ME!, 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.
All New Ghost Rider shows Robbie Reyes will punch out any number of thugs in a rage when they mug and berate his kid brother.
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 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.
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?!?").
Trapping Pakrat of the Atari Force second series in a corner causes him to come out of it fighting.
Apollo and The Midnighter, members of The Authority, are upstanding heroes (possibly Anti-Hero in the latter case, but still...) dedicated to making a better world and raising their adopted daughter Jenny, and they're openly homosexual, and having a very stable and loving relationship. Anyone who calls them 'poofters', though, is in for a great heaping of suffering.
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.
As for Batman, don't ever kill an ally or close friend of his — if you do you'd better hope he keeps his no killing rule. Batman's done this twice with The Joker; first when the Joker killed Jason Todd, and second when Batman thought the Joker killed his childhood friend Thomas Elliot (since the Joker's the trope namer for Joker Immunity, he survived both attacks).
Batman: I don't pass sentence. That's for the courts to decide. But this time, this time, I am sorely tempted to do the job myself.
If you kill a couple in front of their young child, Batman will 1.) Have a flashback and 2.) Hunt you down no matter where you go. And then 3.) Make. You. Suffer. Like you have never suffered before or, you will hope, since.
Then there's the chilling scene in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in which Batman is subjected to watching the Joker torture and brainwash Tim Drake. Batman reacts with a fury that leaves no illusions to his intent.
Batman: (To Joker) I'll break you in two.
One story deconstructed the "kill a couple in front of their young child" button. Batman was pursuing a criminal named Angel Lupo for murdering his pregnant sister. While on the run, Lupo shot and killed a couple in front of their son leaving the boy in a state of shock. Batman has the usual flashback and is bent on bringing Lupo to justice. Then it's revealed that Angel had nothing to do with the first murder. His girlfriend (without his knowledge) had his sister killed in order to free him of the responsibility of caring for his sister. Not that it matters, since the baby's father (the Ventriloquist) guns down Lupo in a fit of misdirected vengeance. Then it turns out that Lupo didn't kill the boy's parents either — the boy shot and killed his own parents and Lupo just happened to be nearby when it happened. Batman's Berserk Button made him pursue a man who, while still a career criminal, didn't commit any of the murders in the story and led him astray from the real killers.
Batman: Everything I've done in the past three nights, I've been doing for the wrong little boy.
Harm Black Adam's country or allies, and he will find out all the details and make you pay. And by "make you pay", I mean have fun surveying the rubble and the bodies. Mind control also pisses him off, as Psycho Pirate found out.
He slaughtered the entire population of a neighboring country for its leaders' complicity in killing his family. Then, one of the killers, the Apokaliptan god of Death, shows up and claims all the killing made him stronger. Black Adam completely wrecks Death in only a handful of pages, and then spends the rest of the night slowly killing him.
As with most good characters, don't harm innocents or those whom he loves. The Avengers are his family, so this certainly applies to them — but especiallyTony, Falcon and the now revived Bucky. Helmut Zemo once found out why kidnapping Falcon is a bad idea.
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.
Similarly, don't harm innocents. When a group of mercenaries "rescue" Deadpool by killing some cops, Deadpool stops joking. A bad warning sign. Deadpool, after tricking them into telling him about a tracking device in his gun, promptly kills them all. He has killed innocents himself. He has a Blue and Orange Morality and he even hanged out with Bullseye back in the Kelly run. But that said, killing children is something he won't overlook.
From Fantastic Four: Whatever you do, don't mention The Trapster's former villainous handle, "Paste-Pot Pete."
Also, don't hurt any member of the Fantastic Four when the other three around to see it. Case in point: in "What If...The Fantastic Four Lost the Trial of Galactus?", Reed Richards is executed by the Shi'ar. Sue, Ben, and Johnny blow up the Shi'ar's entire planet in revenge.
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.
When given the opportunity to "improve" a hero, or try to fix his own timeline, Zoom tends to charge in blindly. This latter one is especially painful to him, as despite knowing exactly where to find a time machine, he's the only speedster on this page who can't use it...but tries anyway, usually leading to further disaster. It also leads to him further obsessing over Wally experiencing tragedy to get the point that tragedy makes better heroes.
Zoom:(during "Rogue War" arc) TELL ME YOU UNDERSTAND ME, WALLY!
