The ''Messing with Sasquatch'' commercials for Jack Links beef jerky has the Sasquatch going ballistic and inflicting harm upon people who decide to provoke him for cheap laughs.
An insurance commercial shows a bunch of rabbits laughing themselves sick at a rattlesnake with a pink and white baby-rattle in place of a normal one. Did the writers not know that it's the other end of a rattlesnake that's venomous?
A couple Stacker 2 commercials had a man make fun of Kane, a sadistic monster heel from the WWE. Ends about as well as you'd expect...
A Spike TV commercial has a pair of convention-goers mock Boba Fett for his unusual name and appearance. It ends badly for them.
One of the "Cheetos Break" commercials has the Cheetah and a bank teller acting flippant in the face of a pair of armed bank robbers. The Cheetah even hits one with a rubber band.
Anime and Manga
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: Kenichi used to be weak and powerless. He still looks like a little dude due to his training, and even still acts afraid of people many, many ,many, MANY times weaker than him, just because they look scary. This is slightly subverted as the moment the bullies/thugs find out who he is, they usually back off and immediately apologize out of fear.
Played much straighter with Natsu Tanimoto AKA Hermit. He, unlike Kenichi, will NOT hesitate to murder you. He will do so in a way that makes it look like it was someone else, but he WILL beat you black, blue, and red all over.
Bleach: Abarai Renji provokes Ichigo during their training in the Urahara Shop to get him angry. Ichigo, depressed and terrified by his encounter with the Bount, is fighting extremely feebly, and Renji taunts him about his weak fighting to get him to fight with a clear head again. Renji momentarily regrets being so successful.
A Certain Magical Index: Accelerator is the strongest esper in the world, with absurd powers that make him literally untouchable. After he's defeated thanks to Touma's Anti-Magic ability, large gangs start regularly trying to attack him. They're so far beneath his contempt he doesn't even use his active abilities to fight them, yet despite the trail of twisted limbs he leaves behind him, they still attack. They also completely trash his apartment while he's away, but even that fails to get a rise out of him.
In fact, the reason he goes along with the Level 6 project is to make himself so powerful that the very thought of challenging him would be ridiculous. He's been a target of dragon-bulliers all his life, to the point that flashbacks show him (as an 8-year-old child, mind) being assaulted by everything up to a tank division with air support. He knows he's not in any real danger from 99% of the people who try to kill him, but his greatest wish is that all these people would just leave him alone.
Mikoto is often targeted by gangs of delinquents. Even if they don't recognize her personally, she is always wearing the uniform of a school that only includes Level 3 or higher Espers.
Kekkaishi: Gen's backstory is being picked on for being half-ayakashi. They throw mud at him and then act surprised when he throws a boulder.
In the first season of Darker Than Black, humans who know about Contractors have a habit of telling Contractor employees how they think they are nothing but murderous scum who should be wiped out. Luckily for them, most Contractors justdon't care, but this can get ridiculous when Huang is not only verbally abusing someone who can kill him instantly by touching him, but lifting him up by the front of his shirt and screaming in his face.
Happens to Robert Haydn in The Law of Ueki. Taunting a small child who can turn his arm into a six-foot cannon is not a good plan.
Espers in Zettai Karen Children are treated with suspicion at best and as non-human scum at worst. So bad that one of said dragons will grow up to be the "Queen of Disaster" within the span of 10 years. The Children's previous handler, a representative from the education department, used shock collars on the girls in order to control them. She had a Freudian Excuse, though: her own mother was equally sadistic and would lock her up if she wasn't "perfect".
A premise of Tekkaman Blade II, in which the events of Tekkaman Blade led to a segment of humanity gaining the power to become a sort of proto-Tekkaman. These "Primary Bodies" have partial Tekkaman powers, but are inexplicably persecuted, and twice during the series, the Primary Bodies revolt and try to convert themselves into full Tekkamen to take over the world.
In at least "Teknoman" (the English dubbed version of Tekkaman Blade), Ringo's constant attempts to pick fights with Blade in the first half-dozen or so episode could well count as this, seeing as how he's deliberately provoking someone he claims to consider unstable and whom he has seen effortlessly tear through dozens of Spider-Crabs (which are, themselves, killing machines capable of wiping out whole platoons of ordinary soldiers).
This shows up in Fruits Basket. Saki Hanajima (aka "Hana-chan"), one of the main character's friends, is rumored—correctly—to be capable of killing people with her thoughts. The reaction of her peers? "Let's bully her!" Luckily for them, she turns out to be one of The Fettered, but still...
In grade school, she almost killed a boy after he forced her to eat a live newt to support the rumor of her being a witch. It came back to haunt her in middle school.
Code:Breaker: Yuuki, who can manipulate sound waves, tries to use their shared abusive pasts to reason with the poison (and other liquids - she hides her many scars under a thick layer of "makeup")-secreting Lily, to no avail.
Cell does this to Gohan in Dragon Ball Z. In an odd variation on the trope, Gohan at the time was hardly a match for Cell. Cell kept pressing his Berserk Buttons so he'd unleash his hidden power and be a Worthy Opponent. Cell underestimated just how worthy he'd be.
Unlike his father who favored the carrot (cake), Babidi preferred to use the stick in controlling Buu. Whenever Buu showed some disobedience, Babidi would threaten to reseal the monster. This continued until Goku scolded Buu for letting such a weak coward order him around and Babidi shortly found himself lacking a head.
Then there's Dr. Gero having repeatedly insulted and berated 17 and 18 whom were rebellious teenagers before he forcibly turned them into cyborgs. Cyborgs far stronger than he is, mind you. What happened to him was inevitable.
And there's a double dose of Too Dumb to Live in this example. See, when Dr. Gero built 17 and 18, he realized how difficult they would be to control, and so came up with a new design for future androids that, while still strong, were more limited in their power. Sounds pretty Genre Savvy, right? Except that he then rebuilt his own body, and used the deliberately weakened design on himself rather than the fully powered one that might've enabled him to stand up to 17 and 18. Yeah, he's a genius, alright.
It happens to Vegeta at the end of Dragon Ball Z, ten year later after Buu is defeated. When Vegeta is at the tournament waiting for his match, a guy walks up to him and constantly berates him. Vegeta then knocks the guy out by punching him lightly in the face.
Naruto: Let's see if we can't isolate and otherwise mentally and emotionally abuse a small child who has a giant fox-demon stuck in him, thus ensuring that he doesn't have a reason to keep said demon there. Let's do this even though, as far as we know, the few people in all of history able to defeat said demon are all long dead.
Goes double for your average smuck who attacks one of the demon hosts. Goes triple for the Kazekage, who has his son Gaara host a demon, and then tries to assassinate Gaara, someone who is for all intents and purposes, invincible. There's making a stupid choice, and there's just plain ought to know better.
In fact, pretty much every village treats their hosts like crap. It's semi-justified in that it's only been a few generations since the Tailed Beasts were first sealed, and so far nearly everyone who is a host for their entire life has lost control, gone insane, or betrayed their village; it's only assumed that they'll ALL be that way. Of course no one points out that those hosts go bad largely because they were mistreated by their villages, and it's not until Naruto goes around knocking sense into his enemies, including the above-mentioned Gaara, that most of the world realizes "Oh, hey, they DON'T have to be despicable monstrosities?"
The Hidden Cloud is the only village at the start of the series that actually treats their hosts well, and that's only after Killer B actually befriended his sealed demon.
There's also Naruto's mother, Kushina. When she first arrived in the Hidden Leaf as a kid, the other kids immediately took to mocking her for her red hair, and she didn't help things when she shot her mouth off about becoming the first female Hokage. Within minutes, she flipped out and beat the living shit out of the bullies. One particular kid actually brought in his older brother to help him get revenge, and Kushina still kicked their asses.
Elfen Lied: When you're pinned down by the monster with the ability to rip you to shreds with their crazy invisible psychic arms, it's probably a good idea NOT to antagonize them. When one character threatens to kill said monster next time he sees her, the monster solves that problem...by gouging out the man's eyes.
Subverted in Slayers with Zelgadis the chimera. Most regular humans either run away in fear or ridicule him for his appearance (and it's also worth noting that he's Nigh Invulnerable and a skilled sorcerer-swordsman), but he doesn't do a thing about it; rather, he either makes a snippy reply or he gets depressed. After he meets the other main characters, though, he begins to take some insults in stride. In the novels, it seemed that he played it straight in the beginning (as "Rezo's berserker"), but it's hinted that Rezo was influencing/manipulating him.
Played straight with most of the Mazoku/Monster race, as well as a few other creatures, such as Beastmen (the fifth novel and the scuffle between Beastman Dilgear and Zelgadis early on say it all).
Played very straight in the first episode of TV series 4. Lina is encountering some pirates, who at this point know that she is Lina Inverse, who has destroyed cities several times (one of them twice). While running away from her in fear, they for some reason decide to taunt her about her breast size, which they know is a Berserk Button. It doesn't end well, although fortunately the scene is meant as comedy, so they suffer Amusing Injuries rather than being killed.
Pretty much the entire plot of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest so far if you switch "Dragon" with "Werewolf". To be fair, the people bullying Inugami don't know that he's actually a super powerful werewolf at first. But when the first thing you see a guy do is to make his opponent stab himself with nothing but Deadly Dodging, your first thought should not be to try ganging up on him. When the second thing you see him do is break someone's hand with his face (the guy punching him hurt himself since Inugami is Made of Iron) and you still want to fight him, you've officially become Too Dumb to Live. Later, when Inugami does reveal his true self to Big Bad Haguro Daoh, Daoh becomes crazily obsessed with him (since Inugami caused Daoh, a bonafide emotionless sociopath, to feel a real emotion for the first time in his life: gut-wrenching fear) and deliberately provokes him in the hopes of getting Inugami to acknowledge him as a Worthy Opponent.
A small but plot-relevant example from Digimon Tamers: Makuramon shows up during Beelzebumon's fight with Megidramon specifically to stomp on his Berserk Button by mocking him and calling him "pathetic" and "weak". Beelzebumon is a six-foot-tall leather-clad fallen angel who packs two shotguns, gets stronger everytime he kills someone and, coincidentally, needs a little boost in power to beat Megidramon. Makuramon is a monkey.
Impmon (Beelzebumon himself) did this to Devidramon much earlier while he was in a Digital Field. Once he broke out, Impmon wisely fled.
The entire (literal) plot of Sohryuden Legend Of The Dragon Kings, which basically had the bad guys deliberately torment each of the four titular brothers to release their dragon nature, and then inevitably get their asses kicked by them when they did.
Pokémon gives us Ash Ketchum, an unarmed ten(?) year old boy who has never let the fact that a Legendary or armed criminal could reduce him to greasy paste stop him from chewing them out if need be. He even once yelled at Palkia, who just spent half the movie disintegrating space.
For a mon-to-mon example, try the Advance Generation episode where Ash caught a Torkoal. Prior to being captured, said Torkoal is the target of literal bullying by Steel-types, which a Pokémon like Torkoal would have no problem againstnote for the uninformed, Fire has an advantage against Steel.
Well, type isn't everything, and Torkoal is considered a weak battler in the metagame due to being notoriously slow and having offenses and defenses that don't do much to help make up for it. Being severely outnumbered probably didn't help, either.
Also, some newbie Pokemon on the team get jealous of Pikachu, and try to antagonize him. Never mind that he is higher level than any of them (despite not evolving), and possessed of powerful Shock and Awe abilities. Particularly dumb when Oshawott does it, given that he's a Water type, and thus takes double the hurt from electricity.
In Durarara!!, people at Shizuo's school (both middle and high school) were not the most intelligent lot. This is evidenced by the fact that they thought picking on ShizuoHeiwajima was anything less than a phenomenally stupid idea. The high school kids can be partially excused due to being manipulated by Izaya. The junior high kids? Not so much
Nico Robin of One Piece was bullied by other children when she was young (who, when she retaliated, would go whine to their parents who chastise her. Of course the kids were most likely lying as they picked on her first without provocation. Robin just wanted to be left alone) and abused by her foster parents (well mostly the aunt. Her uncle never did but was too weak willed to stand up for Robin). I repeat, they abused a child who has the power to grow body parts wherever she wants, which, as she proves later when she single-handedly takes down about 50 marines, is quite a dangerous and potentially deadly power.
It's usually Mugging the Monster when it comes to Shanks and Luffy. People rarely appreciate (or even believe) how strong these two are. Two notable examples, however, are Bellamy in the Skypeia arc and Hody Jones after the Time Skip. Bellamy assumed Luffy was a weakling because Luffy wouldn't fight back over a simple insult (he didn't see it as worth the trouble). Then Bellamy got Luffy's wanted poster, with a bounty more than double his own meager sum. He ignored it, and proceeded to rob Luffy's friends. When Luffy came back to get what he stole, Bellamy still refused to accept the truth. Cue getting faceplantedwith just one punch to the face.
Hody is an even more egregious example, because not only did he know Luffy had beaten Arlong, but knew his exact reputation right down to recent events and still decided to make an enemy of him. While he arguably could have beaten "Luffy as advertised" instead of "Took a Level in Badass Luffy", Luffy's mere reputation alone should have made him think twice.
Special mention goes to Don Krieg, who picks a fight with Dracule Mihawk, who'd previously turned his several large battleships and army of pirates into one badly trashed battleship with most of his men dead. Then showed up just to finish off Krieg's last battleship due to being bored. Which he did with one swing of his giant sword.
Wow Spandam! It sure was a great idea to frame CP9, seven of the deadliest assassins in the world, for the Enies Lobby disaster. It's not like they will want to go after your blood when they find out what you did to them! Oh…..
Another, more minor example involving CP9: when Dragon-in-Chief Rob Lucci manages to overwhelm Luffy, Usopp challenges him. To put it in perspective, no antagonist before this had ever managed to beat Luffy in terms of brute force, having to use Logia or Paramecia powers if they didn't have some other kind of weapon. Lucci is superhuman, but it's completely related to brute force, and his Devil Fruit power is pretty straightforward in what it does, allowing him to turn into a leopard. And he managed to beat Luffy. Usopp starts taunting Lucci, culminating in calling him a scaredy-cat. Of course, he was only doing that to provoke Luffy into getting up and finishing the fight. It works.
Tashigi has a terrible habit of picking fights with people that are way out of her league, often ones that have powers that render her own abilities uselessnote Such as Nico Robin and Trafalgar Law, though it's not because she's overconfident or over-estimating her abilities: its mostly due to her Plucky Girl tendencies. It's affected her track record against named characters to the point that it even got her labeled a Faux Action Girl a couple times, even though her main problem is that, even after the Time Skip, she's only at the rank of Marine Captain, and, with only a couple exceptions, the Sorting Algorithm of Evil left them in the dust a long, long time ago (that being at Enies Lobby, where they were using Captains as Mooks).
In the Tales of Symphonia OVA, at one point, you see Presealifelessly dragging what used to be a huge tree she chopped down through her village of Ozette as everyone in the village stares at her. All of a sudden, some little kid throws a rock at her and yells "Monster!" Uh, kid? You see that huge tree there? You're a heck of a lot lighter than it is.
It's not like they have any choice in the matter as their bosses WILL kill them if they run away from Kenshiro. Sucks to be a mook in the world of Hokuto no Ken.
Played as Flaw Exploitation in the second episode of Death Note: How do you investigate a murderer who can kill you anywhere, anytime with a magic heart attack? Keep annoying him in the hopes he will try to kill you.
Also Light frequently bosses Ryuk, a God of Death, around. Ryuk puts up with it for a while because he thinks it's hilarious. And even so, Ryuk is only helpful insofar as he finds it hilarious; he outright won't help Light in numerous situations because it would be too easy.
That's not the stupidest thing they can do. See that shy, glasses wearing sickly kid over there? That's Rin's younger twin brother. Hurt him in any manner, and Rin will mop the floor with you. It stands even now. Though, this counts more as Bullying The Dragon's Brother.
Many people in Gamaran ends up doing this to Gama and are defeated. Shown also with Baian Maki: in a flashback he fights alone against ten swordsmen who mock his use of the naginata. Baian hits their leader in the face so hard that it snaps his neck and kills him.
In InuYasha, lots of people screw with half-demons, despite the fact that many half-demons openly possess enough raw power to destroy everyone in the towns that scorn them. True, demons scorn them as well, but even the weakest demon is, generally, much stronger than a human — in other words, they have a decent chance of fighting back. Humans don't.
Shishinki was an absolute idiot to try inflicting an Heroic BSOD on Sesshoumaru. It did not end well for him.
It's commonly interpreted that Nanami in Revolutionary Girl Utena has so much trouble with animals, and at one point actually turns into a cow because she bullied Anthy in episode 3, and as it turns out, Anthy is among other things the proverbial fairytale Witch. An attentive viewer quickly notices that majority of the side-episodes focusing on Nanami's Humiliation Conga show Anthy taking special interest in something related to the episode theme.
In Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji does this after Asuka is nearly killed. Enraged by Gendo's actions, he begins to attack the headquarters while screaming abuse at his father. Gendo is willing to let Shinji do this until the power runs out... right up until Shinji claims Gendo has never lost anything. Ten seconds later, Shinji is unconscious, without Gendo even moving.
Made worse in the manga, where the incident in question takes place about two and a half chapters before the end of that saga. Somewhat justified; the main characters of Ranma 1/2 are all, basically, idiots.
ROD the TV has Joker treat Paper Master Yomiko's grievances with little respect, ultimately trying to scare her off by showing her exactly what he's done to her love interest. He also does this in the middle of his organization's massive library/headquarters, when her power is the ability to control paper. The outcome, while tragic, is hardly surprising.
Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is the heroine Nanami's familiar. He's also a Kitsune that is implied to be one of the strongest demons around and who, amongst other things, delivered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to a War God. He is both disliked in the demon and divine world and looked down upon for his familiar rank.
Used in the most literal sense of the title in Firebreather.
It was established in Damage's own series that his "parents" were actually employees set to watch him until the superpowers he'd been genetically engineered for showed up. Given that, later retcons that his foster-father physically and sexually abused him—according to one comic, badly beating him directly after he'd accidentally blown a friend's hand off—make the guy look extremely stupid.
Marvel Comics. Several superheroes and supervillains have this as their raison d'etre.
Though it's worth considering how much of that bullying was done by actual stupid people, and how much was deliberate provoking of a counterattack to further raise anti-mutant sentiments. The logic here being "if they're so much more powerful than us, then better to provoke the fight now, while we have superior numbers and theoretically a chance of killing them all before they exterminate us, then wait for them to have the numbers that we can't sustain the kill ratio".
And then there's what she did to Zander Rice in Innocence Lost when she was actually pushed too far. Rice tormented her for thirteen years at the Facility, including cases of physical abuse that went wayoff the deep end and into outright Cold-Blooded Torture. When Laura's mother finally had enough and orchestrated her escape, Laura went looking for Rice. She could have easily killed him in less than a second, but oh no, that was too good for him. When she cornered him, Laura put away her claws and went to work on him bare-handed for ten fucking minutesnote Based on her mission timer. Keep in mind Rice's project bred her specifically to be a living weapon and the perfect assassin, so he was entirely aware of Laura's capabilities. Somehow he still decided subjecting her to constant abuse and letting her know he was taking his hatred of Wolverine out on her was a good idea.
Happens to the Hulk all the time. Most of his rampages could have been avoided had they just backed off a bit. Considering his Catch Phrase (apart from "Hulk Smash!", of course) is usually a variation of him bellowing "LEAVE HULK ALONE!" you'd think the denizens of the Marvel Universe would have cottoned on, but then you remember this is the Marvel Universe, where Dragon-bullying (and bitching about the results afterwards) is a widely accepted pastime.
This was once lampshaded by Doc Samson, in discussion with General Ross:
This was deliberately done by Deadpool when he wanted to die: as his Regenerative Factor allowed him to survive or even to resuscitate from things that would have killed Wolverine, he decided that being reduced to subatomic particles was his best bet, and pissing off Hulk by nuking him twice was the chosen method. Sadly, by the time he managed to get punched Hulk had calmed down enough that Deadpool was merely liquified, and was back in one piece in five days...
Marvel Comics also has Super Hero hate groups. SUPER HERO HATE GROUPS. These people should just form a "Drink-A-Gallon-of-Bleach Club"; it'd be safer.
Maybe not as extreme as the other examples (since he has no actual super-powers), but there have been a few times where Frank Castle (AKA The Punisher) ends up in jail. Since Frank is a known badass with a body count nearly as high as The Joker, criminals waste no time in throwing their lives away by trying to attack him. Frank, who is inevitably heavily restrained, adds a few more bodies to the count before the guards show up.
Nicky Cavellla. He wanted to eliminate the Punisher, and thought he could do it by making him clumsy. To do that, Nick dug up the Punisher's family's remains, pissed on them while recording himself doing so, and sent the video to the local news. His plan worked, and Frank stopped being as methodical as he normally is, but with the trade-off that Frank went into such an Unstoppable Rage that he killed several important figures in Cavella's criminal family in one day. The remaining family ditched Cavella and Frank shot him in the stomach.
Ironically, Frank Castle ends up on the wrong side of this himself when he tries to assassinate Norman Osborn... who is, at the time, not only still his Green Goblin self, but also the President of the United States AND the leader of the Dark Avengers. The result is that Osborn sends Daken (Wolverine)'s Ax-Crazy son with the exact same power set) after the Punisher, and he ends up unceremoniously cut into pieces and dumped down a sewer.
A less antagonistic version is the Yancy Street Gang, who constantly prank and heckle Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four. Ben tolerates this because he knows it's all in good fun, and the Gang are good at heart, often assisting the Fantastic Four against villains.
Beast Boy of the Teen Titans spent most of his life enduring this kind of bullying, which has had a profoundly negative effect on his self esteem; so much so that he's afraid to let anyone know that he can make multiples of himself.
A prisoner threatens to kill Rorschach in Watchmen in the lunch line (and is building up to shank him), confident that in prison, he won't be as tough. Rorschach, being Homicidal, Ax-Crazy, and a Combat Pragmatist, throws hot grease in his face before he can even lift a finger, burning him horribly. Right after this, he deliberately invokes the trope.
"None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me!"
Afterwards, three other guys try to kill him. Admittedly, they thought they had the advantage over him...but once again, underestimated him. They also die bloodily.
In Secret Six, a handful of carnies attack Bane during his date, which goes as well you'd expect. But instead of retreating when the 7-foot giant takes out half their number casually, they try to kill his girlfriend.
Happened in an issue of Jack Kirby's Etrigan the Demon series, where a creature like Frankenstein's monster created by a mad scientist was subject to a street gang throwing bricks at him and taunting him. When they captured a girl who had been in psychic communication with him (don't ask), all he had to do was stand up and the gang quickly retreated.
KING MOB: I'm telling you that you're in the wrong film, fatboy. You're not in the cowboy film you thought you were in. This is a different kind of movie. And you're in the scene where the redneck shitkicker picks on the stranger in town, only it turns out to be big Arnie or a gang of vampires. I'll bet you've seen that a million times, cowboy.
KING MOB: So here's the deal: you've just made the mistake of your life but you can wash away your sins by apologizing to the lady. Otherwise I squeeze, you pop and guess who's singing castrato in church on Sunday?
BILLY-BOB: I... ah... I called you a faggot and... ah... well, I'm sorry. Fuck.
LORD FANNY: That's all right, darling. I am a faggot. And you do have a lovely dick.
People spend rather a lot more time insulting, belittling, and reprimanding the Great Red Dragon in Bone than is probably wise.
One of the stories in Volume 2 of Witch Girl's Tales features the team of Witch Girls falling victim to what starts off as Mugging the Monster... but it turns into this when one of two remaining thugs decides to charge one of the witch girls after they've already dispatched most of the group with their magic. He also didn't read the atmosphere and chose to charge Heroic Comedic Sociopath and Token Evil Teammate Princess Lucinda, rather than one of the ones who had previously been seen using non-lethal methods. He's turned into a bug for his troubles... but he still doesn't stop doing this, as when the final gang member is turned into a frog, he taunts said person who is now roughly ten times his size and his natural predator. Predictably, he gets eaten.
John Constantine from Hellblazer is a complete example of this. His enemies tend to be demons, gods, angels, deities, and any other surrealistic monster any writer can ever think off. This enemies were said to be godlike, invincible, and all powerful. But John is unfazed by this and won't think twice to get them all humiliated.
In The Devil's AdvocateThe Joker is sent to a regular prison, for a crime he was framed for. Another prisoner is displeased with some of the Joker's actions. He starts threatening him, boasting that he has killed over thirty people. This is an extremely unimpressive number to someone like The Joker and it predictably ends badly for him. In his defense though, he may have thought that while Joker was an Ax-Crazy mass-murderer he was an unskilled fighter. The Joker's level of combat skill largely depends on the writer. That being said, pissing off a psychotic mass-murderer is still a dumb move.
In The Sandman, the angel Remiel — who along with Duma has been given the unpleasant task of watching over Hell since Lucifer quit — visits Lucifer's bar and asks him to take back Hell. Lucifer laughs in his face and proceeds to mock Remiel for his cowardice. Remiel then spits on Lucifer's face in a fit of pique. Lucifer calmly wipes off the spittle, then just as calmly reminds Remiel that Lucifer was once the leader of Heaven's army and that he gave up none of his power when he gave up Hell and his wings. If Lucifer wished it, Remiel would cease to exist right on the spot. Taking the warning to heart, Remiel beats a hasty retreat.
Also in the same series, in the Season of Mists arc, Azazel is in Dream's realm, and attempts to blackmail Dream by taking Nada, his beloved, inside himself and threatening to consume her, complete with various insults directed towards the master of the realm he's currently in. Dream simply asks Azazel if it was wise to threaten the lord of the realm he was in, and he is promptly put inside a glass jar, and then placed inside a chest to think about what he did.
Zigzagged in Empowered, with the existence of a significant population of people who hold anti-Cape sentiments. For one thing, this attitude is so common because a lot of Capes, heroes and villains alike, a monumentalJerk Asses, and if things get violent, it's quite possible for a normal to take down a superhuman. On the other hand, a normal beating a Cape requires a lot in the normal's favor, including the proper equipment and training, and if the slightest thing goes wrong, the normal will notlive to regret it. While the precise details remain sketchy, anti-Cape sentiment reached a boiling point in recent years with something known as the San Antonio incident, where a group of normals banded together and went on a Cape-killing spree. They got several Capes, at least... and then the Capes rallied and slaughtered every anti-Cape protester they could catch in return, getting so carried away they destroyed the entire city with a volcanic eruption, implicitly killing every normal in it. So far, Thugboy is the only anti-Cape activist known to have survived the incident.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise the NAILs blame everything on the Autobots and Decepticons on the war the nearly destroyed Cybertron. Of course the Autobots aren't going to try anything aggressive against them, but the Decepticons are more than willing to blast them when they get the chance.
One could argue that this is the case for a lot of Superman's less powerful enemies, but special mention has to go to the Prankster. Here's a guy with no superpowers whose only real goal is to pull the biggest practical jokes on the largest number of people possible... and his favorite target is the most powerful being on Earth. And he never stops trying!
How most N.O.W.H.E.R.E. staff and mooks treat the New52 version of Superboy.
Kitten, after having been stopped nearly effortlessly by Jade in the Tournament of Villainesses (Jade used heat vision to blast away Kitten's energy whip and then picked her up with the Rooster Talisman), proceeds to insulther! The evil teen insulted Jade's outfit and appearance (the appearance part in multiple ways), her power set, and was starting to say that Jade was so ugly that that was why she wasn't in her original dimension, they had kicked her out (she didn't finish, but it's clear what she was saying), before Jade's Berserk Buttons were fully pressed and she unleashed a Dragon Talisman blast that nearly killed Kitten, giving Jade a My God, What Have I Done? moment (as, unlike the others Jade had met, the evil blonde was notMade of Iron). And this was AFTER Jade had offered Kitten a chance to surrender!
In Progress, Angel Bunny attacks Princess Luna with baseballs, knowing full well who she is. She freaks out at first, but after a little therapy with Fluttershy and Applebloom, she tries to keep cool about it until he breaks her glasses. Then she snaps.
In The Vinyl Scratch Tapes, another My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic, Vinyl callsPrincess Celestiaout during a live broadcast interview for the whole "banishing your sister to the moon and never checking up on her even once for a thousand years" thing. Her co-host Octavia is horrified by Vinyl's behavior and is stunned when Celestia accepts it with good grace instead of having them immediately yanked off the air and thrown into prison.
This comes back to bite Vinyl big time, when Princess Luna royally chews her out for giving Celestia a huge guilt trip over the incident when it was entirely Luna's fault to begin with and she had no other choice but to banish her.
Prof. Penthesilea:"…Carrie as you'll soon find out, warns us of the danger of underestimation, of messing with the wrong person and not treating everyone with the respect they fully deserve. While this may be tempting for some, it will be an insult to the one you abuse, and may end in your untimely death."
Naomi: Now, Duck, you and I have already had a talk about provoking mentally unstable individuals...
There is a spectacular one in the Babylon 5 fanfic The Dilgar War. In their one combat encounter with Earthforce the heavy cruiser Persephone and her six fighters (of an outdated model that is about to be phased out for the new model) took down fifteen Dilgar ships between light cruisers and destroyers plus fighter support before charging at Jha'dur's flagship when the rest of the Dilgar fleet showed up and their jump engine was damaged. The Dilgar knew Earth Alliance already had a huge standing fleet that included ships that made the heavy cruiser look weak, and was building up. To reach the Vree Empire (that has already tried to stop their advance in the League) they have to choose between attacking the Markab, allies of Earth (and Earth Alliance made clear that attacking them would be an act of war), or the Yolu, more powerful than the Markab but isolationist and tactically incompetent: the Dilgar Warmaster Council voted to attack the Markab with a 5-4 majority (Jha'dur and the other competent Warmasters voted to attack the Yolu). Less than a month later Earthforce has annihilated Jha'dur's veteran fleet (Jha'dur herself barely escaped with her life twice, first when her ship was in the firing arcs of fifty Earth dreadnoughts and then when Earthforce decided to finish the routed Dilgar fleet with five times the number of surviving Dilgar ships in nukes), and one of the other competent Warmasters is dead.
The Dilgar have a policy of attacking warships from neutral governments to make reparations and have an excuse to stipulate an alliance. While the policy had worked with the Narn, it failed miserably with the Earth Alliance. Yet, they kept it in place and hoped to get the chance to try it with the Minbari. The same Minbari that in a dozen years would utterly defeat Earthforce with little losses. Jha'dur had the sense to question the wisdom to try it with someone they knew was isolationist and incredibly powerful, but was ignored again.
Barako: I would like to file a complaint against Uzumaki Naruto.
Ninja Clerk (grabs a pen and a form): What is the nature of this complaint?
Barako: That filthy little monster threatened to break my daughter's arm!
Clerk (fills in information): Where were you, and what were you doing at the time this threat was made, and at what time did it occur?
Sakura: I was outside the Academy. I had just gotten out of class for the day, and noticed him hanging around on that swing in the tree near the entrance. I...I tried to hit him.
