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Bears Are Bad News
aka: Everythings Worse With Bears

Spike: A bear! You made a bear!
Buffy: I didn't mean to...
Spike: UNDO IT! UNDO IT!

Want to make a bad situation worse? Add a bear!

Just as monkeys and penguins are guaranteed to make something funnier or cuter, bears have a knack for scaring the crap out of everyone. Polar and brown bears are the largest extant land-based predators in the world (The African lion is slightly smaller though stronger physically), with a penchant for aggressive behavior, so it's easy to see whynote . Because of this, throwing a bear into a scene is the best way to let the audience know that our heroes have gone beyond rock bottom and are now totally screwed.

This can sometimes be Truth in Television. Being between a mama bear and her cub has been justly described as the most dangerous place on earth, but any number of bears can be very dangerous indeed.

Bears have such a long history of scaring the Pooh out of human beings that most of the names we've ever given them are derived from conciliatory euphemisms, as part of an old taboo against naming something so dangerous. The English word 'bear' originally meant "brown one", and the Slavic word medved originally meant "honey eater". Even the original Proto-Indo-European word such words are avoiding was related to the word for "harm" or "injury", proving just how ancient this particular Primal Fear is.

It's also a great way to raise the credentials of any villain or Anti-Hero if you give them a bear. Especially as a mount, because there's nothing more cool than riding a bear... except maybe a robot bear or zombie bear, or a bear made of fire or ice...

Ursine Aliens can also invoke this. Contrast with to Pandaing To The Audience, Beary Funny and Beary Friendly, which are about more positive depictions of bears.

Do not confuse this with The Bear, which is about a big hairy Manly Gay guy. In Australia, you should watch out for Drop Bears.

For animals that tend to get a similar treatment, see Savage Wolves, Threatening Shark, and Never Smile at a Crocodile.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • An old Pepsi commercial had five bears emerging from the wilderness to terrorize a small town by spelling out "Pepsi" in a distinctly "YMCA"-style dance. After the townspeople fearfully comply to the beasts' request, a man remarks, "Heaven help us if they ever learn the Macarena."
    • Coca-Cola, on the other hand, is famous for its commercials with lovable, cute polar bears. A serious subversion.
  • Is it any wonder that Sugar Bear is the only cereal mascot who successfully runs off anyone who tries to take his Golden Crisp as opposed to all the other sorry saps like Lucky and the Trix Rabbit?
    • During the sugar-is-now-evil transition from Super Sugar Crisp to Super Golden Crisp in the 1980s, Sugar Bear could turn himself into Super Bear. Super Bear was a realistic-looking grizzly bear with no traces of cuddliness whatsoever. Eventually, Post figured out that a scary carnivore might not be the best mascot for a children's cereal, and the concept was dropped. Breakfast of the Gods takes advantage of that brief time that Super Bear was scary.
    • In the early '60s, when Sugar Bear became a sweater-wearing hipster, his tv ads showed him barging into sweet old Granny's house and stealing her cereal. A thieving nuisance, but at least he was mellow and good-natured.
  • According to the Boston Bruins hockey team, if you do not follow the unwritten rules and etiquette of being a hockey fan, a giant bear will find you and kick your ass. And when it's done doing that, it will dance. The bear has since become the team's commercial mascot, as it has been shown promoting new jerseys, rallying fans for a new season, celebrating Christmas and doing a little exercise. But it still finds time to punish those who violate good hockey fan behavior.
  • Want someone to bully campers into putting out their fires?
  • McDonald's is apparently so delicious that even bears will attack your car for it.
    • In one memorable commercial, the Hamburglar planned to scare Ronald and the others out of their cheeseburgers with a bear costume, but they were onto him; they planned to humor him for a while, but unfortunately, a real bear came along first, who they mistook for him. Suffice to say, Hilarity Ensued.
  • Orangina has a dancing bear for its commercial who is about to attack a doe... until he sees the doe drinking Orangina!
  • How could a Panda Bear be evil?
  • Australian rum brand Bundaberg Rum features a polar bear as its mascot, the Bundy Bear, who prominently features in their advertising. Things do tend to be worse with "Bundy" around, but that's got more to do with how he's an enormous Troll to tourists.
  • This bear working in the movie business is almost a subversion, weren't it for the occasional tantrum. Also, he seems to be very fond of Stuff Blowing Up.
  • A Capri-Sun commercial has a kid beating a giant cyborg bear with the straw from his pouch.
  • An ad for Hotels dot com has a family lost in some woods, and the father wandering outside the car briefly, before a bear seen briefly in the background chases him back and forth. In the end though, he just winds up, inexplicably, with just a broken arm as a result of the encounter.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The most infamous straight play in anime or manga would be Ginga Nagareboshi Gin. The primary nemeses are bears. The leader bear, Akakabuto, is an ungodly huge, strong and malicious bear with one eye.
  • Bizarrely drawn (and bizarrely voiced...seriously, they emit some kind of screech instead of growling) bears shows up several times in Haré+Guu. Actually, this is counted as normal for this anime.
  • Biomega gives us Kozlov, a Russian scientist who had his mind uploaded into a bear. He's also a sniper.
  • Senri in +Anima. Especially when his eyepatch comes off on a large mountain and he starts attacking everyone. The only way it stopped was by both The Power of Friendship and Cooro putting his Eyepatch of Power back on.
  • Sherwood the Monster Princess (not Hime, her sister) from Princess Resurrection has blood-immortal empowered Panda bears as her Servants. They have, for example, ripped to shreds an army of lesser vampires.
  • Even Ranma ½ includes an unbearable example. While in the original manga, Ranma fought Cologne on the beach while she summoned a shark to assist her, in the anime, the fight instead takes place in a mountain resort, where in an even more outlandish fashion, she creates an ice sculpture of a bear that she can levitate and use to attack on a whim.
    • When Ranma, Genma, and Soun need to retrieve the scroll of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique from a women's Onsen before Happosai does, they have the bright idea of painting Genma's cursed form (a 7-foot-tall panda bear) to resemble a huge, voracious bear and scare off the women. Unfortunately, the only paint they had on hand was white...
    Cue the beatings.
    • In the manga, Ryū Kumon is introduced by soundly beating up an escaped bear that was attacking Nodoka (before Ranma could even intervene).
    • Genma himself, turns into a giant panda when wet, and one of the worst Abusive Parents ever. He already had that (dis)honor before he was cursed...
  • In Sekirei, the animal avatar that represents Musubi is a bear. Musubi herself is the Determinator type, and the Bear-Fist is one of her attacks.
  • In Koihime†Musou's Hot Springs Episode, Rinrin comes across a bear that she thinks is a little cub she raised when she was a kid. It isn't. Cue fleeing from angry bear.
  • In Kamen no Maid Guy, after training in the mountains, Naeka feels as though she could take on a bear. She finds herself staring down a growling grizzly moments later, courtesy of Kogarashi. Turns out she's not as ready as she thought.
  • A similar incident occurs in History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. Kenichi, annoyed by his training in the mountains, throws a rock at what he thinks is his eldest master secretly watching him. It turns out to be, you guessed it, a bear. Despite being a fan of How-To books, Kenichi does exactly the wrong things in trying to escape this particular bear.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! takes the Mama Bear to literal levels, having a bear named Mama serve as the Apron Matron in charge of Ako, Akira, and Natsumi. She beats up anyone who dares abuse the girls serving under her.
    • Earlier in the series, Negi along with Ninja Kaede (only he was scared) are chased through the woods by a bear while carrying a giant cookable mushroom.
  • Teddy Bomber from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Cowboy Funk".
  • In Futakoi Alternative a loan shark walks around with a polar bear for some extra muscle.
  • One of the most famous scenes in Hajime No Ippo has Takamura fighting against an angry bear to save his own life, after Ippo and the other Kamogawa boxers ran away from it when all of them were training in the mountains. Takamura actually wins against the bear in a hilarious and awesome moment. Despite that, Takamura spares the bear's life after he sees it's actually a Mama Bear with two cubs crying for it. The whole incident leaves Takamura with three giant scars on his chest and gaining him the title "Bear Slayer" after the thing hits the news. It also doubles with the Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? trope, as Takamura never shies away from reminding others that he beat a goddamn bear.
  • In My Heavenly Hockey Club, the hockey club runs afoul of a bear during a trip in the woods... and it makes a strong connection with Hana. Eventually they try to teach it to play field hockey so they can use it as a goalie in an upcoming game... but contrary to what they'd hoped, it's immediately noticed to be a bear and carted off, perpetuating the Running Gag of the team never getting to actually play a single game.
  • The World Is Mine has an overall bear motif: A giant bear-like creature called Hakumadon is attacking Japan, rampaging through whole towns and turning anyone who encounters it into slurry ("My daughter followed my mother into the woods and they both came back in a bucket!"). One of the two Mad Bomber Serial Killers, Mon, always carries a stuffed teddy bear which is implied to be the only friend he had as a child. When Mon encounters Hakumadon, his partner Toshi dies and he gets shredded... but both miraculously survive, the only evidence being Mon's slashed teddy bear. When Mon and Hakumadon meet again, another character thinks he sees Mon once more getting killed, but again he survives. A few characters wonder if Hakumadon is a god sent to reclaim the earth or that it and Toshi+Mon are in a "killing contest". In reality, Hakumadon is an American shock-and-awe weapon/robot that went out of control — imagine the Big Dog rig but three stories tall, covered in shaggy fur with yard-long teeth and claws. Appears to have been inspired by the "Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident" (see Real Life).
  • The Beastmaster Maeda Matsu in the Sengoku Basara anime, in a fit of temper, ultimately calls up a bear to attack her brother-in-law Keiji. Keiji is already making a hasty retreat and the bear attacks Matsu's husband Toshiie instead (though Toshiie comes out of it more or less fine since the whole thing is played for laughs).
  • One Piece, being as fond of Animal Motifs as it is, of course has some:
    • The original Seven Warlords of the Sea all have an animal theme. Bartholomew Kuma's is, naturally, a bear. Both times he's appeared to antagonize the Straw Hats, things went south fast for the heroes. However, Kuma can also be a subversion, the first time appeared Zoro was able to appeal to Kuma's honor to be allowed to sacrifice himself in place of Luffy. In the Shabaody Islands, Kuma's arrival was what saved the Straw Hats, despite initial appearances.
    • We also get Kumacy, Perona's giant zombie teddy bear. He shows up in the middle of Ussop's fight with Perona — that's already going pretty badly - and delivers a nasty No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that forces the sniper to Take A Level In Bad Ass just to survive it.
    • One of Trafalgar Law's crew members is a bear in a jumpsuit. It knows kung fu.
    • In the flashback to their childhood, Ace begun caring for Luffy after the later got mauled almost to death by a bear.
    • A Bear Zoan-type Devil Fruit, however, is notably absent. Yet.
  • Death Panda, by Waita Uziga (yes, him).
  • Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun starts with the main character fighting a bear twice his size - and several moments later it shows that his sister has beaten an even larger one.
  • While Kinnikuman is training for his match with Warsman, Mari-chan is attacked by a bear and he has to save her. It puts him in the Palo Special, which he counters with a Kinniku Buster.
  • In Naruto, a flashback shows a young Karin being threatened by an almost comically-oversized bear while her teammates are nowhere to be found. Sasuke then comes by and drop-kicks it.
    • We later see more of them on the island Killer Bee and A trained on including one with an eyepatch. Bee apparently spends some of his "vacation" time sumo-wrestling them.
  • General Olivier Armstrong's Badass Army in Fullmetal Alchemist is nicknamed the "Briggs Bears".
  • Speaking of Arakawa's manga, this trope is played for laughs in Silver Spoon, when a Beware Of Bears sign in the woods makes our hero so nervous that he mistakes an approaching horse for a bear.
  • Ooku starts with a young boy getting mauled by a bear while picking mushrooms in the forest. And then the gendercide plague hits his family and spreads throughout Japan. The two may or may not be related
    • It turns out bears are carriers for the Redface Pox, said gendercide plague.
  • In Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, while searching for a lost girl, Sherlock comes across a bear. She tries to play nice with it, but this is a bear that can uppercut. That the bear knocks her into the sky and off the cliff is a major catalyst for the episode. When Sherlock, Kokoro and Airi come across that same bear later, it's still almost invincible.
  • Almost played straight in Hayate the Combat Butler, during a school hiking trip, one of the groups is terrorized by a huge bear. Which is then turned into a pet by Isumi.
  • Saint Seiya: Some of the training scenes feature fighting bears with their bare hands as a means of showing how dangerous it is.
  • Yaiba: When the revenant warrior Goemon Ishikawa Turns Red he transforms into a huge, armored Bear-Man armed with dual sais and Fuuma Shuriken.
  • Early on, the eponymous Baki the Grappler has to wrestle a monster bear as Training from Hell.
  • In Softenni, the girls run into a bear about three times the size of an average human in the mountains. Kurusu not only fights it to a draw (while naked), she lets the bear give the team a ride up the mountain.
  • Holo of Spice and Wolf finds out that her hometown was destroyed by a gigantic bear spirit.
  • The Digimon franchise has Grizzmon, an Adult-level grizzly bear. He's appeared twice in different anime series: first in the Digimon Frontier movie as the commander of the Beast Digimon army, and many appear late in Digimon Xros Wars as a staple Mook species in Apollomon's army. Expanded universe material bills the species as ferocious warriors with honourable spirits. Related is Bearmon, Grizzmon's lesser Child-level incarnation who takes the form of a bear cub, also appearing in the Frontier movie and Xros Wars.
  • Inverted in Haruhi-chan. In one episode, Tsuruya claims that she once defeated a bear.
  • Subverted with Shirokuma Cafe. Shirokuma is the friendly polar bear owner of the titular cafe, Panda is a regular customer who prefers the lazy lifestyle, and even the Badass Biker Grizzly, is a genuinely nice grizzly bear who just has a low tolerance for foolishness.
  • Tono To Issho: Azai Nagamasa fears that Oda Nobunaga will send a bear in place of his sister Oichi as a wife. He then imagines Oichi as a dominatrix in charge of a bear army.
  • Subverted - sort of - in an episode of Pokémon. In this case, the "bear" that was bad news was a Teddiursa, a cute-looking bear cub that stole food and blamed it on other Pokemon. At the end of the episode, when it was finally caught and scolded by the heroes, it evolved into a grown-up, ferocious-looking Ursaring, at which point the heroes fled in fear, and it simply watched with an expression that seemed to say "Huh?"
    • Oh yeah, did we mention that Ursarings can fire lasers(Hyper Beam) from their mouths?
    • Paul's Ursaring exemplifies this more than any other specimen on the show. Almost NOTHING can even slow it down, and anything that DOES seemingly work on it invariably ends up making it angry, and consequently stronger. When it comes out, there's little Ash can do but gawk in horror as it annihilates his Pokemon.

