this giant ex boyfriend fills the scene.

Said ex-boyfriend can sometimes be replaced with an overprotective brother but the end result with be the same.

Usually this trope is used to humiliate the character and convince him that he will never get a date but sometimes it can become an opportunity for the main character to show them who is boss. Almost always involves two men in conflict over the same woman, and usually not the other way around.
Live Action Television
  • On Cougar Town, Andy thinks women are coming on to him because he's married. Grayson confronts one of the women about it and the two end up running from her gigantic husband.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • In the first episode, Leonard and Sheldon go to Penny's ex-boyfriend's apartment to retreive her TV, and come back without their pants. Kurt appears a couply of times and he always behaves like jerk, both to Penny and to Leonard.
    • Bernadette and Howard met Bernadette's ex-boyfriend at a science conference. Howard and Bernadette are both little, and her ex is a ridiculously attractive tall black guy. He was very kind and polite, but Howard got jealous anyway.
  • On one episode of the TV series Dinosaurs, Earl faced the prospect of having to fight to the death with one of Fran's old high school boyfriends. He was so big he couldn't enter their door, so he simply ripped the roof off the house.

Newspaper Comics
  • Dirk, Toni's ex from Luann fits this--he has anger management issues, is a weightlifter, and can be incredibly intimidating. A little atypical, since Tony chastises him whenever he threatens Brad.

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • April 18, 2011
    Arutema
    Paragraph breaks are your friend.
  • April 19, 2011
    TonyG
    • Andy, the jealous ex-boyfriend of the waitress Pee-Wee befriends in Pee Wees Big Adventure.
    • On Cougartown, Andy thinks women are coming on to him because he's married. Grayson confronts one of the women about it and the two end up running from her gigantic husband.
  • June 11, 2013
    InTheMirror
    Examples?
  • June 11, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Never use walls of text in a trope description.
  • June 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    The Wall Of Text is indeed quite intimidating, but we definitely got a trope here. I did some looking in The Ex Index, and we don't seem to have too many tropes there that deal with male exes.
  • June 11, 2013
    McKathlin
    I agree; this is tropable, and we don't quite have this one yet.

    We do have some related tropes worth mentioning in the description: this trope is the Spear Counterpart to Psycho Ex Girlfriend, and Crazy Jealous Guy is related.
  • June 11, 2013
    DracMonster
    Actually, maybe the description was meant to be a sort of Self Demonstrating Article ("Sometimes, he can be almost as big as this paragraph!")

    Anyway, Enormous Ex (could be husband or boyfriend) is definitely tropeable.

    Or maybe Ex Marks You For Death (Meh, I guess thats more Murder The Hypotenuse)
  • June 11, 2013
    robbulldog
    Sounds like the first episode of The Big Bang Theory, with Leonard and Sheldon going to Penny's ex-boyfriend's apartment to retreive her TV, and coming back without pants.
  • June 19, 2013
    InTheMirror
    ^ Yes, and also Bernadette's ex who met her and Howard. Howard and Bernadette are both little, and her ex was ridiculously attractive tall black guy, though he was very kind and polite, but Howard got jealous anyway.

    Wiki mark-up:
    • The Big Bang Theory:
      • In the first episode, Leonard and Sheldon go to Penny's ex-boyfriend's apartment to retreive her TV, and come back without their pants. Kurt appears a couply of times and he always behaves like jerk, both to Penny and to Leonard.
      • Bernadette and Howard met Bernadette's ex-boyfriend at a science conference. Howard and Bernadette are both little, and her ex is a ridiculously attractive tall black guy. He was very kind and polite, but Howard got jealous anyway.
  • June 19, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about Imposing Ex? Not literal alliteration, but it zips well. Also it would include exes who are threatening, but not necessarily huge.
  • June 19, 2013
    PancticeSquadCutterback
    Fixed the Wall Of Text.
  • June 19, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ... I find it interesting the only example added so far really doesn't seem like an example.
  • June 19, 2013
    TooBah
    Under Newspaper Comics:
    • Dirk, Toni's ex from Luann fits this--he has anger management issues, is a weightlifter, and can be incredibly intimidating. A little atypical, since Tony chastises him whenever he threatens Brad.
  • June 19, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    On one episode of the TV series Dinosaurs, Earl faced the prospect of having to fight to the death with one of Fran's old high school boyfriends. He was so big he couldn't enter their door, so he simply ripped the roof off the house.
  • August 7, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^, ^^ Those are examples, but Cougar Town doesn't involve an ex and Big Bang Theory doesn't show either of them being intimidating in the slightest. The fact those are flagrantly not-examples really convinces me this needs a new name.

    Removing a hat.
  • August 7, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^ Big Bang: Perhaps you missed the part about Leonard & Sheldon coming back "without their pants." In the Bernadette/Howard example, while the ex doesn't act intimidating Howard gets intimidated anyway because he's a big bulky black man, and you know what that means.
  • August 7, 2013
    DAN004
    I dunno about how exes behave (maybe I'm just an idiot), but to me it's more apropos if it's the actual boyfriend, instead of an ex, who takes role on this trope (although that is pretty much expected).

    So... what's with the ex exactly?
  • August 7, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^^ Then add context because coming back without their pants isn't clear. And the Howard one says he's not intimidating, and doesn't say that Howard's intimidate by him, so... yeah.

    There's definitely the makings of a trope in here, but it's nowhere near launch.
  • August 7, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    If this ex is also a Psycho Ex, start praying.
  • November 7, 2013
    XFllo
    Bumping.
  • November 7, 2013
    Earnest
    I can't think of them, but frequently the girl does care and tries to restrain her Ex. Usually she argues that they're over or (especially if he's violent) begs him not to hurt the protagonist. She may succeed a bit or call off a brutal beating, but rarely manages to get him to just leave the new guy and her alone to pursue a relationship.

    You'd think someone who is so hunky (these guys are rarely outright ugly, at worst he's going to be rugged) would have no problem finding other girlfriends; but usually it's either a bruised ego at being dumped, an insistent denial that they weren't working out well together, jealousy, clingyness, or rarely he really does love her.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable