Berserk Button: Comics

Doctor Doom, providing another fine page quote for this useless wiki!

When a nice, normal character suddenly goes into a rage, you've hit his Berserk Button.

  • An Archie Comics story titled "By Hook or Crook" has Jughead visiting the Chocolate Shoppe when a pair of burglars are robbing it. He initially cowers alongside Pop Tate when the robbers take the money, a painting, and the silverware; but when they're about to take all the hamburger meat in Pop's freezer, that's when he starts throwing punches and taking them down.
    • A more well-known example from the same comics would be Moose on anyone (usually Reggie) who tries to flirt with his girl Midge.
  • This trope forms a large part of the humour in Astérix.
    • Never call Obelix fat, unless you want to be on the receiving end of a Megaton Punch. His chest's just slipped a bit, that's all.
    • Never harm a tree in front of Obelix's dog, Dogmatix. The little canine will sink his teeth into your buttocks, after which Obelix will bash your face in for upsetting his pet.
    • Whenever anyone points out the fact that Unhygienix's fish are not fresh, a brawl ensues. In Asterix in Corsica, we learn that this is his young son's Berserk Button, too.
    • Cacofonix announcing that he's going to sing acts as a universal Berserk Button for the entire village, especially Fulliautomatix. At a certain point, the gods are annoyed at this too, since it starts raining when he sings.
    • Geriatrix may look like a feeble old guy, but make ga-ga eyes at his young hot wife, and he might stick his walking stick up your where the sun don't shine. Also, do not call him old.
    • Don't ever mention the Gaulish Village that still holds out against the invaders (or its invincible occupants) in front of Julius Caesar. You will find yourself in the circus - and given the time period, that doesn't mean trapezes and clowns.
    • Carferrix gets mad if you talk to his sister.
    • Asterix and the Roman Agent, in which the latter half of the title (a fellow called Tortuous Convolvulus) can create disputes and brawls simply by showing up, is practically a guide to the characters' berserk buttons. Including Julius Caesar's ("GULLIBLE, ME?!?").
    • Don't ask a Gaul where Alesia is. Alesia is the place where Vercingetorix was defeated by the Romans in Real Life.
  • Trapping Pakrat of the Atari Force second series in a corner causes him to come out of it fighting.
  • In Bad Guys, The Russian is a centuries-old vampire; many legends have grown about his exploits. Say the word "Dracula" or even so much as hint that he is or might be Dracula and he will murder you.
  • Never try to convince Baldo's dad that "Taco Bell Spanish" is actual Spanish.
  • Don't call Barb Wire "babe."
  • The Joker himself will become crazier than usual if you make a joke he finds bad or unfunny. Especially if you have the nerve to try and explain it to him afterwards.
    • Don't call him "puddin".
    • And don't compare him to Batman, or he'll blow up your house.
      Joker: WHAT?!! Compare me to Batman?! I got more style, more brains! (looks in a mirror, fixing his bowtie) I'm certainly a better dresser!
      • And whatever you do, don't tell him that someone else was closer to killing Batman than he ever had.
  • Don't touch the Mad Hatter's hat, or he will turn from a delusional mind control expert who is more likely to brainwash some henchmen to attack you into an Ax-Crazy foaming-at-the-mouth maniac.
  • Steve Rogers is a wonderful human being. He's generous, forgiving, selfless, friendly, kind, and actually kind of awkward and dorky at times when he's with his family. However, he does have a few Berserk Buttons, and God help you if you press them.
  • Wanna see a goofy villain turn downright frightening? Be around Quackerjack and mention "Negaduck".
  • If talking to Deadpool, never mention Weapon X. Particularly not "the Workshop." You might get away with it if you were one of the other participants, but this is not a guarantee.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, Scrooge McDuck doesn't like it when people disrespect his dead mother. Not one bit. He's also not too fond of people who try to take his gold or his land or call his Number One Dime "lucky."
  • Don't compare Empowered to JLo, or say anything else that might be misunderstood as "you're fat".
    • Don't say anything about Sistah Spooky's race. Don't be a beautiful blonde girl. And so on.
  • When talking to Snow White from Fables, Don't. Mention. The Dwarfs. Ever.
  • From Fantastic Four: Whatever you do, don't mention The Trapster's former villainous handle, "Paste-Pot Pete."
    • A quick way to get on Doctor Doom's bad side would be by implying that Reed Richards is intelligent, let alone more intelligent than Doom is.
  • Never mention the name of Houdini around Evil Sorcerer Abra Kadabra. Just don't. Also, he loathes not being the center of attention, and if someone else takes away applause from him.
  • Do NOT call Gorilla Grodd a "monkey".