Clerk (coldly crumples form): Let me get this straight. You, an Academy student, decided to attack a full fledged shinobi who is only a Genin because he had a run of seriously bad luck, and isn't currently on his way to the Chunin exams because we don't want to give Iwa a chance to legally get their revenge on him for what he did to two of their Genin, and you want us to punish him because he decided to go easy on you and let you off with a warning?
This happens literally in 3 Slytherin Marauders when a Death Eater attacks a dragon that has befriended Harry Potter-he got his Just Deserts though the dragon later complained that he gave her indigestion.
In Skies of Vermillion (a Transformers fanfic inspired by Ancient Rome), Soundwave purchases Tracks as a slave. Throughout the story, Tracks snaps at him, makes accusations, and even hits him on one occasion. Granted, Tracks has a Dark and Troubled Past, but the fact remains, Soundwave is his owner, and could easily have him a) beaten, b) executed, or c) both if he wanted to.
A lot of civilians in Uplifted series seem to think that bullying the somewhat mentally unstable Waffen-SS Colonel Joachim Hoch is a perfectly rational thing to do. Very few survive his wrath unscathed.
The Mega CrossoverHasbroverse uses this in its World Building backstory to explain why G.I. Joe disbanded: Cobra Commander, being based on his more competent Marvel Comics counterpart, was smart enough to avoid getting into a fight with the Decepticons. Serpentor, however, wasn't as bright, and launched an attack that pissed off Megatron enough to launch a counterattack so ferocious (including glassing Cobra Island) that only a handful of members of the organization survived — Cobra Commander himself, who was smart enough to flee when he realized what Serpentor had done (and now lives like a king somewhere in upstate New York); a half-dozen Mooks loyal enough that the Commander took them with him; Destro and The Baroness, who left the group some point prior; and Storm Shadow, who'd had a Heel-Face Turn and likewise left the group. There's also rumors that Zartan survived as well, but there's no confirmation of that.
In Arads Stardust, Dr. Vahlen's cold, provocative attitude when testing the cooperativeTwilight Sparkle's abilities is really not the smartest one to take when she herself notes that X-Com couldn't hope to build anything that would stand up to Twilight's telekinetic blasts. Several characters note how stupid this is for the supposedly-bright scientist, and once Vahlen finally looks past her Freudian Excuse for her hostility, she also realizes how foolish her behavior was.
In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible, as his Secret Identity, works at an insurance company and is constantly browbeaten by his tiny boss, voiced by Wallace Shawn. When the boss stops Mr. Incredible from coming to the aid of a mugging victim, then makes fun of the situation, he loses it and throws his boss through a few walls. Even if his boss didn't know he had superpowers, Mr. Incredible has about five feet and a couple hundred pounds on him.
In Wreck-It Ralph, the Nicelanders spurn Ralph despite the importance he plays in their game, and Gene is especially mean, despite Ralph being capable of completely and utterly wrecking him. However, in a strange twist, Gene's attitude can be somewhat justified. He's the guy Ralph throws at the beginning of every game, so what can Ralph threaten to do to him that he doesn't already do?
Disney's Hercules has kids mocking the title character and calling him "Jerkules" specifically for his superhuman abilities making him a "freak". They were only able to get away with it because it's a Disney movie and Hercules is a good guy. The Hercules of the actual myths was known for letting his anger get the best of him, often with lethal results for the mortals involved (though at least one of these rages, which cost him his family, was induced by his nemesis Hera).
In A Bug's Life, Hopper knows that while the ants are smaller individually, they outnumber the grasshoppers by a hundred to one and that if the ants realized their numerical superiority, the grasshoppers would be crushed. However, in a comparatively intelligent move for this trope, Hopper's actions to antagonize the ants is done deliberately to make the ants feel weak and helpless, so they don't realize their collective advantage.
The Backstory of The Covenant is that one of the adult warlocks was persecuted and burned at the stake. He was persecuted for being a high-level Reality Warper, lesser members of said species being able to not only fly and throw fireballs but survive head-on collisions with Mack trucks. Exactly how 1600's Massachusetts villagers concluded taking him on was a good idea, let alone succeeded, is never explained.
Bullies seem to think that it's a good idea to pick on a Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette kid who starts fires with her mind! by throwing rocks at her, on her birthday no less. No points for guessing how that ends.
After Hellboy becomes public knowledge as a hulking monster who fights other monsters, people see fit to shout insults and throw things at him as they drive by.
Rorschach finds himself getting threatened in prison by the very same inmates that he beat up and put there. After stomping one of them, he proclaims. "You people don't get it. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me!"
The anti-vigilante protesters in front of Studio 54. One of them hits the Comedian in the head with a beer bottle and he flips out, beating them up and firing tear gas at them as they're trying to flee. Worse in the movie adaptation. In the comic, he "only" fires tear gas, whilst in the film adaptation he is clearly shown firing an actual shotgun into the fleeing crowd.
Portrayed as the South African government's Idiot Ball in District 9. Yes, let's confine a million alien refugees with highly advanced weaponry and space-faring technology to a hideous slum, treat them like garbage and deny them basic rights. It makes you hope that Christopher Johnson comes back with an entire alien armada.
In Alien Nation, the Idiot Ball is held by Los Angeles. Yes, let's piss all over the guys that are super-strong and highly intelligent. Let's recapitulate every moronic Race Trope our society worked to get past. Yeah, that's bright.
In Hulk, after Bruce Banner is captured and contained in a purportedly Hulk-proof room, Glenn Talbott, needing a blood sample, enters the room, and shocks Bruce repeatedly with a cattle prod to try to get him to change into the Hulk. At this time, Talbott is wearing a cast and a neck brace, because earlier in the movie, when Bruce changed into the Hulk, he used Talbott as a melee weapon to beat two other people into unconsciousness. Luckily for Talbott, this attempt fails.
The Incredible Hulk: Blonsky, hopped up on super-soldier serum, advances on the Hulk unarmed, taunting him, "Is that all you got?" after watching him tear apart an armored division. Blonksy promptly gets kicked into a tree, breaking about every bone in his body.
Even after the Dursleys become fully aware of Harry's abilities, they continue to antagonize him at every opportunity. Because they know students aren't allowed to use magic outside of school. Hagrid specifically warned Harry not to tell them about this rule. Unfortunately, when Dobby used magic to get Harry in trouble, the Ministry thought Harry did it, and sent him a warning...which the Dursleys read.
Draco at the end of Goblet of Fire still sees fit to antagonize Harry, even though he has a lot of powerful friends, a lot of powerful spells, and a lot of experience in fighting monsters and Dark Lords.
In The Ninth Configuration, a bar full of bikers decide that it's a good idea to mercilessly taunt and humiliate a pair of soldiers. One of the soldiers is ColonelVincent "Killer" Kane, an unbalanced walking death machine from the Vietnam War. After suffering through monstrous indignities, he finally snaps and slaughters the entire gang of bikers, including the women, with his bare hands.
20 Million Miles to Earth can best be summarized as "Please do not bully the Ymir." It's one of Ray Harryhausen's iconic and most sympathetic monsters.
King Kong post-Skull Island tends to suffer one indignation after another (not that Skull Island was a picnic), so that when he bursts out of his bonds, the audience is usually behind Kong's rampage.
The Tyrannosaurus rex's death toll in US/Japan Co-Production The Last Dinosaur might have been less if the Great White Hunter didn't insist on trying to kill it again and again. Then again, the title refers to the Great White Hunter as it does the Tyrannosaur.
In The Rocket Boy, a random hostage made a butterfingers comment when Hawkhead dropped a glass. Hawkhead shows it's unwise by tractoring the hair from that extra one foot into the air before letting it return to its normal position. A few minutes later, the ventriloquist dummy held by Hawkhead makes a similar comment.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - National Security Advisor Galloway constantly treats the Autobots like enemies, making demands and threatening them with expulsion from Earth. Aside from the fact that they have no authority to exile the Autobots from Earth, just America, this is all in spite of the fact that Earth relies on the Autobots to protect them from the Decepticons, which they do purely out of the goodness of their cybertronic hearts. There's also the fact that the Bots are giant alien robots who could easily turn Galloway into a greasy smear if they were malicious enough to do so.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: The Autobots are eventually exiled. The entire city of Chicago is leveled within the next forty-eight hours. Optimus Prime fakes his troops' death to prove his point.
Happens briefly in Spider-Man, where Peter is called a freak by one jock after he beats Flash Thompson up.
Con Air. Nicolas Cage's character Cameron Poe finds himself in prison because a few drunks in a bar decided to bully him. What makes this go from a mere bar brawl to suicidal stupidity was that Poe was a US Army Ranger in full uniform (including Ranger tabs, which MOST people know is universal shorthand for Bad Ass) at the time—and that the bullies escalated from words to an actual attack. Ranger hand to hand combat training takes over, one of the bullies dies, and Poe finds himself facing a judge who doesn't go in for 'self defense' pleas.Which is quite odd. Five against one, or even one on one, doesn't require a weapon as evidence to prove self-defense.
This makes a bit more sense if you consider the judge's view is "Okay, so an Army Ranger with extensive hand-to-hand combat training (including the knowledge about how to kill someone) killed a man in a bar fight utilizing his training." At the very least, it would have been considered voluntary manslaughter without the presence of a weapon.
Micah in Paranormal Activity. Your girlfriend says that a demon has been harassing her since childhood. You set up a camera at night that confirms her story. A psychic warns you that antagonizing the demon will only piss it off, but that a Demonologist might be able to help. What do you do? You say to hell with hiring a Demonologist (or at least a Priest!) and instead decide to call the demon a pussy at every opportunity and constantly dare it to do its worst. Its worst is possessing your girlfriend, and killing you.
Lucius Fox: "Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."
In The Dark Knight Rises John Daggett's plans to absorb Wayne Enterprises have gone sour, so he thinks it's a good idea to yell at Bane. Bane then very calmly lays one gigantic hand on Daggett's shoulder and asks, "Do you feel in charge?" Daggett then realizes that crap has hit the fan and very meekly states, "But I've paid you a small fortune." Bane continues with "And this gives you power over me?" Let's just say that things end very badly for Daggett afterwards.
Superman Returns - Granted he has that "boy scout" reputation, and Lex has kryptonite present, but wouldn't you think, that if he possibly survived, especially considering his luck in the past, beating up one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe would have some kind of repercussions? Of course it did.
The WWII film Tora! Tora! Tora! has Admiral Yamamoto deliver this apocryphal line after Pearl Harbor: "I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. What's that? The infamous Kansas lawman is in town? Let's mock him, mess with him, kill people in front of him, terrorize his family and eventually kill his brother. What could possibly go wrong?
A pair of idiot ravers start taunting Jason, apparently not realizing he is a nearly seven foot tall mountain of a man in a creepy mask armed with a machete.
Freddy tries to torture and kill someone that he himself has noted is unkillable.
Tank: Let's say you're a Fat Redneck Sheriff who owns your small town. One of your deputies gets out of line with a prostitute and this guy comes to her rescue. Now let's say "this guy" is a tough-as-nails career army sergeant who just wants to live in peace with his family. Oh, and he owns a fully operational Sherman Tank. Hey, let's throw his son in jail on trumped-up drug charges and blackmail him! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?.
Tony Stark, in his typical reckless way, casually shocks Bruce Banner in the middle of a conversation. Played with in that Tony is provoking him specifically to show that he's not worried about Bruce losing control and Hulking Out. Bruce gets itnote watch carefully and you can see him smiling and is more amused than annoyed - Steve's much more angry about it than he is. Tony's probably the first person in a long time to not walk on eggshells around the Hulk, despite knowing what he is.
As Tony Stark points out, Loki spent the movie trying to piss off the Avengers, which consists of: Your brother the demi-god, a Super Soldier, a man in Powered Armor, another man with Super Strength and breathtaking anger management issues, and a couple of master assassins".
Taken 2: Vengeance is one thing, but sure, let's continue to antagonise the one man who singlehandedly destroyed our sex slavery network and went through our relatives like a hot knife through butter. And how do we do so? Kidnap another one of his loved ones, where doing so the first time already cost us in blood.
Mean Streets: Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) insults a neighborhood mobster he owes a large sum of money to and follows that up by burning his first payment (a $10 bill) and sticking a gun in his face. Things do not end well for him.
Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk should have known better than to smack Harrison (actually Khan) around like that after he almost single-handedly took out the entire Klingon squad, especially after he surrendered. Marcus's overall treatment of Harrison/Khan also falls into this category.
Iron Man 3: Tony giving his address to a terrorist - one known for pulling off daring, devastating public attacks - without a plan behind it beyond "Come at me, bro" was not Tony's finest hour. Justified in that A) Tony clearly isn't thinking clearly at this point, and the boasting was more about making himself feel in control, and B) he'd just put the finishing touches on his Mk 42 suit, which combined with the first point meant he actually though he stood a pretty good chance. Also C) with the kind of power the terrorist in question had, he probably had access to Tony's address anyway.
Man of Steel: Even if you aren't aware he's a godlike alien, is it really a wise move to antagonize the man easily a foot taller than you and built like a brick shithouse, Jerkass trucker guy?
Psycho 2: Lila Crane's plan was to gaslight Norman Bates back into insanity, with her daughter, Mary, getting close to Norman and her putting pressure on the sheriff to put the squeeze on Bates. The fact that even if it worked perfectlynote Which it wouldn't have, even without Mary's change of heart, thanks to a third party's actual murder spree., the idea that Mary would be one of Norman's first victims and Lila wouldn't be far behind didn't seem to occur to either of them.
Elysium: Delacourt at one point starts yelling at Kruger, after Max escapes custody.
Played in the Gone series by pretty much all the normal kids towards the freaks.
Subverted in Kitty Goes to Washington, by Carrie Vaughn, wherein Kitty is kidnapped and forced to shape shift on TV, and the only real consequences incurred by the Senator who set it all up is an off-screen lawsuit and criminal charges.
Carrie's mother from Stephen King's Carrie. Unlike Carrie's jackass classmates who knew nothing of her telekinetic powers, Ms. White was all too well aware of her daughter's potential, so her persistent abuse of Carrie definitely classifies as bullying a dragon bordering on Too Fanatically Pious To Live. In fact, Carrie's mother had almost killed her once before when she was three, all because Carrie accidentally saw her then-teenage neighbor's breasts (said neighbor had fallen asleep in her backyard while sunbathing and her top had slipped off). The only thing that stopped her was being frightened into submission after witnessing Carrie wreak havoc with the house; unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep her from continuing the abuse for the next fourteen years.
The Dursleys. In what little fairness that could be mustered, it is illegal for Harry and other wizards to retaliate via magic, but that doesn't stop Hagrid and Harry on occasion. And they were abusing him before they knew it was illegal for him to retaliate magically. They also seemed to think that they could "stamp the magic out" of him by treating him badly.
When Hagrid comes to collect Harry, Vernon demands that he leave, threatens Harry in front of him, insults magic and continues making Hagrid angry until he pushes Hagrid's Berserk Button. Hagrid is a half-giant with Super Strength who'd just bent a shotgun.
The goblins trained the dragon guarding a Gringotts vault by pressing hot metal against its face while ringing the Clankers, so the dragon would learn to retreat when he heard the noise. The dragon ends up destroying part of the bank while helping the trio escape.
Wizards often bully house elves, who are able to, at least, send them flying backwards with their magic if angered. However, house elves generally can't use their magic without permission from their masters. Besides that, their extremely servile personalities guarantee they won't retaliate no matter how badly they are mistreated.
The Latin motto of the Hogwarts school, Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon."
In the third book, Malfoy openly insults a hippogriff even though it is very large, very dangerous, understands everything you say and will turn hostile if you don't treat it with proper respect. Yes, let's ignore the words of the teacher who has spent his entire life working on magical beasts, there's obviously no situation that cannot be improved with a dash of spiteful arrogance. Insulting always works. In his defense, it did.
