A good rule of thumb is: don't go after Kim Bauer. Don't threaten Kim Bauer, don't make disparaging remarks towards Kim Bauer, don't touch Kim Bauer, don't look at Kim Bauer in a less than friendly way. Don't even think slightly negative thoughts about Kim Bauer if you value your various limbs. Even if she spends most of her time on the show Trapped by Mountain Lions.
30 Rock: If you eat Liz Lemon's food, she'll cut you so bad you'll have a chin. You'll all have chins!
Devon Banks: You don't tell me what kind of pizza to like!
The $20,000 Pyramid: Unsurprisingly, after this incident (horrible video quality), William Shatner (yes, that William Shatner) never appeared on the show again. Basically, Shatner accidentally blurted out the answer and lost the contestant $20,000. He...well, goes berzerk and throws his chair and pounds the railing and generally flails around a while because he's upset at himself.
Didn't have these too often, but Malloy let a suspect have it once in 'X Force' when the guy kept saying the girl he kidnapped and molested was asking for it. It got him four days suspension.
Reed doesn't like anyone trying to hurt his wife. The situation with the biker gang in the ghost town in 'A Sound Like Thunder' had to be handled carefully due to what they were up against, but Reed did get mad when they caught the gang's leader and he said something to Jean.
Malloy doesn't take kindly to Dirty Cop stuff, and he ratcheted it up quite a few degrees in an ep where the cop was involved in blackmail and dragged Pete into it, trying to use their friendship. In the final scene, he tried to say Pete owed him because he'd saved Pete's life twice, and that only made Pete even madder.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Agent Coulson has two buttons. The first button is pressed in "The Girl in the Flower Dress" when he finds out that Skye had betrayed his trust, and he grills her for her darkest secret at the end of the episode. The second button is pressed in "FZZT" when Agent Simmons attempts suicide by cargo bay and Agent Ward dives out to save her life. Agent Coulson explodes at themfor that stunt; apart from the complications that arose with the government near the spot where they landed in the water, he's extremely concerned about their well-being and considers especially Agent Simmons to be irreplaceable.
Commander Adama's is when people threaten his crew — comes with being a True Companion. It's most obvious in the second season, when Helo and Tyrol are facing execution for accidentally killing another officer, so he almost goes to war with the superior battlestar Pegasus to get them back.
Speaking of Helo, don't ever call his wife or daughter a "toaster." Nor should you call him a "toasterfrakker."
And as evidenced in season 4.5, do not keep Laura Roslin from talking to her people. Do not cut off Laura Roslin's wireless. And especially do NOT tell Laura Roslin you've just killed her boyfriend, Admiral Adama. She will be COMING. FOR. ALL. OF. YOU.
You can kick Felix Gaeta out of the military and leave him stranded on New Caprica to lose his faith in Gaius Baltar day by soul-destroying day, attempt to throw him out of an airlock on charges of betraying the humanity he's largely responsible for saving, expect him to take orders from people who tried to murder him, send him off on a fool's mission under an unstable commander whom he despises (and in company with most of the people who tried to murder him), shoot his leg half off and refuse to take him back to medical care in time to save it, send him straight back on duty after the amputation with barely enough time to recover, kill yourself almost in front of his eyes (if you're his best friend) and force him to face terrible truths about the past by murdering his shipmates one by one, and he'll just get bitterer and snarkier. But don't make the mistake of telling him that the people who survived the Cylon occupation of New Caprica are going to be forced to live under Cylon occupation again and like it. Or at least, make sure you're not holding a loaded military while you do. Because if you are, he will take about three-fifths of it away from you, aim it very precisely in your direction, and let go. With prejudice.
Harming Gaius Baltar's friends in any way will show you why most people on the show are actually shit-scared of him. He stormed into a pagan temple and trashed the place, shot John Cavil and drove the Cylons to the brink of extinction. Threatening children will also send him dangerously close to the edge. Remember when Sharon Agathon tried to take Hera? He forced her at the point of a gun to turn the child over to him and the Cylons. Insulting him or threatening his life will also probably result in mass destruction as well.
The Big Bang Theory: Howard Wolowitz doesn't like being reminded that he doesn't have a PhD. Every time he tries to start something, Leonard tells him to sit down and he complies. He might not have a PhD but he recognises he's too puny to do anything about it.
Sheldon has numerous examples:
Perhaps it would be best to begin with an in-universe listing...
Raj: What did you do? Did you change the contrast or brightness settings on the television?
Raj: Did you take a Band-Aid off in front of him?
Howard: Did you buy generic ketchup, forget to rinse the sink, talk to him through the bathroom door?
Raj: Adjust the thermostat, cook with cilantro, pronounce the T in often?
Don't mention Wil Wheaton around Sheldon, unless you want a "WHEEEEEAAAATOOOOOONNN!" that would make Shatner proud. They made up at the end of "The Russian Rocket Reaction" and are now good friends (according to Sheldon, anyways). Unfortunately, Brent Spiner then inadvertently replaces Wil Wheaton on Sheldon's Mortal Enemy list.
Don't threaten or hurt Bones. Because if you do, it might be a little too late to realize a certain FBI agent, who's quite fond of Bones, is right behind you, shoving a gun into your mouth or doing much worse things to you. Same with Bones herself. Do anything to hurt Booth and she'll come over to kick you to kingdom come.
If you harm Shirley Schmidt, the staff of CP&S will bring its formidable legal skills down on your poor unfortunate self, led by Alan Shore and Denny Crane. The end results are... unpleasant.
Make fun of Denny Crane — or try to fire him — and Shirley herself will do whatever is necessary to ensure neither ever happens again, with only this explanation necessary — "I'm Schmidt."
Don't mess with Alan. Denny will shoot you. He's done it before. Twice. Likewise, don't insult, belittle, undermine, or otherwise screw with Denny. Like Shirley, Alan will utterly destroy you. Alan's other berserk buttons include wild salmon, civil rights, and any time the little guy is being brought down by the big guy.
Attacking Walter White's Pride and massive ego gradually becomes a bigger one over the series. At first, he shows minor annoyance to it. He eventually makes really stupid and illogical moves because of it, and culminates when he murders Mike for doing it.
Harming a child is a good way to send Jesse Pinkman into a near homicidal rage.
Mayor Wilkins, season 3's Big Bad, tends to lean toward the Affably Evil end of things: insisting on good hygiene from his minions, reading newspaper funny pages, refraining from profanity, and giving Buffy and Angel seemingly genuinely well-meant relationship advice. Then his enforcer, Faith, is put in a coma. He actually tries to smother Buffy right in the middle of the hospital. In front of a nurse. When Angel tries to stop him, he goes so far as to call Buffy a whore. And he was the only villain who actually wanted to keep all the fighting and death a secret. Before this, when Faith has gone missing and her apartment is a warzone, the mayor tells his minion to find her, and the minion tries to remind him of the upcoming Ascension. Cue the first time he ever loses his cool, and the only time in his entire run that he ever yells.
In season 3, the Mayor interrupts the Scoobies' meeting in the library. He threatens Buffy and before you can say "Who's your Watcher?" Giles has shoved a sword through his chest. (It's just a shame Wilkins is invulnerable by that point.) If you want to fuck with Buffy, you're going to have to fuck with her badass, daddy figure of a Watcher. Vice versa as well. If you try to screw with Giles, you're going to have to screw with Buffy too.
