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Bully and Wimp Pairing

In fiction with child heroes, it's common to have a bully and his most frequent victim as supporting characters. While the bully might feature as a villain, in stories where they are on the main characters' side, they are frequently paired up with the wimp as a sort of Brains and Brawn, Big Guy, Little Guy double act.

Usually played for comedy: Either the wimp is unhappy at being paired with the intimidating bully, the bully is unhappy that he's not allowed to beat on the wimp while they're supposed to be working together, or embarrassed to be seen with him, or the two get along surprisingly well considering their normal relationship. The latter type may grow up to be a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man.

In a completely different kind of fiction, Seme / Uke pairings may feature this.


Examples:

Animated Film

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film

Video Games
  • In Bully, the game starts out with Gary and Petey playing this role, although it's not a perfect fit since Gary is more into mind games and emotional manipulation than physical bullying. When Jimmy takes Gary's place, the trope works better as Petey and Jimmy work as a Brains and Brawn team, although of course how much Jimmy acts like a typical bully is purely up to you.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: Whenever a group of kids includes Nelson and Martin, it seems the two end up paired together. "Team Discovery Channel!" Nelson is usually rather unhappy about this. Also Bart and Milhouse, to a lesser extent (while Milhouse is certainly a wimp, Bart is more a troublemaker than an actual bully like Nelson).
    • Before that, in Matt Groening's Life in Hell comic, a strip featured the 64 different types of elementary school students. Two of these were "The Bully" and "The Bully's Little Pal."
    • Back to The Simpsons, every once in a while this dynamic is played when Nelson is involved. A prominent example is the episode "The Haw-Hawed Couple", when he and Bart (who takes on the "wimp" role here) become friends.
  • Total Drama: Duncan and Harold, Duncan and Cody, Jo and Cameron.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Bulford (bully) and Baljeet (nerd) regularly get paired together. Over the course of the show their relationship slowly begins to evolve into Vitriolic Best Buds, and Baljeet's exasperation with this trope is well-illustrated in the episode "Bully Bromance Breakup."
    Baljeet: From this moment on, I am no longer your nerd!
  • South Park has Cartman and Butters. OK, Cartman and any other kid, but moreso Butters, as Kenny hasn't been as much of a Butt Monkey for quite a while.


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