His estranged wife Ashley is revealed to be another Berserk Button for him during the Rogue War storyline. The Rogues come to where she is, intending to kill her...Zoom's response is to deliver a thoroughly sound No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
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 harm innocents around the Rogues. Especially not if you're part of the team, as Captain Cold will not hesitate to kill you regardless of how loyal you've been to the Rogues.
In FreakAngels, calling KK by her real name causes her to immediately go for your throat. Sirkka's is hurting Jack. This is particularly notable since when it was pressed, she'd spent the entirety of the comic to that point (over 100 pages) lying in bed. Moments later she opened fire with a giant automatic bolt thrower.
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.
Endangering his children is a big one; he told Steve Rogers(who wasn't Captain America at the time) that he'd kill him if Steve killed his son Hiro-Kala, who was trying to crash a Mars-sized planet into Earth at the time. Messing with his dead wives is an even bigger mistake; Skaar's(his other son) jeers about destroying Caiera's spirit were enough to get him to try and kill him. But the most common one is simple: don't call him Bruce if you want to live.
At this point it's come to the point where it applies to any of his close friends or family. A villain beating up a depowered She-Hulk and Rick Jones sent the Hulk back to a Worldbreaker Hulk level of anger. When said villain attacked Red She-Hulk, his wife, it enraged the Hulk to the point where he killed him by smashing his head. If he wasn't at Worldbreaker-level before, he certainly was then.
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.
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is not wacky, and anyone who tells him otherwise is in for a world of hurt. He'll also go off on one for someone accusing him of being a killer (which, as the name would suggest...), looking at him funny, believing in God (or anything remotely hopeful) or trying to avoid dying. Still another berserk button is incorrectly assuming what he does with the blood he drains from his victims. He DOES NOT drink it, he paints his wall, and if you say otherwise, he will get upset. With daggers.
In Knights of the Dinner Table, no-one should ever touch Bob's dice, as Nitro, an ex-Marine, discovered to his everlasting humiliation.
Don't make sexist remarks to Sara (though she usually just grabs the offender by the collar and gives them a chance to recant).
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.
Aquaman: You hurt J'onn? That was stupid. *stabs villain in the chest*
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.
In the story arc "The Slavers," the brutal treatment that the title slavers put their captives through hits every one of Frank Castle's Berserk Buttons regarding the mistreatment of women and children in general, and triggers a rage so deep within him that he goes to savage lengths so extreme that even he himself is surprised.
What happened when some jackass mob dude, Nicky Cavella, aka. Mr. Too Dumb to Live, dug up the remains of Frank's murdered family and urinated on them on them, successfully pissing the Punisher off. Unstoppable Rage doesn't even begin to describe Frank's response. Lampshaded by a customer in a diner (that Frank is also at, unknown to him) who sees the news report:
Customer:That guy is gonna go fucking berserk.[next panel shows Frank sitting alone, staring at the TV screen, with a murderous look in his eye]
Made all the "stranger" when it's what Nicky wanted.
In "The Long Cold Dark," Barracuda kidnaps the daughter Frank had with O'Brien. Frank proceeds to clip a car battery to Barracuda's testicles and shock him for an hour straight.
Actually, that's what happened when he got the upper hand on him. When Frank first realizes that he has a daughter and that Barracuda is going to torture her to death, he blacks out. Frank has to piece the subsequent events back together by examining his injuries while in the hospital. Barracuda didn't come out much better.
Frank seems to draw a berserker rage whenever he remembers his slain family. Compared to his first fight with Barracuda and fighting The Mongolian where he goes ape-shit remembering them, Castle is calm and rational when he thinks Barracuda killed his daughter.
In an earlier story arc, "Kitchen Irish", there's a gang of young punks called the River Rats, run by the vicious twins Polly and Eamon. Throughout the comic it's implied that Eamon is in love with his sister. When another gang member jokingly suggests that Polly is jealous of the only other woman in the group, Eamon becomes defensive, and when the man tries to explain what he meant, irrationally arrives at the conclusion that he was suggesting Eamon and Polly have an incestuous relationship. So he kills him.
The titular Sam from Sam & Max: Freelance Police is very calm under really stressing situations, but don't call him fat, give him pink bellies or try to harm his Lil' Buddy. You're already screwed.
Max's mental state is erratic at the best of times, and quoting the wrong song lyrics at him can drive him to swear grisly revenge, but if someone tries to muscle in on his position as Sam's best friend, he won't swear at all. He'll just disembowel them on the spot.
Ragdoll is hardly a nice guy, but when teamed with killers like Bane and Deadshot, he seems less dangerous and certainly less focused. However, if you threaten Black Alice, he will kill you painfully.