Faith's coma was the result of her hitting Buffy's Berserk Button — harming Angel. When Spike did so in season 2, he barely survived. The reverse:
Spike: "We all have obsessions, Angel. I believe yours is called... "Slutty" the Vampire Slayer."
The Scooby Gang is one giant Berserk Button. Hurt one of them, and they will all hunt you down. This sometimes works against them, however. When one of their own harms another one of their own, chaos ensues.
Harmony may be an idiot, but that doesn't give you a license to insult her unicorns.
Interestingly, later in the series, Angel is Faith's Berserk Button — don't insult him or endanger him. She even tells Wesley she won't kill him when he's Angelus, because Angel is the only one who never gave up on her.
Cordelia is also Angel's berserk button, at least until she dies.
Fred's discovery of who sent her to Pylea causes a complete change in her personality, including using harsh language for the first time.
Insulting, threatening, or otherwise harming Fred is a surefire way to discover just how badass Wesley has become. And suggesting that you don't want to work on saving her from the demon that's killing her? That'll earn you a nice shot to the kneecaps.
Do not mention coffins to Angel. It is an offensive stereotype popularized by hack writers and ignorant media.
Being called a eunuch is also a big one for Angel.
Gwen being called a freak. "That's my word. And I get cranky when people like you use it."
For reasons that are easily grasped (being tossed into a giant hell portal as an infant), Connor really doesn't like magic.
Bad parenting is another one for Connor. He talks a suicidal cop off a ledge, only to discover a family photo in his wallet. He then proceeds to turn the cop's face into hamburger.
Michael Weston has two major berserk buttons. One is messing with his family (or Sam or Fiona, who are as good as at this point), the other is abused children. And you do not want to mess with Michael when he's angry.
Madeline: For two little boys getting knocked around by their stepfather? Michael would take on the whole Chinese army.
And if you value your continued existence, you will never, EVER, harm a child or even TALK about doing it around Fiona. She will sacrifice the entire mission, break cover, simply to crush you with her bare hands.
You do not screw over or kill any of Sam's buddies, he will ruin your life and/or kill you regardless of consequences.
You should really think twice (or ten times) before destroying Michael Westin's life. Five seasons later, your entire organization has been systematically dismantled and destroyed.
Cases of the 1st Department: Mjr. Vaclav Plisek gets furious when he learns that the case they're investigating was a practical joke. He's this close to beating the guys up because it's waste of money and their effort.
Richard Castle will let a lot of things slide. But if you so much as consider harming one ginger hair on his daughter Alexis' head? Screw the rules, he will bring all of his many connections down on your head. And it will hurt.
The same now applies to Kate Beckett.
For Beckett, it's betraying her and hurting her mentor.
"Royce said hell would rain down, didn't know hell looked like you."
And for the first five seasons, trying to mislead her on her mother's murder would not be advised; she nearly put a Scary Black Man suspect through the two-way mirror.
For Det. Valens, crimes against children; his brother was molested as a child. He also goes basically psychotic when confronted with a serial rapist who attacked his mother, and it's even implied he manipulated] several people to ensure the man would be killed in prison.
For Lt. Stillman, crimes against members of the Armed Forces; he was in Vietnam. This extends to non-criminal mistreatment of veterans as well, as seen in "Honor" where he is more disgusted with one of the witnesses, who impersonated a POW, than he is with the killer, who was more or less a scared teenager at the time.
For Det. Vera, rape; he bungled a high-profile rape-murder case, which got it thrown out, and has been haunted by it ever since.
And for Det. Jeffries, it's accusations of being an "Uncle Tom;" more than once a suspect has attempted a Breaking Speech in interrogation about how he is a "traitor" for becoming a cop despite growing up poor and black, which is usually replied to with a Death Glare and a Reason You Suck Speech.
The team has a lot of berserk buttons, both individual and shared:
As a team, each other, but especially Reid, who as the youngest they all feel protective of.
Prentiss: Screw protocol, Reid's in trouble!
Hotch, JJ and Morgan share a common berserk button towards anybody who hurts children. Morgan is especially terrifying when faced with child molesters.
And don't forget the biggest one of all: "I'm going to kill you. And then I'm going to find that bastard son of yours. And then I'm going to show him his two dead parents, and then I'm going to tell him that it was all your fault. And then I'm going to—AAAH!" And mayhem ensues. Oh does it ever.
Reid over-identifies with bullied young killers and tends to go berserk on those who he feels should have been able to help them.
Morgan is also really terrifying towards anyone who ever tries to harm Garcia.
If you mess with Hotch's family, he will LOSE HIS SHIT, as seen in the Reaper arc. That also goes for JJ, as demostrated in the season seven finale.
Elle in Season 1 went pretty psycho in "Broken Mirror". Early on in the episode the UnSub says "You're no threat to anyone." Later on, she pushes him to the ground and, uh... persuades him (read: threatens to crush his dick) to tell her where the kidnapped girl is.
Speaking of Elle... "Aftermath", anyone? She murders someone. A rapist, but still, it was clear murder.
Reid got spicy with the UnSub's father in "The Uncanny Valley".
Reid: These girls are what, like nine... nine or twelve years old, I'm assuming?
Doctor: My PhD is on the effect of trauma on prepubescent girls. I do not appreciate what you're implying.
Reid: Oh, I'm not — I'm not implying anything. I'm making an inference. An inference is an educated guess, and based on that, I form a hypothesis. For instance, my hypothesis here is that after you raped your daughter, you submitted her to electroshock treatments to make sure she stayed quiet.
Doctor: ...This is outrageous.
Reid: And then, out of guilt you bought her toys... more specifically, you bought her a line of dolls. Because that's what serial molesters do, they give gifts. So you continued the pattern with your other patients, and then once they left your care you added their toys to your collection.
Doctor: I'm sorry. You can't back up your story... *Doctor*.
Reid: This is why I love my job, *Doctor*, uh... because my lab, it's a jury of your peers. My tests will be Jenny Larson, Abigail Moore and Linda Kraus. The DA will put them on the stand and I'm gonna personally bring these dolls in and we're gonna watch how they react.
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Prophet isn't real fond of child molesters either. To the point where he spent six years, three months, and four days in San Quentin Prison for killing one.
Gil Grissom can converse coolly with rapists, child abusers, murderers, arsonists, and serial killers without breaking a sweat. But hurt Sara, and Unstoppable Rage doesn't even begin to describe it. The Miniature Killer is lucky to be alive. In the first season, Grissom cites three Berserk Buttons he has.
Grissom: "There's three things I got a real problem with: Guys that hit their wives, sexual assault on children and the scum that deal death to kids."
This is very true - however, Grissom will merely coolly destroy the lives of anyone stupid enough to attempt the above. It isn't until Sara is taken that viewers see precisely what happens when Grissom goes off the deep end.
Tampering with a crime scene he's been assigned to is another good way to get Grissom angry with you.
The hurting kids thing also goes for Catherine. And specifically do not attempt to harm Lindsey Willows, or Mama Bear Catherine will personally tear you apart.
Nick gets into the act as well with child attackers, due to his own childhood.
A word of advice to anyone planning to hurt a child in Miami-Dade County — don't. Just... don't. Or Horatio Caine will personally ensure you regret it for the rest of your existence... provided you still have one, that is.