Dolores Umbridge gets maulednote Some fans think gang-raped. by a herd of centaurs after she keeps insulting them. They give her the signs that they're getting pissed and she still keeps up the insulting, which was unwise.
In the book Benvenuto by Seymour Reit, the titular dragon, belonging to a boy named Paolo, is bullied by an older boy named Roy Selby. When Paolo tells Roy to lay off Bevenuto, Roy is all too eager to beat up Paolo. And the dragon, despite his small size, starts dishing out firey retribution to Roy for picking on his friend!
Occurs in the backstory to The Belgariad; Gorim bullies UL, hinted at being that universe's equivalent of God, into accepting him and his people.
"How do you bully a God?"
"Very, very carefully."
Pointing this trope out is how Zedd drives off a lynch mob after him in the first book of the Sword of Truth series. The mob is going after him because they believe he has terrible magic powers, so Zedd asks them to list what some of these powers might be, and once they do, Zedd points out how brave these men must be to come after a Person of Mass Destruction with nothing but torches and pitchforks. This is enough to make them back down, though Zedd throws in an additional mind game to make them really sorry.
In the Mercy Thompson books, Jesse Hauptmann is beat up because her father, Adam, is a werewolf (in fact, he's the local Alpha). Luckily for her attackers, she won't tell her father who they are, as she doesn't want them to be killed.
In the Deepgate Codex books, we have Carnival, who is the scapegoat of the eponymous city. To be fair, they have reason to hate her—she kills one of their citizens every month to sustain herself—but they tend to take things a little too far by blaming her for every little thing. In one of the books, she's just looking for a safe place to hide when a little girl wanders up to her; the girl's mother grabs her away, starts screaming "Don't you touch her, bitch!" at Carnival, and calls the guards down. The mother then reports that Carnival had attacked them to the Church (which tries to hunt her down), when all she did was run away.
People try to bully Drizzt of The Dark Elf Trilogy a lot, on the assumption that he's a normal evil drow. Amusingly, the fact that he isn't is the only reason they don't end up holding their intestines with their hands.
Perhaps a better example would be House Do'Urden's attempts in the Dark Elf trilogy to kill Drizzt. He repeatedly repels their efforts, and then attempt to send his resurrected mentor against him, only for his mentor to sacrifice himself to prevent himself from killing Drizzt. Later in the canonical series, Lolth The Spider Queen, who would have already seen everything Drizzt has done, seems to think mortal efforts can put him down. It does NOT end well.
In two books (The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir) there is a girl named Madison who is a witch. People frequently blame her for the many fires that happen around town. This is disproved when the fires are revealed to have been started by the son of a prominent businessman that wants the mountain Madison lives on because the mountain has a very large deposit of coal that he wants to mine. The boy, even though he's a wizard, takes this to extremes by eventually trying to burn down Madison's house, with her and her younger siblings inside, claiming that the town knew something was wrong with her and all he had to do was point the finger at her and they'd all believe him because of his position.
In the early days of Julian May's Galactic Milieu world, people with Psychic Powers were actively discriminated against, and frequently attacked, often on religious grounds. One prominent (female) psychic was gunned down by a priest, loudly quoting "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!" This led directly to psychics discovering that they could set fire to people just by being angry enough.
Averted in The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King. A mook approaches Badass Roland Deschain while his back is turned, intent on harm as evidenced by his hand on his knife. Roland, without bothering to turn around or even look up, advises him to "Do yourself a favor, cully, and go sit down." The mook wisely does so, almost certainly avoiding harm or even death. Roland is later shown to be a Hardcore Badass when he is Zergrushed by the townsfolk, and kills every man, woman and child in town.
Throughout The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, Bayaz, First of the Magi and Logen "The Bloody Nine" Ninefingers are underestimated, dismissed, or even insulted, threatened, or ignored as irrelevant, always to the sorrow of those who did so.
People keep antagonizing Honor Harrington. They know her record. They know what she can do. They know her in-universe Fan Nickname is "The Salamander" because she survives - and wins - battles that can and have killed equally skilled officers. They know she has a living buzzsaw as a pet/partner, the ear of the Queen, the loyalty of virtually the entire Manticoran Navy and scores of scary people for whom this is a Berserk Button. But they keep doing it. Exceedingly unpleasant consequences (usually involving bleeding and/or death) follow. Especially for PavelYoung.
The same goes- perhaps even moreso- for the utter fools who keep trying to hurt Anton Zilwicki's kids.
Averted when one of Luiz Rozsak's subordinates suggests having Thandi killed to tie up the last loose end, and he points out that not only was she the deadliest assassin in their gang, but doing so would also homicidally piss off all her new friends - including the galaxy's most notorious terrorist and the top secret agents of both Haven and Manticore.
Happens in the Mass Effect novel Ascension where one of the kids in the Ascension Project decides to pick on Gillian Grayson.
Also happens in another novel, when a human merc threatens a krogan Battle Master with a pistol. The krogan actually gives the guy every chance to back down. When the guy doesn't, the krogan sends him flying with a biotic blast, and the guy breaks his neck. Interestingly, the krogan wasn't wearing any armor, but krogans come from a Death World, so their bodies are naturally tough. A pistol in the hands of a merc wouldn't do much damage to him.
Earlier parts of the Bible have quite a few incidents where the Hebrews get tired of their god, with the most famous being the incident with the golden calf.
Harassing Old Testament prophets frequently qualified for this trope. Elisha's mentor Elijah had a habit of calling down fire from heaven when disrespected, disbelieved, or threatened.
Jesus himself was almost stoned on several occasions, but he just walked through the crowd unharmed each time. His disciples wanted him to call down fire on one occasion, but he told them he wasn't into that sort of thing. Even when he was being arrested just prior to his resurrection, he very calmly points out that he has all of Heaven's angels on speed dial if he wanted a Big Damn Heroes moment. And while hanging on the cross, he was mocked: "If you really are the Son of God, then come down from there!" The Book of Revelations lays out the future comeuppance that those who reject(ed) him can look forward to.
More or less played straight in Darkest Powers with Derek, who, being a sixteen-year-old werewolf, is incredibly strong and capable of catching a thrown bowling ball with no trouble whatsoever. The day after his somewhat over-the-top defense of his brother ends up with him breaking said tormentor’s back by accident, he gets surrounded by a bunch of kids - including the hospitalized one’s younger brother - who are looking to pick a fight and get revenge. Not the smartest idea considering what he had just shown to be capable of, though it’s probably worth noting that none of them knew he was a werewolf or about the full extent of his strength. But still, going after a guy who broke someone’s back just by throwing him? Not a good idea, guys.
In Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child, Eff is the titular thirteenth child, doomed to bring bad luck, and turn out evil. What does Eff's uncle do? What do you think...? Eff even asks her Uncle why he would do so, when he knows what she's supposedly capable of. Ultimately, she does snap and (accidentally) proves what she can really do, leading even him to realize that, hold up, maybe I shouldn't be bullying the dragon after all. The twist is that she may not really be an evil thirteenth child, as under a different magic system thirteen is a lucky number!
There are a surprising number of factions in Iain M. Banks's Culture novels who think it's a good idea to fuck with the Culture. Never ends well. These factions are either themselves among the most powerful civilizations of the galaxy, or are kept in the dark about the Culture's firepower... by the Culture itself.
BattleTech novels: A bunch of common street punks attempt to provoke a Clan Elemental into a fight during the course of a Halloween celebration. An Elemental is a Powered Armor-wearing Super Soldier bred from birth to take on 'Mechs and win, standing somewhere between 7 and 8 feet tall and weighing over three hundred pounds. While the Elemental was not wearing his armor, he still easily flattens all but one of the punks, who wisely flees the situation.
In The Girl Who Played with Fire, Bjurman Can't help but try to screw with a woman he raped sadistically...the same woman who was able to prove that he was a sadistic rapist...and the one who also raped him.
In Unseen Academicals, Andy Shank continues to antagonize Mr. Nutt after finding out he's an orc, and later the Shove taunts Nutt for this same fact. Of course, Andy is Ax-Crazy, and it's frequently said in the Discworld books that the IQ of an angry mob is that of its stupidest member, divided by the number of members.
In the Big Match Andy and his cohorts commit many acts of Unnecessary Roughness against the UU team, seemingly forgetting that the UU players are the most powerful wizards on the Discworld. However, whoever poisoned the Librarian's banana must have been outright suicidal.
Snuff has a warning from Sam Vimes' butler to someone who was tempted to start bullying (or at the very least, be annoying). Messing with him is probably the only way to piss off the Dwarfs, the Trolls, Ankh-Morpork, AND Überwald at the same time, so it would be... unwise. To say nothing of the more immediate effects of pissing off Sam Vimes.
This is one of the many actions that are considered "suicide" in Ankh-Morpork. Be it calling a dwarf a lawn ornament, insulting a troll, or calling the Librarian a monkey. Most things on the disc will kill you in some form or fashion if you're stupid enough, even the rabbits.
Of Mice and Men has Curly, a light-weight boxer, picking a fight with Lennie; it ended with Lennie crushing Curly's hand to a near-pulp.
In The Dresden Files short story Day Off, a small-time (very small time!) hedge practitioner and his female assistants/cultists challenge Harry Dresden, full Wizard and Warden of the White Council, to a magical duel, to make a point. Harry proceeds to truthfully point out several different ways that they are utterly outmatched and out of their league, both in terms of personal magical ability and combat experience (i.e. when Harry responds to their challenge by pulling out a revolver, they almost panic on the spot).
To further illustrate the difference: "Darth Wannabe" and his posse barely have enough magic to make pathetic curses or give someone a nosebleed. Harry tends to cause massive property damage whenever he cuts loose, once tossed a car onto another practitioner, and killed a fully-fledged dark wizard when he was seventeen.
In Lord of Chaos, the Aes Sedai attempt to "tame" Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn by kidnapping him and transporting him inside a wooden chest, freeing him from imprisonment only for daily abuse. This, despite the knowledge that the Dragon Reborn is the Reincarnation of the most powerful male channeller known to history, and the legends stating that only he can prevent The End of the World as We Know It (albeit by breaking it). The reason they do this, however is that one of them is a Black Ajah, working for the other side, who manipulates the others into following a course of action that could drive Rand insane.
Cadsuane Melaidhrin passive-aggressively bullies Rand and pretty much everyone else in the series. Finally gets called out for it by Rand's father.
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation giant novel Vendetta one of Picard's academy rivals, now also a starship captain, attempts this on the captain of an advanced version of the "planet killer" from the original series during a diplomatic negotiation. Said planet killer ship had just reduced a borg cube to scrap metal with little difficulty. When his actions derail Picard's attempt to forge a full alliance with the planet killer's captain Picard wastes no time on calling him out on it.
Picard: "...trying to bully someone is a distasteful tactic under any circumstance. To bully someone when you're not dealing from strength is sheer lunacy!"
"Please don't shoot me, either." He turned the palm upward in a friendly shrug and let the astonished troopers stare at the only effect of the Force-blunted blasterfire: a faint curl of steam that trailed upward from his unmarked palm. "Let's try to end the day with nobody else dying, shall we?"
In Galaxy of Fear, a bit of local mythology is told to our protagonists. A Necromancer witch boasted of her powers, the people decided to kill her son and challenge her to raise him from the dead, she put a curse on them and their descendants before dying of despair. That was hundreds of years ago and isn't taken seriously by said descendents... until zombies start appearing.
In Bujold's The Vor Game, an old-school, "Captain Bligh" style officer named General Metzov running a subarctic training camp chooses to order raw recruits outside his chain of command to hold his men naked in the snow at gunpoint in front of the eyes of one Ensign Miles Vorkosigan. As in son of the Prime Ministernote who makes a point to give a personal lecture on the duty to defy criminal orders to the graduating class of the Imperial Service Academy every year, foster brother to The Emperor, family friend to the head of Imperial Security. When the new Weather Officer objects Metzov insists he joins them.
The trope is lampshaded in a later novel, when a drunken Vor lord accuses Miles of committing murder and getting away with it due to his family connections. Miles (who didn't do it, but can't discuss the matter for security reasons) coldly asks, "If you truly believe that, why are you standing in my way?" The other man backs down in a hurry.
A few Too Dumb to Live human racists in the Garrett, P.I. novels have attempted to bully non-humans that could wipe the floor with them. While trying it on half-darkelf Morley Dotes may be justified by ignorance (because he doesn't look like TunFaire's deadliest hitman), throwing rocks or insults at Doris and Marsha, who are twenty-foot tall giant/troll hybrids, is just plain imbecilic.
Used and lampshaded in Hercules In New York. Hercules pisses some guy off, who punches him in the stomach, to no effect whatsoever and the famous line: Yu have strucked(sic) Hercules. Somehow this doesn't deter guy who mocks Hercules (thinking hes faking it) and asks him to step outside. Hercules responds by chucking the guy across the room
Viserys, in a fit of madness, thinks he can push the barbarian warlord Khal Drogo around by violating his sacred laws and holding his wife hostage with a sword, while surrounded by Drogo's soldiers. It ends about as well as you'd expect.
The season 2 finale has a literal example. Pyat Pree has captured Daenerys's dragons and taken her hostage. Unfortunately for him, her dragons are just learning how to breathe fire on command.
In the backstory, this happened to the Mad King. He executed Ned Stark's father and brother, pissing off half his kingdom and leading to the rebellion that would kill him and end his family's dynasty.
He gets extra credit for insulting and demeaning Tywin Lannister, calling him a "servant" and saying that Tywin hadn't earned the honor of his daughter marrying the crown prince. Tywin Lannister, the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms, who has been known to wage wars of total extermination against his own vassals over smaller insults.
Catelyn does this by taking Tyrion Lannister hostage on her own authority, pissing off the most powerful family in the continent.
Brienne of Tarth admits that lots of men mock her and have even tried to force themselves on her for being a big, strong fighting woman. She's been "knocking them in the dust" for years.
Veronica Mars demonstrates over and over that a) she's very helpful to have on your side when you're in trouble and b) she can and will mess you up if she feels like it. Doesn't matter; everyone at Neptune High continues to mock her and treat her as a scorned outcast. Lampshaded in season three when Veronica asks Dick how after all he's seen her do, he still doesn't fear her.
In early episodes it was known to all that at the very least Buffy had burned down the gym at her previous high school, yet people like Cordelia and Harmony picked on her anyway.
Then there's Glory in season 5. When Willow attacks her in revenge for what she did to Tara, Glory not only shrugs it off for the most part, but even takes the time to taunt Willow over brain-sucking Tara, declaring that it was "something to treasure."
In the third series of Blackadder, two foppish actors learn about this trope the hard way. They spend the better part of the episode insulting the title character, and then a misunderstanding leads Baldrick to believe they're traitorous anarchists. Blackadder investigates, immediately realizes what's going on, and confirms Baldrick's suspicions.
In Volume 5 of Heroes, Edgar the Knifethrower deliberately starts a feud with amnesiac arch-villain Sylar, not only despite but even because of Sylar apparently having a well-known reputation amongst the superpowered community as an unstoppable brain-stealing murder machine. Sure, Edgar is Darth Maul and amnesiac Sylar is quite mild-mannered, but it still looks like Edgar is just asking for trouble.
In Dexter, it's really not a good idea to threaten the title character, or especially his family, but most people don't know that he's a serial killer. There are the occasional exceptions, like Lila, and Miguel Prado
Many episodes of The A-Team have some incredibly small and weedy looking men attempting to push an angry looking Mr. T around, and then actually looking surprised when they get thrown through a window. Possibly they're surprised at the lack of injury.
