Fans at Professional Wrestling shows who jump the rails to attack the wrestlers or interfere in the matches. Professional wrestlers are all either extremely large, extremely muscular, or both. They're also trained and paid to throw their weight around. Not the kind of people you want to mess around with. Individual examples include:
Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog, was harassed by a man in a bar who recognized him. When the man laid hands on him, Smith (at one time considered the strongest man in professional wrestling) put him in a simple headlock, from which the man was unable to extricate himself, no matter how he screamed or struggled. Sadly, Smith walked him over to the bar's bouncer, said, "Can you take care of this?" and when the bouncer said, "I have it," let go. That's when the idiot tripped over his own feet, fell down, and opened up his skull to the brain on a protruding nail. And sued.
Paul "The Big Show" Wight, whose initial wrestling moniker was "The Giant". Depending on who's measuring, he's anywhere between 7'2" and 7'4", weighs between 450 and 500 pounds, and is famous for being one of the fastest and most agile super-heavyweights of the modern era, if not ever. So some drunk in a bar decides to insult him and deliberately try to pick a fight with him so he can later sue. Too bad that everyone in the bar including the bartender, several patrons, and multiple security cameras all witnessed Big Show try to talk the guy down for a good ten minutes, not responding until he was struck several times. Then Show punched the guy once, and that was the end of that.
Professional Wrestlers occasionally get in real fights with each other, and sometimes those fights happen because someone picked on someone who could fight back.
John "Bradshaw" Layfield was known as a locker room bully. He tried to pick on Steve Blackman, who was a legitimate karate black belt. Reports differ as to how much damage Blackman actually did, but all of them agree that Blackman kicked Bradshaw in the head, and Bradshaw didn't mess with him after that.
Bob Holly was infamous for being rough and uncooperative with rookies. So as he was wrestling Brock Lesnar, Holly tried stiffing Lesnar, which he didn't seem to notice, and then tried to sandbag while going up for a powerbomb. Brock just picked him up anyway and then dropped him. Holly landed on the back of his neck, and ended up missing a year from the resulting injury.
In this video a hyena matriarch repeatedly aggravates a lion despite him repeatedly warning her to respect his territory. The results are what you might expect.
Friends of Bruce Lee claim that a man once snuck into Lee's home in order to challenge him to a fight. Supposedly, Lee put the man in the hospital with one kick.
Another (possibly a retelling of the above story) claims that a paparazzi snuck into Lee's home to snap pictures and terrified his kids in the process, resulting in the most powerful kick Lee ever threw.
Casey Heynes was being picked on by a kid two-thirds his size. When the smaller kid began throwing some vicious punches, Casey had enough. He lifted the bully over his head and slammed him down onto the concrete floor of the hallway, a move that would earn him the nickname 'Zangief Kid'. The bully got up, but was clearly in no condition to fight anymore, heavily favoring one leg as he walked. They story was captured on video, with Casey appearing on multiple talk shows in the weeks after it happened.
A man by the name of Frank "Rocky" Fiegel who lived in Chester, Illinois was known throughout the town for being the local scrapper. One tale mentions that several young men took him out to the woods with the intent of ganging up on him and beating him up. He came back without a scratch while the men out in the woods needed medical attention. To further illustrate this man's fighting ability, he was the inspiration for a certain cartoon character with a noted love for spinach.
Nikolai Valuev is a 7-foot-tall, 320 pound professional boxer with a record of 53-2-1. Yet, a 61-year-old man STILL decided to cuss out his wife over a parking spot. The first punch literally knocked him several feet through the air.
The attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II is considered one of the biggest strategic blunders in the 20th century. Yamamoto may or may not have actually said the "sleeping giant" line, but we do know that he mentioned his misgivings regarding this to his superiors:
Yamamoto: In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain, I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.
While whether or not he said the Sleeping Giant phrase is debatable, what is verified is that during a meeting where plans to attack Midway were being discussed, Yamamoto flat-out told all the assembled officers that America's industrial might would crush Japan. This stunned all of them, as they firmly believed in their own superiority and defeat was unthinkable. Yamamoto, however, had no such illusions and knew their only chance was to inflict so much damage on the Americans that they sued for peace. Yamamota also knew that would never happen, and that America would curb-stomp Japan, but he was in a position where he had to cling to the smallest hope no matter how unlikely. He did live long enough to see the tide of the war turn hopelessly against Japan, but not to see their final defeat and surrender.
