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Berserk Button: F Ilm

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

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     Film - Animated 
  • Tiger in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, goes from wimpy cat to living up to his name when Miss Kitty is threatened.
  • The air conditioner in The Brave Little Toaster actually explodes when another character pointed out that it was "stuck in the wall."
  • Despicable Me: No matter what you do, don't kidnap (or even break the heart of) Gru's adorable adopted girls. He will go Papa Wolf on you and there will be nothing you can do about it. Don't think you can mess with Lucy and his minions either.
    • Remember that stuffed unicorn Agnes won from the first movie? "IT'S SO FLUFFY!" Well in the sequel, Evil Kevin tries to eat her stuffed unicorn, only for her to scream which broke Evil Kevin's goggles, buying Margo and Agnes some time to escape to the underground laboratory.
  • The Great Mouse Detective features Ratigan (Vincent Price). Ratigan can be quite Affably Evil, but he absolutely flips out when called a rat. A drunken mouse slips and calls him a rat during his Villain Song. His reaction is all the more effective in that after an initial moment of fury, he calms down... instead, he goes extremely quiet, and coolly, calmly, even lovingly, feeds poor Bartholomew to his Right-Hand Cat.
  • Hercules: Thirsty?
    • Herc himself gets one near the end; he's put up with a lot of crap during the last half of the film, but seeing Hades dare to lay his filthy mitts on Meg after nearly getting them both killed finally sends our hero over the edge...and Hades also, literally.
    • Don't mention Achilles' heel to Phil.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Don't touch Hiccup in front of Toothless. Or even NOT in front of Toothless, when they're halfway across the island from each other. In fact, don't touch Hiccup, period. Odds are you'll end up with a very pissed off dragon trying to claw your face off.
    • The series goes on to show that in general, dragons and their riders are close enough that fucking with one is pretty much a guarantee that the other will respond in a way much more painful than just scratching your name off their Snoggletog list.
  • The Incredibles:
    "My name is not Buddy!!"
    • Also, Mr. Incredible has a few. If you stop him from saving someone who needs help, he'll get angry. If you hurt his family, he'll get really angry. And if you try to kill them... God help you.
      • This trope (and practically every other superhero trope) is lampshaded by Syndrome, who does in fact call him on it.
    Mr. Incredible: "Let them go!"
    Syndrome: "Or what?"
    Mr. Incredible: "Or I'll crush her!"
    Syndrome: "Oooh, that's a little dark for you isn't it?"
    Edna: November 15th of '58! All was well, another day saved, when... his cape snagged on a missile fin!
    Bob/Mr. Incredible: Thunderhead was not the brightest bu-
    Edna: Stratogale! April 23rd, '57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!
    Bob/Mr. Incredible: E, you can't generalize about these things-
  • The Lion King:
    • Mufasa is level-headed and wise, until you mess with his cub...
    • Scar can't stand hearing Mufasa's name, to the point that he makes a law against saying it.
      • Mentioning how much better of a king Mufasa was than him, probably because he knows it's true.
    • Pumbaa is called a pig, prompting him to say "Are you talking to me?! They call me MISTER PIG!" before attacking. However he doesn't mind when Timon or Simba call him one; it's just strangers.
    • When Simba returns to Pride Rock after Scar turns it into a barren landscape, he snaps when he sees Scar striking his mom.
  • The Little Mermaid: Don't say anything about humans around King Triton.
  • In Monsters, Inc., Boo has one. And Randall figured that out MUCH TOO LATE! Trying to kill Sulley in front of Boo will result in...this. Go to 7:22.
  • Peter Pan does not like being called a coward. Captain Hook uses this to advantage in the climax so that he won't fly away "like a cowardly sparrow" when he fights him.
    Peter: Nobody calls Pan a coward and lives!
  • Pocahontas: For Powhatan, Killing his daughter's intended fiancé and most precious warrior..
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Sheila Broflovski has two buttons and their names are Terrence and Phillip.
    • Also, don't swear around her, especially to call her "the biggest bitch in the whole wide world". You will regret it!
    • Kyle doesn't like it when you call his mom a bitch. Seeing how his mother reacts to being called that, who can blame him?
  • Wreck-It Ralph has two.
    • Don't call him a bad guy.
    • Don't mess with Vanellope.
    • Don't call Calhoun "Dynamite Gal." It triggers a flashback of the time she was Widowed at the Wedding.
  • In 101 Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita are as charming and adorable as animated dogs can be. But if you dare to mess with their children, they will find out where you live. They will find you. And they will kick your ass.

     Film - Live Action 
  • This gem of a line from 300:
    Leonidas: You bring the crowns and heads of conquered kings to my city's steps! You insult my queen. You threaten my people with ''slavery'' and ''death!'' Oh, I've chosen my words carefully, Persian. Perhaps you should have done the same.
  • A subversion in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls: In a fight with a crazed Wachootoo tribesman, the tribesman grabs Ace and rearranges his hair into horns, mocking Ace's reputation as the "White Devil." Ace gets up and says that this has gone far enough, "Nobody... messes... with the DO!"... and then proceeds to get further pummeled by the tribesman.
    • Harming animals is, naturally, a big one for Ace... unless they're bats.
    • "THE LACES WERE IN!"
  • The protagonist of Adam goes ballistic after he learns of a harmless lie of his girlfriend's.
  • The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert: Do not call Bernadette by her birth name, Ralph.
    • Incidentally, calling any transsexual by their birth name is definitely a bad move. Not only will you piss them off, you may well be putting them in danger.
  • Otto in A Fish Called Wanda: "DON'T! call me stupid!"