  • In FreakAngels, calling KK by her real name causes her to immediately go for your throat.
  • Gotham Central reveals what might actually be Two-Face's only Berserk Button. Most things he does, even his most heinous of crimes, are only done after he flips his trusty coin. It is not personal, just the law of averages, chaos and chance. Except for one thing: Do not look at Renee Montoya. Seriously. No, I'm completely serious, do not even look at her, Two-Face will blow off your damn head for glancing at her. He will take out his gun and shove it down your throat...and then he will tell Renee about how he has prepared her steak dinner (He's wacky like that). But seriously, don't look at her.
    • However, it's probably true that Harvey Dent had one other 'Berserk Button', which got hit with the acid and prompting his turn to Two-Face to begin with. Whether that berserk button was his commitment to justice, latent schizophrenia or just an investment in his own good looks depends on the interpretation.
  • Whatever you do, do NOT mention Mongul's name around Arkillo. It doesn't matter if it was an accidental mention or not, he WILL kill you on the spot.
  • Hunter Rose and Argent were essentially each other's Berserk Buttons in Grendel. Virtually everything and anything either one said or did to the other would set him off.
  • Groo is not a mendicant. Not even after he finds out what it means.
  • The Hulk is generally a Berserker anyway, but anything or anyone that reminds him of his father is definitely in for a world of hurt.
    The Thing: "He called you a commie, a pinko!"
  • If you really want to earn Iron Man's wrath, steal his technology. If you want to multiply that wrath tenfold, use it for evil purposes, including harming people. The "Armor Wars" storyline is a good illustration of what he will do if he even thinks you've misappropriated his tech, and neither enemies nor allies are safe.
  • This dialogue between Spider-Man and two cops in one story reveals what The Juggernaut's Berserk Button is:
    First cop: Spider-Man?? You're the "big bad guy"?
    Spidey: Uh... You must mean the guy behind me!
    Second cop: Move it, fellah, before we run you in!
    Spidey: Okay, but whatever you do, don't call him stupid!
    (Cops turn around as Spidey webs off.)
    First cop: Don't call who stupid?
    Juggernaut (from off-panel): Who you callin' "stupid"?
    Second cop: Oh, cripes...
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, no-one should ever touch Bob's dice, as Nitro, an ex-Marine, discovered to his everlasting humiliation.
    • Brian is the resident table flipper, but the best way to set him off is to mention his former imaginary girlfriend, Alexis.
    • BA has an unfortunate habit of hitting Brian, Dave, and Bob's Berserk Buttons by teaching their characters a harsh lesson. They don't like that. Retribution, usually at the claws of BA's fifty-pound tomcat Colonel Prowler, frequently follows.
  • A recently-recovered Krazy Kat strip has Bum Bill Bee repeatedly stinging Ignatz over a deceptively realistic fake flower.
  • In Legend of the Five Rings, do not call Shosuro Yudoka or any of his subordinates a ninja. He absolutely hates that term, despite the fact that he's the Scorpion Clan's resident ninja master.
  • Don't interfere with Rosa if Gunther is around.
  • Monica from the Brazilian comic Monica's Gang. Don't comment on her weight, height, how big her teeth are, or even worse, call her ugly, if you don't want a girl to beat you up using a plush rabbit.
  • Bats in Mouse Guard will absolutely flip out if it's suggested they aren't trustworthy. According to their own version of history, they were rejected by both sides in the war between land animals and birds due to be considered untrustworthy for no better reason than their appearance, and the fact that others continue to distrust them is an extreme racial sore spot.
  • In Ms. Tree, Mike, Jr. has some pretty serious issues relating to homosexuals.
  • Speaking of the Secret Six, don't bring up Scandal Savage's dad or do anything to remind her of him. Just don't do it. You'll be very lucky to still be in one piece if you make him enter her mind. Actually, that's probably the easiest way to piss Scandal off, given that she is definitely the most Ax-Crazy of the team and has a ridiculously short fuse, and being insane.
  • In Seconds, in the timelines where Max and Katie are married, any insinuations that the second restaurant belongs to only Katie as opposed to the two of them instantly put Max in a crappy mood.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic himself has two in particular:
    • After beating the everloving snot out of him, Dr. Robotnik claims that Sonic isn't strong, smart or fast enough to truly defeat him. This ends up activating Sonic's Heroic Second Wind, causing him to orbit the world in less than a minute to attack from behind in what can only be described as a "Sprint of Fury."
  • Under no circumstances should you insinuate that Spider-Woman is a Skrull. Last time the Dark Avengers did that, she lost her composure and started beating down almost everyone who got near her (and apparently that included Ares), at least until Sentry stopped and calmed her down.