In The Twilight Zone episode "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank", a dead man revives in the middle of his funeral, which leads the townspeople to believe that his corpse was possessed by a demon. As the episode progresses, these people decide to attempt to force the young man out of town. He gets them to back down by invoking this very trope by stating that if he really is a demon, then they would have more sense to treat him nicely because he could really mess up their lives if he decided to.
Gossip Girl: Surprisingly often someone tries to hurt or annoy Chuck Bass. They never learn that it's a big mistake to do so. Blair as well. And if you take on both of them, well...
Clark Kent was often bullied on despite that fact that even without powers, he is still very buff and capable of punching people out.
In the episode "Rogue," a Dirty Cop who sees Clark using his powers uses that knowledge to blackmail him. Sure, Clark's Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy prevents him from easily killing the guy with said powers, but he doesn't know that. All he knows is that Clark is tough enough to stop an out-of-control bus by stepping in front of it and strong enough to toss a generator across a room like a wad of paper. And yet, he keeps on provoking him and even threatening his family. Karmic Death took care of him.
On Chuck, this happens more often than not with Casey in a comedic sense, like when he's filled his daily quotient of stupidity from the Buy Morons, but every so often this trope come into play on a serious issue. In Chuck vs. Operation Awesome, an old oriental woman is bitching at Chuck about the Buy More's lack of customer service, while Chuck is just concerned with wanting to tell someone outside the loop about his being a spy, worrying for Devon's safety (since he's been kidnapped), and his feelings toward Sarah. He finally snaps, flashes on how to speak Korean, and yells at the woman in her native tongue to more-or-less Shut the Fuck Up, surprising everyone around him, including Jeff, Lester, and more importantly Sarah, because he's always been so pacifistic. It's made even more apparent when Chuck Intersect-kicks Lester for trying to mess with him, Bruce Lee-style only moments after telling off the Korean lady, which drops everyone's jaws even further.
Benjamin Lennox's first meeting with Hyde in Jekyll is made of this trope. It starts off with him interrupting Hyde while he's having sex, and it just goes downhill from there... in retrospect, claiming to own the superpowered psychopath was probably a bad idea.
The Addams Family. Most people are just terrified, but there are some who are more antagonistic. They don't see the problem with being offensive to people who consider torture a nice activity for the whole family. Fortunately for them, the Addamses are very nice people. But then, there is their family motto... "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us."
In The X-Files episode "Schizogeny," everyone believes that a sixteen-year-old murdered his stepfather. Some of his classmates get in his face and make fun of him for being a "psycho killer." They apparently thought there was no way this could backfire on them.
Common humans feel the need to pick on vampires, even though vampires are superhumanly powerful and like to eat people. One notable example is when a back-country sheriff deputy harasses Bill Compton for being a vampire and calls him "boy," drawing very clumsy and illogical parallels to Jim Crow.
The Brotherhood of the Sun are religious bigots who decide that kidnapping Godric is a good idea to show the vampires that they mean business. They don't seem to think about the fact that Godric commands some very nasty and violent Texan vampires who are only kept in check because he is now a pacifist. Godric is also over two thousand years old and commands the loyalty of some really powerful vampires like Eric.
The Vampire Queen of Louisiana tends to bully her subject vampires and order them to do things that they find distasteful. She seems to forget that some of them like Eric are actually older than her and only follow her out of feudal loyalty.
She herself is shocked when Bill does this, claiming that, as someone twice his age, she can kick his ass without breaking a sweat (not that vampires sweat). She proceeds to curb-stomp him... before Bill reveals that he was just keeping her busy, so that she doesn't notice a squad of well-armed men entering the house, whose fully-automatic guns are loaded with wooden bullets.
One episode of iCarly had a newcomer bully who liked to pick on Sam. Sam didn't retaliate as she wanted a boy she liked to see her as normal. However near the end, when the trio are at their local hangout waiting for said boy the bully arrives and starts hassling the three. Said bully finally goes too far when she pushes Carly (who was keeping Sam back) who promptly orders Sam to "rip her head off!" Sam gladly goes to town on her.
On Night Court, Dan Fielding is a big jerk who tends to insult everyone (even people who have the authority to fire him, which has happened a couple of times) and one frequent target of his insults was Bull Shannon, the 6'8" baliff who in one episode proved strong enough to crush a bowling ball in his bare hands. Fortunately for Dan, Bull was usually a nice guy, but if you did make him angry, it wasn't going to end well...
Why don't people learn that annoying Damon Salvatore isn't a good idea...?
Damon himself just can't seem to get in through his head that Katherine is stronger than him, much nastier, capable of using most of the town as weapons, and can enter his and his love interest's home anytime she wants. A lot of Damon and Stefan's conversations in the second season include Stefan reminding him to 1. Stop letting her manipulate him. and 2. Stop trying to make her angry.
Damon seems to have a major problem with this trope. He also tried to intimidate Pearl, who had a few hundred years on him and responded by gouging out his eyes, Jules, a werewolf, during the full moon, and Elijah, who's an Original vampire and could decapitate him with one punch.
Klaus. Anyone trying to use/play/betray Klaus or any of the other Originals has to have a death wish.
Subverted on Angel. Gwen is a young woman who can electrocute people by touching them with her bare skin; as a child she was sent to a boarding school and is approached by a boy asking if she's "a freak." The audience braces itself...but he's not bullying her, just asking her an innocent question, and follows up with "you don't look like a freak." Unfortunately, he offers to share a toy car with her, and when she reaches out to take it, she ends up electrocuting him to death anyway.
Glee's Santana Lopez - a tallish, bitchy but light cheerleader who can hold her own in Cat Fight against most girls in the school - picks a fight with Lauren Zizes over her developing relationship with Puck. Unfortunately for Santana, Lauren is the Ohio state champion in greco-roman wrestling, and a big, confident girl with a bad attitude to boot. Calling the resultant fight a Curbstomp Battle is possibly longer than the actual fight.
From Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers we have Bulk and Skull, who (as Linkara pointed out) regularly bullied a group of six classmates, all of whom could easily beat the crap out of them (even though they mostly seemed to pick on Billy, the weakest of the group). Luckily for them, the Rangers were far too nice to ever do anything. It is shown in Tommy's introduction, though: they go to harass the new kid, only for him to pull off an impromptu demonstration of his martial arts skills (never actually touching either bully), which causes them to run away in wide-eyed terror.
Airwolf: Don't mess with Stringfellow Hawke's friends. He will personally send you straight to hell.
As a villain in a new-series Doctor Who episode learned, trying to chain up and experiment on a Dalek is a bad idea. Deciding to capture and torture theDoctor is an even worse one.
In fact the episode "Dalek" is a sort of Take That to various people who have in a sense bullied the dragon in real life by not taking the Daleks seriously. Characters continually mock the Dalek's seemingly ridiculous appearance including a plunger-like attachment and seeming inability to climb stairs and subsequently end up getting their face sucked off by said plunger or finding out that Daleks can in fact fly.
Anderson and Donovan on Sherlock seemed convinced that Sherlock is a psychopath who will one day commit murder in order to assuage his boredom. This doesn't stop them from endlessly taunting and hassling him, which only leads to him humiliating them by utilizing his Sherlock Scan.
Lestrade: And exactly how many times did he fall out of a window?
Sherlock: It was a bit of a blur, Detective Inspector. I lost count.
Suits often features people who really should know better than to try taking on Pearson Hardman. Usually it ends with Harvey or Mike calmly explaining just how badly they're about to be steam-rolled. Season two starts with Mike calmly reciting Trevor's Social Security Number he had read as a child. He then warns that Trevor may have thought he was safe from Mike in the past, but now that they're no longer friends, he should really just back off.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In the episode "Profit and Loss", Gul Toran decides to manipulate Garak into doing his dirty work for him (killing the dissident fugitives that are on the station, an act Garak disapproves of) by dangling the carrot of ending Garak's exile in front of him. Once Garak has coralled the dissidents (and Quark who was helping them), Toran intervenes intending to take the sole credit and mocks Garak with the news that Garak's exile will never end and certainly not with any trivial act such as this. Considering Garak was one of the highest ranked agents of the Obsidian Order prior to his exile, which made him one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the whole of Cardassia (and Toran knew this), Toran's attempt to manipulate and then betray Garak was the most foolish, suicidal act of his life. Not only does Garak promptly kill Toran for his audacity, but he then helps the dissidents secure their escape and freedom from Cardassia.
In the first episode of Wolfblood, Rhydian loses control and violently attacks Jimmy, demonstrating extreme strength and the willingness to use it. This doesn't stop Jimmy and his friends spending most of the series teasing Rhydian, taunting him, framing him for crimes and, at one point, blackmailing him.
In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, a loan shark makes several attempts to harass and threaten Batiatus, but Batiatus is usually flanked by one or more famous gladiators who kill on his command.
A baffling example occurs in the series finale. In the previous episode, Morgana had been so scared of Merlin's power that she'd trapped him in a cave without his magic. Now that he's visibly recovered his magic, is furious with her, has demonstrated dominion over actual dragons, and he's wielding a sword, she decides to stand a foot away from him, unarmed, and taunt him. That goes about as well as she deserves. It was somewhat justified as Morgana has been slowly slipping into madness over the course of the entire series, and by that point she's far past the point of Villainous Breakdown. Plus, she probably thought Merlin had brought his own sword, and not Excalibur, in which case she would have survived the stabbing.
Likewise, Nimueh has to trade a life for Arthur's. Naturally, instead of killing some random person in a faroff land whom Merlin would not even know, she picks his mother, and then, when he tries to take it back, his mentor Gaius. She manages to absorb a shot in the resultant Wizard Duel, so naturally she just mocks him and sticks a fireball in his chest. Cue Merlin blowing her up with lightning.
In Last Resort Julian Serat is a (very) small time warlord of an island. When a nuclear submarine and a team of Navy SEALs arrive on the island, he decides they're disrespecting him and starts making threats. James King, one of the SEALs, is displeased, and lists the order he will kill Serat and his men, where he will shoot each of them, and how many bullets he will use to do so. Serat backs off, but continues to harass them. It's made clear over the course of the series that the crew of the submarine haven't killed Serat because they can't fight his men on the island and the various Navies off the island. King, who isn't with the submarine crew, apparently hasn't killed Serat yet because he doesn't particularly feel like it.
In the Haven episode "Lockdown", an abusive husband learns that his wife has a dangerous Trouble, the ability to infect others with a dangerous toxin, and he still terrorizes her. Once she gains the courage to stand up to him, he doesn't live much longer.
In MST3K's Sci Fi Channel seasons, Pearl Forrester kept Bobo (an ape man who considered ripping lions apart a hoot) and Observer (a quasi-omnipotent Reality Warper) - two people who could easily end her if they wanted - through sheer force of will. The fact that neither man is particularly bright and it's funny helps.
Hercules fits this trope. Hercules was normally a nice guy and more than willing to help you out. However, there are several stories of kings cheating him out of payment only for Hercules to sometimes come back years later and kill them for having dared wrong him. The worst offender being King Laomedon of Troy who refused to pay Hercules AFTER he had witnessed the hero killing a sea monster sent by Poseidon. Hercules eventually killed Laomedon and nearly his entire family after sacking the city. What makes Laomedon even dumber? The monster was sent by Poseidon due to Laomedon refusing to pay him for building Troy's walls. The only guy that had any justification was Eurystheus, the guy who gave him his Labours. Because he had Hera on his side/back.
We also have Jason. His protector was the goddess of marriage Hera, and he had seen his wife Medea (who had been given to him by Hera herself) cutting her own brother into pieces to protect him and killing an unkillable bronze giant with a look (depending on the version, she either hypnotized it into killing itself or tortured him into suicide). Then Jason decided to dump her for the daughter of the king of Corinth. Cue Hera withdrawing her protection and letting Medea destroy Jason so much that killing him would have been merciful (in latter versions includes killing their own children to destroy Jason's line), burning alive the king and his daughter (she was actually aiming for the daughter, the king just tried to save her and died in the process) and destroying Corinth either as collateral damage or, in earlier versions, for the citizens trying to exact revenge on her by killing her children.
In Euripides The Bacchae, Dionysus is bullied by the local king Pentheus. Dionysus has just come back from a long trip to Asia Minor, and is excited to return to the city that his mother was from, and to have all the people in the city join in the festivities that have been established to worship the new god Dionysus. Pentheus is having none of that, so he outlaws the festival, kills a few of Dionysus' followers, and declares (loudly and openly) that Dionysus' mother did not in fact sleep with Zeus to produce Dionysus but was just a common whore and Dionysus is a bastard with delusions of grandeur and has him locked up in jail. This does not go over well with Dionysus. He causes the women of the city to go insane and go out to the forests to rave and dance and kill the soldiers in the surrounding towns, drives Pentheus crazy (and makes him cross-dress?), then lures Pentheus out into the woods where his mother and aunt (along with the other women of the city) tear him into pieces and stick his head on a spear to parade it back into the city. Then he takes the madness off of them, letting them see exactly what they've done to their king.
So you've got a guy who can't help breaking rules, takes the word 'impossible' as a dare, holds grudges for centuries, takes joy in humiliating the powerful—and oh, by the way he's destined to start the war that ends the universe. What do you do? If you're the rest of the Aesir, you torment him, blame everything on him, laugh at his pain, sew his lips shut, boast of being invulnerable in front of him, exile his children for the crime of existing, get one of his kids to kill another, and tie him up in a cave with a snake forced to drip venom in his eyes for who knows how long. Good plan there, guys. By the time he gets free he and his family have embraced that destiny with all their beings, and no one can blame them.
"The Franchise" Shane Douglas called out Goldberg on the September 4, 2000 WCW Monday Nitro. As soon as Goldberg's music hit, Shane's eyes popped in a true Oh Crap/My God, What Have I Done? moment. Shane recruited the Natural Born Thrillers (Shawn Stasiak, Chuck Palumbo, Mike Sanders, Mark Jindrak, Sean O'Haire, Reno [Rick Cornell] and Johnny the Bull [John "Johnny Stamboli"/"Rellik" Hugger] doing a weak Ur Example of what The Nexus would be ten years later) to help him, and, even with 8 GUYS against him, Goldberg was still able to win the match.
The WWE Divas deserve special mention here. He seems to save his venom for two very specific Divas, Natalya Neidhart and Eve Torres. While most of the Divas are accused of being Faux Action Girl Eye Candy, he decides to pick on possibly two of the most dangerous of them. Natalya is a veteran wrestler and a member of the Hart Wrestling Family. Eve is a trained Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter, and is (in Real Life) dating a member of the Gracie Family. He decides not only to bully the two most dangerous female Dragons, he also chooses the two most-well connected.
In 2007, Santino Marella would regularly mock "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: mangling Austin's catchphrases, cosplaying as him while acting like an idiot, bashing Austin's movies and declaring him a horrible actor. When Austin finally confronts him face-to-face, he forces Santino to admit that he never actually watched any of his movies. Austin offers Santino a DVD of The Condemned and requests that he watch it before evaluating his acting skills, but Santino throws it down and stomps on it. Cue beatdown.
In the early months of 2012, Cody Rhodes made it his mission in life to mock The Big Show, calling him a fat loser and continuously showing clips of Show's embarrassing moments. No matter how many times Show catches up to him and gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, he just won't stop. Come WrestleMania 28, Rhodes ends up paying the price, as he not only got KO'd by Show, but he lost the Intercontinental Title as a result. Show then returned the favor to Rhodes, showing humiliating moments during his matches.
This is also true of sorcerers, who have innate magical talent. Even standard wizards tend to do it, even though sorcerers can cast more spells per day than them.