  • A Fistful of Dollars: "I don't think it's nice, y'all laughing. You see, my mule don't like people laughing. Gets the crazy idea you're laughing at him. Now, if you apologize like I know you're going to, then I might convince him you didn't really mean it."
  • Alice in Wonderland: The Hatter may be as mad as a box of frogs, but he's among the best of the good guys in Underland and will do anything for his friends. However, if you mention the day his family was slaughtered, or you make one wrong move toward either Alice or the White Queen...suffice it to say that if his eyes change color, run.
  • William from Almost Famous represents this trope nicely. The band Stillwater and their Band Aids use every opportunity to take advantage of him, and he usually lets it happen, but there are moments when he's about had enough:
    Penny: Honey... you're too sweet for Rock 'N' Roll.
    Will: Sweet?... Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark, and dangerous, and pissed off, and I could be very dangerous to all of you! I. Am the enemy!
  • Don't call Alvin and Simon's brother Theodore the fatty ratty, or they'll go all Shredder on ya bum.
  • Insulting Ron's hair in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
    • Don't insult Wes's mother, she's a saint!
  • Austin Powers: "That makes me angry, and when Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, and when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset people DIE!"
  • While we're on the subject of The Avengers, several of the heroes, Dr. Banner aside, seem to have an button-pusing issue at some point.
    • Tony Stark doesn't like other people taking his things.
    • Cap doesn't like Tony's selfish attitude; when Tony suggests he would Take a Third Option to laying his life down for a comrade, Cap finally has enough and tells him to suit up, intending to fight him.
    • Clint Barton/Hawkeye does not take kindly to learning he was Loki's unwitting pawn and as such, responsible for several deaths and nearly killing Black Widow.
  • The Back to the Future films:
    • Marty McFly insists, "Nobody... calls me... chicken!" This is a Shout-Out to Rebel Without a Cause.
      • Of course this is subverted after three movies worth of Character Development when Marty chooses not to get in a street race with some punks who try to provoke him with this, thereby averting the Bad Future we see in the second movie.
    • Marty will not tolerate anyone messing with his mother or his friend Doc. Go ahead and try it. This kid has only faced down Libyan terrorists and thrashed a notorious gunman.
    • If you're harming Lorraine and George gives you the chance to back off, take it. If not...
    • Also, Buford Tannen, who was berserk to begin with, completely loses it when called by his nickname "Mad Dog," which he earned due to his viciousness and tendency to drool.
    • Don't threaten Clara or Marty in front of Doc.
  • Back to School has a teacher played by Sam Kinison who speaks very softly and earnestly until the subject of The Vietnam War comes up, at which point he launches into a screaming rant in Kinison's trademark style.
  • Don't call Barb Wire "Babe" or else, she'll kill you.
  • There is an especially dramatic one in La Belle et la Bete, the 1946 version of Beauty and the Beast. In this version, as well as in the original fairytale, Belle's father was a merchant and she asked him to bring her a rose when he came back from one of his trips. So when he gets lost and ends up in the Beast's castle, the Beast has no problem with him eating or sleeping there, but he goes beserk when the merchant takes one of the roses in the garden. The roses where what the Beast loved most in the world, so he tells the merchant he will kill him, or give him a chance to bring one of his daughters in his place. Seriously, "you stole my rose, prepare to die".
    • Same thing happens in the Faerie Tale Theatre 1984 version, very likely because the Beast was played by Klaus Kinski. No, seriously. Seriously.
  • In the Swedish war movie Beyond the Border, Aron goes Ax-Crazy when he sees his brother tortured by the Germans.
  • The Big Lebowski: I move we rename this trope "The Sobchak".
  • Billy Jack: Do not mistreat children in the presence of Billy Jack. If you do... "I just go BERSERK!!!"
  • In the latter-day Western Bite the Bullet, if you mistreat animals in the presence of Sam Clayton (Gene Hackman), he'll beat you up. If you speak disrespectfully of a prostitute, you'll be lucky if he doesn't kill you.
  • The Blind Side: Usually, Michael is the Gentle Giant. But when an armed drug dealer makes sexual comments about Leigh Anne and Collins, an unarmed Michael hulks out and lays out the smackdown.
  • Blood Diamond's Solomon Vandy goes furious on anyone who threatens his family, and when Leonardo DiCaprio's character Danny Archer calls him a "kaffir" (the African equivalent of the N-word), it results in a serious fight between the two that Archer ultimately has to end by pulling a gun on him.
  • The Boondock Saints: Threatening either of the McManus brothers will get you utterly fucked up by the other. Just ask Ivan Checkov, who got a toilet dropped on him by a pissed-off Connor for trying to execute Murphy after forcing him to cuff himself to said toilet.
  • Breaking Away: Whatever you do, do not call Moocher "shorty". He will be more than happy to give your face a quick introduction to his fist.
  • Bugsy: Bugsy Siegel hates being called "Bugsy". This was Truth in Television. He got the name because he tended to "bug out" over small things.
  • What finally sets Cheech off in Cheech And Chong's Next Movie is some of Chong's "space coke", which causes him to break through the walls of their house and trash the yard of their neighbor, who had berated the duo throughout much of the movie.
  • Eustace accidentally presses Reepicheep's button when he grabs his tail in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The great Aslan himself gave Reepicheep that tail, and "no one touches the tail, period, exclamation point!"
  • The Cotton Club: Dutch Schultz appears to have made a grudging peace with a rival gangster, but the rival won't stop needling him, casually remarking while grazing the buffet, "Aw, what's a Jew but a nigger turned inside out, anyway?" Schultz goes berserk and stabs him to death. Then again, it was never difficult to rile Schultz, in film or real life.