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.
And speaking of Scandal, don't hurt her or even threaten her in front of Bane. Remember what he did to good 'ol Bats? He'll do that to you. Seriously, don't fuck with Scandal in front of Bane.
Finally, do not threaten Catman's son. DO. NOT. DO. IT. While the rest of the team will either shoot you, slice you up, cave your head in, or rip you apart if you piss them off, Catman will make it slow. VERY slow. If you're lucky, you'll escape with either part of your face missing or four new assholes. You probably won't be lucky, however.
Most Sin City heroes are pretty violent but they lose their cool when people hurt women, children, or friends. One or all of these things happen in almost every story and they end making good use of the For Mature Readers Only label.
Also, don't use racial slurs against Miho. She's quick enough to kill you without you realizing it... you don't want to give her a reason to go slow.
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."
You would think such an attack would be Sonic's exemplification of Unstoppable Rage, but no, all this ends up doing his denting the shield of the near-invincible mech, which is disproportionally more capable than any other robot he had ever built, or HAS built since. This is likely due to issues 175-178 being specifically made as a Failure Hero arc, since Sonic has straight-up won every single time before this point.
You simply can't escape a beating after messing with his friends. Already in a sour mood due to several recent backstabs and just plain bad luck, he ends up Spin Dashing the shit out of Silver (through his own bedroom wall) when he accuses Antoine of being a traitor to the Freedom Fighters, mere hours after Ant took the full force of an explosion (which scorched most of his body and sent him into a coma) to save Elias Acorn.
Mighty the Armadillo has one. According to this summary on the Sonic Wiki:
Snively would have succeeded in capturing all but Sonic the Hedgehog as instructed, if he had not made the one fatal mistake of teleporting Ray the Squirrel prior to Mighty the Armadillo. Enraged at believing his timid friend was dead, Mighty lost all self-control and poured every bit of his fury into his already incredible strength. He proceeded to attack Snively's Beater by ripping off one of its arms and used it as a club to pulverize Snively, practically destroying the mech all by himself. Before the finishing blow could be delivered though, Snively managed to beam Mighty away to a reinforced Egg Grape and then activated a self-destruct program in his mech.
And do NOT fire a missile at his little sister, as the Sand Blasters quickly learned in Universe #49.
Spider-Man is generally a sweetheart of a guy, but don't even THINK about hurting his friends and family. The instant he stops joking around with you, you'll find out exactly how much pain a guy with the proportionate strength of a spider is capable of dishing out when he's mad.
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.
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.
Lightning Lord: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Want to buy yourself some time, Kryptonian? Why not throw me the woman, so I can fry her the way I fried your other girlfriend? Superman:(in shock) L-Lana? (enraged) YOU HURT LANA?! (hits Lightning Lord with a strong burst of heat vision) Lightning Lord: AAAAA! He burned me! He burned me! Saturn Queen:(scared) His mind... He isn't bluffing... He's prepared to kill!
In the climax of Kingdom Come, Superman is driven to the point of nearly destroying the UN when the humano-centrists kill most of the supers, despite Captain Marvel's Heroic Sacrifice to stop it, using a nuclear bomb.
As every employee of the Daily Planet can tell you, editor Perry White hates being called "Chief".
Anyone harming Loki outside of having to stop him in a fight. Sure, the two have major issues, but they're still brothers, as shown when Loki performs a Heroic Sacrifice against the Void, Thor's eyes go white with power and he practically obliterates the Void with one massive lightning strike that leaves nothing behind but a massive crater with Robert Reynolds in the middle of it.
After the resurrection of Loki as Kid!Loki, Thor has made it clear that anyone who wants to harm his brother has to get through him. Unsurprisingly, no one is particularly willing to try this.
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 Senatehad 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.
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"...
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.
Yoko Tsuno is a nice girl, if a bit hotheaded. Hurt someone she cares for, or threaten somebody who asks her for help? The Action Girl knows her Aikido and her weapon handling, and she will put said knowledge to use. On you.
Hulkling from Young Avengers is the the sweetest, most congenial Gentle Giant imaginable. Unless you threaten his boyfriend. In which case all bets are off.
To say nothing of said boyfriend, Wiccan, who is not only the son of the Scarlet Witch, one of the most powerful mutants in the universe—and appears to have inherited her capabilities but a very gifted witch in his own right. At one point, he put everyone in Times Square into a magic coma simply because Teddy was being held hostage.
Their friend 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.