It bears mentioning that at this time, the United States had already tipped the first world war over, and despite its non-interference with the second one's beginnings, is still stupidly bigger to the point of most individual states being the size of Japan, and having originally been the nation to use Gunboat Diplomacy to bring Japan into the international community kicking and screaming.
Germany's attack on the Soviet Union (with whom they had a previous nonaggression pact) didn't turn out any better. What makes it this trope is that any idiot should be able to look at population numbers and know that for Germany, losing half a million men out of their army would be a disaster, whereas for the Soviet Union sacrificing one million men to kill half that many Germans would be a victory.
In reality, it was not so simple. As with hindsight, we know it was a mistake. But at the time, no one believed in the Russians and their ability to fight; no one took the red army seriously, to the point that the Allies themselves were debating whether or not they should attack the Russians. So to the Nazis and most strategists at the time, it was not such a horrible, terrible mistake as we know now.
Germany declaring war on the United States after the Pearl Harbor attack is generally considered the second-biggest blunder of the war, or at least tied with invading the Soviet Union. Hitler wanted freedom to have his U-Boats attack American ships, which were delivering supplies to England, so he declared war. All that did was give Roosevelt the excuse he needed to put Germany squarely in America's sights, and to demonstrate to the entire world that America was fully capable of fighting two major wars on multiple fronts simultaneously. Basically, all Roosevelt did was tell the Army and the Atlantic Fleet to handle Europe, and let the Pacific Fleet and the Marines handle Japan.
It should be stated that Germany had only a few vague ideas on how to attack America itself at all when they decided to declare war, much less invade. Germany had a much weaker navy than the United States Atlantic fleet alone, and a truly transatlantic naval invasion had not (and still hasn't) been attempted. Whats worse is that no matter what outcome of the war in the Pacific (remember, the Japanese only wanted to force America to sue for peace after conquering the Pacific islands), there would eventually be a lot more pissed-off Americans coming to kill Hitler. Unless, of course, the Germans caved before the genetically inferior Japanese, but that could never happen, right?
Audie Murphy in Hollywood. Wannabe macho types would take one look at this wiry little five-foot-eight man with the babyface and the soft, high-pitched voice and say: "That's the most decorated American soldier of WWII? I bet I could take him." Murphy had been a scrapper in school and in the Army due to his hot temper, small size and Embarrassing First Name, and practiced boxing and judo in Hollywood. He invariably curbstomped his attackers with anything that was handy, ranging from riding crops to lead pipes to bricks. Eventually, he got tired of having to deal with these clowns, and finagled a concealed-carry permit from his friends in the LAPD. After that, he would usually just pull a .45 service pistol on the troublemakers and make them back down without a fight, which saved considerable wear and tear on his knuckles and their faces.
Tim Langdell (owner and sole employee of Edge Games) made a career out of bullying dragons he had numerous dubious trademarks on the word Edge and would force settlements out of companies to use the word, using doctored evidence to make it look like he was maintaining the trademarks (and they were thus valid) when he actually wasn't. Amusingly, his downfall came partially from picking on someone his own size although it was ultimately the biggest, nastiest dragon he tangled with (one Electronic Arts) that humiliated him in court and forced him into a settlement that was very much in their favor (including forcing him to withdraw many of his trademarks), their legal case was based in large part on evidence gathered by indie game developers and enthusiasts after they bullied small independent developer Mobigame, having their title Edge removed from the iPhone App Store and threatening them with legal action if they tried to reinstate it.
John "Totalbiscuit" Bain has had several problems with indie game developers putting copyright strikes against his YouTube channel after he gives their games extremely scathing reviews, only to back down after TB or his fanbase tear them apart. One of them (the makers of Guise of the Wolf) actually threatened to sue, only to back down when Totalbiscuit encouraged them to do so, knowing that no sane prosecutor would willingly take a losing case (as reviews are constitutionally protected) as well as having Polaris' lawyers at his back.
