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Bullying A Dragon: Live-Action Films
  • The Backstory of The Covenant is that one of the adult warlocks was persecuted and burned at the stake. He was persecuted for being a high-level Reality Warper, lesser members of said species being able to not only fly and throw fireballs but survive head-on collisions with Mack trucks. Exactly how 1600's Massachusetts villagers concluded taking him on was a good idea, let alone succeeded, is never explained.
  • The bizarre homoerotic scene in Powder where a bunch of bullies try to strip the main character naked after they catch him checking out other boys in the shower. Seems more like a scene from a porno, really, but the point is that the eponymous character was established to have electromagnetic superpowers.
  • Hellboy:
    • Bullies seem to think that it's a good idea to pick on a Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette kid who starts fires with her mind! by throwing rocks at her, on her birthday no less. No points for guessing how that ends.
    • After Hellboy becomes public knowledge as a hulking monster who fights other monsters, people see fit to shout insults and throw things at him as they drive by.
  • In Hancock, the Jerkass Flying Brick is picked on by inmates in prison whom he put there, even though they would already know that he's completely impervious to any weapon and can literally shove someone's head into another person's ass.
  • Watchmen
    • Rorschach finds himself getting threatened in prison by the very same inmates that he beat up and put there. After stomping one of them, he proclaims. "You people don't get it. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me!"
    • There was also that guy who kept begging various costumed adventurers to "punish" him. And then he did it to Rorschach, who promptly tossed him down an elevator shaft.
    • The anti-vigilante protesters in front of Studio 54. One of them hits the Comedian in the head with a beer bottle and he flips out, beating them up and firing tear gas at them as they're trying to flee. Worse in the movie adaptation. In the comic, he "only" fires tear gas, whilst in the film adaptation he is clearly shown firing an actual shotgun into the fleeing crowd.
  • Portrayed as the South African government's Idiot Ball in District 9. Yes, let's confine a million alien refugees with highly advanced weaponry and space-faring technology to a hideous slum, treat them like garbage and deny them basic rights. Granted, most of them seem to be just dumb "worker"-type aliens. Only the main alien character, Christopher, is shown to be more intelligent (he actually reads the contract that they show him to try and justify moving him out and points out legal flaws including that they had to give him two weeks' notice) and is smart enough to come up with a successful escape plan. And after he's gone, he's promised to bring help.
  • In Alien Nation, the Idiot Ball is held by Los Angeles. Yes, let's piss all over the guys that are super-strong and highly intelligent. Let's recapitulate every moronic Race Trope our society worked to get past. Yeah, that's bright.
  • In Hulk, after Bruce Banner is captured and contained in a purportedly Hulk-proof room, Glenn Talbott, needing a blood sample, enters the room, and shocks Bruce repeatedly with a cattle prod to try to get him to change into the Hulk. At this time, Talbott is wearing a cast and a neck brace, because earlier in the movie, when Bruce changed into the Hulk, he used Talbott as a melee weapon to beat two other people into unconsciousness. Luckily for Talbott, this attempt fails. Unluckily for Talbott, his next attempt is successful and he ends up in the grave.
  • Curly in Of Mice and Men, picking a fight with Lennie, who wins basically the instant he gets over his fear of fighting and stands up for himself.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Blonsky, hopped up on super-soldier serum, advances on the Hulk unarmed, taunting him, "Is that all you got?" after watching him tear apart an armored division. Blonksy promptly gets kicked into a tree, breaking about every bone in his body.
  • Harry Potter
    • Even after the Dursleys become fully aware of Harry's abilities, they continue to antagonize him at every opportunity. Because they know students aren't allowed to use magic outside of school. Hagrid specifically warned Harry not to tell them about this rule. Unfortunately, when Dobby used magic to get Harry in trouble, the Ministry thought Harry did it, and sent him a warning...which the Dursleys read.
    • Draco at the end of Goblet of Fire still sees fit to antagonize Harry, even though he has a lot of powerful friends, a lot of powerful spells, and a lot of experience in fighting monsters and Dark Lords. The last time he's seen at the end of the book he, Crabbe, and Goyle have been jinxed pretty much into oblivion by Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and George. They're described to resemble slugs by the time the group is done with them.