    Comics 
  • In one of Garth Ennis' more bizarrely hilarious moments, The Punisher falls into a polar bear enclosure at a zoo. Hearing the bad guy mooks in pursuit, Frank punches the nearest bear. Frank escapes, and the enraged bear attacks the bad guys. The finale includes Frank throwing the big bad into the bear pit and letting the bears chew her arms and legs off.
  • One graphic novel in the Blacksad series had an (anthropomorphic) polar bear heading the "Arctic Nation", a Nazi/KKK fusion white-fur supremacy group. The leader was undercover. In the first album one of Statoc's enforcers is a brown bear.
  • A zombie bear (Ursa Major, of the Russian Avengers) appears in Marvel Zombies. It bites down on Machine Man's head where he impales it with spikes and rips it apart. Hell, you wouldn't want to get on Ursa Major's bad side in actual Marvel continuity either, even if he is a good guy. He's pretty tough. In fact, he's pretty tough even in human form.
  • There's a Far Side cartoon in which a bar fight is happening in an old Western saloon. From the speed at which people are running out the door/being thrown through the window, it's implicit that there's a pretty tough guy inside. Well, his bear is parked outside among the horses.
    • Gary Larson actually did this a few times. Another example can be summarized by quoting the caption. Two bear hunters are examining the gruesome fate of a third, and one of them says:
    There he is, just like all the others. Tied up with his own shotgun, hunting license stuffed in his mouth. I want this bear, Dave. I want him bad.
    • In one strip a shark tricks a bunch of beach-goers into the water by shouting "Bear! Bear!"
    • In another one, the well-known fact that female bears are fiercely protective of their offspring was lampooned, where the cartoon had a tired office worker absent-mindedly stepping into an elevator between a mother grizzly and her cub. (She seemed docile in the scene as shown, but according to the caption, what was about to happen would not be pleasant.)
  • The British comic 2000 AD had an ongoing strip about Shako, a polar bear Villain Protagonist supposedly inspired by the shark in Jaws, thus neatly combining the worst aspects of both bears and sharks.
  • The archenemy of the New Mutant Dani Moonstar is the Demon Bear, a gigantic spectral bear who steals souls and seemed to have killed her parents.
  • In a story by Wilhelm Busch, a bear eats the donkey of Saint Anthony, but Anthony makes the bear carry him instead.
  • Rhymes With Orange has a strip set in an office building. There's a live bear in a display case with the case labeled, "To put your emergency in perspective, break glass."
  • Tintin has an unfortunate encounter with bears in Destination Moon. At first, he is covered with cuddly bear cubs who want to get their paws on his lunch (sandwiches with honey), but he goes Oh Crap when he sees the mean-looking parents coming.
  • A recurring storyline in Non Sequitur is "Homer the Reluctant Soul" which involves Homers numerous lives and rebirths; many of them end at the hands of a bear; at the end of one of his lives, it revealed that this is actually the same bear, whom he has met in the bear's numerous lives. (It's name in the afterlife is Maurice; when he confronts it there, it simply says, "Right, like the food chain is my fault?")
  • In the tenth day after his creation, the Monster in The Frankenstein Monster is confronted by a bear in the woods, whom he kills and uses its pelt to create his signature vest.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Fic 

    Films — Animated 
  • Brave has Mor'du. He's twelve feet tall with razor sharp claws, one glowing red eye and an almost rabid taste for human flesh. You know, for kids! He also ripped off the leg of King Fergus, father of protagonist Merida, leading him to have an unending grudge against bears. Given Merida leads her queen mom to become a bear, Bears Are Really Bad News...
  • The climax of The Fox and the Hound. Where a bear is portrayed as some demonic beast spawned from the depths of Hell. (This has a lot to do with the fact that Amos shoots it but only wounds it, making it very, very angry, as wounded animals often are.)
  • In Fun and Fancy Free, this is averted with Bongo, Lulubelle and the gang of friendly bears, but played straight with the huge, monstrous bear, Lumpjaw.
  • The bear who fights the title character and his daughter in the Balto sequel. Thanks to his embodiment of an animal totem, he comes across as more of a spirit guide, but he's still fairly menacing and seems to believe Scare 'Em Straight is the best way to guide them.
    • The first movie had a fight with a bear near the beginning of Balto's journey to find the medicine, and the bear was portrayed as outright demonic.
    • Even though they are cubs and thus good the polar bears Muk and Luk spell this trope for their babysitter, "Uncle" Boris (who at one point says "I hate bears!"). Good thing that they apparently are stuck as cubs forever (if the time between the movie and sequels is of any indication)
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has living gummy bears trying to take out a Flying Car gremlin style, until being stopped by a gummy bear loving monkey.
  • Seemingly played straight in Brother Bear, when the main character sees bears as irritations at first and goes on to full-blown hatred towards them after one inadvertently caused his brother's death. Subverted when he turns into one and finds out that bears actually aren't so terrible.
  • Lotso, the teddy bear from Toy Story 3 is a straight example.
  • Supposedly played straight in Alpha and Omega when several bears threaten Humphrey and Kate due to Humphrey for accidentally making a cub cry, but ultimately a subversion. If such bears can be defeated by wolves with anime hair, then they clearly don't pose a threat at all (wolves are far too weak to even scratch a grizzly, so...). Though this proves otherwise. Subverted in the sequel A Howl-iday Adventure. Fearing that they might experience a repeat of what happened in the first film, Humphrey initially refuses to help a lost bear cub before doing so. But at the film's climax, the bear cub actually gets his mother and their fellow bears to effectively use this trope to defeat King and his rogue wolves and force them into retreating.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The new Trope Namer, the 1976 film The Bad News Bears, actually has nothing to do with this trope. Those Bears just sucked at playing baseball.
  • The 1966 film The Night of the Grizzly is one of the earliest "Killer Bear" films.
  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: the prospect of a woman joining the news team will raise the possibility of the network being overwhelmed by bear attacks as they are attracted to her menses; at the film's climax the hero and heroine must defend themselves after falling into the bear pit at the zoo.
  • The all but forgotten 1979 eco-horror flick Prophecy features mercury-crazed, skinless, gooey mutant bear which is attacking the human populace nearby. Then the geniuses take her cubs...
  • In Back To The Future Part III, Marty discovers that the cave he hid in houses a bear. He runs.
  • Spaceballs: Spaceball-1 is about to self-destruct, and the bad guys are trying to get to their escape pods, but since it's a Mel Brooks movie, there were also a bunch of circus folk on the ship, and they took all of the escape pods. Skroob tries to buckle himself into what he thinks is the only empty pod, but there is also a bear, to make this part more hilarious. It scared President Skroob. Even funnier when you remember that the circus was ordered closed earlier in the film by Lord Helmet as punishment.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Semi Pro "Everybody panic! Oh my God there's a bear loose in the stadium! There will be no refunds!"
    • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The trainer for that bear was killed by said bear later that year. And the bear got put down.
  • In The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, the horrible disembowellings by the mutant are at first attributed to a bear.
    Ranger Brad: In my time as a forest ranger, I've seen bears do things not even a bear would do.
  • In The Edge, two men are stranded in the wilderness and must outsmart a bear in order to survive.
  • In Outlander, Kainan and several Vikings go searching for the creature that slaughtered a village. They find a giant bear. While the bear is bad enough in its own right, it wasn't the creature that slaughtered the village—and the Vikings assume that it was, and stop searching.
  • Grizzly featured a giant prehistoric killer bear going on a killing spree on ranger's station; the bear's claws are so sharp he can cut off a person's arms and decapitate a horse with a single swipe.
  • In Lake Placid, the group is chased and menaced by a bear...only for the gigantic crocodile to lunge out of the water and eat it.
  • In Road to Utopia, bears intrude in the cabin and Bob Hope mistakes one of them for his girlfriend while he groped its paw and commented on its long claws. One of them even talks.
  • The Great Outdoors features a large bear (rumored to be a man-eater) which had her head fur removed via shotgun many years earlier by John Candy's character. This bear shows up toward the end of the movie and is shot in the butt with the shotgun lamp, causing the raccoons to make fun of her.
  • The 13th Warrior features man-eating bear-monsters as the primary antagonists who turn out to be neolithic cavemen wearing bearskins.
  • Grizzly Bear Activist/Lunatic Timothy Treadwell, subject of the documentary Grizzly Man, made it his life's mission to prove this trope wrong. His mission: Unsuccessful.
  • In Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the two lead kids get menaced by a polar bear (or at least a man in a laughably awful polar bear costume).
  • In The Love Bug, as Thorndyke's car is stuck in mud and his assistant Havershaw attempts to push it out, a bear enters the car, enticed by the food they had. After they get out, Thorndyke immediately takes off without Havershaw, but because his racing goggles are heavily smeared with mud, he doesn't realize there's a bear until he strikes it, making it growl and prompting him to faint.
  • Br'er Bear in Song of the South certainly qualifies.
  • The mascot of the high school in Girls Nite Out is a bear. The killer steals the costume and gives it Wolverine Claws.
  • Claws, a hard to find film from the 80s.
  • Several direct-to-video films including Grizzly Park, Bear and Grizzly Rage.
  • Savage Planet featured space bears.
  • The Japanese film Yellow Fangs, which was based upon the Sankebetsu incident.
  • An amusing example shows up in the film Shoot to Kill.
  • The upcoming film Red Machine features a killer bear as the central antagonist. In 2013, the film was retitled Endangered and in 2014 it was retitled Grizzly.
  • The Three Stooges met with foul-tempered bears on more than one occasion. They were a little more civilized than the trope usually allows for; one even proved capable of driving a car and signaling for a turn.
  • Ted is a comedy about a teddy bear named Ted who comes to life as a result of a child's Christmas wish. Years later, the boy is all grown-up and struggling to become an adult. Ted is a slacker who just wants to drink beer and smoke pot and wants his best friend to do the same. Not scary, but still bad news.
  • In Berserker, the cast is menaced by a regular bear in addition to the bear-masked viking remnant. The two even fight each other at one point.
  • Bear, a film produced by Freddie Wong. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The Jigsaw-ish villains of the Death Tube duology wear cartoon bear costumes, because it is a Widget Series.
  • The Adventures of the Wilderness Family features the family being menaced by a Grizzly bear several times. Averted in the case of the film's other bear, Samson, who later comes to their rescue.
  • One of the PCP-afflicted animals running loose in Wild Beasts is a polar bear named Pompeius, who at one point mauls a ballet teacher.
  • A grizzly bear is one of the creatures hounding the cast in Day of the Animals. When it confronts a character played by Leslie Nielsen, a brief wrestling mtach ensues.
  • Godzilla's stance and fighting style in Godzilla (2014) are partly based off of those of bears. A case of Shown Their Work, as Gojira's original suit actor based his movement on that of bears after studying them in zoos.
  • In Arnold Schwarzenegger's debut Hercules In New York, Hercules' date in Central Park is interrupted by a bear that has escaped from the zoo, which Hercules wrestles into submission.