  • The Joker in The Dark Knight always gets a little bit more serious whenever someone calls him crazy or a "freak." At first, he merely shows annoyance, but the final time he angrily orders a man cut into pieces and fed to his dogs.
    • Ironically, he tells Batman he's a freak "like him." Which kind of fits the Joker's character of changing things along the way if it benefits him.
    • Do not remove Bane's mask. Ever. When the CIA agent asks him if pulling it off would kill him, Bane calmly remarks, "It would be extremely painful." Literal truth! It's an anasthetic mask that's crucial for his survival due to the injuries he got in the Pit. He then promptly turns the comment into a threat by adding for you." In their second fight, when Batman damages Bane's mask, Bane ignores all forms of fighting and just starts punching through columns. Unfortunately for him, his anger just let Batman beat him even more easily, and is fully afraid of Batman.
  • In the 1982 Film Noir parody Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid the protagonist Rigby Reardon (played by Steve Martin) goes into a homicidal rage every time someone mentions "cleaning woman". This is later used by the female protagonist to save them from the Bad Guys by tricking the main villain into saying the words and thus triggering a Bad Guy-killing frenzy.
  • In The Devil's Double, Uday has a Hair-Trigger Temper and is dangerously unstable at all times, but when he's told that his father's confidant referred to him as a faggot, he loses it and disembowels the guy in front of a room full of people. (Given his his extreme machismo, his disturbing relationship with Latif and...whatever that was with the drag queen, it's not surprising.)
  • In Diner Beth pushes Shrevie's by not keeping his records in order, and even more blasphemously, not knowing who Charlie Parker is.
  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Watching his "wife" with another man and then laughing at Gordon pushed his berserk button. And proceeds to destroy the entire opposing team. By himself.
  • In Downfall, if you try to surrender on Hitler's watch, or he hears about you going AWOL, you're dead.
  • Duck Soup: President Rufus T. Firefly is prepared to go to war over Ambassador Trentino calling him an "upstart." Later Firefly has calmed down and he and Trentino patch things up, realizing that neither of them can remember the word that set things off. Trentino jokingly tries several possibilities, and unfortunately hits on the right one, which starts the war all over again.
  • In Tim Burton's Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi is having a good day on set, until a well-meaning prop guy compliments him for playing "Boris Karloff's sidekick." Profanity ensues.
  • Fanboys: Only call Han Solo a "bitch" if you want to start a fight. A rather unimpressive fight, but a fight nonetheless.
  • Flyboys. Don't enact a racial stereotype on Skinner. You will get floored without warning and faster than you can react.
  • Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan took great offense at Cunning Carla when she asked if Forrest was "stupid or something." Also, Forrest himself unleashed hell on several occasions when he saw someone mistreating his beloved Jenny.
  • One particularly hilarious example in Fred: The Movie; when Fred is told his "girlfriend" has moved, he goes on a rampage and destroys his living room. Because of his sunny disposition, he cleans up afterward.
  • He doesn't have much personality otherwise, but Jason Voorhees has a real soft spot for his mother. And, as Freddy Krueger found out, he doesn't like it when people pretend to be her. AT ALL. Ginny from Friday the 13th Part 2 was lucky to be only hospitalized after doing the same thing during the climax.
  • Let's just say that harming a child whenever Gamera is around may just very well be the last thing you'll ever do.
  • Get Smart: Don't ever question or mock the head of Control's credentials or Control itself's credentials, or you should pray you don't get a beatdown in front of your fellow members in the cabinet, as the Vice President learned the hard way.
    • Also, never insult your Dragon's wife, as the leader of KAOS learned the hard way when he insulted his wife one time too many and ended up being punched out of his car hard enough to be knocked over a bridge.
    • You can handcuff Agent 99 to the backseat of the car you hijack, but there's one thing you should never call her, lest you pay the price:
    Agent 23: See, this is your problem! Some men like women who are feminine!
    Agent 99: [disbelieving outrage] I'm not feminine?!
    Agent 23: Nooo.
    Agent 99: I'M NOT FEMININE?!?!?!
    [kicks him in the face, causing him to swerve and brush another car]
  • The Godfather
    • Carlo knows that laying a hand on Sonny Corleone's little sister Connie is a good way to get yourself killed. But Carlo also knows that he can use that against him, which leads to the famous scene where Sonny is gunned down by several machine gun-wielding assassins at a tollbooth, who riddle him with bullets from all sides, even after the point where he should have died.
    • Which will then result in Michael getting VERY pissed off indeed. Once he gets Carlo to admit his role in Sonny's murder, Michael puts Carlo into a car where he is promptly garroted by an assassin. Bottom line? Don't mess with the Corleones. Ever.
    • Don't ever tell Michael you aborted his child.
  • She may be the most peaceful monster in the Toho universe, but it's still a very bad idea to harm Mothra's children or the Shobijin (the two fairies she protects).
    • Likewise, even though he's already got a rather violent temper, Godzilla himself tends to go into Unstoppable Rage mode whenever anything tries to harm his son.
    • In Godzilla (2014), the female Muto loses it after Ford blows up her eggs, and attempts to go after him after that.