Warlocks suffer an even worse treatment (due to their powers often but not always having a demonic origin) and Complete Arcane (the book introducing the class) points out how it should be standard for most settings to scorn, resent and persecute warlocks. Given that warlocks are casters who have an unlimited store of spells (unlike the sorcerer, who will eventually run dry), and probably made a Deal with the Devil to get their powers (which, by the way, are far more focused on killing people than those of Wizards or Sorcerers), this really makes no sense.
There is also half-dragons who are almost always treated badly by humans in Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, they think it's a good idea to pick of the person with claws and sharp teeth who can breathe dangerous substances and who has a parent that can level the town, and often will do so to protect or avenge his/her child. Eberron averts this by making the half-dragons considered abominations by the dragons. Furthermore, even in the core game a lot of dragons are lax parents even with their pureblood children and are even worse towards their half-breed spawn, making this kind of justifiable — there's no guarantee that their dragon parent will care — but not quite.
The Dragonblooded supplement has a short story at the beginning of the chapter on Spellscales in which the main character encounters a young spellscale girl being bullied by a mob of normal kids, and managing to cast a high-enough-level Sleep spell to knock out eight or ten at once.
Wizards and Psykers of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 respectively. The Wizards normally don't give a damn about what peasants think but soldiers love them, and psykers, well, their powers come from Chaos... Considering that psykers are incredibly vulnerable to Power Incontinence, Demonic Possession, and in more than a few occasions having their skull turned into a portal to allow The Legions of Hell to overrun the planet, this trope becomes even more ridiculous if treatment of them within the Imperium wasn't less "ostracism" and more "immediate execution".
The Elder Land Wurm's flavor text: "Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dragons lie."
Played with via the card Slumbering Dragon, which can't attack or block until it's had several counters put onto it. It gets counters whenever something tries to attack its controller.
The Phantom of the Opera - Although the Phantom has the previous day dropped a heavy backcloth on the Opera House's Prima Donna, the managers still think it's be a really great idea to completely ignore his demands that Christine is cast, and instead choose a singer who is much inferior to her. The Phantom promises that "if these demands are not met, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur." Let's just say these aren't empty words...
They do wise up by the second act, however, when the Phantom crashes the Masquerade Ball and says, in effect, "Hey, here's the score for this opera I just wrote; I think you guys will know what to do with it. Oh yeah, that Falling Chandelier of Doom a few months back? That was me being nice." The managers, albeit very reluctantly, realize open defiance is not the safest of options.
Act II Scene IX. After some comments about Cyrano’s murdering ways by the cadets, Christian makes a Hurricane of Puns about Cyrano’s nose.
The player actually can bully a dragon in Zork II. Although truthfully, it's not so much "bully" as "disturb its nap, then annoy it with your puny sword until it incinerates or eats you."
In The Witcher the eponymous Witchers have to take a lot of verbal abuse from normal people. None of them stops to ponder whether it's smart to mock someone who you'll need when you're once again troubled by some undead menace (a common occurrence in this world), and who can break the finest human fighters in half with his superhuman mutant reflexes and Healing Factor.
Phantom Brave: The People of Ivoire think main character Marona is "The Possessed One" who can kill them all by summoning armies of the undead. So they hire her to solve their problems, insult her, then cheat her out of payment. They do get better.
Goes double for anybody stupid enough to intentionally piss off Shadow.
City of Heroes: The thoughts running through every single street gangsters' alleged mind must be: "I live in a city where people wielding earth-shattering powers run around dressed in bright colored spandex. I'm bored and I have a baseball bat. Let's attack the very next person we see dressed like that!" The only question is whether it's dumber when they're attacking any hero they see or when they're entirely ignoring REALLY powerful heroes bearing down on them as if they weren't even there.
The second one is very clearly a useful survival strategy. Most of the time, heroes of a high enough level to mop the floor with a spawn of villains won't get enough XP from it for them to bother, but if the villains went around hitting first...
After a few days of lockdown in Devil Survivor, mobsters start to hunt down devil tamers. This either ends with killing a tamer who was trying to save them or a pissed tamer countering with summon demons.
The beginning of Overlord II has kids tossing snowballs and taunting the Witch-boy, a Creepy Child who blasts lightning with his hands and gains controls of vicious little Minions early on. It Gets Worse later on when after being tossed out of Nordberg by the village for The Empire, frozen in a block of ice and later raised by an Evil Chancellor, he returns as a full-fledged Evil Overlord ready to either enslave or slaughter Nordberg.
Ar tonelico has an evil company of mercenaries that actively abuse and denigrate their magic-wielding partners. This is doubly stupid, since there's the obvious "oops I fireballed your face" factor plus being mean to them severely limits the power of the abilities they can use to help you.
Sure enough, at least one boss is defeated when he asks his abused partner to attack you, after literally enslaving her. She smiles, says 'No'...and uses her charged special on HIM.
This trope also turns out to be one of the major reasons for all the problems in the game and the reason the Big Bad is the Big Bad. Poor Mir.
In Yggdra Union, Gulcasa was born the first pureblooded descendant of the dragon Brongaa in hundreds of years. This made him a savior to his people, and gave him the right to the throne. The previous Emperor did not like this, and under his orders, Gulcasa was treated as a harbinger of disaster and abused throughout his childhood. Too bad for the Emperor of that time that Gulcasa is literally the descendant of a demonic dragon. At least the coup d'etat was over really fast. There was much rejoicing.
Done in Arc the Lad: when they find a more-or-less 5 years old child who's already able to kill soldiers by summoning flames, Seiyras scientists decide to turn him into a guinea pig: the adult version of said kid, last survivor of a genocide, tortured during his childhood eventually team up with the world most wanted terrorist and is instrumental in destroying the Ancient Conspiracy for which the scientists worked.
Two of the Masters in Fate/stay night have a real problem with this. The first is Shinji, who only evades being killed because it would upset Sakura, Rider's real master. The second is not so lucky and is in fact dead quite a while before the story starts. Caster's Master was jealous of how much better a magus she was, so he put a power limiter on her and then abused her. She got tired of it and tricked him into using up his Command Seals then brutally murdered him.
If you choose the "Earthborn" origin in Mass Effect (You were born on Earth, orphaned, and grew up on the streets), you eventually run into a former member of a gang you used to be a member of. Commander Shepard is both the commanding officer of a Systems Alliance black ops ship, and a Spectre, essentially given carte blanche by the Citadel Council to do whatever they want. Your "friend" tries to blackmail you, because apparently he thinks revealing that you were a former gang member would ruin you; even though the Alliance and Council are willing to look the other way if you mow down mind controlled civilians or exterminate an entire race. You can choose to point out that you're legally authorized to execute him where he stands... or you can just shoot him.
Really, regular mercs inexplicably trying to kill Shepard at every possible moment fits this trope, regardless of the origin. Harkin, a corrupt cop from 1 and 2 even taunts Shepard by asking if they think they can get him. There are also several small encounters where someone tries this on Shepard, who can sometimes point out either that a)They are Commander Shepard, aka the galaxy's biggest badass and just what the hell do they think they are trying, or b)They may not know they are dealing with Shepard (or may not believe it), but they can surely see how badass Shepard is, so shut the hell up.
Quite possibly the best example of this in the series is Warden Kuril who attempts to knowingly imprison Shepard, the most Badass person in the galaxy, and hold him/her for ransom or sell him/her on the black market as a slave. It doesn't end well for him. Especially stupid, since you belligerently refuse to surrender your weapons on entering the prison, even threatening Kurill, and he (still fully intent on capturing you, remember) lets you keep your weapons. Even more stupid if you're playing a class that wouldn't have been significantly less dangerous without weapons. What exactly was his plan for imprisoning a Shepard that could throw him across the room with a mean look?
In the Mass Effect: Redemption comic, some shuttle pilots try to get additional "docking fees" from Liara T'Soni. Liara, as it turns out, is a powerful asari biotic who works with Commander Shepard. Even if she didn't, all asari are biotics to varying degrees of strength. And they don't even need implants to use their powers. Those pilots should've known better.
To the mad scientists and corrupt corporate executives of the galaxy: if a group of heavily armed people led by a Spectre comes up and tries to arrest you, pulling a weapon is not exactly the brightest idea. This happens three times in the first game alone.
During Grunt's loyalty mission in the second game, Gatatog Uvenk decides to pick a fight with Grunt, Shepard, and their squadmate...immediately after they have survived a fight on foot with a thresher maw (a hundred-foot-tall monster that spits acid and crush buildings with a swipe of a tentacle). Especially stupid if, rather than simply surviving the fight, Shepard and co. actually kill the maw outright.
In Tales of Rebirth, Hilda, a "Half" (Half-Huma[n] half-Gajuma) was always despised when she was a kid (and still is). Which wouldn't make much difference, except that Halfs, despite having a weaker body, have much stronger and harder-to-control magic than both Humas and Gajumas. (Un)Fortunately, she never fought back.
A literal example in Breath of Fire IV. The Empire keeps messing with both Ryu and Fou-Lu even though they are quite aware of what they are. Needless to say, neither ends well.
"And people actually voluntarily attack you? Are they just stupid?" - remark of Sergeant Kylon to the Warden in Dragon Age: Origins after a side quest.
Also lampshaded when you first meet Flemeth during your initiation into the Grey Wardens. One of the Mauve Shirts in your party accuses Flemeth of being a witch, and the other one says "If she is a witch, do you want to make her mad?"
Flemeth in regards to this trope is doubly amusing when you find out she often turns into a dragon.
There's also a rather sad example in Lothering, where a band of refugees attack you out of desperation to collect the bounty Loghain has placed on your head.
If you tell a couple of bandits that you are the Warden Commander in Awakening, some of them immediately realise that its better to leave, while one actually jumps off of a cliff and likely to their death, just to avoid having to fight you.
Arl Howe is probably the king of this trope, as well as Do Not Taunt Cthulhu. If you took the Human Noble origin, he brags to you about how he butchered your family.
Chantry zealots such as Petrice go out of their way to escalate hostilities against the hundreds of elite Qunari warriors who were shipwrecked in Kirkwall. The Qunari have done nothing against Kirkwall for years despite the Arishok's growing disgust with the Wretched Hive of a city since they are busy looking for their sacred relic. They aren't even actively looking for converts to the Qun — people are joining them of their own free will. Near the end of Act II, when Petrice murders Seamus Dumas after he joined the Qun the Arishok warns Hawke that the provocations the Qunari suffered have finally worked and later launches a full invasion of the city.
Likewise, we routinely see Templars or Slavers threatening mages who don't have good control over their powers (or cause them to become desperate enough), that the only way out they see is to allow demons to possess them and become Abominations.
Despite being well known as the Champion of Kirkwall by Act III, the amount of people who try to murder the person who defeated the Arishokin single-combat is particularly baffling, especially if Hawke is a Mage.
Several post-non-scripted-battle quips from your comrades fairly well lampshade this, usually different iterations of "When will they learn? Messing with us is suicide."
When she was five years old, Alma Wade was found to have extraordinary psychic abilities, and they were growing more powerful. So her father had her put in a lab where she could be studied and others protected from her. However, he and others involved in the project decided to step it up by sealing her away forever and inducing a permanent coma, because she was proving dangerous to them. Then they artificially impregnated the now-teenage girl, twice, in an effort to make viable telesthetic offspring that could be used for their company's purposes. She woke up during both births, and screamed to let them keep her babies. Then they deem her still too dangerous, despite the coma, and shut off life support and leave her there forever. She doesn't die. And when Alma escapes years later, she is apocalyptically pissed off, and oceans of blood follow. The people involved in the project get the worst of it, including her father.
This happens a lot in Oblivion (and Fallout 3, for that matter). You can be walking around carrying a glass warhammer the size of a wolf, clad in the finest armour in the land custom made for you by the Elder Council, be hailed in the street as the Champion of Cyrodiil, the Grand Champion of the Arena, be known as the leader of the Fighters and Mages guild... and some punk will jump you by himself and demand that you give him a paltry sum of money or he'll kill you. Similar things happen in Fallout 3, where you can be a walking tank packing a plasma rifle and someone will try to take you down with a bat. This is particularly unforgivable as the local radio announcer is constantly updating the entire wasteland with information on how badass you are.
This trope can also be applied to you. When LibertyPrime is repaired an attacking the Enclave, you "can" attack him, though doing so is a surefire way to get killed because he NEVER dies no matter what you shoot him with and he can kill you in one hit with his Eye Beams. In other words, DON'T DO IT.
Ironically this happens to Liberty Prime itself in Broken Steel. After continually pushing on the Enclave after the assault on the purifier in Fallout 3, the Enclave pushes back. Hard.
One Apocalyptic Log you can find in The Pitt expansion for Fallout 3 is the journal entry of a steelyard manager describing how his workers rioted due to being forced to leave after being replaced by new mechanical workers. Robots based on the Securitron pattern. When the robots showed up, the rioting humans tried to attack the heavily armored, laser-blaster-wielding, steel-claw-equipped, notoriously violent and unstable robots. The result is... too horrific to mention.
In Fallout: New Vegas, if you have bad standing with Caesar's Legion, you will attract assassin squads. Said four-man squad (who admittedly tend to be well-equipped for the task) will run up to you and proclaim that Caesar has ordained your death for your crimes against the Legion, before attacking. Said crimes can include killing Vulpes Inculta, singlehandedly wiping out Cottonwood Cove, Nelson or the Fort, not to mention killing the previous assassin squads.
In a very amusing example, if you're a female Courier, a low ranked Legion soldier armed with nothing more than a knife will go on a tirade of insults against women. To your face. While you may very well be in hyper advanced Enclave power armour and wielding a plasma rifle.
The same goes for Morrowind. You may be walking around in a daedric armour, with the legendary Big Badass Sword of Doom, be confirmed Nerevar Reborn AKA the biggest Badass in Morrowind's history, who just killed a diabolic demi-god three other demi-gods couldn't handle in a fight. Yet some people still tend to believe they have a chance against you. It's worse if you're a vampire or publicly known werewolf.
Skyrim makes no exception to this trope, Despite equipment, magic or other abilities, Bandits, Witches, and other humanoid enemies will still charge at you head on, despite you being the only one who can stop the dragons that are currently bringing about The End of the World as We Know It.
A Darwin Award is reserved for the idiot who thought that infiltrating the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary for purposes of journalism was a good idea. Still, the fact that he apparently understood the danger going in puts this example here rather than Too Dumb to Live.
Special mention goes to Rochelle the Red who decides to kidnap your spouse and hold him/her to ransom, this being the dragonborn the one destined to essentially kill the Tamriealic equivalent of the apocalypse. By the way paying the ransom isn't a option.
Amusingly, it's Dragons themselves who are the worst repeat-offenders when it comes to taking on the Dragonborn. Their Suicidal Overconfidence is justified however, as it is an inherent part of their nature to try to dominate and conquer others. Of course, the Dragonborn's ability to permanently kill them by absorbing their souls hasn't particularly engendered any goodwill or reason why they wouldn't want to see them dead.
A literal example of this is the cause of much of the warring that takes place in Fire Emblem Akaneia. Humanity mistreated the Manakete race (Dragons who took on human form to escape a plague of mental and physical degeneration), despite the fact that they earlier spared them from annihilation by battling against the rogue Earth Dragon tribe, who went berserk due to their refusal to become Manaketes. Eventually, one of them gets sick of it, and rallies his likeminded brethren together to put the humans in their place.
Halo 3: ODST plays this straight, and lampshades it, in the audio logs. A man in a car is honking his horn while people run in panic in the streets. A very large man who was giving away kebabs to refugees approaches and leans on the man's car, telling him to calm down and have a kebab. When the man keeps honking, the butcher tells the man "My friend, I am an eight hundred pound man with a large cleaver, who kills animals every day and chops them into small pieces. Do you really want us to be enemies? Or would you rather have a nice kebab?"