    Literature 
  • Gone to absolutely ridiculous and eventually cinematic extremes in David Fletcher's Hunted: A True Story of Survival, in which a literal Mama Bear goes after the writer for killing her cub and it only ends when the writer manages to crush the bear under tons of ice. The kicker? It's supposed to be based on a "true story"
  • In the Chivalric Romance Valentine and Oursson, an abandoned boy is raised by a bear, and ends up a Wild Man of the Woods.
  • Averted by Terry Bisson in his short story "Bears Discover Fire."
  • One of the most memorable scenes from the American Girls series involves Kirsten Larson and an angry mama bear. Naturally, the illustration of the event was used for the cover of the latest edition. The associated meme has become one of the more well-known in the fandom.
  • The favored combat morph for Rachel in Animorphs. She acquired it specifically because she knew the team was taking on their most dangerous mission yet. Also, the characters consider their polar bear morphs (biggest land predator) to the baddest of their Badass. They only bust them out for serious shock value and mayhem.
  • In Clive Barker's Sacrament, the main character is mauled by a bear and ends up in a coma.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files:
    • Death Masks: the Denarians are first introduced. The first of them? Ursiel, a monstrous demonic bear rampaging through the alleys. It takes all three Knights of the Cross to take him down. Compare later battles where the Knights go one-on-one with the Nickelheads, or when Ivy takes on a large group singlehandedly. Some Tropers have blamed Conservation of Ninjutsu... but good grief, it's a bear!!
    • Turn Coat: they threw fireballs at the naagloshii, they threw lightning bolts, werewolves, vampires, heavy arms fire, the fires of creation that angels use. Nothing worked. What kicks its ass? Someone turned into a bear. A bear the size of a minibus.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The group, in the third book, has to fight a giant zombie cyborg bear god named "Shardik" in reference to the Richard Adams novel about a similar creature.
  • His Dark Materials has panserbjorne, sapient polar bears who wear full plate armor forged from meteoric iron. The name means "armored bears", but colloquially could be taken as "tank bears".
    • In The Movie they are called "Isbjorne", meaning "ice bears" or polar bears. Not as intimidating, but you do not want to run into a polar bear anywhere.
    • They are morally neutral, with their current king Iorek Byrnisson as a friend to the protagonists. Nonetheless, one should pity the ones that are enemies to the bears...
  • Although they don't have flamethrowers, bears in the Spellsinger series are among the most physically-formidable of all Warmlanders. Several of the bad guys use bears as Mooks, or recruit a bear as The Dragon.
  • The first book in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness has a giant, evil, demon-possessed bear that exists to kill things. If you suddenly can't see or hear any other animals, start praying.
  • Rasputin, a former circus bear which can drink beer and throw hand grenades, is adopted by the 27th Penal Panzer Regiment in Sven Hassel's The Bloody Road to Death. Porta is distraught when it gets killed in action. This, by the way, is based on fact (though the bear is fighting on the wrong side).
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: When the wights attack The Fist in A Storm of Swords, they have a reanimated undead bear in tow. Cue pants pissing.
    • A Storm of Swords also gives us the famous scene in which Brienne the Beauty is dropped into a pit with a bear that's angry, starved, and has been trained to kill and devour men. Her only weapons? A blunted sword and a lacy pink dress. She holds her own until The Cavalry arrives.
    • In A Clash of Kings, the loathsome Armory Loch is thrown unarmed and naked into the aforementioned bear pit. He dies horribly.
    • The bear is also the totem for the Northern House Mormont..a House which boasts a former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, as well as Danaerys Targaryen's former right-hand man, who killed at least two Dothraki warriors in combat..and that's just what happened "on-screen". They're also the only house that still swears fealty to the King in the North.
      • House Mormont's women are also warriors because they had to protect their children and lands from raiders while the men where elsewhere. Many are rumoured to have slept with bears.
  • In The Belgariad, males of a certain family possess the power to spontaneously become bears when the Rivan King is threatened. Given that they're already from the local Viking analogue, this just makes them more dangerous. Fittingly, they're from a culture that worships Belar, the bear god. It's not certain whether this is just a happy coincidence or a very direct blessing from Belar himself, but it is definitely awesome. There is also an extremist sect devoted to Belar known as the Bear-Cult. In the Belgariad they're a mild annoyance, but in the Mallorean they definitely make things worse. Belar, meanwhile, generally appears as a young blond-haired warrior, and not a bear.
  • A set of 3 novellas by Gordon R. Dickson was collected into The Right to Arm Bears. The Dilbians, bear-like natives of the planet Dilbia, have The Plan as their hat.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, the protagonists stay in the home of Beorn on their journey, and are warned not to go outside at night. The reason? He turns into a bear.
    • Even worse is his appearance at the Battle of Five Armies. "He came alone, and in bear's shape, and seemed to have grown almost to giant-size in his wrath." He charges through the entire Goblin army to retrieve Thorin's body, then does it again to chase down and kill Bolg, the Goblin Chieftan.
    • Though, unusually, Beorn and his descendants are good folks. They are also the prototypes for D&D werebears, whose alignment is lawful good.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
    • The dozy, good-hearted Bulgy Bears in Prince Caspian, a couple of dangerous non-talking bears, and the perpetually confused (though good fighter) Talking Bear in The Last Battle. In sum, for the protagonists, everything is even with bears.
    • There is also a bear mentioned in the round-up at the end of The Horse and His Boy, but there is nothing much wrong with that one that a good fist-fight won't put right.
    • Prince Caspian also provides a straight example of the trope when Lucy was attacked by a non-talking bear when they were traveling to meet the Narnian army. It serves as a warning that Narnia as a whole is not the nice place they were rulers of.
  • Richard Adams' Shardik, as referenced in the Stephen King entry above, features a bear which is believed to personify the power of God. Whether or not this is true, the bear only ever seems to maul the bad guys.
  • In the Cambridge Latin Course series of plot-oriented textbooks, a bitter British chieftain attempts to kill his rival chieftain with a bear he has spent a year training for murder. The bear breaks free of control and goes on a rampage, nearly killing the king. The rampage is stopped by Quintus, who has a penchant for heroic animal abuse. Nobody ever said it made sense.
  • The Bear Kingdom trilogy by Michael Coleman, might as well be called Bears Are Bad News: The Series. It takes place in an Alternate Universe, where bears have taken over, and humans are nothing more than slaves/pets, and sometimes...food.
  • In the Judge Dee story The Haunted Monastery, the judge, faced with a villain whose reputation and connections at the Imperial Court make him untouchable by the law, locks him in a room with an angry bear.
  • In Monster Hunter Vendetta, the MHI compound is attacked by an army of zombie animals, including at least one zombie bear that Owen and Agent Franks have to kill at close range.
  • In the Hoka stories, the aliens look like teddy bears, but they are indeed a menace. To your sanity, at least.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, Logistilla's bear is her guard, and it menaces some of her family on occasion.
  • The Bible
    • Elisha in 2 Kings 2:23-24, while walking up to Bethel, was insulted by some bandits. They had called him "bald head" and implied that he had been complicit in the death of Elijah. His response? Summoning two bears to come and maul 42 of them, making this trope Older Than Feudalism. There's a reason why this story isn't included in compilations of Bible stories meant for toddlers.
    • Also, David kills a bear and a lion that threaten his flock. People tend to forget that although he was only 12ish when he fought the giant Goliath, he was a pretty badass kid.
    • Even God himself states that bears make things worse in Amos 5:19: "It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear."
  • In the first of Keith Taylor's Bard stories, "Fugitives in Winter", Felimid tricks the enraged king hunting him into following a false trail into a bear cave. He wasn't expecting the inhabitant to be a two-headed monster that refused to stop at killing just the king, though...
  • A bear tries to attack the hunter in The Fox and the Hound, but Chief saves him.
  • Averted in Remote Man. The situation gets worse because of the smugglers who target the bears, not the bears themselves.
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A little girl lost for weeks in the forest is bad enough. This is also the Appalachians.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in Reverend Huuskonen's Beastly Manservant by Arto Paasilinna. Subverted in that the titular reverend adopts a bear cub, then a complicated series of events leads to him taking a grand tour or Eastern Europe all the way down to the Black Sea, training the bear to be an excellent manservant (unpacking suitcases, ironing and folding clothes, helping him during the sermons and running a bar with unrivalled efficiency). Played straight in that the bear's name is Beelzebub, and if you should threaten his master, he is still very much an adult male brown bear.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion series:
    • In The Curse of Chalion, the sick Roya Orico becomes much sicker when his pet bear is killed along with the rest of his menagerie, which was a gift from the Temple that magically kept him alive. But the leopard was the scary and dangerous animal.
    • In Paladin of Souls, a bear shows up, Foix dy Gura kills it, and the demon that was possessing the bear jumps into Foix.
    • In The Hallowed Hunt, Fafa the ice bear isn't killed, but:
    Ijada: I was imagining the most bizarre things befalling you.
    Ingrey: Did they include a six-hundred-pound ice bear and a pirate poet?
    Ijada: No...
    Ingrey: Then they weren't the most bizarre after all.
  • Grok from Star Risk, Ltd. is a nonhuman whose species strongly resembles bears. And he's not above using the resemblance to his advantage.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium series (inspired by Master of Orion) has the Bulrathi, a race of huge ursine Proud Warrior Race Guys, who are obsessed with melee combat despite almost everyone else using all manner of ranged energy weapons. During the Vague War, the Bulrathi would often interrogate captured humans, then hit them in the liver and send them home. After a few days, the person would die. In a quirk of evolution, Bulrathi speak with falsetto voices. On the other hand, they make excellent tenors, but good luck trying to watch a Bulrathi performance without bursting into laughter (unless you're afraid of having your head torn off). True to their nature, the Bulrathi even managed to use their voice as a weapon, specifically against the Silicoids, who use focused EM fields to move, communicate, and attack. The high-frequency sound emitted by Bulrathi warriors resonates with the Silicoid EM-emitting organ, requiring a single punch to disable it. One of the few Bulrathi featured in the series has become a Combat Pragmatist since the war, though. He never goes anywhere without his blaster and will take hostages if necessary, only engaging in honorable combat if he's sure he has the advantage.
  • Zigzagged in Seeker Bears, where the main bears are good, and most of the bears they meet along are okay talking with them. The only cases are Shoteka, Salik, Nanulak, and rogue bears.
  • If you meet a bear in any Fighting Fantasy gamebook, it's likely going to attack you.
  • The Lindauzi in The Wild Boy are an alien race that covertly killed millions of humans with a virus, then appeared with a cure for anyone who would live with them. And those who did were bred and kept like humans do dogs. Guess what they look like.
  • The book and film of Old Yeller has the title dog saving his humans from an angry mother bear after the youngest kid tried befriending a bear cub.
  • In Combat Team by Murray Leinster the wildlife is so dangerous that the only way people can survive on the planet is with the help of domesticated mutant Kodiak bears.
  • In the first All American Pups book, Claude Coyote leaves the pups alone and runs when he thinks he hears a bear, and Jake is worried about having to deal with it. Turns out, the bear noises were only Fritz's hoarse barking.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Walker, Texas Ranger featured bears a number of times, Episode 173 featuring a particularly scary one.
  • According to Scrubs, while unwanted pregnancy or STDs are not fun, "Losing a baseball scholarship because a bear ate your arm is a much worse consequence of sex." Probably true. This line immediately follows a flashback in which Elliott, having parked in the woods with her high school boyfriend, starts drizzling honey on him as part of foreplay when a ravenous bear comes and breaches the car, eating the poor guy's arm.
  • Then there's of course the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Pangs." An angry Native American spirit is locked in combat against Buffy, upon which he transforms into a large grizzly. Spike promptly blames Buffy and starts freaking out.
  • The Angel episode "Soul Purpose" is largely a series of nightmares experienced by Angel, who's being fed upon by a parasite. This includes a Squick-filled dissection scene involving, amongst other things, a completely random bear.
  • In a rather comical example, Jeff Corwin discovered that Asiatic black bears have really bad gas after eating a big meal.
    • During an episode in Alaska, Jeff pointed out that if a grizzly bear felt threatened, there was no way he could outrun or out-climb it. He'd just become its dinner.
  • One of the terrors of the horrible Mirror Universe in The Middleman.
    Ivan Avi: I was born into an evil world. Skies choked with ammonia, seas full of benzine, baby farms! Random suffocations...bears...
  • Juken Sentai Gekiranger is a show about two competing schools of martial arts styled after animals. The evil school has Maku, one of the most ridiculously overpowered villains in the series. Guess what his power animal is?
    • The same goes for his Western counterpart in Power Rangers Jungle Fury, Grizzaka. Even the other villains are wary of pissing him off.
    • Earlier example from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3: The Yellow Ranger has the bear as their animal motif, having three mecha with the theme (two anthropomorphic, one not).
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force has the Rangers gain a pair of bear zords: a black bear and a polar bear, able to shoot beams of fire and ice respectively. The Bear Brothers turn out to be too powerful for the main megazord to use reliably, forcing the Rangers to find a stronger zord that could handle the bears' strength.
  • One episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is famous for its use of the line, "The bear could be considered a lethal weapon."
  • One episode of Monk had a bear show up... twice. Both times were plot-relevant.
  • An episode of the Animal Planet series River Monsters filmed in Alaska had a run-in with a grizzly where it stole a salmon the host had hooked right off his line, then came back again. Only when the guide accompanying him fired a warning shot from the huge revolver he was carrying did the bear finally leave.
  • An episode of Reaper had Sam trying to get someone to sell their soul, and being chased out of the guy's property by a polar bear. Which had been delivered to the jerkass by the Devil. Andi in particular was amused. Sam was not.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • A sketch had a bearologist. He decided to kill his wife by releasing the bear he was studying, who then proceeded to... pick up a gun from a table and shoot her. (Which the scientist blamed on "too much TV", but the bear was revealed to be the bearologist's brother in disguise.)
    • One sketch featured a world in which bears killed everyone and took on the role of humans.
  • Surviving Disaster, a non-fiction surviving disaster show, has an episode on how to survive an avalanche — with a bear attack.
  • In the first season of LOST, the castaways are attacked by polar bears on a couple of occasions.
  • Stephen Colbert is famous for his fear and hatred of bears or "godless killing machines" (one once killed everything he loved), so naturally the featured film clip for his interview with The National Parks director Ken Burns features a river filled with almost a dozen grizzlies.
    Colbert: That is the scariest film I've ever seen.
  • Inverted with David Letterman, who loves bears and was positively thrilled when Jack Hanna let him hold a pair of day-old cubs. In a more recent show, Hanna was recounting how he, his wife, and a family of hikers had a close encounter with a Mama Bear and her pair of two-year old cubs (ironically just after shooting a PSA for the National Parks) and Letterman felt it would've been a shame if Hannah was attacked because it would have meant the possible death of the bear.
  • In Northern Exposure, Holling Vincouer was once mauled by a bear (whom he named Jesse) while hunting. While recovering, he claimed to have a nightmare where he was pursued by all the animals he had hunted in the past. The experience changed Holling; while he had sworn vengeance against Jesse (to the point where Jesse had become his personal Moby-Dick), he vowed never to hunt any animal other than Jesse except with a camera.
  • Dwight from The Office wisely fears bears. He once went to see a movie about bear attacks, but mistakenly walked into Wedding Crashers, he stayed, because "bears attack when you least expect it."
  • In an episode of Starsky & Hutch, Starsky gets kidnapped by a psycho cult. Things go about as expected, and at one point whilst trying to escape he turns a corner and comes face to face with a bear. A very large bear. That he is supposed to fight. With a rock. Yeah.
  • In one episode of Highlander, Duncan McLeod is helping a fugitive Native American woman who has stolen the child of a white mine owner to replace her own child that died of poisoning from polluted water from the mine. During the night, a bear wanders into the log cabin in which they're sheltering.
  • One All That skit had the crew smothering an unlucky Butt Monkey reporter freezing in the tundra with honey to attract a nearby polar bear.
  • In the Married... with Children episode, "Bearly Men", Al and Bud go hunting with Peggy's father to prove their manliness. Al and Bud run into a bear (they hit it with a car). Thinking it dead, they take the bear home... only for it to wake up and escape into Chicago. Al, Bud, and Peggy's father then have to go after it.
  • A demonic-looking bear actually shows up in Teletubbies along with a similarly demonic-looking lion. The bear in the flying carousel, on the other hand isn't scary at all.
  • On Boy Meets World, as part of an Escalating War, one group of the main characters superglue the other main characters to their classroom seats, dowse them in honey and set a bear loose in the classroom. Givin that the source of the bear is never explained, nor do they get in trouble for it, this one goes directly under Rule of Funny.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Marshall is worried about being uninsured while looking for work, and keeps coming up with worst-case scenarios about every situation, all of which include being attacked by a bear (well, a guy in a bad bear costume). The bad bear suit heightens the Rule of Funny, as does Marshall melodramatically screaming "NOT LIKE THIS" every time.
  • The Haven episode "Fur" featured hunting trophy animals coming to life and attacking people, including a bear.
  • In one episode of That's My Bush!, George W. Bush buys a bear for protection against the angry mob outside. This is a bad move, as the bear picks up a bolt-action rifle and hunts him down — all so the show could end on a pun about the right to arm bears.
  • On Longmire, one Victim of the Week was tied down in the forest and had meat tied to his body in order to attract a bear. The man was ripped apart by the bear and the seasoned cops and hunters who examined the scene considered it the most gruesome death they ever saw.
  • One of the early episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman had the title character getting trapped inside of a cabin due to a rabid grizzly.
  • An episode of Grimm featured a type of Wesen called Jägerbar ("Blind Idiot" Translation of "hunter-bear"). They are notable for being the most animal-like in their "woge" form, especially females, who look like ordinary bears. Traditionally, Jägerbar love to hunt, especially humans. Modern Jägerbar, though, have mostly abandoned this custom. Naturally, the episode features those who still follow it.