North Korea, while having a very large military in personnel, and having the highest percentage of military spending to GDP (25%), still fall under this trope, since their army is generally poorly fed, equipped with outdated weapons, and spends a lot less on its military than South Korea does (which spends almost as much on its military as North Korea has a GDP). Yet they still have broken the cease-fire agreement with the South many times and constantly reiterate their wish to crush South Korea & the US. They only get away with it because they are backed by their own dragon, China (and even China's beginning to get sick of putting up with their crap). Their nuclear arsenal would make them a very dangerous enemy to South Korea if they could successfully launch a nuclear missile, and the jury's still out on whether they have that ability. Nevertheless, their threats against the United States still fall under this trope.
Burt Reynolds tells a story of meeting Rocky Marciano. Reynolds sized up the former heavyweight champion boxer and thought to himself that he could probably take him. Rocky immediately leaned forward and said, "Don't even think about it!" When Reynolds asked how he knew what he was thinking, Marciano simply replied, "I always know." Apparently Marciano had trouble with people thinking they could best the champ.
Aaron Barr of HB Gary Federal publicly bragged on the Internet about how he was going to take down Anonymous using social engineering, after having done "research" on potential criminals in reality, mostly innocent people who passively supported them, which pissed Anonymous off to a huge degree. Yes, that Anonymous. It... didn't end well for him. After the resulting digital Curb-Stomp Battle, he was forced to resign in disgrace. Stephen Colbert said it best:
Anyone stupid enough to intentionally piss off Anonymous, or doing acts that get their attention, will usually not survive the backlash they will receive. The Zetadrug cartel are one of the exceptions (specifically, the Zetas threatened to kill people if Anonymous messed with them) so in that case, it was one dragon bullying a nastier dragon.
Duncan Ferguson is a Scottish footballer. He is often known as Duncan Disorderly. Despite this, he has been burgled twice while he was home. End result, the burglars get the crap beaten out of them.
A group of thugs reportedly sized up Chuck Norris, not believing his badassery to be real (memes aside, Chuck Norris is a highly skilled martial artist with multiple black belts, including one in a style he invented himself). When the police showed up a few minutes later, Chuck was leaning amicably against the wall and the thugs' arms were broken so badly the police were afraid to handcuff them lest their injuries become even more severe. That and the cops were laughing themselves sick at the whole situation.
Reportedly, one of the officers asked the injured thugs something like "Do you not know who this man is?" to which they responded "Yeah, we know, but we thought the stuff on TV was fake!"
In 2007, a gorilla named Bokito escaped from his enclosure in a Dutch zoo, seized a female visitor and dragged her around, inflicting several bone fractures and over a hundred bite wounds on her, then entered a nearby restaurant and caused a panic that resulted in the wounding of three more people. The first victim had been visiting the gorilla exhibit four times a week, always placing her hands on the glass, making eye contact with Bokito and smiling at him. She was told by zookeepers to not do that because gorillas see it as a sign of aggression, but she ignored them, claiming to have a "special bond" with the gorilla.
Anyone who attempts to taunt or annoy a police officer will usually get their asses handed to them. While a cop won't use force on an unruly person, all bets are off if said person gets physical with the officer or worse (which is also doubly true when the instigator is drunk or drugged up). Cops are usually armed with a gun and may also have a tonfa, pepper spray, and/or a taser.
The same can be said for members of the Armed Forces. Discipline and self-control are large aspects of being in the military, so most members will hold back and brush off taunts or attempts at picking a fight with them. However, physical training and combat are also large aspects of being in the military, meaning many a person who has pushed a soldier a little too far has gotten the supreme crap kicked out of them.
This goes double for FBI personnel and staff. It's been said, for example, that a disgruntled FBI official who had been passed over for a promotion by the Executive Branch gave some dirty laundry to investigative journalists. The FBI official in question? Mark Felt, alias Deep Throat. The investigative journalists in question? Woodward and Bernstein. The end result? The first time in American history a President resigned from office. Do not mess with the FBI.
Most people think that being rude to, threatening, or harassing an Uber driver (or committing crimes in their cars) is a great idea. Unfortunately for the passenger, the cars are owned by the drivers themselves and if necessary, the drivers will sometimes carry firearms, tasers, or other forms of self-defense should the need arise.
Taunting a gang or any criminals in general that are capable of hurting or killing people is a good way of getting yourself wrecked.