  • Tommy DeVito of Goodfellas normally has a reputation for having a Hair-Trigger Temper, getting pissed off no matter what is said to him. But when "Billy Batts" Devino, a made man, talks about a rather humiliating period from Tommy's past when he was known as "Spitshine Tommy" for shining the other mob dudes' shoes, and then tells Tommy to go get his shine box, Tommy goes ballistic, beating Batts to what appears to be almost certain death in a savage rage. He, Jimmy and Henry Hill then put the body in the trunk of their car, and stop by Tommy's mother's place to get a shovel so they can bury the body. However, his mother invites them to stay over for dinner. To explain the blood splatter on his clothes, Tommy claims that they hit a deer driving over. After dinner, they drive out into the country to find a dumping site when they hear a loud thumping noise coming from the trunk (this is the In Media Res scene that actually opens the movie; we then go through about an hour of material before we see the events leading up to it) It turns outt Batts is somehow still alive despite the beating. So to finish the guy off more permanently, Tommy stabs Batts eight times with a knife and Jimmy shoots him four times. Then they bury the body on the roadside.
    • This eventually gets Tommy killed right as he himself is going to become a made man, because you do not kill a made man without a sitdown and an okay from the boss.
    • It should be noted that such an incident did really happen with the person Tommy was based on, Tommy DeSimone, according to Henry Hill.
  • The Goonies. First when Mouth tells Chunk he has naked pictures of his mom taking a bath, real cheap, forcing Chunk to break the door open. Second, averted, when Chunk accidentally breaks the water cooler he was drinking from when Mouth thought of putting chocolate on the floor so he can eat through. "Okay Mouth, that's all I can stand and I can't stand no more!"
  • Guest from the Future: Don't call Werther the biorobot a tin can, especially when trying to charge past him. He will grab you, spin you over his head, and throw you across the room.
  • In the Halloween (2007) remake, don't tease Michael Myers about how his mom is a pole dancer.
  • Hancock. Call him an asshole. One. More. Time. Mary also has one. She doesn't like it when someone calls her crazy.
  • Cheat on Janine with a sexy aspiring singer in He's Just Not That Into You? She can rationalize it. Like smoking behind her strenously anti-smoking back? It's ON.
  • You can say whatever you like about Frank Hopkins, but leave his horse out of it. Or very, very bad things will happen.
  • In Highlander, Connor MacLeod's was when The Kurgan revealed he'd raped Heather — and then implied that she enjoyed it. Connor would have fought him on the spot if they hadn't been on holy ground.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Being the proud narcissist that he is, Smaug does not take kindly to those who question or insult his magnificence. The dwarves use this to their advantage, taunting and insulting him to distract him.
  • Hocus Pocus: The generally practical Winnifred Sanderson only fully unleashes her wrath on anyone who dares to call her "ugly," and tortures or pursues the offenders single-mindedly. This eventually leads to her own demise, and that of her sisters.
    The Nostalgia Chick: Oh, women and their priorities.
  • The Hulk/The Incredible Hulk: It's pretty much a given you won't like Dr. Bruce Banner when he's angry. Tormenting him is bad enough. Just look at Betty Ross the wrong way, however, and.... HULK SMASH!!!
  • In Enki Bilal's Immortal, Horus really doesn't like hearing Anubis' name. And no god can help you if you get them mixed up.
    Horus: Don't ever speak that jackal's name again, you understand? Only my name. Only me.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy does NOT like being called "Junior".
  • In Insomnia, the killer beat Kay to death because she pushed his. When she came to him for comfort after having a fight with her boyfriend, he came onto her. She laughed at him, and he reacted with violence.
  • The Invisible: Don't call Annie Newton "broken." You may find yourself beaten within an inch of your life and left in a sewer to die.
  • In Iron Man 3 Tony does not take the harming of his loved-ones maturely or even intelligently. Also, break stuff and die, as a Mook who smashed his friend Harley's sister's watch found out the hard way.
  • In The Italian Job 2003, "Don't mess with Mother Earth, Mother Nature, or the Mother-freakin' Ukrainians!"
  • If James Bond doesn't abuse his license to kill after you've harmed someone among his family or friends, you had seriously better be grateful.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: If you know what's good for you, it's never a good idea to insult Morris Day or his band The Time in front of Jay.
  • Kill Bill: Do not disparage the American or the Chinese side of O-Ren Ishii's heritage if you are attached to your head and wish to remain so.
    O-Ren Ishii: As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you're unconvinced that a particular plan of action I've decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is... I collect your fucking head. (shows Tanaka's head) Just like this fucker here. Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, NOW'S THE FUCKING TIME!
  • The 2005 remake of King Kong. When the group gets dropped into insect trench, there are two examples of this: the first is Lumpy, the chef, whose Heterosexual Life Partner Choy (who he was defending the whole film) dies from the fall. When the worms start coming from the mud, he's cut off from what other survivors there are, and surrounded by nightmarish creatures, they make the horrific mistake of trying to eat Choy's body. Lumpy proceeds to go Ax-Crazy with a machete, killing several of them even while one of them is eating his leg. He only gets killed when they've disabled one of his legs, an arm, and then got a hold of his head. And even then he's not screaming in terror: he's still swinging the machete while howling in anger.
    • The other is Carl, the director. It's debatable whether or not he genuinely valued the footage on the camera more than his crew, but it's indisputable that he was protecting it with his life, and the fall broke the camera, and ruined the film. He's got tears in his eyes and a look of utter despair... then he throws an off-screen elbow at something clawing at his side. Broken carapace flies around, and he promptly turns into Shaolin monk with a bo-staff as he smashes through the small bugs and cold-cocks a massive centipede-thing with one of the camera's tripod legs.
    • Not to mention Kong himself, who goes completely bananas when Ann is being threatened or taken away from him.
  • Professor Marcus, of The Ladykillers (1955), tends to flip when called 'crazy'. This is usually accompanied by an over-the-top crescendo of epic proportions from the score, and tell-tale looks of expectant horror on the faces of the gang. Luckily, something usually happens to interrupt Marcus.