In the next log, the idiot still hasn't taken a hint, prompting the butcher to smash his cleaver through the car hood. "Oh! a thousand pardons. But it was either that or smash your windshield, pull you out, and make you into kebabs." After making his point, the butcher finishes the conversation with a polite "...please, stop honking your horn. It frightens the children."
In Portal 2, GLaDOS refuses to turn the insults off even when kicked out of her body and facing a nigh-omnipotent Wheatley, repeatedly calling him a moron and claiming the player did all the work during their escape plan. This gets her (and the player, by proxy) punched down a bottomless pit.
This tends to go both ways in any given Touhou game; early bosses tend to be barely capable of fighting, but insist on attacking well-known badasses anyway, while the last few bosses are you taking on beings that could probably one-shot you if they decided they didn't want to follow the spellcard rules.
Cynder from The Legend of Spyro trilogy gets a lot of grief from Sparx due to being the Big Bad of the first game (though she was Brainwashed and Crazy at the time) who made a Heel-Face Turn. This is despite the fact she's far larger than him and is nearly as powerful, if not as powerful, as Spyro himself. Several other characters also do this while referring to her by her old nickname "The Terror of the Skies". Sure, she's not a gigantic monster anymore, but she's still tough enough she could beat the tar out of them without a second thought if she wanted to.
In inFAMOUS and inFamous 2 if you choose to take the infamous route then average citizens (even unarmed women) will throw rocks and mock you (an amazingly powerful villain).
In fairness, if you take that route, you kind of deserve it, making it less like bullying and more like standing up to the monster wrecking their city for no real reason.
The reaction of the bad guys in general, especially as the storyline goes on, falls under this. Despite being one of the most powerful Conduits in existence, capable of fighting small armies and giant monsters to at least a draw, and most likely rapidly taking over the city, random Mooks will still show up en mass and try to off Cole.
Averted in the first game by Zeke, He's been taking advantage of Cole's powers since they appeared and so is fully aware of what he can do and even states that he doesn't want to "do anything that might piss (him) off!" after a news broadcast paints him as a terrorist and turns everyone else in the city against him. Unfortunately, his savvy fails him later on and gets him into very serious trouble.
Due to Dude, Where's My Respect? similar to other games, in Pokémon people with 10 level Magikarp will still try to battle you after you are a Champion (i.e. the best trainer in a region) and single-handedly saved the world from disaster. May be justified as the whole point of this game is to get stronger by defeating more experienced trainers. This elevates to Do Not Taunt Cthulhu when you obtain legendary Pokemon. Then you have commoners armed with bugs and squirrels picking fights with a kid who controls demigods that manipulate the fabric of space and time and can usher destruction of the entire world on a whim.
The unarmed generic mooks in Batman: Arkham City will actively taunt Batman if they see him but can't reach him. Made all the more hilarious when you hear prisoners comment about how the last time they met up with Batman he left them with several broken bones.
In Red Dead Redemption during the first mission with Landon Ricketts John Marston is greeted by a trio of Mexican thugs who are hassling him for being an American interfering in the affairs of Mexico. John says that he has no problem with them personally and he is just here in Mexico on official business, he then asks them politely to leave him alone and they can all go home to their families. The trio then continues to harass John and even steals his hat. John then having had enough of their tomfoolery shoots all 3 of them casually and takes his hat back. John by now has killed hundreds of bandits that decided to get in his way so those 3 didn't have any clue who they were messing with. Landon Ricketts lampshades the killings of those 3 idiots and tells John that he becomes like a peasant when he kills peasants and that he isn't exactly endearing himself to the people of Mexico by casually killing men like that. A dragon killing casually when it doesn't need to is just showing off.
In the beginning of Baten Kaitos Origins, some low-ranking Dark Servicemen start taunting Sagi after he's overheard musing over the morality of the assignment. They apparently forgot that Sagi is both a spiriter and a talented swordsman. For extra What an Idiot points, two of the servicemen start another fight with him ten minutes later - while Guillo is backing him up.
Oh, and this is after you killed him once already.
At the beginning of the original campaign, Amie Fern ends up Stuffed into the Fridge after she fires off a magic missile spell at a Githyanki mage who's giving her master Tarmas a hard time. The Githyanki basically rolls his eyes, then one-shots her.
In a rare non-willing example, in Devil Survivor 2, to destroy Alioth's Giant Flyer warship, Kama is recruited to shoot an arrow into Shiva's eye, as he did in a certain myth, so Shiva uses his spear Pasupata to strike Alioth. Problem is, Kama remembers very wellwhat Shiva did to himlast time he pulled that trick, and has to be forced into doing it again. When the time comes, he's also tricked into believing he'd be protected by JP's. Instead, it turns out only his memory would be protected, and he's promptly elevated into the air against his will to the correct angle so Pasupata's attack destroys both him and Alioth.
Max Payne 3: When the bad guys initially (try to) kidnap Max's principals, they could be excused for not knowing how much of a Badass he was. When they attack his principal's office to kill him, specifically because he's killed so many of them, you start to wonder why on earth they're Too Dumb to Live enough to be so bent on provoking him.
The endgame of Saints Row 2 begins when Ultor tries to assassinate the Boss, who has just spent the entire game proving what a Memetic Badass he/she is by almost single-handedly annihilating the three rival gangs that previously controlled Stilwater and essentially taking over the city. (Granted, Ultor's own plans for Stilwater couldn't have worked with the Boss alive and uncooperative, but they don't even try to buy him/her off before sending in the mercs.)
Saints Row The Third continues this. The game opens with the Syndicate attempting to buy off the Boss, Shaundi, and Gat. After a roaring escape out the back of the plane and a dive through the plane when they try to ram you with it, Pierre thinks the best thing to do is taunt The Boss with the death of a certain companion. It ends with the Boss taking over all of Steelport.
Saints Row IV has an alien general who thinks the best way to deal with The Boss escaping is to blow up Earth. Had he not blown up Earth, The Boss would not have returned to kick his ass up and down the ship.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has this in spades. If you watched all the Jedi/Sith cinematics back to back, it would make a good drinking game counting all the times somebody tells you that, "You're not the first Sith/Jedi they've taken down." One of the most egregious however comes from a small-time wannabe crime boss in the Inquisitor storyline who tries to bully you into working for him after you've single-handedly devastated an entire syndicate that even the Hutts were afraid of.
Numerous citizens in Ultima IX try to bully and pick fights with the Avatar, a heavily armed demigod and messiah of Britannia's religion who's trying to save the world. Despite the Avatar visibly carrying magical weapons and armor, some NPCs will even attempt to fight unarmed, often for petty reasons. The most notable example is a child that starts combat with the Avatar for not giving him money.
Hilariously subverted in Diablo III, where a random citizen in Caldeum tries to rob the Barbarian. The Barbarian's reaction is to ask him to get a closer look, then think again about what he is doing. Cue the would-be robber awkwardly backing off saying he was just kidding.
In Beyond: Two Souls, in which Jodie attends a birthday party, the partygoers end up ganging up on Jodie and lock her in a cupboard. After she escapes with the help of Aiden, she's given the opportunity to either leave or to have Aiden to wreak havoc on the douchebags.
In the second and semi-third games for Baldur's Gate, Edwin Odeisseron likes to boast that he's more powerful than Elminster. His epilogue for Throne of Bhaal reveals he actually was stupid enough to try. He spends the rest of his days as "Edwina", a lonely and bitter barmaid somewhere.
Project 0: to quote the trope description this is implied to have happened to 'the kid who can warp the fabric of reality and just wants to be left alone.' Instead of fighting back he just decides he wants to go home instead.
The first episode of minus, and it happens a few times later. Fortunately, it depends on her mood whether she'll retaliate or go do something else. Later on other kids start to realize that it's cool to have someone who can warp the fabric of reality as a friend. Unfortunately, asking her for a favor can be just as bad.
From Spinnerette, in this strip Alexis, AKA Evil Spinnerette, is being taunted by some Alpha Bitches ... despite the fact that she's a Drider, normal human from waist up and giant spider from the waist down (and has 6 human eyes in 2 columns of 3, or 3 rows of 2). Not to mention the fact that it took a super hero to capture and subdue her in the first place.
Subverted. They work for her, and she set it up so that Good Spinnerette would feel sorry for her and believe her claims that she wanted to turn back human.
A plot-arc on Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic had the human inhabitants of a village relentlessly bullying both a female Orcish innkeeper and her young daughter, who is able to bite through chunks of wood and drive a large metal spike into a board with one hand. After being kidnapped by a raiding party, she returns to wreak bloody vengeance on all those who slighted her.
Jack, who made an accidental trip into Zimmy's world, viciously teases Kat (whose parents are teachers) and Annie (who is friends with two godlike Trickster Mentors as well as most of the staff). Earlier he edged into Too Dumb to Live territory when he threatened Annie in front of one of the said trickster mentors, who was a giant wolf at the time (he casually brushed it off. Once you've been to Zimmy's world nothing in this one can scare you). Later justified when it's revealed that Jack was possessed by a spider-like thing from Zimmy's World that was gradually eating away at his sanity.
A flashback had a student (coincidentally Jack's father) teasing Surma's group after one of them conjured a giant portal. It's confirmed that the portal-conjuring student is a Valkyrie and her "Old Man" is Odin.
Coyote summons Annie to the forest, then reveals that it's only to have her tell him stories about himself. When Annie protests, and suggests that Ysengrin could do just as well, Coyote insults Ysengrin, and then tries to intimidate Annie. Annie flicks Coyote's nose, prompting an Oh Crap reaction from Ysengrin and (apparently) sending Coyote into a rage. He's faking, but he then proceeds to set up a situation where Annie almost gets killed by a genuinely enraged Ysengrin.
Stunt and Bumper in Dominic Deegan insistently kept trying to rob the eponymous character, despite them knowing he's a capable magic user who can see the future. The stuff they kept stealing would inevitably be worthless and booby-trapped.
Ralph makes this mistake in Sandra and Woo after being told by a schoolmate that he should really, really not bully Cloud, especially if Cloud is currently carrying a sword... or a plastic knife from the school cafeteria.
The Order of the Stick: Tsukiko does this to Redcloak repeatedly, who is a much more powerful cleric than she is, and he takes it every time until she finally threatens to reveal his plans to Xykon. It ends very, very badly for her. This might fall under Underestimating Badassery, given her (stupid) belief that she has Xykon in her corner keeping Redcloak in line and her (less stupid) belief that her massive spell selection and minions would give an edge in at least escaping.
Girl Genius had some people mistreating Jägermonsters just because they used to be afraid of Heterodynes' supersoldiers and think they have the upper hand right now. Jägers, while hanged, are more afraid of meeting their own communication officer. Who, naturally, arrives — riding a giant bear — and after she asks politely to enter the town, one guard shoots. After she catches the arrow, another lad screams "fire!", so of course Hilarity Ensues.
The prize, though, goes to the Wulfenbach troops commander who due to being on the wrong end of a Curb-Stomp Battle screams to fall back and wait for airstrike. When a Jäger General looking like Big Red Devil says they're now "asking for it", the bright guy adds an insult to his hometown. Though maybe he just figured out he'd dead either way.
Schlock Mercenary had some alien frat boys picking on Nick — they don't know he's boosted and wears a low-profile powered armor, but he's as massive as three of them put together and obviously in a uniform. Naturally, even someone smarter than him would be surprised that yes, they really are trying to pick a fight. After he threw one to the other end of the corridor, the local security were dumb enough to pick a firefight with this team. This escalates until...
Kevyn: Captain, Sergeant Schlock's team just called in. He said they got the information, but they're pinned down in the library's data center by the local police.
Kevyn: He said they can fight their own way out, but only, and I quote, "Over the steaming ashes of this stupid swat team."
And then there's Petey - or rather, the Deus Est Machina Godlike Fleetmind formed around the Petey AI persona. The galactic core spins at his whim, and a single one of his ship is a match for most other civilization's entire NAVIES. And yet, people ranging from governments to organized crime bosses still think it's a good idea to insult or prod him just to see how he'll react. The only reason he doesn't casually frag them is that he usually has better things to spend his energy on, such as avoiding the utter annihilation of the entire galaxy.
Petey: It's still not worth billions of lives just to kill her, but she really knows how to jump up and down on that scale.
Magick Chicks arc where Faith met Layla and tried to seduce her, so Layla in turn tried to drink her blood, and do it "very nice". So of course she panicked and Layla got Punched Across the Room with telekinesis. The next thing she did? Telepathically agitated the vampire's bloodlust to have a great fight. No element of surprise. "No powers, no weapons! Just my bare hands!". Naturally, Layla would tear her limb from limb if Tiffany didn't happen to be around to provide a Cooldown Hug and "donate" a little blood. At least Faith finally was too scared to spoil this.
The entire Elvenrace in Errant Story: In the aftermath of the final battle, after being saved from genocide, they threaten the one who nearly single-handedly saved them with death unless she gave up the power she used to save them. Meji, the woman in question, wearily tells them they have more important (and possible) things to do, like rescuing trapped survivors. And if they ever came after her or any other half-elf again, she'd strike them dead with no warning or hesitation.
Everyday Heroes: Alpha Bitch Angela and her girl posse constantly pick on Summer (Super Strength and Eye Beams) and Carrie (super-strong Prehensile Hair), despite the fact that either of them could take her apart with little effort. And also despite the fact that she comes out on the wrong end of those altercations more often than not (verbally and physically).
Occurs in Whateley Universe to Tennyo, who has very, very bad luck. Unfortunately, she can also blow up very big things.
Proving that the Whateley authorities are not as stupid as you'd think, Tennyo now has a special order on her. Taunting her, bullying her, starting a fight with her, etc., can now subject you to immediate expulsion!
There has only been one case where this is not so. Let me just say that it involved the simulators, the reincarnation of the Greek god of the underworld and two hackers. Greek God has issues and wasn't expelled. Those who set it up, however...
Most of the "Class X Entity" students fall under this — Fey, for example, is a Wiz-7 — a mutant/mage so powerful that her special order says that the corrupt Mutant Control Office has pre-approval to use lethal force on her if she gets out of line.
Pointed out to Carl, after he provoked the former top Ultraviolent: "First it's you getting mixed up with demon-girl, then you aggravate Merry, and now you can't leave the giant clawed, spined mutant kid who tears the demons apart like a wolf in a chicken hatchery alone? When will you learn?" Minutes after this admonition, Carl taunts said "spined mutant kid" AGAIN, resulting in a beatdown ending with the loss of a femur.
How about Gotterdammerung? He's a skinny, cute kid who gets picked on a lot. His power is mass disintegration. He isn't going to kill you, so he's easy to bully.
That bullying happens AT ALL in the Academy qualifies, considering that nine times out of ten the bully doesn't even know the victim's abilities beforehand, and the tenth time the "weakling" victim either has a nasty surprise up their sleeve, has recently taken a level in Badass, or has a pack of really powerful friends just around the corner. Either way it always seems to lead to a brutal curb-stomping for the would-be bully.....
Actually, this sounds like a Mugging the Monster entry because of the last comment. Since they don't know the full extent of their victim's power, it is not a good example unless they should know.
Well, they know that their victims have power of some sort. And just assuming that it's less than yours is taking a pretty stupid risk.
Worm features a chronically bullied villain whose bullies only remain unharmed due to her also being The Fettered. Though it later turns out that one of them was herself a brutally violent vigilante, so attacking them might not have worked all that well.
Happens again when Skitter turns herself in to the authorities and the officials interrogating her push her into retaliating. The results aren't pretty. Two people die. One of the PRT directors, and Alexandria, who finds out that being invulnerable/invincible doesn't necessarily mean you don't need to breathe.