Especially if that person was named Marisol. He would follow you all the way to Brazil to get his vengeance.
And if by some miracle you manage to evade Horatio and his Sunglasses Of Justice, a certain Mr. Dexter Morgan will take great delight in setting up a nocturnal playdate for you and his Dark Passenger....
Do not make any attempt to harm either Danny or Lindsay. They're not fun to make angry on their own, the rest of the team will come after you anyway, and Shane Casey would attest if he were still alive that the other half of the couple will hunt you down and personally shoot you unless Mac can hold them back. And it will get worse if you hurt Lucy. (especially since Mac's her godfather...)
And do not make any negative remarks about the Marines around Mac. Or harm children. He isn't fond of Dirty Cops either, or people who hurt cops. He told the guy who shot the mounted officer in 'Officer Blue' that if it were up to him, he'd shoot the guy right there without a trial.
Or be someone who hurts women when Stella's on the case.
It's not a good idea to shoot/hurt/kill any member of the team. The others will hunt you down, with Mac in the lead. Shooting Mac himself is ten times worse, just ask the chick who did it at the end of season 8. You will be lucky to make it to a trial. Happened with Aiden's death too-Danny would have beat up the guy he thought did it badly if not for Mac warning him to do things right if he wanted a conviction.
Do not kill Flack's girlfriend. He will kill you.
Do not diss Danny in front of Lindsay. Even if it's just over the way he's playing hockey.
Spectator: Messer, you suck!
Lindsay: *jumps to her feet, whirls around and glares at them* You wanna come down here and say that?
Do not hurt Mac's girlfriend. He nearly trampled a number of techs running down the hall after someone clobbered Peyton and stole a body she was bringing into the morgue. And you will be lucky to live if you kidnap and threaten to kill Christine,his girlfriend as of S8. It's one of the few things that can push Mac close to forgetting he's a cop.
One of comedy host Jon Stewart's major hot buttons is gay rights. When he was "interviewing" the show's senior black correspondent Larry Wilmore on the subject of the black community's opposition to gay marriage, Stewart got very worked up and aggressive, despite the fact that the "interview" was pre-planned and comedic.
"You know, I just want to say to [Sarah Palin], just very quickly... Fuck you. I've never seen someone with a greater disparity between how cute they sound when they're saying something and how terrible what they're saying is. 'Don't ya know, Obama, by golly, he just is a terrorist? What? Oh, you know, he just, gosh, kills babies, you know.' I'm so over the idea that only small-town America is the heart and soul. Small-town America is fine, but it's the same as cities. Cities are just a lot of towns piled on top of each other in one place. They have this whole thing that somehow we can write off entire swaths of the country, that we are somehow... I get it. You know, New York City wasn't good enough for fucking Osama bin Laden, it better be good enough for you. I can't take it anymore. After eight years of this divisiveness, we're back to this idea that only small-town America is the real America. I get it. I'm from New York. We have a lot of gay people. But homosexuals don't have sodomy on Russian flags."
Deadwood: Do NOT accuse Dan Dority of being scared of you. He'll tear your damn eyeball out of your head, and let you flop around in the muck screaming for a little while before he bludgeons you to death.
You do NOT call Ace small. She will hurt you. With a bat. And Nitro-9.
Perhaps the biggest one. If you know what's good for you, don't hurt the Doctor's friends or be needlessly evil. You're lucky if all you get is a verbal beatdown. You're arguably also lucky if he kills you. He can do worse. Much worse.
Commander Strax: Colonel Manton, you will give the order for your men to withdraw.
The Doctor: No. Colonel Manton, I want you to tell your men to run away.
If you tell Jacob Kewper that smuggling is bad, your only hope of surviving is if he owes you a favour.
Don't tell the Sixth Doctor he's got no fashion sense. Really, it's a very bad idea.
While the Daleks are pretty much set to berserk all the time, at least in voice, Rose managed to piss Dalek Sec off so badly that he momentarily forgot that he needed her alive to open the Genesis Ark. That's what happens when you take credit for killing the Dalek Emperor. She did this on purpose, of course.
Don't threaten, hurt, kidnap, or in any other way harm Ian Chesterton's friends. He will do anything to keep them safe. Especially Barbara.
The Fourth Doctor's Berserk Button, as revealed in the arc "Nightmare in Eden", was drug dealers. The Tranquil Fury that radiated from him when he learned that a scientist was trafficking in a powerful narcotic was palpable.
Don't make fun of the Fifth Doctor's celery. Okay, granted, he doesn't go full-on Ax-Crazy on you, but he will get angry. And he doesn't get angry very often, so that's kind of a big deal.
Captain Cook from The Greatest Show in the Galaxy is, in fact, a crashing bore. However, saying so to his face is not a good idea.
Word to the wise, don't kill the Doctor. The resulting fury emanating from River Song will cause a Dalek to plead for mercy.
Another word of advice - do. Not. Touch. Amy. Even hugging her for more than 10 seconds without Rory's permission will, chances are, get you sliced in half via Roman training or shot. Sure, it hasn't happened on screen yet, but the Last/Lone Centurion isn't one you want angry.
Sgt. Friday was similar to Gil Grissom... child abusers, killers of women and people who deal drugs to kids would really get him going.
And if he was asking you a question, it wasn't a good idea to play funny or try to annoy him. He was too straight laced a cop to break regulations, but he would lean on you verbally and get in your face about it. Bill pretty much described it in one episode.
Gannon: When my partner leans, he goes in hard and deep enough to strike oil.
ER: If you bring your son into Cook County General Hospital, please do not leave evidence that you've hurt him where Doug Ross can see it unless you want to become a patient there yourself.
Extant: John is normally a calm, rational man (maybe too much, in fact), but insult Ethan and all bets are off. When asked if he has a termination protocol in case the project goes off the rails, he angrily asks if the questioner has a plan in place to murder her daughter. When the woman defends her choice by saying her daughter has a soul and Ethan doesn't, John repeatedly calls her an idiot.
D'Argo - Don't. Just don't. His species has what's called Hyper-rage. ‘nuff said.
Stark - He's insane already. It doesn't take much to tip him over the edge, although he will most likely fall into a BSOD most of the time. Just don’t mention Scorpy.
Zhaan - She is a VERY spiritual being and has utmost control of her emotions. When that control slips...find another galaxy to live in.
Crais - Don't kill his brother. His button will get stuck in the on position for a very long time if you do.
Scorpius - Don't threaten his life's ambition to destroy the Scarrens which means don't threaten his quest for wormhole technology which means don't try to take or kill John.
Moya – Very Gentle until it comes to something threatening her son. Then she becomes a Starship sized Mama Bear.
Father Ted: While playing himself, Richard Wilson is portrayed as reacting violently whenever someone repeats his catchphrase as Victor Meldrew to him. The actor himself admits that this (much like anyone else haunted by a well-known catchphrase) is something that spills over to real life.
Kaylee behaves similarly to Scotty above, and is ready to fight a garrison of Feds for insulting Serenity. Also, whatever you do, do not threaten or turn on any member of Mal's crew. If you're lucky, he'll just shoot you. But if you aren't, he's more than willing to throw you out the airlock or worse. This is important enough to be reiterated, just DON'T go after any member of Mal's crew. I don't care if it seems like a good idea at the time, it's not, it never will be and he will kill you dead. In particular, do not under any circumstances harm (or even threaten) Kaylee. Not only will Mal kill the living snot out of you, the rest of the crew will help.