    • Don't call One-Round stupid.
  • In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Big Chris is intimidating and aggressive, but ultimately calm and controlled in all his dealings. Until someone makes the mistake of threatening his son.
  • Lone Wolf McQuade: You can beat him, shoot him, bury him alive, and shoot his dog and maybe survive, but if you hurt his daughter, you will open the whole can of Chuck Norris whoopass.
  • In The Lord of the Rings movie, the entire Fellowship flips out when Frodo gets stabbed... again.
    • Sam always flips when Frodo gets threatened, injured, or the like. He's very protective of Frodo.
  • Lucky Bastard: Porn star Ashley Saint has an entire control panel of Berserk Buttons: Don't ask her out after the shoot's done. Don't address her by her real name. Don't mention her kids by their real names. And whatever you do, do NOT bring up her past as a Las Vegas hooker.
    • It's also a really bad idea to humiliate "Dave" (the titular "Lucky Bastard").
  • Machete: After seeing that his brother Padre has been killed, Machete sends this text to Padre's murderer:
    "You just fucked with the wrong Mexican"
  • In Maid To Order, if you value your job with him, do not bring up Stan Starkey's bandage.
  • In Man of Steel, the normally calm Clark goes nuts when Zod threatens Martha Kent.
    Superman: You think you can threaten my mother!?
  • In the film version of Mash, a player from the rival team tries to get one of the black players thrown out of the football game by hitting his Berserk Button (calling him a coon) and causing the player to attack him. Spearchucker Jones (played by Fred Williamson) decides that two can play at this game and suggests the player hit his Berserk Button by calling into question the virtue of his beloved sister. This other player attacks him and is himself thrown out.
  • The Matrix: Call Neo "Mr. Anderson" one more time, Agent Smith. See where it takes you.
  • In Meet the Feebles, Heidi's berserk button is Samantha, Bletch's secret mistress. During their 1st encounter, after Samantha insults her and says Bletch doesn't love her, she calls Samantha a pussy (she is a cat, after all), and throws her in a box. In their 2nd encounter, while Heidi is trying to commit suicide by machine gun, Samantha tells her Not with the Safety on, You Won't, and begins to leave. Heidi turns the gun on Samantha and kills her, starting Heidi on a murderous massacre.
  • The Bug in Men In Black didn't appreciate it whenever humans swatted or squashed members of his cockroach family. Really didn't appreciate it.
    • In the third movie, unless you want a spike through the face, don't call a certain Boglodite "Boris the Animal". "IT'S! JUST! BORIS!!!"
  • Mommie Dearest. Two words: Wire hanger.
  • Muppets from Space. Ed.
    Ed: STOP LAUGHING AT ME!
  • Jason REALLY doesn't appreciate Duncan saying the word "fuck" in Mystery Team.
  • The Naked Gun: Frank Drebin pummels the anti-America cabal members after they insult the United States as weak and cowardly. [1], [2], [3]
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? George "Babyface" Nelson is very chipper until someone calls him "Babyface." The real Nelson also hated the nickname, as one can imagine.
  • Office Space: Excuse me, I believe you have my Red Stapler.
    • If you happen to be a printer and are reading this, you may not want to jam... ever.
    • And DO NOT bring up Michael Bolton (No talent assclown.) to Michael Bolton.
  • Otamyas in Daft Queens does not "like... being... called... Mother... Fucker!"
  • Pain and Gain: Don't insult Danny's intelligence, background, or skills.
  • Phantom of the Paradise: Winslow goes ballistic any time it is mentioned/suggested that the Juicyfruits perform songs from his Cantata. The first time it's suggested by Philbin, he gets slammed against the wall. Later, assembling tiddlywinks in Sing-Sing Penitentiary, Winslow hears on the radio that the Juicyfruits will be opening the Paradise with his music: he bashes a guard unconscious and leaps into the production chute, escaping prison and attempting to trash the Juicyfruits' stored records.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Bootstrap seeing Will get stabbed by Davy Jones. He then proceeds to tackle Jones in a flying rage, allowing Captain Jack and Will to stab Davy's heart.
    • This seems to be Captain Teague's reaction to anyone who questions the Pirates' Code or proposes they ignore it for the sake of their own interests. An unfortunate Mook of one of the Pirate Lords learned this the hard way.
    • In the fourth film, Jack lunges for Barbossa's throat and has to be restrained when he learns that the Black Pearl has sunk while Barbossa was its captain.
    • Falling victim to an Indy Ploy, or Plan, or Batman Gambit of Jack's will be a surefire way to set the unwilling victim off.
  • Richard B. Riddick is already a psychopathic serial killer as it, but if you dare to even suggest harm towards children....Well, enjoy your death in record time.
    • The Pitch Black DVD special feature Johns Chase Log explains exactly why Riddick seems to harbour a large amount of animosity to Johns, compared to.... Well, nearly everyone else he meets. The way that Johns managed to draw out Riddick after months of chasing was to threaten to kill children at gun point until Riddick gave himself up. A moment of crossing the Moral Event Horizon if there ever was one. Johns almost certainly would have gone through with it if Riddick had called his bluff, judging by how quickly Johns decides that they should sacrifice the young child of the group.
    • You also don't want to kill a friend of his, because he will upgrade you from undead to full dead. Looking at you Irgun and Lord Marshall. The fight with the former lasted all of three seconds.
  • As revealed in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the Apes get angry and defensive (in one case violently so) when called "monkeys."
    • Don't try to get Zira to eat bananas.
    • Later, in 'Battle', the gorillas get really mad when humans say 'no'.