  • In The Ninth Configuration, a bar full of bikers decide that it's a good idea to mercilessly taunt and humiliate a pair of soldiers. One of the soldiers is Colonel Vincent "Killer" Kane, an unbalanced walking death machine from the Vietnam War. After suffering through monstrous indignities, he finally snaps and slaughters the entire gang of bikers, including the women, with his bare hands.
  • Mighty Joe Young (the original) has a trio of drunkards give the titular giant gorilla alcohol -- enough to inebriate him. This clears them out of booze and in retaliation, one of them burns Joe's hand as he begs for more. Joe then bursts out of his cage for a drunken Roaring Rampage of Revenge through a nightclub.
  • 20 Million Miles to Earth can best be summarized as "Please do not bully the Ymir." It's one of Ray Harryhausen's iconic and most sympathetic monsters.
  • King Kong post-Skull Island tends to suffer one indignation after another (not that Skull Island was a picnic), so that when he bursts out of his bonds, the audience is usually behind Kong's rampage.
  • The Tyrannosaurus rex's death toll in US/Japan Co-Production The Last Dinosaur might have been less if the Great White Hunter didn't insist on trying to kill it again and again. Then again, the title refers to the Great White Hunter as it does the Tyrannosaur.
  • In The Rocket Boy, a random hostage made a butterfingers comment when Hawkhead dropped a glass. Hawkhead shows it's unwise by tractoring the hair from that extra one foot into the air before letting it return to its normal position. A few minutes later, the ventriloquist dummy held by Hawkhead makes a similar comment.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen - National Security Advisor Galloway constantly treats the Autobots like enemies, making demands and threatening them with expulsion from Earth. Aside from the fact that they have no authority to exile the Autobots from Earth, just America, this is all in spite of the fact that Earth relies on the Autobots to protect them from the Decepticons, which they do purely out of the goodness of their cybertronic hearts. There's also the fact that the Bots are giant alien robots who could easily turn Galloway into a greasy smear if they were malicious enough to do so.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: The Autobots are eventually exiled. The entire city of Chicago is leveled within the next forty-eight hours. Optimus Prime fakes his troops' death to prove his point.
  • Happens briefly in Spider-Man, where Peter is called a freak by one jock after he beats Flash Thompson up.
  • Con Air. Nicolas Cage's character Cameron Poe is an Army Ranger in full uniform who gets bullied by a few drunks in a bar. He kills one of them and is charged with the Crime of Self-Defense.
  • Micah in Paranormal Activity. Your girlfriend says that a demon has been harassing her since childhood. You set up a camera at night that confirms her story. A psychic warns you that antagonizing the demon will only piss it off, but that a Demonologist might be able to help. What do you do? You say to hell with hiring a Demonologist (or at least a Priest!) and instead decide to call the demon a pussy at every opportunity and constantly dare it to do its worst. Its worst is possessing your girlfriend, and killing you.
  • In The Dark Knight Saga:
    • Hung with a lampshade in The Dark Knight
      Lucius Fox: "Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."
    • In The Dark Knight Rises [[spoiler: John Daggett's plans to absorb Wayne Enterprises by having Bane attack the stock exchange to bankrupt Bruce have gone sour, so he thinks it's a good idea to chew out Bane. Protip: don't try chewing out a muscular man with fists of steel and a frightening gas mask, as Bane ever-so-calmly lays one gigantic hand on Daggett's shoulder and asks, "Do you feel in charge?" Daggett then realizes that shit has hit the fan and very meekly states, "But I've paid you a small fortune." Bane then promptly breaks Daggett's neck.
  • Superman Returns - Granted he has that "boy scout" reputation, and Lex has kryptonite present, but wouldn't you think, that if he possibly survived, especially considering his luck in the past, beating up one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe would have some kind of repercussions? Of course it did.
  • Violent Shit 2 has a couple of guys making fun of Karl the Butcher as he slowly approaches, blissfully unaware of the mask and machete. They get killed, unsurprisingly enough.
  • The 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks does it to the protagonist, Miss Price, twice. Charlie, the eldest of the three wards, attempts to blackmail her with the knowledge that she's a witch, Miss Price turns him into a rabbit, and her cat attacks him. (Imagine if she'd succeeded in turning him into a frog like she'd intended!)