    Music 
  • If you wanted to release an album named "No Fear Restriction", what you'd put on the cover to match? Right...
  • The back of the album cover of Jethro Tull's Stormwatch has a 1000 foot tall polar bear stomping on an oil refinery station.
  • Genesis:
    But if you're sitting there beside her/And a bear comes in the room/And you keep on going 'cause you're unaware/Then you know that you are there/Beyond the silver rainbow/You won't know if you're coming or going
  • Nekrogoblikon has a song called Bears.
    Claws leaving scars, giant teeth tearing skin,
    Fur on the outside and darkness within!

    Mythology 
  • The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft noted a conspicuous absence of bears in some shamanic societies' legends, probably owing to the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-ness. Though celtic lore does mention the bear as the king of the animals (a distinction kept until the popularity of the lion as a symbol for Jesus).
  • The Inuit and other Arctic peoples had mixed opinions about polar bears. On one hand, they are the biggest living terrestrial carnivore, so they were obviously feared. On the other, their mythologies usually held the polar bear with a lot of respect, as a sacred shamanic symbol.
  • Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier. Killed him a bear when he was only three.
  • Averted by many Native American legends. Amongst the Navajo, for example, the bear is a symbol of healing, peace, and tranquility and harming one brings very bad luck. Then again, if you try to provoke a bear you're probably going to get everything you deserve.
    • Played straight by others. The Origin Story of Devil's Tower in Wyoming involves one or more gigantic bears trying to kill frightened children and the Creator raising the tower up under the kids to save them.
    • Keep in mind that there's a very important difference between black bears and grizzly bears. Black bears are generally regarded as the positive aspects of the bear, being peaceable and shy. Grizzly bears are almost literally called Ax-Crazy in some legends.
  • The Japanese Oniguma (devilbear): strong enough to carry away horses and quick enough to smash monkeys with one blow. Also it was said that killing bears would cause the "Bear Wrath", a really nasty event.
  • Averted in the Greek myth of Atalanta, who, after being left to die as a baby, was raised by a she-bear, and became a badass Action Girl.

     Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • What's the biggest, strongest werecreature? That's right. Werebear.
      • In defiance of the "worse" aspect, werebears are the only good-aligned lycanthrope (Chaotic Good prior to D&D 3.5, Lawful Good after). This was probably thanks to Beorn.
      • Not the only one. There were also were-ravens. (But they seemed to not fit in with the others, being divine creatures in at least a sense.)
    • OH KORD IT'S A DIRE BEAR GET IN THE CART.
      • The dire bear made a pants-wettingly terrifying appearance in Neverwinter Nights 2, just so you could get a sense of scale: it is bigger than a friggin' garbage truck, and covered with bony spikes.
    • Werebear-ians: Barbarian Were Bears. Ouch.
    • There's a Running Gag about Dungeons & Dragons druids: no matter how good their stats, they will invariably reach level 5 as a human/elf/whatever, then spend the rest of their lives as a bear because the Natural Spell feat lets them still cast spells while in that form.
      • And to take this Up to Eleven, they have animal companions as well. So this means that they can transform into a bear (Wild Shape) and ride a bear (Animal Companion) while summoning bears (spontaneously cast summon spells). Oh Crap.
      • We did the calculations on this once...you can get close to a hundred bears at 20th level without any bizarre min/maxing or obscure feats. Also, the same theory can be applied to most any animal.
    • Also, they're very mysterious.
    • Most templates in 4e have a requirement of a certain creature type being necessary in order for it apply, usually humanoid. However, the Death Knight template's only requirement is that the creature be level 11, which means Cave Bear Death Knights are realistic possibilities in any campaign.
    • In 4th edition, the Druid class gains at 1st level the ability to change into animal form (which doesn't technically change your stats, it just makes you look different and gives you different attacks) at will for as long as you want. So, technically, you could play a Druid who spends their entire life as a bear.
    • Plus, there's a spell in 3.5 edition called "Bite of the Werebear", which grants +16 strength, +8 CON, three natural attacks, and the Power Attack feat to the target. It has a range of self, but can be cast on familiars for...interesting results.
    • However, there's also Owlbears. I don't care what its stats are, an Owlbear is a bit difficult to take seriously.
      • Frequently lampshaded these days. Owlbears are survivors from a previous generation of D&D with many silly monsters. They come in normal, polar, and Pelor save us all, winged.
    • This is definitely the case for the enemies of Breland, considering the Brelish field elite bear cavalry (as befits Breland's coat of arms). Obviously, the Brelish themselves would tend to disagree.
    • "Bad news" depends on who you are. Just to remind the forces of evil that good is not just feathery-winged angels, there are the bear-like Lawful Good Warden Archons. For extra fun there are also the Neutral Good Ursinal Guardinals, who are not only celestial super-bears, but are also wizards as well!
      • To spread the fun around, the Book of Exalted Deeds introduces the prestige class the "Sentinel of Bharrai" for Ursinal-revering mages who want to escape the problem of Squishy Wizard syndrome. Among other things this class allows them to turn into bears, and eventually into dire bears, at will!
  • Gamma World has Napoleon, a sentient bear that thinks he's Napoleon. Who also leads an army of other sentient animals.
  • The Huraka (wind bears) of Exalted. While they are normally gentle wind herders, they also serve as the shock troops of the Air Elementals. You know you're screwed when giant, flying bears with wind powers come barreling toward you.
  • In the Old World of Darkness, what was stronger than a werewolf in its hybrid "war form"? A werebear in their version of same form. Not only that, but the incarnation of death itself was the aptly-named Death Bear, which had to be fought to bring someone back to life. Guess which changing species was the only one up to the task?
    • Ironically enough, the Gurahl (the werebears) are actually the ones who are supposed to make everything better. Just as werewolves are Gaia's warriors, werebears are Gaia's healers — they have the most potent restorative rituals of all the Changing Breeds, including the ability to bring the recently deceased back to life (but if they get there a little too late... well...)
  • World of Synnibarr took things step further, not only having a handful of bear subtypes with an assortment of powers (mostly psychic based), but also a set of 'Grizzlies'. While they were equally dangerous, the cake goes to the Giant Flying Grizzly; eye-lasers that would instantly kill you from 200 feet, the ability to fly 100 miles per hour, and the tenacity to stalk their prey 'vast distances'.
  • The flavor text for the Magic card Grizzly Bears: Don't try to outrun one of Dominia's Grizzlies; it'll catch you, knock you down and eat you. Of course, you could run up a tree. In that case you'll get a nice view before it knocks the tree down and eats you.
    • In the early days of Magic, a 2/2 creature with no abilities cost 3 mana, 1 of the creature's color and 2 of any color (Examples: Pearled Unicorn, Gray Ogre) while the Grizzly Bears (also 2/2 with no abilities) was only 2 mana; 1 green, 1 other. Thus, they're faster.
    • Some of the other Bears in Magic include Werebear (starts off a weak 1/1, but get 7 cards in your graveyard and it turns 4/4), Ashcoat Bear (You're not even safe from your opponent summoning bears during your turn), and Bearscape (They can come from anywhere!)
  • Warhammer: Borus Ursa, former Tzar of Kislev, rode a giant bear into battle. There's also a mention of a Chaos Lord whose chariot is pulled by skinless bears.
    • A grizzly bear is the standard mount for any of the Tzars or Tzarinas of Kislev, including the current incumbent Katarin the Ice Queen.
      • While the bear is the official symbol of the nation of Kislev, and associated with its line of Tzars to the extent that they are depicted in heraldry riding one (Kislev is based heavily on medieval Russia), Tzarina Katarin has only ever ridden a horse in real life. Unlike her father, the above-mentioned Boris Ursa.
    • Also the Dogs of War character, Beorg Bearstruck; a Norse barbarian that has transformed into a Were-bear. He leads a mercenary regiment of Norse marauders called the Bearmen of Urslo, who wear bearskins and display a bear-claw device on their shields. Beorg is quite obviously based on Beorn from The Hobbit, although he does also have a distant cousin called Ruprecht of Bearmark, who ran away to study poetry in Nuln...
  • Warhammer 40,000 has Bjorn the Fell-Handed of the Space Wolves (Viking Space Marines), the oldest living Space Marine in the Imperium. Among his many claims to fame was resisting an Evil Sorcerer's Compelling Voice (he thought his True Name was "Bear") and killing him.
  • The Witcher takes this trope Up to Eleven. You can take down small armies of humans (or humanoids), fight off some lesser or even more epic monsters and stop powerful magicians on daily basis. Yet a single bear can tear Player Party composed entirely of grizzled veterans apart, one character per turn. It says something when short from flying dragons and high vampires, bears are the toughest creatures you may fight with. And they are much, much more common.
  • In Risk: Legacy, the Enclave of the Bear faction has bear cavalry as its 3-troop "vehicle" unit.
  • BattleTech features Clan Ghost Bear, one of the strongest Clans in the Inner Sphere. The Clan deploys huge bear themed such as the Kodiak and the Grizzly.
  • In the Warrior Cats Adventure Game campaign Mission of Mercy, the cats protect a young girl who gets attacked by a bear. Notable for being the only time bears appear in the series.
  • One of the factions in the Smash Up expansion "Awesome Level 9000" is Bear Cavalry.

