Perhaps it's because of the proliferation of the Teddy Bear
as a child's toy, but bears are often portrayed as Boisterous Bruisers
or sometimes just Big Fun
, and aren't really looking to eat people
so much as just looking to eat.
(Truth in Television
; most bears are omnivorous and will gladly eat nuts and berries; also, while grizzlies are
aggressive, their favorite food is salmon.) Seems most common in Western Animation
, although circus bears are common in Real Life
can invoke this trope. Contrast Bears Are Bad News
. Compare Beary Friendly
, which examples here can also be.
Anime and Manga
Film (Live Action)
- In the French graphic novel Pyrenee the Wild Child title character is a girl raised by a bear in the mountains. The bear is mostly seen as a big furry dope, but there's one scene where they get into a serious argument and he only just manages to hold back from killing her.
- The bears in the movie based on the Country Bear Jamboree, The Country Bears.
- In Sadko, The Big Guy proves his strength by wrestling a bear. When the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew riffed on the film, they turned this scene into the bear staging an intervention and giving the guy a hug.
- In The Love Bug, during the big race, Thorndyke's car bogs down in a lake. While his partner, Havershaw, struggles to push the car out of the water, a bear somehow gets into the car in Havershaw's place. Hilarity Ensues.
- While the Hoka can be bad for the mental health of those dealing with them, they're very well-meaning, kind-hearted beings.
- Kintaros of Kamen Rider Den-O is partially based on a bear; for the most part he Does Not Know His Own Strength, a bit clumsy, and a Gentle Giant all in one package.
- Brutus the Bear on the nature show America the Wild. He was raised in captivity, has absolutely no sense for survival in the wild and is just a cuddly klutz whose human likes to take out to the wilderness to try to demonstrate both the natural power of bears and the complete ineptitude of Brutus (who can't even fish properly!)
- Saturday Night Live: According to Dana Carvey, Christopher Walken likes sketches with bear suits because "Bear suits are funny. And bears as well."
- Black Mirror episode "The Waldo Moment" has the eponymous character; an animated bear that was used in a topical comedy show. The episode focuses on Waldo entering a real-life election and things soon turn darker.
- Samson from Sesamstrasse.
- The Far Side depicted bears sympathetically, even (or especially) when they go after humans.
- Teddie in Persona 4. Though he's not exactly a bear, he's actually a Shadow that takes form of a stuffed bear plush to endear himself with humans, and through interaction with party members, he grew a human body and thus his bear form is just his 'suit'. Otherwise, he fits the trope like a tee, with additions of tons of bear puns. Shadow Teddie, on the other handů
- This is lampshaded in the fighting game.
: Really, the only thing you have in common with bears is just the ears...
- Banjo from Banjo-Kazooie.
- Ōkami features a sleepy bear who is usually napping, Snot Bubble and all, while standing on some object. Though Susano mistakes him for a "foul beast" and attacks him at one point, all it does is wake the bear (briefly) up.
- Sore Thumbs has a blue midget bear named Coleman as its Animal Mascot. While Coleman still can be vicious, he's also a constant source of comic relief, talks in half-growls, and is small enough to pass for a teddy bear when standing still.
- When some bar-bear-ian Were-bears turned up in Exiern they unleashed a Hurricane of Puns, utterly un-bear-able in the watching crowd.
- The Whiteboard has 3 bears:
- Tony and his friends from Tony Comics
- Beary, Benzaie's son/brother who also happens to be a plush polar bear, and usually winds up as The Woobie thanks to the way Benzaie treats him.
- Baloo again in TaleSpin, as well as Rebecca, Molly, and Kit.
- The Dummi Bears, an obvious spoof of the Care Bears from Rugrats, though their name is an homage to...
- The Gummi Bears, though they had a wide variety of personalities and everyone was a bear, all had elements of this.
- In the Teen Titans episode "Bunny Raven, or How to Make a Titanimal Disappear", Cyborg gets turned into a dancing bear, in a tutu. Due to the magical properties of the realm they were trapped in, every time he removed the tutu, a new one winked into existence to replace it, resulting in a giant pile of discarded tutus.
- The unnamed bear that appears very often in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
- Humphrey the Bear from the Classic Disney Shorts (although Donald Duck would not think so).
- Bear from Word World.
- Tim, Arianna, and their son from The Cleveland Show.
- The Little Flying Bears.
- Julie Bruin from Tiny Toon Adventures.
- In The Simpsons, Homer Simpson thinks the ballet is a bear wearing a fez and riding around a tiny car.
- Both the original ThunderCats and the reboot ThunderCats (2011) has Cute Machines the Ro-Bear Berbils, helpful, rainbow-hued robotic teddy bears who love to build and repair things.
- Hanna-Barbera seems to like this trope. Cases in point:
- Yogi Bear, with his antics to steal "pic-a-nic" baskets.
- The Hair Bear Bunch.
- Breezly Bruin, a character from 1964 who always tried to get into an arctic army base.
- The Tex Avery Oscar-nominated The Legend of Rockabye Point ostensibly starred Chilly Willy, but was all about the hungry polar bear vying for a haul of fish guarded by a vicious dog.
- Cartoons from MGM would typically display ursine characters in this manner. To wit:
- The Looney Tunes cartoons have The Three Bears, also the creation of Chuck Jones.
- In the Russian animation Masha and the Bear, the eponymous bear is less of bad news and more of Butt Monkey, thanks to the naughty little girl Masha.