Never mind, the entire crew is this to Kaylee, too.
Inara does not take kindly to being called a whore — as she will tell you, the term is "Companion." Her anger about it, however, is mild compared to Mal — his response to Atherton implying that Inara was a whore in "Shindig" was to haul off and deck him.
Mal attacking Atherton also falls under his "don't insult my crew" thing. As he states later, he's allowed to call Inara a whore because he's just disrespecting her profession, whereas Atherton was disrespecting her.
Don't refer to the Independents' involvement and eventual defeat in the war as anything but heroic around Zoe or Mal. Actually, just don't mention it, it's safer just to keep your mouth shut.
Agent Dimitri Noh and Dr. Olivia Benson do not want to hear what your flashforward was, or how you think it's important, because neither of them want their own flashforward to come true. Olivia went berserk to the point that she nearly killed a patient because she didn't want to believe his flashforward held some significance to correctly diagnosing him.
Do not under any circumstances tell Demetri that he can't fight fate, that you won't answer questions that might pertain to his impending murder, or that you can't get vital information about it.
Do not lie to Joey, especially if you are his best friend. It happens quite a few times with Chandler.
Don't tell Rachel she and Ross were on a break either. On the other hand, don't tell Ross that they weren't on a break.
Don't mess about on any sailing boat Rachel's on. She's inherited her father's intolerance for not respecting the dangers of being at sea.
Full House: If you are drinking around D.J. Tanner, do not attempt to drive. She will prevent you by any means possible (in part because her mother died in a drunk driving accident years earlier).
Full Metal Jousting: When Josh is on the verge of losing a match, his coach tells him "You're stealing a hundred thousand dollars from your daughter." Cue a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
The show's host, really hates sloppy lance control for a number of reasons. During latter episodes, you could hear him get more and more disgusted with lance to lance parries that resulted in mere touches on the scoring plate of the each other's armor.
Game of Thrones: Do not threaten Daenerys Targaeryn or her unborn child. Her warlord husband will end you. And if he's unavailable, Ser Jorah Mormont will happily substitute. Or Ser Barristan Selmy. Or Grey Worm. Or her dragons. Also, Daenerys herself can get more than a little angry if you are involved in the slave trade. Like, 'destroying powerful cities with her dragons and sheer force of her personality' style of mad.
Do not threaten Samwell Tarly unless you want to fight Jon Snow and his direwolf. Insulting his late father is also a bad move.
The Stark children have direwolf companions. BE WARNED. And even when she doesn't have her direwolf with her, if you mock Arya's late brother or mother, be prepared for her to stab you in the neck several times.
Also, do not underestimate their mother, who will go to any lengths to protect her children.
Even accounting for her true nature, Ygritte has her button pressed and reacts more violently than usual when she shoots Jon Snow 3 times with arrows for leaving her and going back to the Watch.
Tip one: Tyrion Lannister has a soft spot for "cripples, bastards, and broken things". Tip two: Sansa Stark falls into the latter category. Tip three: threaten her, and even being the king will not protect you.
Dare to even hurt or make Kaoru cry and you WILL be facing the wrath of a pissed off Kouga and that is not a happy sight, you WILL be crying in the corner and begging for him to spare your life, and you WILL be pissing your pants.
Wanna know how frightening an angry Kouga is? Imagine the wrath of God just multiplied by 10 million, and death is probably being too merciful unless you're the Monster of the Week - and if not, you will be left knocked out in a pool of your own blood or put on life support!
You think Sue's bad on normal day? Try insulting her hair. Then run for your life.
And don't - just don't - be stupid enough to call Kurt Hummel a fag or mock him with a limp-wristed gesture anywhere where his father can see it. Even in recovery from a heart attack, Burt Hummel will slam you hard up against a wall and invite you to take a swing at him instead, with the implication that you'll be lucky to survive the attempt coming through loud and clear.
Good Eats: Alton Brown will be happy to ruin you if you create soulless over-processed food.
Hannah Montana: Do not, repeat, do not call Lilly Truscott "stupid" within earshot of her boyfriend, Oliver!
Have Gun — Will Travel: One episode had Paladin taking a job to help his star crossed lover, and over the course of the case a ranch hand slaps her. Paladin nearly beats him to death, and only stops from a combination of her pleading and the ranch owner threatening to kill him if he continued his assault.
In the first season, it was not a good idea to go after Tessa. Caleb Cole could attest to that if Duncan hadn't killed him. The same really goes for any of Duncan's lovers-he was just as ready to behead Kern for killing Little Deer back in the 1800s.
Tessa would be the same way at times. She fended off Felicia Martins with a blowtorch.
Richie's was being told what to do, at least some of the time. Mac would be trying to help him keep his head, and Richie would just get angry and not listen.
Ted is an extremely proud New Yorker and an extremely proud non-New Jerseyan. How proud, you ask? When Ted runs into Stella after she leaves him at the altar, the tipping point at which Ted decides to chew her out is not the fact that she left him in the first place—it's the fact that Stella refused to move to New York and expected Ted to move to New Jersey to be with her, but moves to Tony's place in New York once he and Stella get back together with no fuss.
Also not too long after being left at the alter, Doug, the short-tempered McLaren's bartender, insulted Ted saying "no wonder your fiancée left you." Despite never fighting anyone before in his life, Ted punched him.
Don't EVER tell him magic is lame or he'll come at you with a fireball (as Ted found out to his horror):
Barney: Is This LAME?!? (spark flies out of his hand)
Lily: Barney, no, no! We said no fireballs at the table!
Marshall: What the hell is wrong with you?
Robin: There's alcohol here!
Wendy: Barney, we've talked about this. It's a fire code violation.
Barney: Ted provoked me!
Lily: No, you're on a timeout. Go sit over there.
Also, don't ever break up a girl fight with him watching.
Played for laughs in The Exploding Meatball Sub: after Marshall points out that Barney had a bit of marinara sauce on his tie, Barney views this as terribly humiliating and concocts an elaborate scheme for revenge.
Human Target: If you wish to see another sunrise, DO NOT call Guerrero a "freak" or threaten his son. Ever. Also, trying to hurt a client of Chance's is generally a bad idea.
You might think that you can get away with harming Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, seeing as how she's almost universally disliked at Scotland Yard. The key word there, however, is "almost". One persondoes like her, very much, in fact - her partner Inspector Thomas Lynley. How much? It took an armed assault team to keep him from going to her when she was being held hostage. Repeat: Armed. Assault. Team.
And as it happens, harming a child in Great Britain is not a good idea. Lynley and Havers together are all but unstoppable, and they both have issues with children getting hurt. Really, it's probably best just to throw yourself off the Dover cliffs - it will save you a world of pain.
Don't endanger or hurt anybody that Harmon Rabb has feelings for, especially not Mac.
Ditto for anyone that means something to Admiral Chegwidden.
Jekyll: In this BBC show, Hyde likes to hurt and screw with people as a general principle (in both senses of the word "screw"). But if you threaten his/Jackman's family, he will kill you. No questions, no hesitations, you're dead...or in Christopher's case, in a not-quite-dead sack-full of broken body parts on the hospital floor. He's scary enough by himself, but when Jackman (Jekyll) and Hyde come together after the wife and kids are abducted, the two of them switch off London. And that's little more than a Battle Aura.