    Theater 
  • William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. "Exit, Pursued by a Bear." The bear pursuing Antigonus off the stage does in fact make everything worse (especially for Antigonus).
  • In Ubu Roi Pile, Cotice and Père Ubu are attacked by a bear in the forest. Pile and Cotice barely manage to kill it, while Ubu hides and prays, coming out after the bear is killed and claiming they'd never survive the encounter without his prayer.
  • The Bad Idea Bears from Avenue Q, look adorable, but they. are. EVIL!!!!!!!!!
  • Siegfried sets one loose on Mime in his eponymous music-drama.

    Toys 
  • Graalok the Ash Bear from BIONICLE, who briefly terrorizes Takua and Jaller in Mask of Light. Bonus points for being a cyborg bear.
  • The main Beast Wars toyline had at least one. Polar Claw transformed a polar bear. He was repainted into two other characters, Barbearian/Grizzly-1 and Survive.
  • Transformers (Generation One toys) had a Pretender Bear named Chainclaw. He was an Autobot. And a hypochondriac.
  • The first figure in the BMOG toyline is Ursenal, who is essentially a bear made of guns. His profile states that he's technically a good guy, but his tendency to shoot first and ask questions later is... problematic, to say the least.
  • Averted by teddy bears. They're so soft and cute and huggable!