  • The WWII film Tora! Tora! Tora! has Admiral Yamamoto deliver this apocryphal line after Pearl Harbor: "I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
  • Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. What's that? The infamous Kansas lawman is in town? Let's mock him, mess with him, kill people in front of him, terrorize his family and eventually kill his brother. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Freddy vs. Jason
    • A pair of idiot ravers start taunting Jason, apparently not realizing he is a nearly seven foot tall mountain of a man in a creepy mask armed with a machete.
    • Freddy tries to torture and kill someone that he himself has noted is unkillable.
  • Tank: Let's say you're a Fat Redneck Sheriff who owns your small town. One of your deputies gets out of line with a prostitute and this guy comes to her rescue. Now let's say "this guy" is a tough-as-nails career army sergeant who just wants to live in peace with his family. Oh, and he owns a fully operational Sherman Tank. Hey, let's throw his son in jail on trumped-up drug charges and blackmail him! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?.
  • The Avengers
    • Tony Stark, in his typical reckless way, casually shocks Bruce Banner in the middle of a conversation. Played with in that Tony is provoking him specifically to show that he's not worried about Bruce losing control and Hulking Out. Bruce gets itnote  and is more amused than annoyed - Steve's much more angry about it than he is. Tony's probably the first person in a long time to not walk on eggshells around the Hulk, despite knowing what he is.
    • Tony Stark has this to say to Loki right before the climatic battle "...let's do a headcount here: Your brother the demi-god; a Super Soldier—a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues, and a couple of master assassins and you, big fella, you've managed to piss off every single one of 'em.".
      • And later, after Tony's suited up: "Oh, and there's one other person you pissed off."
    • Loki is later in the midst of a Villainous Breakdown, and chooses to intentionally berate and antagonize the Hulk to his face. Guess what happens.
  • Taken 2: Vengeance is one thing, but sure, let's continue to antagonise the one man who singlehandedly destroyed our sex slavery network and went through our relatives like a hot knife through butter. And how do we do so? Kidnap another one of his loved ones, where doing so the first time already cost us in blood.
  • Mean Streets: Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) insults a neighborhood mobster he owes a large sum of money to and follows that up by burning his first payment (a $10 bill) and sticking a gun in his face. Things do not end well for him.
  • Robot Monster: The annoying little boy takes the opportunity to call the robot that has killed more than five billion people a "pooped-out pinwheel". Because the director hated the audience, the kid is immune to the resultant death ray shot.
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, three Klingon battlecruisers confront V'Ger, and, per their idiom (shooting things they don't understand), fire several photon torpedos at it. What follows can't really be described as a 'Curb-Stomp Battle,' because that would imply that the Klingons had any chance whatsoever of surviving V'Ger's response.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk should have known better than to smack Harrison (actually Khan) around like that after he almost single-handedly took out the entire Klingon squad, especially after he surrendered. Marcus's overall treatment of Harrison/Khan also falls into this category.
  • Iron Man 3: Tony challenging a terrorist - one known for pulling off daring, devastating public attacks - to attack him at his home without a plan behind it beyond "Come at me, bro" was not Tony's finest hour. Tony isn't thinking clearly at this point, and the boasting was more about making himself feel in control, and he'd just put the finishing touches on his Mk 42 suit, which combined with the first point meant he actually thought he stood a pretty good chance. It actually goes fairly well in Tony's favor. He's able to take down two of the helicopters, only screwing up the last one due to being caught by wreckage.
  • Man of Steel: Even if you aren't aware he's a godlike alien, is it really a wise move to antagonize the man easily a foot taller than you and built like a brick shithouse, Jerkass trucker guy?
    • And earlier in Clark's life: "Hey look, it's that freak who pushed a school bus out of a river. Let's goad him into a fistfight." Those bullies are lucky Clark has such self-restraint.
  • Psycho 2: Lila Crane's plan was to gaslight Norman Bates back into insanity, with her daughter, Mary, getting close to Norman and her putting pressure on the sheriff to put the squeeze on Bates. The fact that even if it worked perfectlynote , the idea that Mary would be one of Norman's first victims and Lila wouldn't be far behind didn't seem to occur to either of them.
  • Used and lampshaded in Hercules In New York. Hercules pisses some guy off, who punches him in the stomach, to no effect whatsoever and the famous line: "Yu have strucked(sic) Hercules". Somehow this doesn't deter guy who mocks Hercules (thinking hes faking it) and asks him to step outside. Hercules responds by chucking the guy across the room.
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