Just Shoot Me!: Elliot is a very nice and mild-mannered photographer; but if you find any fault with his work, he goes on a rampage of insults and stalking. Naturally, job-performance reviews are problematic.
Kamen Rider Double: While calling Hidari Shotarou 'half-boiled' will annoy him, making someone cry will really piss him off. Also, Shotarou once found out the hard way not to mess with Philip's mommy issues. Like Spock above, and like many other cases of The Spock, it takes a lot to get under his skin, which means when you finally do, it is (a) all that much more dramatic, and (b) a sign you're probably being a dick.
Kamen Rider Kiva: Knight Templar Keisuke Nago goes berserk over a button on a shirt. Nago is a Bounty Hunter who takes a button from every crook he captures as a trophy. In one episode, a Fangire criminal goes out of his way to mess with Nago, even having the buttons of his coat reinforced so they can't be yanked off. This causes Nago to go completely off the deep end, even beating up some cops and abducting the criminal post-arrest just to get the damn thing. And while doing so, he rants "BUTTON! MY BUTTON! MY BUTTON!" Not his proudest moment.
The Kids from C.A.P.E.R.: In this '70s live-action Saturday morning show, Bugs went berserk whenever he heard the word "bananas," for no apparent reason.
The Kids in the Hall: Takes this to an extreme in the sketch "Citizen Kane", in which a man's inability to remember the name of said movie (and refusal to accept his friend's suggestion of the title he was looking for) drives his friend into a homicidal rage.
Odafin "Fin" Tutuola has race and drug abuse as his particular hot buttons. Like Stabler, he's also a Papa Wolf.
John Munch has suicide, assisted suicide, big government and infringement of civil liberties as his particular buttons.
Dr. George Huang is highly perturbed by people who try to claim that pedophilia is a genetically-based sexuality, like hetero- and homosexuality, claiming: "It insults my intelligence as a scientist and my humanity as a gay man."
If you harm a child, harm Alesha Philips, or threaten Ronnie Brooks, you'd better pray that Matt Devlin doesn't find you. In fact, in the case of Alesha, you'd better pray that none of the Law & Order: UK team find you.
Law & Order: Trial by Jury: Tracey Kibre can keep her cool through any name you call her. Calling her partner Kelly Gaffney a bitch, however, is a surefire way to find yourself cowering against the wall sweating bullets.
Do not use Nate Ford's dead son to get him to do something. Especially not since he leads a group of some the best criminals, ever.
You also don't want to steal a dying kid's transplant heart, especially if you yourself are already on his "naughty list". Nate is quite clear on this.
Elliot seems to have an issue with people who abuse their children.
Parker is generally rather crazy, but isn't really violent. However, she has her limits. Do not use orphans to get money for your illegal weapons operations, or she will stab you with a fork. Do not be implied to have betrayed the Team, or she will dangle you off the roof of a building with full intent to drop you. Do not use her facial expressions to fake-psychic that she witnessed and blames herself for her little brother's death when they were children, or she will request that the Team take you down by chopping off your arms. And your head.
Lie to Me: Lightman's is someone harming or threatening to harm his daughter.
Don't threaten to kill and eat Lauren in front of Bo. She will instantly level up in order to kill you, even if you're a powerful and nigh-immortal lich.
Don't touch Lauren with the intent to harm her in any way when Bo's around full stop or you will have one chance to to remove whatever hand you don't want to lose from the good doctor. Don't refer to her as your "property" in front of Bo either.
It wouldn't be a good idea to threaten Kenzi either.
MADtv: Call this show's version of Oprah Winfrey a stupid bitch, see what happens.
Do not infer that something is the result of magic on Merlin when Uther is around. Don't confess to using magic when Uther is around. In fact, don't even say the word 'magic' when Uther can hear you. The result will not be pretty.
Also, disagreeing with Uther doesn't turn out pretty either.
Or messing with Merlin's mom, Hunith.
Morgause and Morgana. We fans saw what happened when Morgause got wounded at the end of last season. The castle is probably still picking up the pieces.
Ditto most of the time for Arthur where Gwen is concerned.
Don't call Arthur a prat. Or a dollophead. Or say he's fat.
Unless you're Merlin, that is... who will simply get put in the stocks, or similar, because Arthur's fond of him. But yeah...
Miami Vice: Tubbs hates machine guns... especially when they are being fired directly at him. Kind of ironic since he himself keeps an arsenal that would make the NRA squeal with delight. Don't ever touch Tubbs' Cadillac... just don't. Also, Crockett and men who abuse women. Taking an ugly turn if he's drunk.
Adrian Monk has multiple berserk buttons. Monk has several things that set him off, but most of his Berserk Buttons (such as urinating in the subway or public nudity; which by the way are things that you really could get arrested for in real life) are played for comedic effect.
But never make fun of Trudy in front of him. Or talk about how you can vacuum his carpet to make the lines all diagonal. Or relieve yourself on the subway. Press the Trudy button and all bets are off.
A classic example of the Trudy berserk button in action is in "Mr. Monk Is on the Air", where he's questioning Shock Jock Max Hudson, whom Monk thinks murdered his wife Jeanette, live on Max's morning radio show. Trudy is brought up, and Max immediately starts cracking jokes about her death via car bomb. Monk glares at Max, slowly takes off his headphones, and jumps over the desk to tackle him. In fact, security personnel actually are seen forcibly removing Monk from the studio and he's clearly struggling against them as he and Natalie depart. When Monk and Natalie meet with Stottlemeyer and Disher not too long thereafter at Max's house:
Adrian Monk: Did you hear him?! Did you hear what he said about Trudy?!
Lt. Randall Disher: Yeah we were in the car; we had to pull over. I couldn't even drive.
Adrian Monk: That wasn't funny! Was it?
Natalie Teeger: No, Mr. Monk, it was unspeakable.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Here's what I was thinking: Number One, it sounded like you got a few good shots in. I was proud of you. And Number Two, he sounded scared. Scared and guilty.
Natalie Teeger: He is guilty.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: 25 years to life. That's the best revenge. So let’s just take a deep breath, let’s focus, and let’s figure out how he did this.
Captain Stottlemeyer has a few buttons of his own.
Speaking of wife-related berserk buttons, never, ever hurt/nearly kill (intentionally or not) or even imply at having an affair with his first wife Karen, or else you'd better pray that he doesn't end up beating you up or killing you for for it.
Also, in "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus", Stottlemeyer can tolerate people crowding a crime scene to jeer at Monk for shooting a guy dressed as Santa (of which the actual details are somewhat debatable, since Monk says he shot the guy in self-defense and the guy he shot claims it was deliberate, although Stottlemeyer believes Monk's version is the true version), but once someone throws an egg at Natalie — messing with a crime scene and risking contaminating forensic evidence — now it's serious business, and he loses it.
does not take it kindly whenever the cops think that he is not a reliable source when he had managed to witness a murder (while anasthetized), as happens in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" (then again, you might take someone's claims they saw their dentist murder a patient while they were being operated on and were semi-conscious with a grain of salt).
Don't diss Randy's music. In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," notice how Randy is offended when Murderuss calls him "white".