    Video Games 
  • In the Southern Vashnar mountains in Achaea, there is a point where the traveller must decide between going south or southwest. Southwest is a safe path leading to the city of Cyrene. There is a small and easy to miss sign at the fork in the path, which reads, "CAUTION: bears south". They're not friendly.
    • Speaking of Iron Realms, there's a whole race of humanoid bears in Lusternia, called the Tae'dae. Though usually Winnie the Pooh-esque Gentle Giant's, they're about eight feet tall and have the highest potential natural strength in the game.
  • In Age of Mythology, players can hunt bears for food (the villagers sent to the process will get quite injured, though)... and use a cheat code to unlock a "lazer bear", which wears the flag of Canada and fires beams.
    • In Age of Empires 3, the bears are treasure guardians but they're neutral. They'll only attack when you attack or when one of you cannons manage to get a AOE attack on them. There's 3 different types of bears, the strongest one being the Polar Bear(found in snow maps). There's also tamed bears.
  • In the arcade and Genesis classic Altered Beast, the form you can take in the third stage is a werebear. A werebear that can turn enemies into stone by breathing on them.
  • Random wilderness-dwelling brown and cave bears in Baldur's Gate. While far from the toughest enemies of the game, they start off showing as neutral to you, become aggressive if you get at all close, and can serve up a good mauling if you stop to fight. And usually come in pairs or groups. Oh, and you can encounter them right after the tutorial, at level 1.
  • While Battle Bears is a game about bears, most of the enemies are also bear-based, including a brief fight with the Colbear and a Bearbershop Quartet.
  • There's only one way to make The Soviet Union scarier: PARACHUTING ARMORED WAR BEARS. With paralyzing sonic roars.
    • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, one of the Allied Spy's unit responses is "I don't like bears...", which is justified by the Soviet War Bear's ability to sniff out and maul spies.
      • On the DVD extras the actors cannot believe it. Watch as George Takei tries to get his head around it ("Battle Bears? B E A R S?") or Autumn Reeser laughing as she asks for an explanation.
    • In the challenge mode of the Uprising expansion, the mission where you unlock the War Bear's is called The Number One Threat to America, and features giant bears that can smash tanks.
  • One of Condemned 2's scariest and most talked-about scenes involves being chased through an abandoned mountain cabin by a rabid Jaws-sized monster bear.
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day has a level called "It's War", in which the game's reluctant, accidental antihero fights against an army of evil, fascist bears known as the Tediz. (Pun of "Nazis") These bears are more human than animal, but they are still creepy, and more horrifying is the boss of the level, a huge cybernetic bear with spider legs, embedded weapons, and a hand puppet of a girl, which he uses to lure Conker in.
  • Disaster: Day of Crisis had a bear as part of the many pre-release screenshot collections. And that bear means business. It's not your ordinary bear. It's a bear that's Made of Iron.
  • One of the quests in the Bloodmoon expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind involves you hunting down and killing a Spirit Bear. Before doing that, you have to kill either Skaal hunters or werewolves, both incredibly tough enemies, and the bear has the annoying habit of entering the fray while you're currently engaged. The regular bears of Solstheim are no slouches either, being considerably more dangerous than any animal on Vvardenfell.
    • Bears in the sequel, Oblivion, are among the most hated and feared enemies in the game for their high attack power, health, and ability to stagger the player character. They are oftentimes more dangerous than most of the quasi-demonic hordes of Daedra currently invading Tamriel.
    • They keep this up in the following chapter Skyrim, where they are more dangerous than dragons. At least the dragons give you the courtesy of announcing their attack with a bellowing roar and circling you a few times beforehand. And when you hear a bear roar, you have only seconds to prepare before the creature gets back on all fours, rushes and mauls you.
      • Skyrim also has the Stormcloak Rebels, who have a prominent bear motif. Their generals even wear bearskin cloaks, complete with a hood made out of the bear's head.
  • Fallout 3 has the Yao Guai, giant, vicious, mutated bears that roam the Capital Wasteland disemboweling anyone they come across. In terms of dangerousness, they're second only to the Deathclaws.
    • They return in Fallout: New Vegas in the Honest Hearts DLC, which includes a giant flaming one called the Ghost of She.
      • And unlike their cousins in the Capital Wasteland, they are still hostile to you even if you have the Animal Friend perk.
  • Vargas, a boss from the beginning of Final Fantasy VI, had two bears for no apparent reason other than making the fight slightly more challenging.
    • There is a type of bear-like enemy in the mountains of Zozo that enjoys ambushing the party, stealing a LOT of money, and fleeing in its next turn. It made an annoying dungeon so much worse...
  • Fur Fighters had some of the Mooks as bears with polar-bears being the strongest and brown-bears making up the majority. Oddly not Black Bears and they were commandeered by a massive Cat.
  • Guild Wars has bears capturable as pets in the tutorial area of prophecies though it's difficult and having one is considered a status symbol. They're also capturable in the main game but then are considered worse than common pets, because they have a special attack that does nothing but slow their attack speed. In the "Presearing" (tutorial) area of Prophecies, the capturable bear is the black bear. Brown bears and polar bears are available as common pets in Prophecies and Eye of the North, and there is a special variant of the polar bear known as a Jingle Bear available as a reward for a holiday quest in Eye of the North.
    • The Norn in Eye of the North can shapeshift into anthropomorphic bears as well. Whenever you talk to a hunter for the first time, they'll turn into one and attack. Additionally, there's the Nornbear, a corrupted version you have to kill, and whose brief existence inspires a Religion of Evil.
      • Norn characters in Guild Wars 2 will be able to replicate the shapeshifting. It also includes the Kodan, a race of permanently anthropomorphic bears who consider themselves the most enlightened race.
  • In the old NES game Ice Climber, polar bears wearing sunglasses and swim trunks would show up and cause earthquakes. They could easily kill the player.
  • Katamari Damacy features a bear-themed Scrappy Level called Ursa Major in which the object is to gather the largest bear possible into your katamari. The problem? Picking up any sized bear, no matter how tiny, automatically ends the level and bears are everywhere! Even gathering a single bear-themed item like a "beware of bears!" sign or a "tiny teddybear" will end the level.
    • We ♥ Katamari ups the ante with a "Cowbear" level in which you must gather the largest cow and/or bear item to win. Now only must you dodge bear-themed items, you must be wary of cow and milk-themed items as well or the round will end prematurely.
  • The Bulrathi, from the first two Master of Orion games, landing on your planet generally made for having a bad day, unless you had a significant numerical and/or technological advantage over them.
  • One of the Druid's animal companion options in Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 is a bear. Try to guess what every player picks. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer interrupts your not quite pleasant stay at the town of Mulsantir by having a bear show up at the gates. Not just any bear either, but a bear god. With an army. An army which includes ghost bears. To make matters worse, it's a bear god specifically out to kill you, meaning the residents of the town are keen to throw your woefully unprepared ass out against it like some sort of sacrificial lamb. If it weren't for Gann and his magical bear god weak-point detecting skills, you'd be fucked. Inverted if you decide to spare and recruit said bear god. You have a freaking bear god on your side!
  • Whispering Rocks Summer Camp has a slight bear problem in Psychonauts. Specifically, telekinetic bears.
  • The first enemies you come across in Akhma Cave in Rohan Online are Ursas, Warrior Ursas, Elder Ursas, and Ursa Mages, A.K.A. Giant Fucking Humanoid Bears From Hell. The weakest of them, the Ursas, start at level 20, but the most advanced Ursa types can easily go up to level 30. You will NEED a party in order to take these things (and Akhma Cave in general) on, because unless you're really high level, you WILL get eaten alive, particularly because the tougher ones like to mob you.
  • The Simpsons arcade game had a bear as a boss. Even its associated boss theme screams, "You're one doomed motherfucker!" When you beat it, however, it shrinks and turns into a fat mook.
  • In The Sims 3, exploring the crypt can end in a special status effect, and you learn that what's at the bottom of the crypt is bears. And occasionally GIGANTIC RAMPAGING ZOMBIE BEARS.
  • Bears are a common enemy type in the Tales Series.
    • An eggbear (A bear that lays eggs) serves as an early boss in Tales of Eternia. Later, as a Secret Test of Character, Reid gets to be the same bear and relive its experiences that occurred just prior to his fight with it, ultimately fighting himself and Keele, though not before unleashing its wrath upon one of the traders who killed its family and random monsters who get in the way.
    • An eggbear also serves as an early boss in Tales of Vesperia and is the cause for Karol's memorable quote of "Prepare to die, eggbear!".
    • In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, the two most deadly physical attacking monsters in the game are the Galf Beast and the Wolf Heddin. And which of these is the final evolved form of the bear? Actually, the bear has a divergent evolution and thus has two final evolved forms: the Galf Beast and the Wolf Heddin. Apparently, someone at Namco really likes bears.
    • The first monster Emil is attacked by is a bear. In New Game+ playthroughs, any monsters you inherited from your previous game can't defeat the bear until Marta arrives on the scene.
  • Kuma, Heihachi Mishima's guard bear from Tekken. Not so much with his Palette Swapped counterpart, Xiaoyu's sort-of pet Panda.
  • Sunshine, but only when he's going through honey withdrawal.
  • The Grizzly Noise from The World Ends with You, especially of the Taboo variety.
  • World in Conflict: "The Red Bear has awoken. The world will see his might."
  • Druids in World of Warcraft can take the form of a bear to become more effective tanks. As it can deal decent damage while tanking, this is arguably their strongest form. What really speaks to their intimidating capability is their ability to scare things into attacking them over the much more dangerous people nearby. A human might be forgiven for focusing on the bear trying to claw their face off over the mage prepping a fireball, but when you can make a 60 foot dragon see you as the most dangerous thing around, you are one scary bear.
    • That was preceded by Druids of the Claw (who can turn into bears and boost allies' damage by roaring) and The Beastmaster Rexxar in Warcraft III, who could summon his bear from anywhere.
    • Polar bears in Warcraft III are tough, amphibious neutral monsters with saberteeth.
    • Bears can also be tamed by hunters (although like the druid form, they are more suited for tanking than damage)
    • Blizzard's "special" mounts (i.e. mounts that are not available through normal faction vendors) tend to be bear-heavy for some reason, presumably the prestige of owning one:
      • The most (in)famous bear mount is the Amani War Bear. It could only be gotten as part of a lvl 70 raid instance, Zul'Aman, by killing four bosses and rescuing their hostages before time runs out and they are murdered. When Wrath of the Lich King was released and the level cap raised to 80, the Amani Bear was removed from the game so it would be a status symbol for the players dedicated enough to have gotten it at lvl 70.
      • A purple (rather than red) Palette Swap of the Amani War Bear called the Amani Battle Bear has since been introduced to allow players who missed out on the War Bear to get something similar after Zul'Aman was retooled as a Level 85 Heroic instance, and is still fairly difficult to get in the time limit (it requires downing the enemies and bosses as efficiently as possible without wiping). One of the four bosses happens to be a troll infused with the power of a bear spirit who can charge distant players (one-shotting anyone who has the debuff from his charge), and who can turn into a bear, increasing his damage done to the tank and giving him the ability to roar and silence players.
      • As the racial mount of the forest trolls, bears feature in associated raids and dungeons. typicaly decorated with tiki masks, the tusks of something big and strong and even shrunken heads, the presence of green, muscular trolls riding bears is a sign that the enemy rider is an elite. The presence of these bears is usually a sign that things are about to get real.
      • Wrath of the Lich King also introduced an Armored Brown Bear mount available from the Dalaran mount vendor. It costs considerably more than the usual mount.
      • The reward for being part of the kills of every leader of the opposite faction, a feat that can require nearly a hundred organized players? A black war bear mount. Even better? Those bears were implemented in the closing days of Burning Crusade, during that brief period when mob levels (including faction leaders) were upped but players could not level yet. Despite (or because) of this, many top guilds actually got up at 4am to kill the faction leaders before WotLK came out. Despite the fact that killing one faction leader easily took 30 minutes because of the vast level gap. Bears are Serious Business.
      • The Hyldnir, a group of giant blue warrior women, ride polar bear mounts in battle, one of which you can receive as a rare reward from a daily quest, which itself can involve riding a fighting bear.
    • There is also a race of humanoid bears called furbolgs. One tribe of those fiercely guards a tunnel that connects between three zones, one of which can only be reached through that tunnel (and if you aren't a druid, you don't have easy access to another one). While it is possible to befriend them to the degree of them letting you pass with moderate effort, people who decide to skip that are in for one rough treatment when they try to run through the tunnel. Incidentally, two of the mentioned zones are crawling with other furbolgs and regular bears, as well.
    • Similarly, the Moonkin are a race created by the goddess Elune to protect her sacred shrines - they are half owl and half bear, to represent the wisest and strongest animals respectively. Druids can also assume their form in order to perform a caster DPS role.
    • Welcome Bears, a Beef Gate monster in the Western Plaguelands. Tirisfal Glades, a starting area, is directly adjacent to the Plaguelands, so unwitting low level characters were often mauled on wandering across the border. While the zone level has been significantly nerfed, they're still likely to kill the unwary.
    • Even that was one-upped by the Bear Reaver. Imagine a creature, wandering about the wilderness, that has the abilities of a Humongous Mecha demon that requires multiple characters at the level cap to kill, but with the graphic of a wild bear. According to the article, this was more dangerous than the demon itself. Making the humongous robot demon into a normal-sized bear made it more dangerous.
    • A humanoid race of bear men called the Furbolg exist in both Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. They are usually peaceful, shamanistic beings, but Demonic Corruption has been bad for many of them, turning them beastly and mindlessly violent. The presence of corrupted Furbolgs is usually lampshaded as a sign things are going badly for a region at large. When sane they admire the night elves' respect for nature and forest life and are thus old friends, and also hold the tauren in esteem due to their similar cultures. Any other race who wants their respect has to earn it.
    • Mists of Pandaria introduces the playable Pandaren. For those who don't know, Pandaren are humanoid panda martial artists that can kick your ass and may be the only race that can out-drink a Dwarf. And seeing as they choose which faction they join, they're likely to make things worse (or better, or both) for both the Alliance and the Horde.
  • In Infinite Undiscovery, Gustav the bear joins your party and proves to be a powerful tank (as you'd expect)...but counts as two characters toward the Arbitrary Headcount Limit. Also played straight with enemy bears and their daunting HP totals.
  • Mabinogi has bears in several flavors, and they're almost as tough as Ogres. Also, Tarlach is human only at night, becoming a bear by day. While he's not particularly violent, he constantly holds up the plot by Wangsting when you need info, sending you on Fetch Quests, and just not telling you the truth about what's going on.
    • In part because he doesn't know the full story either.
  • Vindictus throws a giant, pissed off polar bear at you in the "Dethrone the White Tyrant" mission of Hoarfrost Hollow, who is easily the toughest boss of that particular part of the game. And just for an encore, there's a Red Tyrant Bonus Boss sometime after you get through with Hoarfrost Hollow which is even worse than the white one.
  • Everything's usually worse with the Polar Bears. Unless you play as them, that is.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Heavy Weapons Guy, according to the Scout, is "like a big shaved bear that hates people."
  • In Samurai Shodown (aka Samurai Spirits) 0/5 Nakoruru is almost killed by a bear in Rera's storyline intro if not for Rera taking over Nako's body. Nakoruru is hesitant to defend herself for two reasons; one is that in Real Life the bear is one of the Ainu's most holy animal (Nakoruru being Ainu) and the other is that Nakoruru is a friend to all living things and doesn't like to use violence. Rera apparently pulls a Hollow Ichigo and kills the bear after taking over Nako's body because she doesn't feel like dying. Rera is not a bad person, just a part of Nako that doesn't like how Nako normally behaves.
  • In Mass Effect 2 during one mission the mooks describe Shepard and his/her team as "armed for bear". And seeing how the rest of the mission goes for them they're not wrong. Incidentally, the term "armed for bear" likely owes it's existence to this trope.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has you fight bears from time to time, but also has bereskarns, bears with spikes that have been corrupted by the darkspawn taint. A high-level shapeshifter can actually transform into one. A Rogue with the Ranger Specialization can summon a bear. Mastering the specialization allows a Rogue to summon an even bigger bear. Anywhere. It's a pretty good meatshield/damage dealer too.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, the Tall Trees area in the northeast is populated by large grizzly bears. While not invulnerable (as with every animal, you can kill skin them), they can fuck your shit up quite easily. Whether or not they're more dangerous than cougars is up for debate, but they're certainly scary. And if you kill one bear, watch your back - most likely, there's more to come.
  • The Oregon Trail. Bears are always eating party members. 'Specially if you try to hunt them.
  • Since King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder! is a Sierra game, it's no surprise that the bear attacking a beehive can kill you (and so can the bees). What is amusing is to see the bear kill Graham with one swipe of of its paw. Since the bear's paw is closed, its more like It punched you in the face.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic V, Hammers of Fate add-on, dwarves have heavily armored and very Badass bear cavalry. Just like on the page picture.
  • Throughout the game Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, the player regularly fights against golems, stronger-than-normal enemies that take the form of humanoids built from various substances. Then you get to the Ice Domain, where the golems are replaced by giant, undead polar bears.
  • Pokémon
    • Teddiursa is a small teddy bear. However, when it evolves at Level 30, it becomes the dangerous Ursaring. Ursaring is a Mighty Glacier that hits and moves like a truck. Weighing in at a base attack stat of 130, it is a beast to be reckoned with and its decent physical movepool is enough to back it up.
    • Cubchoo averts this trope, as it's a polar bear cub with a giant Snot Bubble. Its evo, Beartic, however, is the Unova Rape Bear.
    • Gen VI introduces Pancham and its evolution Pangoro, fighting-type pandas.