  • Gene Wilder's comic screen persona is largely based on the Berserk Button. He almost always plays characters who start out calm until something sets them off. He established this shtick in The Producers ("I'M HYSTERICAL!") and continued to use it in many of his subsequent roles.
  • In The Protector or Tom Yum Goong, you will not mess with Tony Jaa's elephants.
  • Pulp Fiction: Do NOT fuck Marsellus Wallace like a bitch (in fact, do NOT fuck him, period, unless your name happens to be Mia Wallace), or you will be fucked, all right—fucked like an unarmed idiot confronted by a pair of armed hitmen (one of whom happens to be erudite). If you're lucky, you'll just lose your L.A. privileges. If you're really unlucky (in the case of his rapist Zed), he will "get medieval on your ass."
  • In Punch-Drunk Love, Barry seems to have anger issues, lashing out in periodic bouts of impotent rage. After some thugs hurt Lena, we learn that he has been lashing out to manage his rage...because if he doesn't, he can be very, very dangerous.
  • There are a couple of things that tick off the kidnapped heroine and cause her to Take a Level in Badass in P2: seeing a video of her kidnapper/stalker molesting her, and then hearing him call her the c-word.
  • In the movie The Quick and the Dead, outlaw Dog Kelly is so named because of an incident in his Back Story where he was forced to eat his beloved dog or face starvation. Any mention of his nickname or the incident in question is a good way to seriously piss him off, as evidenced in the deleted scene when The Lady teases him about it.
    • Speaking of The Lady, she has two:
      • The first one is Herod, who she has sworn vengeance against for forcing her to try to Shoot the Rope to keep her father from being hanged when she was just a little girl, resulting in her shooting her father in the head instead.
      • The Lady also went for blood when her second opponent, Eugene Dred, raped Katie, the young girl who she had befriended and who looked up to her.
  • Do not call Jim Stark of Rebel Without a Cause "chicken." His overreaction to this insult gets him into a fair amount of trouble.
  • Red - Don't call Frank Moses "Grandpa".
    • Also don't call Marvin Boggs an old man.
    • Or break Frank's heart when Victoria has a gun.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera:
  • Do NOT piss off the Tarman. He will go after your brains. You should see the look on Scuz's face after Spider interrupted the Tarman's feast on Suicide's brains.
    Tarman: More! Brains!
  • In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar's berserk button was attacking Will or his father. He mangled their neighbor's finger when he got aggressive with Charles.
    • And Bright Eyes' was when she thought the humans were going after baby Caesar.
  • Rock 'n' Roll High School. Never try to burn a pile of your students' rock n roll records, or else they will take over the school with help from The Ramones.
  • Do NOT, under any circumstances, make Dr. Frank N Furter jealous. You WILL regret it.
    • This is evident when just simply seeing Rocky with Janet causes Frank to go into a psychotic rage and starts to chase Janet all over the castle.
      • Well, it wasn't just that Rocky was in the same general vicinity as Janet; it was that his creation had obviously slept with her. (Not that Frank's reaction was appropriate, and it was also pretty hypocritical given his routine seduction of Anything That Moves, but the distinction there is at least somewhat important.)
      • He also kills Eddie with a pick axe simply because Eddie was stealing the spotlight.
      • Eddie appearing was bad timing; he was showing off his invention, he used Eddie's brain for that and one of his lovers was Eddie's girlfriend and trying to get over Eddie at the time.
    • Making Riff-Raff jealous is just as bad...if not worse. Case in point, Richard O'Brien had stated in an interview that Riff's main reason for killing Frank was purely out of jealousy.
  • If you insult C.D.'s nose in Roxanne, prepare to be shown up, then decked!
  • Saps At Sea - in this Laurel and Hardy film, do NOT blow a horn of any sort in Ollie's presence. After his nerve-shredding work in a horn factory, the merest sounding of one - "Horns! HORNS!!!" - will turn him into a terrifying berserker ready to beat the crap out of whoever was responsible.
  • Scanners: Darryl Revok does not sound like Dr. Ruth. He sounds like Revok. Darryl. Revok. ...Er, that's not a reference to the sex-talk Dr. Ruth, by the way.
  • Two things are guaranteed to set off Tony Montana of Scarface. The first is trying to kill a woman or child in his presence, or trying to make him do the same, as he "doesn't need that shit in his life," as a hitman working for Sosa learns the hard way. He also gets increasingly violent whenever anyone so much as touches his sister Gina, to the point that when he caught his buddy Manny with her (after he had married her without Tony's knowledge), Tony gunned him down.
  • David Greene in School Ties is a perfectly nice, polite guy until you say something anti-Semitic around him.
  • Serenity:
    • While River's rampage at the Maidenhead bar triggered by a Fruity Oaty Bars commercial was very much a Manchurian Agent style activation of her assassin abilities, the same cannot be said about Simon getting shot by the Reavers during the film's climax, where she got very angry, very calmly.
    • Mal and Zoe also have a Berserk Button in regards to Serenity Valley. When Jayne, in the middle of ripping Mal's leadership abilities, accuses him of getting everyone on his side killed in that battle, Zoe, the other major survivor of the battle, gives him a high-quality Death Glare and tells him very calmly, "You want to leave this room." Jayne gets the hint and backs off.
    • Simon has a general Berserk Button as well in regards to River being put in danger. After the first job Mal takes her on during the movie, a job which almost gets everyone on the job eaten by Reavers, Simon hauls off and decks Mal when he and the others make it back to Serenity.
  • In Sightseers, Chris is driven to murder by a man who drops an ice cream wrapper in a museum and won't pick it up.