Natalie Teeger is often both amused and exasperated by Monk's eccentricities. However, even she has buttons:
Natalie flies into a furious rage when Monk is late with her paycheck or is unable to pay her. This is suggested in "Mr. Monk and the Genius" to happen very often. In the opening scene, Monk and Natalie are fighting about back pay, with Natalie actually screaming in frustration, and are interrupted when Linda Kloster walks in and says she thought she heard screaming. Natalie immediately coolly comments, "Oh, no, that's just me. I scream every payday."
From the novels, Natalie's reaction to discovering that someone may or may not have cruelly betrayed and/or used her or Monk is not pretty either. A great example is the novel Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, when Monk and Natalie follow Dr. Kroger to Lohr, Germany (long story), they happen to spot Dr. Kroger while he's having his picture taken with Dr. Martin Rahner, who has six fingers on his right hand (the bomber who killed Trudy also had six fingers on his right hand). Monk's reaction is to run away, while Natalie watches him go, tears stinging her eyes. When Dr. Kroger comes over to her to see what is wrong, she promptly punches him in the face hard enough to break his nose.
Oh, and don't criticize Julie's acting or singing abilities, or Natalie will have a vendetta against you. Just ask John Hannigan from "Mr. Monk and the Critic," after he writes a scathing review of Julie's performance in a play, and, it turns out he used the play as his alibi while he killed his girlfriend Callie Esterhaus.
"The Golden Age of Ballooning" sketch in one episode starred Ferdinand von Zeppelin, creator of the zeppelin airship, taking a trip in one of his zeppelins. Several people come up to him to congratulate him on his marvellous "balloon," to which he screams in a terrible German accent, "IT'S AN AIRSHIP!" and throws the offender out the window. And he's NOT going to name it after Bismarck. It's a Zeppelin! It's nothing to do with bloody Bismarck!
In the Mattress Sketch, it's important that if you go a certain furniture store, you must never say the word "mattress" to Mr. Lambert, instead, you must say you want to see the "dog kennels"note yes, Pet's department, second floor, because if you do say "mattress", he'll promptly stand up and put a paper bag over his head and respond to nothing, and the only way to snap him out of it is to stand in a tea chest and sing Elgar's "Jerusalem" a capella. It's nothing he can help you understand, but apart from that, he's perfectly all right.
Don't endanger anybody on Leroy Jethro Gibbs's team. EspeciallyAbby.
Also, Tony DiNozzo will travel halfway around the world, get himself captured by terrorists, and willingly undergo torture that would make the CIA blanch in order to get his teammate(s) back (more specifically, to get Ziva). And then Gibbs will snipe you. From half a mile away.
Technically, Tony didn't do that to get his teammate back. He did all of that because he thought that she had already been killed by them. He was willing to do all that just for her memory.
Also, do not slight Gibbs in any way around Abby. She can kill you without leaving a single trace of forensic evidence.
Wait, you just put Tony down for the count? Here comes Ziva. Nice knowing you.
NCIS: Los Angeles: If someone tries to bury someone alive under NCIS's watch, Sam will carve the digger's butt a new one if the person dies before they are returned to the surface. It's justified, as he himself was a victim of being buried alive alongside a fellow soldier in Croatia during a mission, a situation of which he was the only survivor.
Go ahead, threaten Hetty. See what happens.
Wanna make Deeks snap? Show him a picture of Kensi's (supposedly) dead body. Enjoy the waterboarding.
New Girl: Do NOT forget to water Jess Day's plants. If you do forget and she finds out, RUN.
Will McAvoy doesn't care what gets written about him, but God help gossip columnists who go after his staff. Especially MacKenzie MacHale. He will rededicate his life to ruining theirs.
Go ahead. Ask Sloan Sabbith why the government can't balance the budget, since you can balance your checkbook just fine.
Sloan: Mary, mother of God, I am sick of that analogy! Balancing your checkbook is to balancing the budget like driving to the supermarket is to landing on the Moon!!!
Noah's Arc: Ricky is typically as carefree as they come, but if he feels for a second that Noah is threatened he WILL let you know how he feels.
NYPD Blue: Andy Sipowicz is a veteran of The Vietnam War (as is his actor Dennis Franz). He doesn't talk about his experience much, but when a fellow officer lied about serving in the war, Sipowicz went off on him.
Should you be in this world, then please, go right ahead and hurt Rumpelstiltskin's son. What can he do about it? Apart from turn you into a snail and step on you, that is. The woman who lied about being in love with his boy? He crossed worlds to catch up with her, gave her a Hope Spot, and then ripped out her heart and crushed it in front of her And what he did to the Wicked Witch of the West for controlling him with his dagger and killing his son was just plain brutal waiting until she was de-powered, imprisoned, and helpless, then stabbing her with his dagger with a little extra magic to turn her to glass and shatter the glass.
Speaking of the artist also known as Mr. Gold, mess with Belle and he will show you that it's not just magic that comes with a price.
Henry is also Regina's big, fat Berserk Button. Get between her and her adopted son, and she will show you exactly why she doesn't regret murder, black magic, curses, and killing her own father to have her boy. The difference between her and Emma (the birth mom) is that Emma has limits. Regina flat-out doesn't.
You probably don't want to ever tell Piper she's not worthy of being loved, unless you want to get a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
Pennsatucky is extremely prideful, and doesn't take kindly to being disrespected. She has perceived disrespect twice in the series. During the show proper, she attempts murder for it. And in a flashback—well, what do you think she's in prison for?
Don't call the suits "spandex" in front of Dr. K. Not even schoolchildren are safe from her wrath. ("Tights" seems to be OK.) Also, never put a scratch on Scott's car, don't call Fresno Bob "Bobarino," and don't call Tenaya 7 either human or cute.
Also, in the third season of the show, whenever Rito Revolto would call Lord Zedd "Ed"... it just wouldn't end well. At all. Actually, Rito was just a walking Berserk Button for all the other villains.
Alpha 5 does this as well when Zedd invades the Command Center in "Changing of the Zords, Part 2":
Lord Zedd: IT'S ZEDD, YOU BLINKING BUCKET OF BOLTS! LORD ZEDD!
Press Gang: If you like your eardrums intact, your confidence undestroyed and all your extremities attached, don't suggest to Lynda Day that she might be attracted to Spike Thomson...especially if your name happens to be Spike Thomson.
Threatening Rex will likely result in Abby beating the crap out of you.
Threatening Abby, or even just making her unhappy, will result in Connor coming after you with whatever he can find - oars, rocks, Becker, anything handy.
Lester is normally a very composed guy, who will nevertheless use every means at his disposal to take you down if you either a) usurp his authority or b) threaten his Jag. The former involves political connections and clever subordinates. The latter involves an EMD.
An understated bonus point: don't try to usurp his authority while simultaneously implying that the genius he's a bit of a Team Dad towards should fetch you coffee.
Even Team Pet Rex seems to have one of these. Call him "that thing" and he will bite your finger off, as Caroline learned the hard way.
Jenny, crash her wedding, and you WILL pay, as the Hyaenodon found out.
Psych: Shawn Spencer has several: his mom, his dad, Gus, Juliet. Most recently, when Henry is shot, Shawn spends the whole episode trying his damnedest to kill the man responsible.