  • Naughty Bear wouldn't be the same game with some other animal.
  • Shinobido has bears in some mission. And they're insanely powerful, veeery suspicious, move erratically and can take a lot of damage before dying. However, you can kill them instantly if they're distracted (usually a salmon will do the trick).
  • Return To Krondor does not have any actual bears, but it has Big Bad Bear. He is taller than everyone else. He has muscles to match his height. He is a mercenary and a pirate leader. He will kill men, women, and children who get in his way. In the game, one small-time pirate name Knute left him and was thrown in jail. Bear broke into the jail with an army of mercenaries, killing everyone they encountered. He personally went down to the cells where Knute was held in and ripped Knute's cell door right off its hinges and told Knute to follow him. Then he grabbed Knute by the throat and demanded to know "Where is it?" and "What had Knute done with it?" Knute just kept screaming that he did not do anything. Bear called Knute a liar and sliced him to pieces. When you finally fight Bear yourself, you will find that he wears the best armour and uses the best swords. Oh, and you will find that he is completely immune to your attacks. He wears an amulet that makes him immune to your attacks.
  • Parodied in Castle Crashers. During the forest stage, you keep hearing vast thumping footsteps that cause various animals to void their bowels in terror. About halfway through the stage, a huge bear emerges from the bushes, only to be scared off by the continued footsteps, which turn out to belong to an enormous troll.
  • In Jables's Adventure, you encounter bears on the trip to The Lost Woods and they're one of the toughest enemies in the game. Then, Under the Sea, you encounter the SCUBA bear, who's invincible. Finally, in a volcano, you encounter a bear with a flamethrower, who's not only invincible but impossible to dodge (you have to find something fire-retardant to block him).
  • Defense Of The Ancients has Ursa, who is infamous for his instagibbing abilities in casual games, and Syllabear, who can summon a bear and turn into a bear as well. Given the right items and some levels, the latter can tank, dish out insane dps, permanently immobilize enemies and destroy towers in five seconds flat.
  • There is a polar bear enemy in Mega Man 7, and it can take a lot of hits before it goes down.
    • Subverted in Mega Man X5. Grizzly Slash is the first boss most players take on, and he gives a good weapon/ability too.
    • Brought straight back in X8 with Bamboo Pandamonium, a panda that spams explosives and whose beserk attack is a hard-to-avoid One-Hit Kill, and every boss can't be hurt during beserk.
    • Mega Man Zero 2 had Polar Kamrous, and she's just as deadly as her predecessor.
  • Indie game Enviro Bear 2000 and its iTunes retouch, Enviro Bear 2010, prove this from the bear's perspective. You play a bear attempting to be more efficient at getting food for hibernation by driving around in a car. Given the controls, that translates loosely into "smash up the forest in a car."
  • The Barren Room in Colossal Cave. You can tame the bear. Then the Trope becomes active for the Troll.
  • In League of Legends, Annie summoned and a sealed a demon in her teddy bear. When she uses her Ultimate, she summon Tibbers, a raging demon bear. That's on fire.
  • One stage of Kao The Kangaroo Round 2 involves running from a giant bear while avoiding falling into pits. "Exit, pursued by a bear" indeed.
  • With Kuma as part of the roster of Street Fighter X Tekken, players finally get to see Zangief wrestling an actual bear.
  • The Perils Of Akumos: The whole space station is trying to kill you. What next? Oh. A bear attacks you.
  • Mother 3 has the Honey Shower which coats an enemy with honey, causing it to be stung repeatedly by bees for minimal damage. Oh, and sometimes a bear shows up, too. The bear doesn't inflict "minimal" damage.
  • The Black Belt Demon's peat bear in Rumble Roses XX is unlockable.
  • In Thief, you can eavesdrop on a conversation between two guards about bear fighting as a blood sport. One of the guards laments that bears were ferocious when he was a kid, and the pit owners have to strap hooks and razor collars onto the bears to keep the fights interesting.
  • Aztec Wars has war bears as one of the Russian units. They're fast and utterly devastating against infantry, but useless against buildings and vehicles.
  • Detarou's escape-the-room games all have two trademarks. The first trademark is being as weird as possible. The second trademark is having a panda who, contrary to the "cute and cuddly" perception of some, will try to lure you into a trap and laugh at your stupidity on a Bad End screen if you fall for its tricks.
  • Kinectimals: Now with Bears!
  • Brain Dead 13: In one death scene in the Trophy Room, a bear rug comes to life and mauls Lance down to the ground, and there is a Discretion Shot in which his body parts (green ooze, bones, eyeballs, baseball cap) fly over the place.
  • Averted in Civilization IV: The weakest military units in the game can kill a bear easily. Justified in that the game's goal is not the survival of an individual or a small group(that is to say, the situation in which one will find the vast majority of this trope in action), but the survival of an entire civilization...and bears have never been that big of a threat.
  • Bears occasionally show up in Time Commando.
  • The Mauler enemy line in Golden Sun and its sequel tends to be a group of Demonic Spiders, with the Mauler in particular usually able to One-Hit Kill Ivan with its Bear Claw attack.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has bars in the Spooky Woods, but they're fairly weak monsters that are only a threat to absolute newbies. There are some straight examples, like the "clan of cave bars" players can encounter in the Hidden Temple (whose power and defense scale with yours up to a certain cap), or the heavily-armed Warbears that showed up for Crimbo 2013.
  • Teddie from Persona 4 is not this, being a likeable, cute, pun-spewing living mascot costume. But his Shadow is a creepy-faced, deep-voiced nihilist that turns into a giant Frankenstein-like version of Teddie and tries to kill the Investigation Team. It's implied that Teddie's Shadow was somehow hijacked by the Big Bad.
  • Inverted in the story mode of Tokyo Jungle. In Act 10, a bear acts as an Old Master to a Tosa dog that had been chased out of its territory earlier in the story. The bear feeds it and enlists the dog's help in securing its territory to help it regain its courage and confidence.
  • Subverted in Monster Hunter. The bear-like Arzorus certainly looks intimidating with its blood-red claws and armored paws but it is nothing compared to the many, much stronger monsters you will face. In fact a cutscene shows an Arzorus running in fear when a Zinogre draws near it. Any high-tier quest pitting you against them will generally have you fight two at once because only one would be too easy.
  • Bears are quite a nuisance in Board Game Online when they show up. They can chase you back several spaces or kill you. However, you can sic a bear on an opponent if you have cocaine.
  • In Girl's Garden, bears will try to chase down Papri if she comes within sight of them. They can be distracted by leaving pots of honey on the ground.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider has Lara fighting ravenous bears looking to eat her, in a Mythology Gag to earlier titles in the series.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
    • Parodied with a bear wandering around Springfield, not even getting angry once, but causing enough of a panic to lead to an extensive (and costly) bear watch program. Although as pointed out by Lisa, Homer was only paying $5, so regardless of whether it's a percentage or just $5 per person, it was the smallest tax hike in history.
    • In a more straightforward example, Homer is traumatized by a bear attack, and has nightmares of being attacked by vicious bear mascots.
      Homer: Are you a Care Bear?
      Care Bear: (takes out a crowbar and starts tapping it) I'm an Intensive Care Bear.
      Homer: Why does a bear need a crowbar?
      Care Bear:...I don't like to get my hands dirty.
      • That bear later turns into an Androcles Lion as Homer finds out that he had a defective tracking tag on his ear that kept sending painful jolts in its ear.
    • There was also a bear with a chainsaw. Chainsaw bad. In the episode where Mr. Burns and the Rich Texan were destroying the environment, Kent Brockman announced that "Smokey the Bear" is now "Choppy the Lumberjack". Cut to a bear in a lumberjack get-up cutting a tree with a chainsaw, while an activist protested to his actions behind him. Choppy backhanded him angrily and revved up his chainsaw.
    • In another episode, Bart and Lisa are stuck in a forest fire. Homer arrives in a helicopter, and let down a rope ladder. Before the kids can climb it, a bear shoulders them aside and climbs the ladder himself (only being stopped from reaching the chopper by Homer cutting the rope).
    • One of Homer's dream sequences involves him as "Homey the Bear", a Yogi Bear parody in both appearance and animation style. Not so bad, until Homey proceeds to brutally maul Ranger Ned (Flanders).
    • Kent Brockman reported in season 7 about a bear who stowed away on a space shuttle that is now terrorizing the astronauts.
    • One of the most infamous cases of this trope took place in the episode, "Homer vs. Dignity." While pulling a prank for Mr. Burns that was an in-universe example of Pandaing To The Audience, a male panda mistook a panda costume-clad Homer for a female and implicitly raped him.
    • Even the tame bear and television host Gentle Ben attacks his handler after hungrily going for the food table.
  • A Running Gag among many 11-minute [adult swim] animated comedies; the ones that happen to be related to each other by same way (usually creative staff). It started with an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast with Space Ghost brawling a bear; then became a prominent character in Perfect Hair Forever and spread from there.
    Granny: And then the Lord made bears. Lots of bears... Too many bears. Should've dialed back on the bears... And so, he dialed back on the bears!
  • Catscratch has a bear for a recurring character. His most basic purpose is to make the cats' lives suck.
  • Clerks: Who is driving? Oh my god, bear is driving! How can that be?"
  • Danny Phantom just couldn't do with a regular bear, they had to make it a mutated ghostly one with four arms!.
  • Family Guy: OH MY GOD, THERE'S A BEAR IN MY OATMEAL!
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Birdman is tasked with defending Boo Boo Bear, or as he's also known, "the Unibooboo".
    Phil Ken Sebben: He's a bear! Buster Brown and his Hairy Hollyknockers! Have you ever tried to bring one down?
  • Grier in Huntik has a bear Titan named Breaker. With four arms and Spikes of Villainy. Yeah, Grier's a pretty badass Anti-Villain.
  • An episode of Johnny Bravo has Johnny run into a talking bear who claimed to be Chronos, Master of All Time!!
  • In the Christmas Episode of Kim Possible, Ron and Dr. Drakken are stuck in the Arctic. So how do you top that? You add a vicious polar bear.
  • In the second season finale of Moral Orel, Orel's father Clay gets drunk, accidentally shoots Orel, and promptly passes out after Orel calls him out. It is only then that a grizzly appears and begins sniffing around the camp. When Clay's drunken sleep-muttering attracts the bear's attention to them, Orel reluctantly empties the revolver he has to kill the bear and save his father.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch featured the Care Bears brutally massacring the non-bear Care Bear Cousins.
  • Teen Titans
    • Raven spends much of the episode "Hide and Seek" in disbelief that Melvin's imaginary friend Bobby is real, instead believing Melvin is telekinetic and won't admit it. Then Monsieur Mallah kidnaps Melvin and the other kids, and we learn that Bobby is not only real, he's a nightmarish teddy bear with super-strength. Beatdown ensues.
    • Beast Boy also tends to turn into a bear (among other ferocious creatures) when he's angry enough.
  • Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo featured an episode titled "The Hairy Scare of the Devil Bear", which is about this trope! Quite scary.
  • In one episode of Darkwing Duck, Darkwing takes Launchpad and Gosalynn on a camping trip, only for a very mean bear to be a persistent problem. When it finally turns violent, Darkwing decides to use his flamethrowing gas gun on it ("Hate to do this to an endangered species," says the hero) only to discover that the "bear" is actually a robot created by F.O.W.L. agents.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has Squidward running afoul of an easily-provoked Seabear in "The Camping Episode": "DON'T RUN, SEABEARS HATE THAT!"
    Squidward: What'd I do that time?!
    Spongebob: I don't know! Maybe he just doesn't like you!
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: On a camping trip, a bear mauls Mr. Van Driesen, and cuts his song about men's feelings to an abrupt halt — and it's the high point of the trip for Beavis, Butthead, and Stuart.
  • Dilbert: Dogbert hosts a TV financial round-table. With 3 financial specialists and one drunken bear.
  • South Park
    • Subverted when a Mama Bear carries off several Jewish Cub Scouts...to be guests at a birthday party for her cub.
    • In the battle of the YouTube stars, Sneezing Panda kills three of his opponents.
  • One of the bears that appeared in Season 1 of Total Drama mauled Cody to the point where he had to wear a body cast. In the third season, the bear learns how to use the chainsaw.
  • Deathbear from Regular Show.
  • In Space Ghost Coast to Coast, there's an episode that Space Ghost is attacked by a bear, because there's a shark in the set. According to his educational documentary sharks like to walk along with bear, so the shark, named "Kentucky Nightame", attracts him.
  • Pound Puppies (2010) has Squirt and Niblet, who are lost in the Canadian wilderness due to getting stuck in a plane's cargo, discuss this trope in "Homeward Pound". Niblet believes the bears will help them and Squirt believes the bears would kill and eat them, prompting the two to split up when they can't agree on what to do. In a subversion of the trope, Niblet manages to convince the bears to save Squirt from going over a waterfall and even provide them-and the rescue crew coming to find the two-with plenty of fresh fish.
    • Played for Laughs in Patches' take on three episodes (including the one above) in "The Secret Super Pup Club". In the first two scenarios (the Canadian wilderness and a construction site), a bear pops out to scare/threaten the Pound Puppies, only to be scared off when Patches leaps from nowhere and barks at it. It gets ridiculous when the third scenario involves five of them coming out of nowhere in a suburban neighborhood, only to be once again scared off by Patches.
  • Adventure Time crosses over this trope with (arguably, due to the nature of this trope) Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking. In song.
    Billy! He's the greatest warrior ever, a hero of renown! Who slayed an evil ocean, who cast the Lich King down! [...] Also... He fought a bear!
    • Arguably averted and then played straight with the bear in the episode "In Your Footsteps", who unlike most characters, looks and acts mostly like an ordinary bear. Despite trying to ineptly copy Finn's voice, clothes and mannerisms so he can be a hero too, he's shown to be harmless, none too bright, and misunderstood at least until the end of the episode where he brings the book of heroes, the Enchiridion, to the evil Lich possessing a snail (although it could also be due to deception of The Lich's part).
  • In Hero108, High Roller's henchmen (other than the Zebra twins) are an army of bears! They are seen as his henchmen. Especially their king being High Roller's sidekick in evil.
  • In The Venture Bros., the Revenge Society is recruiting new members, and during the Terrible Interviewees Montage, one of the interviewees is a guy in a bear costume. He's covered in blood, looks freaky, no one knows how he got there and just stands there, not speaking or doing anything except breathing creepily. Phantom Limb, Professor Impossible, and Baron Underbeit, all experienced supervillains, are scared shitless. And then he pulls out a knife.
    • In another episode, Brock fights a team of Vatican Swiss Guard bears.
    • And in another episode The Monarch forces a prostitute into a deathtrap gauntlet. Featuring the polar bear from Lost.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius punishes Samy with a bear on a stick. It eats him, chews him up, and spits him out.
  • In an episode of American Dad!, Stan has both his legs ripped off by a vicious polar bear, after being pushed in by the bear's tank by Roger, who wanted to save Stan and pretend to be a hero, so he'd let him move back in with him.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Boast Busters" sees Twilight Sparkle forced to deal with an Ursa Major, a huge, terrifying blue bear as big as a house and made of stars, thanks to two none-too-bright colts who wanted to see boastful magician Trixie take one on. It turns out that was only an Ursa Minor - a baby throwing a temper tantrum. The real Ursa Major, its mother, is bigger, scarier, and purple: as big as Ponyville itself.
  • Joe Bear in the Tex Avery-directed cartoon, "Rock-a-Bye Bear".
  • There was an animated Beast Fable adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Injun' Joe (or just Joe) was portrayed as a bear.
  • In The Legend of Korra, the larger of the two team pets is Naga, a Polar Bear Dog. Korra is distinct in that she's the first to be able to tame such a beast. Korra can and does use Naga as an intimidation tool, and Naga is fiercely protective of Korra.
    • Naga is female, making her a perfect Mama Bear example.
    • In the predecessor series Avatar: The Last Airbender , it's played straight with a platypus bear, another one of the Mix-and-Match Critters. The first time we see this, it's trying to attack a man for coming onto its territory.
    • Subverted with Bosco, the Earth King's pet bear. He's more Beary Funny than scary.
      • The Gang themselves were skeptical that there was such a creature as "just a bear" and suggested that perhaps it was another type of creature, such as a platypus-bear, skunk-bear, armadillo-bear, or gopher-bear. But no, he's just... a bear.
  • Some Classic Disney Shorts have been known to pit a main character against a bear, either a generic bear (i.e., Mickey Mouse's encounter with one in "The Pointer") or, especially in the case of Donald Duck, a goofy-looking bear named Humphrey.
  • In Garfield and Friends the Buddy Bears may not attack or maul anyone, but their presence inevitably makes things worse for Garfield anyway, especially if their theme song is any indication:
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we always get along!
    Each day, we do a little dance and sing a little song!
    If you ever disagree, it means that you are WRONG!
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, WE ALWAYS GET ALONG!
    • Seriously, they can be downright sadistic sometimes. They once offered Garfield a whole table full of free food just to tempt him when he was trying to prove to Jon that he could go five minutes without eating. By the way, Garfield won the bet.
    • There is another verse of their theme song which is doubly creepy:
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we never have a fight!
    Anyone who disagrees is never, ever right!
    If you have a point of view, then keep it out of sight!
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, WE NEVER HAVE A FIGHT!
    • To which Garfield questions them...
    Garfield: But what about having an individual point of view?
    Bear 1: I have an individual point of view.
    Bear 2: And I agree with him.
    Bear 3: And I agree with both of them.
    All: We all have an individual point of view!
  • Gravity Falls has the Multi-bear, mortal enemy of the Manitaurs. He is (they are?) actually reasonable and accepts his/their death with so much dignity that Dipper, who's been trying to become a real man, refuses to kill him/them.
  • Goof Troop has two straight examples and a subversion. The Christmas special and "Winter Blunder-land" both feature a bear as an actual threat to the characters. In "You Camp Take It with You", when Goofy and Pete take Max and PJ camping, there is another bear. Everyone except Max is worried the bear would or did eat the boys, but he turns out to be just another father trying to protect his son in the wilderness (though in this case he was a Talking Animal and his baby had a diaper). In the ending scene, he is significantly nicer than Pete and about as nice as Goofy.
  • In the 3-part episode of All Grown Up!, "R.V Having Fun Yet?", the gang encounter a bear. Luckily, they are saved by a dog that Kimi found during their cross-country road trip.
  • In the Code Lyoko episode "Teddygodzilla", XANA brings Milia's teddy bear to life and turns it into a giant to attack the heroes.