    • The recent New Avengers issue added one more for Spider-Woman: Subject her into mind control or anything like that and she'll gladly put her hand inside your mouth and BLAST it from the inside. In fact, this pissed her off so much that if it wasn't for Spider-Man stopping her, she would've killed her mind controller.
  • In the Nintendo Power comic run of Star Fox, two things are known to piss Fox off immensely: calling him Junior and suggesting that he and the team raid anything other than Imperial ships, which is one of the only times he goes into Glowing Eyes of Doom mode. The other time is near the end of the comic when one of two clones of Andross reveals that the original Andross killed his mother with a bomb meant for his father and that he'd sabotaged his father's ship so it'd be lost in the Black Hole, which sets him into Unstoppable Rage mode.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Boba Fett is the consummate professional: he never makes jobs personal and never allows emotions to enter the mix. Jodo Kast crossed the line by impersonating him and cashing in on his rep, but even then Fett was cold and professional about taking him out. However, when he finally incapacitated the upstart and removed his helmet, he utterly lost his cool. Why? Because Kast was no one. He wasn't anyone Fett recognized and he definitely wasn't a Mandalorian—he didn't deserve the armor, he hadn't earned the right to wear it...he just used it because he thought it looked cool. It was a disgusting insult to Fett's heritage, and one of the only times in his adult life where he showed anger.
    • Jek Porkins, the first Rebel pilot to be killed in the attack on the Death Star, was noticeably overweight, and a tad sensitive about it. While on a mission with the rest of the squad, some thugs tried to extort money from them. Things were tense until one of them made a fat joke about Jek, after which the whole group was left spitting teeth out on the ground.
  • Storm has claustrophobia thanks to being buried alive in rubble as a child. This used to leave her catatonic with fear. Nowadays trying to shove her into an enclosed space just makes her angry. Making a Fisher King angry is usually a bad idea.
  • Superman: As every employee of the Daily Planet can tell you, editor Perry White hates being called "Chief".
  • Tintin
    • Professor Calculus ("Tournesol" in the original French) does this when someone suggests he is "playing the goat." Given the professor's notoriously poor hearing, he is likely to blow up if he hears the phrase "playing the goat" — or anything that sounds remotely similar — used in any context. Another berserk button is getting his hat knocked off.
    • Also Captain Haddock if you take away his whisky.
    • Racist people for Tintin.
  • Death's Head from the Transformers and Marvel comics hates it when people call him a bounty hunter. He prefers "Freelance Peacekeeping Agent," yes?
  • In Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, Whirl drinks something known as the Berserker Button (named for this very trope) and after having a few, he goes into a violent rage when asked for the time. This sounds like some kind of Rant-Inducing Slight until you learn that he used to be a talented watchmaker, before the Senate had his head and hands cut off and replaced with a Cyber Cyclops mono-eye and crude clamp-claws to force him to do their dirty work.
  • Transmetropolitan: Spider Jerusalem is a switchboard of Berserk Buttons looking for an operator, but god help you if he finds out that you've abused your authority.
  • Rorschach of Watchmen can be said to have a berserk button about criminals, which sort of comes with his territory, but his interviews with Dr. Long confirmed one thing: anyone who harms a child or one of his superhero compatriots is in for a world of hurt. He hits his permanent berserk button when he realizes that the child abductor he had been tracking down had butchered his victim and fed her to his dogs. Since then, he has been a Sociopathic Hero in the eyes of many. And then there's his reaction to losing his "face"...
  • Wolverine has a few, but the most enduring and unchanging is any kind of brain tampering. Due to his history, he's not a fan of it, and in fact, tried to kill Nick Fury for doing ti to him, since he would've done what Nick had asked anyway.
  • In the X-Wing Series comics, Tycho Celchu of Alderaan does not take kindly to hearing the planet's stereotype, pacifism, extended into "cowardice," or being told that as an Alderaanian he can't be a warrior. Or people who say Endor never happened.
    Tycho: "I just want you to know - not all Alderaanians are pacifists!"
  • X-23 has a literal one in the form of the trigger scent. It doesn't matter who you are. If you're exposed to it around her, you'll be confronted by a ball of whirling, adamantium death.
    • Additionally, when confronted by former members of Zebra Daddy, her ex-pimp's, gang and who are continuing to traffic women, Laura goes berserk taking them down. Black Widow immediately comments afterwards that Laura is normally a very collected and deliberate fighter, but this time she was fighting out of pure rage.
  • Young Avengers: Stature is quite protective of her father's legacy. If she perceives someone attacking her father, she will grow as large as she is able and try to crush them. Unfortunately, this ends up costing Stature her life.