QI: A more humourous example is Stephen Fry in this wonderful gameshow. One of the few things that ruffles Stephen's usually relaxed mood is willful ignorance or asking why people should know obscure facts, or read certain books etc etc. Asking this tends to get you a forceful, yet beautiful, summary on why you are wrong.
Stephen: It's always the children who say, "Sir, sir, what's the point of geometry" or "what's the point of Latin" who end up having no job, being alcoholic and they don't notice that the ones who actually find knowledge for its own sake and pleasure in information and in history and in the world and nature around us are actually getting on and doing things with their fucking lives!
Reba: A mild example, Played for Laughs, is a therapist, David, who appears in one episode. Call him "Dave," and he'll have a cow. As for regular characters... Reba gets upset should she be compared to her ex-husband's wife and told to be Not So Different from her, while said ex-husband's wife won't take being called "blondzilla" kindly, which Reba learns the hard way.
The Redd Foxx Show: Ray J. Johnson employed a variation on this as his signature trope; whenever addressed as "Mister Johnson," he would angrily rattle off a list of other things he would prefer to be called.
In "Polymorph", the Polymorph is attempting to get Rimmer angry so it can suck the emotion out of him, it begins by taking the form of his Mother and has sex with Lister but Rimmer holds back, at least until the Polymorph says "The things this boy can do with alphabeti spaghetti" in which Rimmer responds "ALPHABETI SPAGHETTI!".
In "Beyond a Joke" it is revealed that Kryten has a device that saves all negative emotion, eventually this device fills after Lister asks for some Ketchup to go with the Lobster Kryten had just served, once the drive is full Kryten's head proceeds to explode.
Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger: Never purposely make people starve or belittle people with food in front of Right. He will gladly make you pay for it. Mainly in a very childish manner.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron does not like it when someone lies to her. However, being somewhat lacking in emotions, her anger tends to be very cold. John Connor is both Cameron and Sarah's Berserk Button. Harm him, and your life is forfeit. And don't take Cameron's leather jacket. She likes her leather jacket. She does not like you.
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Do you want to harm Luke Smith? The correct answer is - no, you do not. His mother Sarah Jane - a former Companion, and not of the screaming type either - will stop at nothing to save him. No, seriously. There's no power in the universe that can save you from Sarah Jane's wrath. And they've all tried. Needless to say, they failed. Painfully.
The Sarah Silverman Program: Sarah befriends a homeless guy that she knew in high school. When she talks about his mother 'queefing' he goes crazy and tries to kill her.
Scrubs: When he was first introduced, Hooch did not take kindly to his name being misused. And then, he went crazy. Man, Hooch is crazy. Also, did you pull a screw from a door, so it won't stay open right? The next 7 years of your life are hell, courtesy of the Janitor.
The Sentinel: Blair Sandburg is a mild-mannered anthropologist, raised by a peacenik flower child, who hates guns, who prefers to talk than fight. But harm or even threaten to harm Jim Ellison and you'll know why you have to look out for the peaceful ones.
Sesame Street once featured a character named Cyranose de Bergerac, who had a nose that would put Pinocchio's to shame. Unlike his namesake, the mere mention of the word "nose" in any context really would send him into a violent rage, coming at the offender waving his nose like a sword. He was later briefly joined by a Roxanne expy who had a similar complex about her large ears.
If you're not Sherlock and you tell Mrs. Hudson to shut up, he won't take it lightly. And if you make the monumental mistake of actually physically hurting Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock will headbutt you into unconsciousness and you will "fall" out of a window. Several times.
John is also something of a Berserk Button for Sherlock, although Sherlock doesn't seem to understand how to approach it; he doesn't physically do anything, but his face loses all composure in both The Great Game and The Reichenbach Fall at the thought of losing John.
Try to harm Sherlock Holmes, and Dr John Watson of the cuddly jumpers will end you. With a bullet.Through two windows. Even insulting Sherlock in front of John will earn you a bloody nose.
Smallville: If you dare to hurt Clark's loved ones, especially his parents, Lex, Lana or Chloe, you would be lucky if he threw you twenty feet. In season six, Progeny, Clark actually hesitated when a mind-controlled Chloe shoots Lex, showing how far he had gone.
SM:TV Live: TV Presenter Dec would frequently go insane from people being unable to follow the basic rule of this show's phone-in game thing "Wonkey Donkey" (The rule, quote him is: "IT HAS TO RHYME!!!")
Soap: In this TV series, Danny Dallas' brother, Jodie (Billy Crystal), is gay. Do not say this around Danny. He's just a little bit in denial.
Southland: Woe be unto you if you mistreat or abuse a woman and Officer Ben Sherman finds out about it, especially his mother.
Spike Video Game Awards: Once Jack Black realised he didn't win the best game award, he destroyed his best voice in a video game award and most of the stage.
Do not mess with the SGC if General Hammond can find out.
Do not threaten Teal'c's son, Rya'c. Seriously, don't.
Claiming you're a god in front of Master Bra'tac is... not wise.
The reverse is also true. Anyone within earshot who claims they're not gods will soon feel the Goa'ulds' wrath, preceded by the Glowing Eyes of Doom.
The most efficient way to ensure Samantha Carter will end your life painfully is to harm Jack O'Neill in any way, shape, or form. She will find you. And she will end you.
And don't hurt Samantha Carter, or Jack O'Neill will end you. Actually, don't hurt anyone on the SG-1 crew. Because the remaining members will line up to take your ass to school, and then General Hammond will finish it off.
Except for Dr. Daniel Jackson. If you kill him you're fine, he'll just come back eventually. If you capture and torture him, that's when you need to worry.
Do not threaten, harm, or in any other way make uncomfortable Janet Fraiser's adopted daughter Cassandra. That adorable little doctor has forgotten more about how to kill people with extreme prejudice than you will ever know.
The Tok'ra do not respond well to being called "Goa'uld". Yes, they are the same species but you'll be much safer if you don't mention that fact.
Stargate Universe: Unless you enjoy the sensation of Master Sergeant Greer repeatedly pummelling your face, do not lay a finger on Colonel Young. And attempting to depose him is fairly likely to get you shot.
Scotty has a very logical Berserk Button for a chief engineer. Insult The Federation? Fine. Insult Captain Kirk? Fine. Insult him? Fine. Insult the Enterprise and compare it to a garbage scow (like the Klingon officer did in "The Trouble with Tribbles")? Prepare for a Bar Brawl.
Insulting Captain Kirk did hit Chekov's Berserk Button, but Scotty managed to hold him back.
James T. Kirk will let a lot of stuff slide. But DO NOT try to hijack or steal his lady, the Enterprise. He WILL blow up the damn ship, just so you can see who you're truly messing with.
Kirk also doesn't like it when his crew is killed. If you harm a member of the main cast (especially Spock or McCoy), this violently protective instinct goes Up to Eleven.
If you call Spock a half-breed or insult his parents ("Your father was a computer and your mother an encyclopedia!"), your death will be slow and painful. (You have to really go for the throat and stay on those buttons for a while to erode his Vulcan patience. Once you do, though...) Spock even got angry at Bones in one episode for doing that, although in both their defense, they were stranded on a planet's surface and were on edge already.