    Other 
  • Radiohead's album Kid A's marketing campaign told a vague but disturbing story about genetically modified bears killing everyone. The "Radiohead Bear" has remained the band's logo ever since.
  • They're learning Kung Fu now. We're all gonna die.
  • These traditional American values
  • Preying on public fear and stereotypes, the following hoax[1] describes a 19-year old Russian girl and her stepfather get eaten alive by a literal Mama Bear and cubs.
  • Several sports teams such as the Memphis (originally Vancouver) Grizzlies (basketball), the Chicago Cubs (baseball), the Chicago Bears (football), and the Boston Bruins (hockey).
  • Comedian Mitch Hedburg had a joke where he and a friend decided to go out to the woods to do drugs in order to avoid authority figures only to run into a bear, which was "even more of a buzzkill". The friend attempted to appease the bear by promising to prevent forest fires.
    • Smokey is way more intense in person.

    Real Life 
  • This trope may be the reason the word "bear" exists in the first place. Linguists believe that the Proto-Indo-European word for "bear" (*h₂ŕ̥tḱos, which evolved into the Latin ursus, Greek arctos, et al.) may have become taboo because people feared that actually using the word would summon a bear. As a result, various Germanic peoples began calling them "brown" as a euphemism, resulting in the English bear and bruin, German Bär, et al. Other languages have their own euphemisms:
    • Even *h₂ŕ̥tḱos itself isn't much better—it roughly translates to "destruction/destroyer". Appropriate that as well as coming to mean "bear", "arktos" also came to refer to the region around the North Pole.
    • Beowulf is probably a kenning referring to bears that literally means "bee-wolf" (y'know, because they like honey).
    • The Russian word medved (honey-eater), is a (Proto-Slavic—compare Polish niedźwiedź, Czech medvěd, Croatian medvjed) euphemism for the now-lost original word for "bear", but medved itself became taboo in the medieval period. Instead of naming the animal directly, people would refer to it with nicknames, either endearingly-pejorative ("the hairy one", "the clumsy one") or respectful ("the master"); a common practice was to give it a similar-sounding human name ("Mikhail Potapych", "Misha"), a practice which also became popular in Romanian language (the bear was called Moş Martin - "Old Uncle Martin"). In Polish, shortened form miś was used.
    • In Finnish there's otso, kontio, and mesikämmen (the last meaning "honey-paws"). The official name karhu was also originally a euphemism.
  • The Nazis probably felt this way about Voytek. A bear... that drinks, smokes, fights, and carries ammo. However, in his personal life Voytek was known as a kind and lovable fuzzball, who loved sweets, baths and hanging out with his buddies. A case where he brought this upon someone: one day, when Voytek went to the steam baths, he found an enemy spy hiding in them. He roared and backhanded the spy, who promptly surrendered, presumably not having expected a bear to blow his cover.
  • Try to read all the way through this page without getting the chills. Some standout incidents include:
    • The woman who climbed onto her roof when the bear broke into her cabin. It followed her onto the roof and killed her. Nowhere is safe...
    • The one where a bear broke the necks of two campers, dragged them off, and ate part of them. When police found the bear five days later...it was guarding and protecting their corpses. Somehow the really disturbing implications of that last bit make this one even creepier.
    • The bear who apparently ripped the door off of a trailer to get to the man inside.
    • The bear who dragged a five-month-old off of the porch of her house and killed her.
    • The one where the only information they give us is that "his/her partially consumed remains were found." Especially scary is the guy whose half-eaten body was found in a campground when people woke up the next morning, or the one where "days later, searchers found his campsite with his bare skeleton, one intact hand, and both feet, still booted."
    • And then there's the guy who managed to drag himself 1.5 miles to a meadow to die after being mauled and partially eaten.
  • The Russian animal symbol is the bear. This trope was used in an American political ad during the Cold War asking, "If there's a bear in the woods, what are you going to do about it?" more or less.
  • You know the scientific name for the grizzly bear? Ursus arctos horribilis.
  • What's scarier than a bear? A rabid bear. One managed to smash through a house once and savaged everything in it until it was shot to death by the owner. Note that the bear even head-on charged his jeep! If Cujo was bad, this is much worse.
  • There's a reason the expression "loaded for bear" means "carrying the biggest gun you can get your hands on." In the muzzle-loading days, it meant cramming in extra powder. It takes quite a lot to put a bear down and there's a lot of Taking You with Me potential if you don't get it right.
  • Campgrounds in the more remote areas of Canada typically offer literature and lectures by the park ranger on proper bear safety. Despite this, examples abound of tourists failing to take rules like "don't keep food in the tent" and "don't get between a mother bear and her cubs" seriously and paying a heavy price.
  • As depicted in Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadwell had been hanging around bears for a long long time and filming them until two finally ate him and his girlfriend. Before that he apparently had such a way that he could get close to cubs without hitting the momma's Berserk Button. Guess it doesn't matter how much a strong connection you have to nature when there's a food shortage... It didn't help that he had stayed longer then planned and the bears that did know him weren't the bears in the area anymore
  • Stephen Colbert puts bears in the Threat Down for a very good reason. (See Live Action TV, also Phil Ken Sebben's dislike of bears.) Word of God says his fear of them is partly based on a recurring dream, and partly on the movie Man in the Wilderness. Also partly because his father, who was a doctor, used a hypothetical bear-mauling as an example of the kind of thing you can brush off with ease with the aid of modern medicine. Which explains the Fridge Brilliance of his referring to pundit Bill O' Reilly as 'papa bear'. Bears are the number one threat to America, and Billo is largely responsible for the modern TV personality Colbert professes to parody. Therefore, he's the greatest of the greatest threats to America.
  • When the Stock Market goes down, it's said to be in a bear market. It's said to be a reference to the way they attack; they swipe down with their paw. Along with the fact that bears hibernate.
  • Legendary NFL linebacker Dick Butkus was dubbed "The Most Feared Man in the Game." Who did he play for? That's right, the Chicago Bears.
  • A Russian circus manager was killed by an ice skating bear.
  • A group of armed militants in Kashmir stopped to have some pudding in a cave hideway...shared by a bear. The bear killed two and severely injured a third. The cave was shared, not the pudding. This may be why the bear attacked.
  • In Finnish, an infuriated person is said to be "mad as a bear shot in the arse".
  • Gold Rush miners used to pit bears against everything. The bear always won so they got bored and imported some lions. The lion would roar and charge, the bear would crush their skull with one blow.
  • The Lewis and Clark expedition experienced Grizzly bears for the first time when they were exploring the west. "Experienced" here meaning "coming across a creature so incredibly strong they were unable to kill it with all of their guns and had to hide up trees until it left." Climbing a tree is not a foolproof solution to bears. Bears, even grizzlies, have been known to climb trees, too. Standing on the ground, a big bear can reach as much as 10 feet into a tree.
  • The Sankebetsu brown bear incident. Not at all a page to read before going to bed.
  • Bear-hunting was a favourite pastime of medieval Russian princes. Subverted in that, with armed retainers, clever tactics, and special-issue anti-bear spears (special rogatinas with oak handles and silver heads), it actually wasn't all that difficult to kill a bear. Pseudo-Demetrius I, the wacky early 17th century impostor that threw the country into bloody infighting, was very popular with the commoners of Moscow because of his badass stunt where he used his freakish strength to not only stop a bear in mid-pounce with his rogatina (that was standard practice), but also throw it backwards over his head. So if bears wrote TV Tropes, they would have to make a trope for "Russian Princes and Political Opportunists That Pretend To Be Such Are Bad News".
  • Berserkers. Norse warriors who, among other rituals, went into battle wearing bearskins. The Norse were scary enough, but God help you if you were attacked by a berserker.
  • Sort of a weird example, but this is SFW, yet so...bizarre.
  • Water bears. That cannot be killed by the harsh vacuum or cosmic radiation of space, or much of anything else.
  • In 2006 a brown bear nicknamed "Bruno" by the press became something of a cause célèbre when it wandered into southern Germany from Austria, making him the first bear to be seen in Germany since 1838. Bruno was extremely large and aggressive, showing a particular fondness for killing (but not eating) domestic animals. The fumbling attempts of the Bavarian government to deal with him (particularly Minister-President Edmund Stoiber's description of him as a "Problembär" ("problem bear")) attracted a great amount of derision. Bruno was finally shot to death by government marksmen.
  • And now they're joyriding in your car
  • Subversion: There was a drug bust of a Marijuana farm guarded by 10 black bears. They were so docile and domesticated that all that happened was that one of them sat on a cop car's hood for an hour, and then they just watched everything.
  • For the prehistoric giant cave bear this was inverted. For them everything was worse with humans. We pushed them out of their living space and then hunted them to extinction.
    • While that was going on in Eurasia, prehistoric Native Americans had to deal with Giant Short-Faced Bears, 1800-pound brutes that were twice as tall as humans when standing upright.
  • As if World War III wouldn't be bad enough, consider the fact it was almost started by a bear.
  • Despite their cute appearance, pandas are still bears, and they will maul you for hugging them unless they've been trained for that.
  • Most large carnivores attempt to avoid contact with humans unless they learn that humans are an easy source of food (either scavenging human refuse or hunting humans). Polar bears don't make any effort to avoid humans and appear to consider them to be exactly the same as everything else that's not another polar bear: food.
    • There is an old Inuit story of a woman who went to live among strange people. She became a burden, and so they placed her in a boat, took her out to sea and cast her overboard. She struggled to regain the side of the boat, but they cut off her fingers to keep her away. As she died in the water, she became Sedna, the godess of the sea and mother of all beasts. Her fingers became the walrus and seals and whales that the people would hunt to eat. But her middle finger became the white bear. When the other animals see a man, they try to run away. But when the white bear sees a man, he is filled with revenge and tries to kill the person who he believes murdered the woman from whose finger he was born. Wise Inuit stay away from the white bear...
      • ...so, when you see a polar bear, it's the Goddess giving you the finger. Makes sense.
    • Both polar and brown bears are just as intelligent as they are persistent in their stalking of prey. They have the long term memory which popular culture ascribed to elephants, they are excellent trackers and navigators on rough ground, they regularly use tools to get food or to play, and the acting bear Bart found out how to make a bridge from a plank of wood. It's only a matter of time until they find out how to fire guns.
    • They're probably plotting as we speak. In a few centuries we'll see bears roaming the streets instead of humans, and they'll write a version of this page about humans. Oh wait, such a page already exists.
  • Subverted with this video. Apparently, they make hockey better. The Alaska U Nanooks disagree. Bears only know how to destroy.
  • The Svalbard Ski Marathon: probably the only annual sporting event where the entire track has to be surveilled by armed guards to stop polar bears from eating the competitors.
    • It's not just the marathon. In Svalbard you are required to carry a rifle while outside a settlement for self defense against polar bears.
    • Why a rifle? Because shooting a polar bear in the face with a handgun won't make it stop.
  • Everything's worse with a bear market, despite financial advisors' attempts to subvert the trope.
  • One of the knights who killed Thomas Becket was Reginald FitzUrse, "son of the bear".
    • Even better, "Fitz" in those days indicated that you were the acknowledged but not legitimate son of someone. That's right: his name literally means bastard son of a bear.
  • The Sloth bear of Mysore, which plagued the Mysore province in India in 1957. The Sankebetsu Brown Bear incident, seen above, is scary, but while that killed seven people, and wounded two others, the sloth bear of Mysore killed 12 people, and mutilated a dozen others, making it the single bear responsible for most human fatalities ever. To make matters scarier? No one really knows why the bear attacked, it only ate three of its victims, so this cannot have been the primary motivation, implication that it was a "thrill killer", remains. And to make matters even worse, sloth bears attacks by clawing the face of their victims with their long claws, perfectly adapted for destorying termite mounds. Yep, thats right, most of those that died had their face torn apart, and most of those who survived live with such a face for the rest of their life. Eventually, after three hunts, Great White Hunter Kenneth Anderson shot it dead.
  • The Sankebetsu, Japan Brown Bear Incident involved 50 hunters failing to get a bear. (#4 on the list.)
  • People often think it's a good idea to feed or tease a bear and end up getting attacked. They blame it on the bear.



Be Careful What You Wish ForChivalric RomanceBlue Blood
Bat out of HellMammal TropesBeary Friendly
Beam Me Up, Scotty!Older Than FeudalismBecame Their Own Antithesis
Beard of DirectorsJust for PunBeary Friendly
The Fox and the HoundImageSource/Animated FilmsFrozen
Bat out of HellScary Animals IndexBeware Of Vicious Dog
Baleful PolymorphFairy Tale TropesBe Careful What You Wish For

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