Recent stories of police harassing motorists call to mind an Urban Legend alleged to have taken place during World War II. According to this admittedly apocryphal account, some soldiers were transporting important material for the Manhattan Project cross country, via Army truck. The material was classified, and absolutely no one unauthorized was to see it. During the trip, the truck was stopped by a couple policemen, who demanded to search the contents of the truck. The soldiers protested that they were transporting military secrets, and that their orders were that no one unauthorized was to see the contents of the truck. The police replied that they didn't care and that the soldiers were to open the damn truck right now. The soldiers opened the truck, which contained the classified material as well as a couple of armed MPs who, acting on standing orders, immediately shot and killed the policemen. The soldiers then contacted Washington, and were ordered to dispose of the bodies in an unmarked grave.
In the 1980s, there was a rash of hostage takings by terrorists. Some terrorists had the bright idea to take hostages from the Soviet Union, ignoring the fact that, at the time, the USSR was a global superpower with limited respect for human rights or international law. The result: the KGB in turn abducted family members of the hostage-takers and returned them to the terrorists one small piece at a time. It was a long time before anyone attempted to take Russian hostages.
Small animals such as geese, small dogs, insects, and such that are any combination of too aggressive, territorial, or stupid to realize that hassling a human being is a bad idea. Often the only reason the animal survives the encounter is because the human in question chooses to run to avoid whatever little injuries he or she could suffer, or because they can't bring themselves to fight back and injure or kill said animal. Watch this video and count off how many times this guy picks this goose up by the neck and chooses to simply toss it from the boat rather than actually harm it.
Numerous YouTube videos showing tourists going a bit too far in teasing British Royal Guards. They end up quickly discovering that you don't really want to mess with them. Despite their infamous reputation for not responding to anything, they're still trained soldiers who are carrying high-powered rifles. Specifically, they are ordered to stand at attention at all times unless they are marching back and forth, but are in fact allowed to move to deter a "nuisance" (such as the dumb-ass tourist taunting them). The part about "standing perfectly still" really gets on their nerves if you try to test that, and will earn you an aggressive "STAND BACK FROM THE GUARD!" and likely a loaded rifle pointed at you. Here's an example of someone pestering a guard. It goes as well as you'd expect.
The Dro: "Scout, she can swallow you whole. Be nice."
Game developer Digital Homicide notorious for crappy Steam games decided to sue over 100 anonymous Steam users for 18 million dollars, basically saying they're a hate group and assuming Valve would just hand over the information of the users. While Valve is very hands-off in general, Digital Homicide's actions provoked the proverbial dragon by getting all their games removed from Steam and were effectively banned. Digital Homicide had to drop the case because their business had been "destroyed" by the removal of all their games. However, this did not stop them from attempting to sue Jim Sterling, who had called them out for their shady actions numerous times before. When the two actually met in court, Jim was backed up by an actual lawyer while Digital Homicide tried to represent themselves. Jim's lawyers gave Digital Homicide an ultimatum; everyone pays their share of the court costs and the case gets dropped or they'll utterly destroy the game studio in court. Digital Homicide wisely backed down and went bankrupt as a result.
Jim Rome's infamous Talk2 interview with Jim Everett. For years, Rome had nicknamed him "Chris Everett", the name of a female tennis player, and prodding of Everett infamously curling into the fetal position to avoid a sack. He decided to continue this in a face to face interview. Naturally, a 6'5 retired NFL player is more than a match for a 5'9 sportscaster. As Rome discovered when Everett flipped the table and knocked him over.
This video shows a Nile crocodile attacking a fully grown African elephant. At best, a crocodile is even at its largest less than a quarter of the size of an elephant, and an elephant is fully capable of killing a crocodile merely by stepping on it. The elephant's power is shown when it lifts the crocodile out of the water while its holding onto its trunk, but appears to settle for just shaking off the crocodile instead of crushing it.
Judge sets bail to a girl. Girl said 'Adios' as she left, which the judge found a bit too sassy, and had her bail increased. That bit may be Disproportionate Retribution, but what brought it to this trope is when the girl flipped the judge off (with the requisite 'fuck you'), causing the judge to sentence her for contempt.
Edmund Kemper's mother, according to his own account of events, made a lifestyle out of verbally harassing and tormenting him. This, despite the fact that he was six-foot-nine-inches tall, and had spent time at Atascadero State Hospital for murdering his grandparents at age 15. This turned out about as well as you could expect it to.