  • Never tell Freeman Lowell (in the film Silent Running) that plants don't matter. Or imply that synthetic food is better than the grown kind. Ever.
  • Sky High: Gwen/Sue Tenny/Royal Pain hates when Stitches calls her "Daddy's little girl".
  • Jamal Malik of Slumdog Millionaire remains calm, friendly, sweet and honest throughout most of the film. He even retains his composure while the Indian police are torturing him. However, if someone insults or harms Latika, the girl he loves, he becomes a whirling flurry of fists and angry directed at the source of the transgression.
  • In Snatch, you don't ever want to hurt a pikey's family. It may not be immediate, but your demise is a foregone conclusion.
    Turkish: For every action, there is a reaction. And a pikey reaction … is quite a fucking thing.
  • There's a lovely scene in Sneakers where a guard makes the mistake of addressing Donald Crease note  as "Midnight".
    Crease (in an extraordinarily quiet and controlled voice): Did I ever tell you why I left the CIA?
    Mother: Umm ... no.
    Crease (still in the same very quiet voice): My temper.
  • Spaceballs:
    Princess Vespa: My hair! He shot my hair! Son of a bitch!
    • Emphasized by her quickly going from someone who Doesn't Like Guns to someone who can use one on them like a Marine.
  • In Space Jam, Lola Bunny goes into a basket-busting frenzy whenever anyone calls her "Doll."
    • Michael Jordan has a few of these: Don't call him wussy man, don't call him chicken, don't call him washed up, and especially don't call him baldy. If you think his head blew there get ready for the big one: Don't hit Tweety in front of him.
  • In 2002's Film/Spider-Man, the Green Goblin hits Peter/Spidey's Berserk Button when he says exactly what he's gonna do to Mary-Jane after he kills Peter.
    Green Goblin: You've spun your last web, Spider-Man. Had you not been so selfish, your little girlfriend's death would have been quick and painless, but now that you've REALLY pissed me off... I'm gonna finish her nice and slow...
    • Cue Peter suddenly blocking what would have been a fatal attack from the Goblin, disarming him, BRINGING AN ENTIRE WALL DOWN on top of him, and generally beating him nearly to death, to the point where the Goblin has to BEG HIM TO STOP. Geez.
  • Teddy Duchamp in Stand by Me goes from mocking to frothing in seconds if you insult his dad's sanity. This is an odd case, since his dad once disfigured him on purpose.
    • Later in the movie, Vern flips out on Teddy when Teddy calls him "pussy" one too many times.
  • The 2009 Star Trek movie.
    • It is perfectly okay to talk shit about Commander Spock's Momma... as long as you do it while he's under heavy sedatives and has all four limbs tied down. Otherwise, you are going to get curb-stomped. Epically.
    • Kirk was intentionally trying to find a Berserk Button on Spock to show that he was 'emotionally compromised'. He still probably didn't expect what he got when he found it.
    • Captain Nero seems in command of his emotions until you get on the subject of the destruction of Romulus. Which he saw happen. Nero will get very angry if anyone suggests to him that it didn't get destroyed in this timeline. And bad things tend to happen to...well, the universe when Nero gets pissed off.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
    • Spock when Kirk dies from radiation poisoning from having to enter the energy core to manually fix the Enterprise after Khan shot it. Beating Khan to death, considering Spock was all originally for a fair trial for Khan, until Uhura tells him to stop is some serious berserk button issues.
    • Unless you wish to face the wrath of Lieutenant Uhura, do not hurt Spock. You have been warned.
      • Also, lest you wish to face the wrath of the Klingons and Lieutenant Uhura, do not interrupt Uhura while she's negotiating with the Klingons.
    • Threatening Khan's crew or implying that they're dead is a seriously bad idea. Admiral Marcus found that one out the hard way.
  • Star Wars
    • In Return of the Jedi, Luke is trying to keep his anger in check to avoid falling to The Dark Side, but then Vader threatens to do something Leia, who is the only family he has left. What happens next seems to take Vader by surprise as he cuts off Vader's sentence, knowing Vader was about to say she will turn, or another terrible thing would happen to her.
    • Before Anakin turns to the dark side, touch Anakin's loved ones and DIE. Even after he turns loved ones are still a Berserk Button. See the beginning of his duel with Obi-Wan. At the end of Return of the Jedi, what's strong enough to break Vader's addiction to the Dark Side? His Berserk Button regarding the death of one of his family, even one he's barely seen for over 20 years and never really knew, that's what.
  • Subverted in Straw Dogs: Dustin Hoffman does go completely homicidal when the lads try to break into his house, but he remains entirely calm throughout.
  • The Streetfighter has two buttons: welchers ("I despise people who don't keep their promises!") and the Yakuza. The end result of being either of the two is always the same: he'll fuck you up.
  • Stuart Little: Don't call Stuart a rat around George.
  • Tall Tale - You can insult Pecos Bill or his friends. You can even insult his momma, or his horse. But don't you EVER insult Texas.
  • The mere mention of Teddy Ruxpin will cause the titular character in Ted to kick your ass!
  • The titular character's outcry of They Call Me Mister Tibbs is a good example. Call him Mr.Tibbs and it'll be much easier.
  • This Is England. Don't mention the Falklands War in front of Shaun.
  • Thor:
    • Loki threatening Jane is what finally pushes Thor over the edge and makes him fight.
    • Thor is grudgingly willing to leave Jotunheim without a fight, until one of the Frost Giants calls him "Princess". Then it's on. This is the Wolverine of the Norse Pantheon. He was the embodiment of the rowdiest, strongest, most fearsome Norse warriors - berserkers. It's carried through in the adaptations.