In seven years, Garak played the part of the ever-smiling, urbane, witty, Deadpan Snarker. If you annoyed him, he'd shoot you in the back, probably still smiling. But, in all those years, he consistently had one true love he remained ever faithful to: Cardassia herself. However, right at the end of the show, when Cardassia has finally been liberated from the Dominion at a massive cost of Federation, Klingon and Romulan life, one of the Dominion's last acts was to start wiping out the civilian population of Cardassia as revenge for them fighting for their own freedom, forever destroying the Cardassia everyone had known. And then Wayoun decided to rub Garak's nose in it...
Odo's memories of the Bajoran science institute where he was studied during his youth were not pleasant. Among the indignities he endured were shock treatments and the scientists naming him Odo Ital (from odo'ital, Cardassian for "nothing"). In "The Alternate," when Mora Pol suggested that Odo return to the science facility for medical treatment, Odo blew his stack. To be fair, Odo was under the influence of a psychotropic gas at the time, which was affecting his emotional state.
Odo: I... am not going back to the center with you.
Mora: Why? We'll work through this together. We'll solve it together like we used to.
Sisko feels the same way about anyone betraying the uniform.
Don't call Worf a coward. Just don't.
Kira Nerys will never allow anyone to compromise the freedom and independence of the Bajoran people, especially if that compromise is for the benefit of bureaucratic red-tape.
Ensign Harry Kim is quite submissive...unless you hurt his best friend, Tom Paris, then he will smash your frickin' skull in!
Kim: This man is my friend! Nobody touches him!
Any character causing harm to Neelix in front of Kes tends to end up bleeding from the eyeballs.
Neelix often acts as this to Tuvok. You can tell its taking every bit of his Vulcan restraint not to strangle him. In fact, in one episode, he actually does so... or seems to anyway, only to then utter the words "Computer, end holodeck program."
Note that this was all an attempt at seeing if his emotional control was compromised. Let us state that again. He could have seen his homeworld explode, his ship and crewmates dead, his family slaughtered by the Borg. Any one of a number of situations that could prove he was emotionally compromised... and instead of all of these, he chooses to test his emotional control by spending time with Neelix. He doesn't last five minutes.
Makes an art of pressing the Berserk Button (and fuels countless gigs of fanfic) by using the preternatural protectiveness brothers Sam and Dean feel for each other. Even think about hurting Sam and Dean will turn your brain matter into jelly. And now that Sam has upped his mojo quotient with demon blood, even minions from Hell won't get a pass if they so much as breathe wrong around Dean.
Also, it's a bad idea to call Sam a freak.
And no matter how tempted you are to lose faith, do NOT piss off the nerd-angels.
Especially Castiel. You do not want to threaten the Winchesters with him around unless you have a death wish.
Don't mention Gabriel's family. Just don't do it.
Don't mess with Dean's car either
Really, just do not threaten, hurt or insult any of Dean's family (including but not limited to Sam, John, Castiel and Bobby).
Did you just call Naomi a bureaucrat? Because that's an offense even the king of Hell won't risk reaping the consequences of.
"You take the piss out of Jolson again, and I will remove your iPod from its tiny nano-sheath and push it up your cock. Then I'll plug some speakers up your arse and put it on to shuffle with my fucking fist. Then, every time I hear something that I don't like — which will be every time that something comes on — I will skip to the next track by crushing your balls."
There's an engineered instance: the guy Suzie has been messing with will go into a ten-second Unstoppable Rage when the titular organization is mentioned.
Do *NOT* touch Jack's Hand-In-A-Jar.
Rhys is shlubbish, out of shape, even a little dim sometimes. He's not in Jack's league, and he knows it. Gwen loves him anyway. Don't hurt her, or the secret conspiracy keeping Britain safe from alien invasion? It won't have the resources or ability to save you.
Also do not hurt Jack. It doesn't matter that he's immortal and near-indestructible. Meek and quiet Ianto Jones will stop at nothing to keep his lover safe!
Meta-example, but when Ianto was killed in The Children of Earth, a significant section of the fandom reacted in a way that could rival the blowout from the Mass Effect 3 endings. Want proof? A large number of fans created a shrine◊ at Cardiff bay, and there are quite a few petitions and campaigns online all with the message to the effect of "bring Ianto back or we will never watch the show again". And plenty followed through.
Tower Prep: Do not show Headmaster drawings of vintage vacuum tubes. They may just be pieces of an insane supercomputer lurking beneath the school. Do not insult Gabe's friends.
Tracker: Mel's was Nestov trying to hit on her. And he never seemed to get the message, either. That only made her madder in the part in the next to last episode where where he seemed to Heel-Face Turn and she nearly collected him.
The characters are all very protective of each other in this way, and most of them get a chance to snap over one of the others being threatened or insulted. Sam probably got most of these scenes: "You're a cheap hack, and if you come after Leo I'm gonna bust you like a pinata," etc. Charlie also had a lot, most of them over Zoey.
You also do not want to call CJ "bitch" in front of Charlie. He will put your ass into the nearest wall.
Not that Josh is ever the most adept at handling matters relating to terrorism ("Why don't we just give the sixty billion dollars to North Korea in exchange for not bombing us?"), but when Donna is critically injured in a roadside bombing in Gaza and the staff are trying to work out how to respond, Josh's furious and vehement suggestion is to just kill everyone who has even the most tenuous link to the attack.
Josh actual has a pretty tight hold on the berserk button. Several times through out the series he goes off on wild rants, this is usually played as a sign of stress and someone has to pull him aside and tell him that he needs to relax.
As a devoutly religious liberal, one of President Bartlet's biggest berserk buttons is intolerance and hate couched in religious terms. Use the Bible as an excuse to call gay people abominations and he will lay the annotated smackdown upon you in front of all of your colleagues. Use it as an excuse to send death threats to his family and he'll do worse.
White Collar: Do not hurt, kill, or even threaten someone Mozzie cares about. He will put a six million dollar bounty on your head without the slightest bit of remorse about it.
The Wire: Do Not Shoot At Omar's Little Grandmother.
Without a Trace: In one episode, Jack and Samantha catch a serial killer (who was posing as his twin brother) by using his Berserk Button: he hated his childhood nickname, "Mouse." The resulting violence was then cut short by the above agents immediately pointing their guns at him.
Mulder and Scully are each other's Berserk Buttons. Hurt Mulder or Scully. Just try it. The other half of that partnership will own you. Witness the normally calm Scully's outburst at Boggs in "Beyond the Sea" and Mulder's rage when Scully is abducted. I would not want to come between those two.
Scully: I came here to tell you that if he dies because of what you did, four days from now no one will stop me from being the one to throw the switch to gas you out of this life for good, you son of a bitch!
And then there's:
Mulder: (showing Duane Barry Scully's bloodied hair) Did you hurt her?
Mulder: DID YOU HURT HER?!
Both the above examples are within seasons 1 and 2 of the show. God help you if you tried anything after they'd been partners for a few years longer. It never worked out well for the perpetrator.
Baby William is also a Berserk Button for both of his parents, plus Doggett, Reyes, Skinner, and the Lone Gunmen. Scully is probably the scariest; Mama Bear does not appreciate the attempts on her son's life. At one point, she shoots a would-be kidnapper three times in the stomach and refuses to give him medical treatment until he gives her answers.
John Doggett's Berserk Buttons involve anyone hurting his partners (especially Agent Reyes), and his son, Luke. Likely stemming from issues around his son's kidnapping and murder, Mulder and Scully's son William also becomes a Berserk Button for him during season 9.