      • Becomes funnier when you see the look on Thor's companions' faces when it happens. Loki puts it best: "Damn".
    • As of The Avengers, don't tell Thor to put his hammer down. As Cap found out, he'll put it down...on your head.
    • Pretty much any insult will push Thor to a towering rage, at least before he learns humility in his banishment to Earth. Although he does still go nuts against Tony Stark (after the latter has turned and started to walk away) for calling him a "tourist."
  • Another man whose horse you shouldn't insult, even slightly: D'Artagnan from The Three Musketeers. He won't even challenge you to a duel; he'll just charge with intent to run you through. At least, that's what he does in the Douglas Fairbanks incarnation (1921).
    • Meh, what a snapweed. In the Russian movie he simply responds with a witty remark: "You only ridicule a horse if you are too afraid to ridicule its owner."
    • The funniest thing about that is that D'Artagnan is fully aware of what a crummy horse it is — he sells it the minute he gets to Paris. He's just looking for an excuse to run somebody through.
  • In 1944, both The Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello made use of an even older vaudeville routine (allegedly created by Joey Faye) in which the words "Niagara Falls" serve as a trigger for a violent outburst by one of the characters. A variation of the same routine (the keyword was "Martha") showed up in an episode of I Love Lucy, too.
    "NIAGARA FALLS!! Sloooooooooowly I turned....."
    Step by step... inch by inch...
  • The author from Throw Momma from the Train has absolutely no intention of doing what the title suggests, no way no how, until Mama suggests a better phrase for his book than either of the two he'd been trying to choose between.
  • Tokyo Zombie: "He did it to you, didn't he?" - said by Mii-chan to Fujio a few times, then used to get him mad in the final fight.
  • Don't you dare harm any human in front of Optimus Prime, especially humans who are particularly close to him. He WILL scare the crap out of you, like what he did to Sector Seven, who kidnapped Sam and Mikaela. Or beat you senseless, like what he did to Megatron, Starscream and Grindor when they captured Sam and tried to get his brain. he destroyed the Fallen, who was endangering the whole human race. And brutally cleaving Megatron's head in half and then using the latter's gun to blow Sentinel Prime's head off for slaughtering thousands of people and several of his friends.
  • Reginald Charming of Tricky People behaves fairly professionally for much of his screentime. However, as Lyric discovers the hard way, lying to him is a quick way to send him over the edge.
  • In the Norwegian Found Footage film The Troll Hunter, the titular Trolls become psychotically violent and aggressive if they can smell Christians in the vicinity. Apparently, it comes from when Christianity arrived in pagan Scandinavia and began pushing out the old beliefs; the Trolls, who have lived in Scandinavia since ancient times, must view Christians as an invading threat to their habitat.
  • In True Romance, mafia gangster Vincenzo Coccotti is called in to find Clarence Worley, who killed a pimp in his employ and unwittingly took off with the mob's drugs. Vincenzo pays a visit to Clarence's father Clifford. Knowing that Vincenzo is going to kill him no matter what, Clifford endeavors to piss him off so that he'll die without giving up the location of his son, which he does by going into one hell of a speech about how "Sicilians were spawned from niggers." And it works.
  • Undercover Brother:
    • "You mess with the fro, you got to go."
    • Conspiracy Brother has a Hair-Trigger Temper and flips out at seemingly random word choices that have an etymological connection to color. Undercover Brother tells him "Good morning," accusing Undercover Brother of being a spy. According to Conspiracy Brother, the word "good" comes from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word for white, and the expression "good morning" is actually code for killing black people.
    • Mr. Feather, when he realizes that he's being subconsciously influenced by black culture.
    • Lance, the meek Token White member of the BROTHERHOOD. When he's called a "sissy," he pulls a man's heart out of his chest, rips another guy's head and spinal column clean out of his body (c.f. the title creature in Predator 2), and squashes the speaker's head between his hands.
  • In The Untouchables, in what seems to be a bit of a Delayed Reaction to a berserk button, Al Capone talks about "enthusiasms... enthusiasms... enthusiasms...", and then he brings out a baseball bat, and then... oh, my!
    • And in the same film, the mostly calm Eliot Ness finally cracks and shoves Frank Nitti off a roof when he brags about he'll walk free from court after killing Malone.
  • The whole plot of the movie The Waterboy.
  • An unusually dark, but still funny example in Where the Truth Lies: "You call any Jew on this planet anything you like, but nobody calls my partner a kike! You understand?" Vince is repeatedly bludgeoning the man's increasingly bloody face against the floor as he says it.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Eddie Valiant does not work for Toons.
    • Also, don't even think about sitting in his brother's chair. It's an Empty Chair Memorial for Teddy and he doesn't want it disturbed.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Do not call "Mad Max" at home on Tuesday nights when The Equalizer is on.
  • X-Men:
    • Hank McCoy. In X-Men: First Class, it's taunting his looks when he's in his Beast form.
      • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, he flies into a murderous rage after Magneto attempts to kill Mystique. He still harbours feelings for her.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine:

      Wolverine himself has a berserk button, which is when Kayla is in danger at any point.

      Fred J. Dukes has a weight disorder. Try not to say anything about it.
    Logan: C'mon, bub. For old times' sake!
    Dukes: ...Did you just call me... BLOB??
    • In X-Men: First Class telling Magneto that men were "Just following orders." sends him into a murderous rage.
    • In The Wolverine, threatening people Logan cares about will make him go berserk, which is pretty normal. Causing unwarranted suffering on wild fauna, however, also puts him on a violent warpath.

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