And again later, when meeting some of the Wards and Protectorate, Weaver gets mocked by Jouster, the captain of the New York Wards. Clockblocker finds this amusing. Simultaneously a Crowning Moment of Funny and Awesome.
Happens to Mackenzie Blaise, the half-demon protagonist at Tales of MU. She's super-strong, invulnerable to non-magical attacks, and can conjure fire at will, but she's had it impressed on her that she doesn't dare fight back.
Doesn't really count. All of her fellow students who aren't either pacifists or "Fierce Creatures" like her are required to carry magical weapons with them at all times, making them pseudo-dragons too.
Alfred in the 3rd RP of Darwin's Soldiers. He is a hulking bison with hands bigger than most people's heads and is strong enough to bend rebar with his bare hands
Gustave is an even more extreme example. There have been cases where people have tried to pick fights with him, despite being a massive scarred up, Nile crocodile with a major anger management problem. Not to mention, he has several convictions for assault and he dismembered someone with his bare hands.
Part of the Evil Overlord List involves being kind to either that weird kid in school or any monsters under your thrall, for this very reason.
Felis the Liepard in We Are All Pokémon Trainers has enough bad judgment so as to annoy and outright insult even legendaries. And quite some orders of magnitude below that, when bullying Nadia (Salamence, i.e.: a literal dragon), he has got himself almost killed.
At a live D&D campaign played at ConBravo, Spoonyliterally did this to a dragon the DM intended the players to recruit an army to fight. Things did not go well for that dragon and after a series of Critical Failures it actually wound up dying at their hands.
In an earlier story, his character Tandem the Spoony antagonized Zeus by sleeping with his daughter. Things did not go well for the spoony bard and he got his ass literally thrown off Olympus.
The show could practically be titled Taunting the Reaper. The entire premise requires that the Grim Reaper never snap under constant torment and do away with the kids.
X-Men: With the powers that crop up, this tends to happen a lot. The writers of the original cartoon seemed aware of this, and supplied a harmless but visible mutant - a timid little man with fur, Neanderthal features, and claws instead of fingernails - as a recurring background character constantly harassed by mobs.
Hey Arnold!. Several episodes deal with people (usually Sid and Stinky), teasing either Harold or Big Patty, either of which can and will beat the crap out of them in retaliation.
X-Men: Evolution was probably one of the worst offenders, with one bully named Duncan trying to threaten Cannonball. Yeah, threaten the guy who you just saw blow a hole in a brick wall by accident, there's a life-lengthening move. He doesn't even have the brains to back down when the magma-creating girl threatens to burn a hole through his car. This isn't even the half of it. The X-Men team in Evolution had a mostly offense-oriented team, with about half of them having some variation on "shoot deadly stuff from hands" as a main power. Of particular note, people kept on bullying Scott, despite the fact that every time they did there was a good chance he'd accidentally blow a hole in the wall (or them).
This is actually a rare example where it actually makes some sense. Duncan and the others, as dumb as they are, realize that Scott and the others at Xavier's institute were taught only to use their powers to save lives, and that it's not okay to blow up someone for picking on you. Notice how Duncan and the others rarely pick on the Brotherhood mutants. They know that the Brotherhood members wouldn't hesitate to beat the hell out of them for any reason.
To complement the last point, there's also another little gem to show off Duncan's incredible intelligence. After Jean dumps him because he's a jackass he tries to get Scott expelled for using his powers... by stealing his glasses and trying to beat him up with two other friends! Eye beams! Deadly! It's like they want to die. Scott then takes them all down in about a second, with his eyes still closed. They still think that they can take him, only finally leaving when two more X-Men show up.
The X-Men franchise as a whole is basically An Aesop for persecution, oppression, etc. Pick something that can make someone different: race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., you name it, that's what The X-Men is about. Of course, it also happens to be literally about people with superpowers, which can make it into a Fantastic Aesop in the hands of poor writers: yeah, it's wrong to be mean to people who are different than you, but the fact that they can shoot laser beams from their eyes shouldn't be your main prejudice deterrent.
In an odd, "friendly" case, the episode, "The Beast Within". Specifically, Robin's um, "questioning" of a possibly unstable Beast Boy, and with predictably disastrous results.
In the episode "Troq", Val Yor openly belittles Starfire to her face with a racial epithet directed toward Tamaranians, despite her species' Super Strength, durability, Flight, ability to withstand vacuum, energy attacks with occasional Eye Beams, and advanced technology being common knowledge. And apparently multiple aliens have this attitude toward Tamaranians. To be fair, however, while us lowly humans would no doubt be threatened by such a line up, Val Yor has powers nearly equal to hers (minus space breathing and somewhat weaker energy projection), so, from his perspective, the dragon isn't all that tough (though this does make you wonder why he treats the puny, primitive earthlings with respect while the alien princess from an advanced, superpowered society gets treated worse than dirt). Val Yor is apparently motivated by the Tamaranians' trait of allowing emotions guide their lives. Of course, by the end, Starfire not only saves his life, but the team kicks him off the PLANET. Even then, he has learned nothing, concluding that humans were 'just like them'.
Cyborg pretty much put it best when Starfire told him what "troq" meant. If Starfire had lashed out at him she would have proved he was right in his view of her species, something she wouldn't do because he wouldn't give him that satisfaction. (And if you want to look very deep into the episode, Cyborg, being a member of a minority himself, could probably understand.)
In Ed, Edd n Eddy: Ed is unbelievably strong. We're talking strong enough to casually lift a house and drop it on someone's head. Yet he allows himself to get bullied by almost everyone. Sadly, he's just too stupid to realize he could probably kick Kevin's ass. In the movie he does kick the ass of Eddy's much feared older brother though.
...As seen in the episode where he was in a bad mood. He inspired genuine fear in his little sister Sarah, he brought his strength to bear against the same people who usually have no trouble antagonizing him, and in lieu of drumming his fingers impatiently against the tree stump he was sitting on, he dug tracks into it with his fingernails. Hell, even the skies darkened over him. It didn't help that Eddy thinks that Ed was in a bad mood for no reason at all and badgered him to get over it and be happy again. Good thing he went back to his usual, goofy, lovable self by the end of the episode(he was in a bad mood because he had a pebble in his shoe).
An episode of The Venture Bros. combines this with Mugging the Monster. A random bar owner constantly insults Brock's hairdo, and while he likely did not know that Brock is a secret agent who normally murders people who show him disrespect and has a license to kill (which he likes to use with gusto but had expired at that point), Brock was still twice the man's size (in muscle) and had biceps bigger than the man's head. Combined with his perpetual angry scowl, you'd think he'd know better than to insult the guy who looks like he could bench press an armoured vehicle and is looking for any excuse to blow off steam. And of course the first thing Brock does after his License to Kill is renewed? Show it to the guy, who insulted him again on the way in. The next time we see the bartender, he's sporting a fancy new eyepatch.
Parodied in one of Ranier Wolfcastle's films which involves him going undercover as a nerd at a high school. Ranier Wolfcastle is a huge, muscle bound actor, but he's dressed as a nerd so obviously some bullies try to pick on him. They even lampshade it by saying "Look, a huge, muscle bound nerd! That just means there's more of you to pick on." It ends with Wolfcastle throwing one of the bullies through the chest of the other.
Another hilarious example, from the trip to Australia where Bart is to apologize for his prank calls. Homer notices the guard at the gate and mistakes him for a British royal guard, making funny faces at him for a few seconds until the guard punches him hard in the face. "US MARINE, SIR!" Later he starts jumping back and forth across the USA-Australia line in front of the embassy:
Homer: Look at me, I'm in Australia! Now I'm in America! *hops back and forth* Australia! America! Australia! America! * Marine punches him hard as he lands on the US side* Marine: Here in America we don't take that kind of crap, sir!
Bonnie Rockwaller's constant petty harassment of Kim- despite knowing full well that if Kim decided she'd had enough, her only choices would be "run" or "catch a beating." A cut scene in So the Drama have Monique and Kim discuss this, where Kim decides that beating on Bonnie would make her a bad student, in comparison to, say, trying to kill Shego at the end of the film.
And A Sitch in Time has Drakken, Monkey Fist, and Killigan go back in time to bully a preteen Kim. When they start on Ron the kindergarten Kim trounces them. Later, Drakken wants another crack at it.
In My Life as a Teenage Robot, the Kruft cousins take every opportunity to torment and belittle XJ-9 socially, attempting to guarantee that Jenny never, ever becomes anything close to popular. XJ-9, a.k.a. Jenny, is a cheerful, sweet-natured girl who also happens to be a walking, talking, sapient weapons system capable of destroying entire alien battle fleets single-handed. In one episode, with the aid of a more aggressive friend, Jenny finally shows them exactly what she can do to make their lives miserable. Even after she drives them into a breakdown, they don't learn from the experience.
Tex Avery's "A Day at the Zoo" from 1939 has a recurring gag with Egghead (Elmer Fudd's prototype) teasing a lion despite constant scolding from the narrator who warns him that this will end bad for him. The short ends with the lion sleeping peacefully, leading the narrator to conclude that the boy finally went home, but it turns out that the lion actually ate him alive.
In the first episode, Nelson taunts Terry for not being athletic enough (the classic "loser"). When a gang of Jokerz shows up and Terry turns out to have sufficient fighting skills to chase off the entire gang, Nelson's response is "I always knew you were a freak." Fortunately for Nelson, Terry (pretty much perpetually) has bigger fish to fry. Nelson does have some brains, though, because when Terry stands up to him later in defense of helpless nerd Willie Watt, Nelson knows better than to pick that fight.
Nelson: (pushes Willy out of the way) He's not worth it. But you are...some day. (gets in his car and drives off)
Speaking of which, in a later episode, the former typical nerd Willie has just broken out of Juvenile Hall using his newfound telekinetic powers and goes after everyone at school who made fun of him, including Nelson and his cheerleader girlfriend. Even after seeing what Willie can do, and the fact that Willie is no longer a wimp, having extensively used the gym while he was locked up, he still taunts the guy. Willie even agrees to a one-on-one fight without telekinesis, but goes back on his word once Nelson starts winning.
This happens to Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes. As a child, he was bullied by his teacher, despite knowing full well that he was the future ruler of Miseryville and that he'd have the resources to fight back one day. Even nowadays the weavils and the Rodeo Clowns love to pick fights with him despite having an entire army at his beck and call. Even Heloise is guilty of this at times.
This happens with an actual dragon in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. In the episode "Dragonshy" a napping dragon is causing problems for everypony by blowing smoke into the town with its snoring. Rainbow Dash's oh so brilliant strategy to make the dragon leave is to yell at it to get lost, then kick it in the face. It takes her less than a second to realize that this was a really bad idea.
Cartman gets his humancentiPad taken away and he starts cursing God. Cue Cartman getting struck by lightning and him sobbing in the hospital.
Another example comes after Stan and Kyle have watched Cartman take some rather extreme revenge. They decide it would be a good idea if they never pissed Eric Cartman off again. Cartman is not superpowered though, just sociopathic.
A literal example occurs in the Gumby episode "The Elephant and the Dragon". Both creatures work for a storybook king (the Elephant as manual labor, the Dragon as a castle guard), but the Elephant keeps picking arguments with the Dragon. This pisses off the Dragon, who torches people's houses with his breath. To stop their arguing, Gumby uses a back-hoe to do the Elephant's job just as efficiently and without arguing with the Dragon (and without torched houses). The Elephant takes the hint and apologizes for causing so much trouble.
As for what they were fighting about, the Elephant keeps asserting that dragons are mythological, and therefore shouldn't exist. The Dragon torches houses to prove that he's real.
In an episode that has Gumby, Goo, and Prickle in The Big City, a mugger (with an attack dog) tries to rob the trio in an elevator after Gumby buys a new guitar. Pickle stands up to the thief and threatens to incinerate his pooch if he didn't call it off. Thief doesn't. Cue Prickle breathing a huge plume of fire. The murderous mutt is reduced to a whimpering puppy, and the mugger runs away after the elevator reaches the ground floor!
Sadlygrove from Wakfu has a bad habit of doing this. The worst example of this was when he taunted Rushu, the king of the demonic Shushus and one of the most powerful and omnicidal beings in the setting. Fortunately Rubilax invokes the Rush right before Rushu is about to incinerate Sadlygrove for his impudence.
On one episode of the animated series of Street Fighter, as Guile and Blanka are in Iraq, some of the people there call him a monster and throw rocks at him. Yes, that's exactly what you want to do to a big green creature with electrical powers and anger issues!
Peter visits Australia and during a walk, he comes up to a sleeping crocodile. He starts poking him with a stick, yelling "Wake up, sleepyhead!" Subverted when after a few pokes, a koala flies out of nowhere and latches on to Peter's face.
Aang is a kid, so it's understandable that people might not think much of him. A much less justifiable example occurs between Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin. Roku has finished his Avatar training, meaning he is straight-up the most powerful bender on the planet. Sozin had the nerve to start his country's war on the rest of the planet while Roku was still on the clock, and even acted like Roku should be working for him. Then he attacked Roku when Roku shunned him. Needless to say, a hilariously one-sided beatdown ensued, leaving Sozin minus a palace.
Seen in flashback in "Avatar Day", with a warlord trying to bully Avatar Kyoshi into surrender. When Kyoshi flexes her muscles (breaking off her village's peninsula from the mainland, forming Kyoshi Island), the warlord dies because he's too busy bellowing threats and insults to notice he was now standing on an unstable cliff. (His actual army retreated the moment Kyoshi went into action).
Ling Ling from Drawn Together gets abused by the rest of the housemates in some episodes...completely forgetting that the little Asian rat is perfectly capable of ripping them apart easily if he wants to in order to have sex with their skulls. Xander learns this the hard way in one episode.
Early Cuyler's response to being declared a protected species? Get drunk and pick a fight with a jaguar.
Early: More like a faguar!
In the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Nor Iron Bars A Cage", a prisoner named Trukk tries to push around Ultimate Kevin, completely ignoring the fact that Kevin is A)Bigger then him, and B)Breaking rocks with his bare hands. Lucky for him Kevin was not really interested, otherwise he would have ended up killed rather than just getting beaten up.
One episode of The Looney Tunes Show features Gossamer getting bullied by his classmates. Though wishy-washy at that point in the episode, Gossamer is nevertheless an eight-foot tall hulking monster that could easily play basketball with his entire class (with them being the ball!)
He still hasn't learned his lesson, as he repeats the same with the slightly smaller Skylynx and Darksteel. Again a literal example, since Skylynx is too a Cybertronian dragon. By the end of Predacons Rising, Skylynx and Darksteel are allied with the aforementioned Predaking, and it's not clear if Starscream will survive the result.
Any time a small nation intentionally annoys a superpower.
Or even when superpowers do it to each other. For instance, look at China during the Opium Wars. They wanted the British to stop selling Opium in China, an eminently reasonable demand. On the other hand, their methods included seizing all British trade and goods, trying to enforce humiliating trade terms with the British, and ultimately holding British citizens hostage. The last one is what caused the British to finally snap, and it turned out to be a very stupid move.
Any time someone picks a fight with a soldier or a member of law enforcement, gets slapped around like a training dummy, then acts genuinely surprised that someone who is trained professionally to kick someone's ass just kicked their ass.
Fans at Professional Wrestling shows who jump the rails to attack the wrestlers or interfere in the matches. Professional wrestlers are all either extremely large, extremely muscular, or both. They're also trained and paid to throw their weight around. Not the kind of people you want to mess around with. Even the referees tend to have basic wrestling skills and often beat the wrestlers to the punch.
Professional Wrestlers work very, VERY hard to make sure they aren't hurting their opponents. Don't mess with someone who is paid to constantly put limits on their strength and fighting skills.
Famously happened to Andre "The Giant" Roussimoff, who was harassed about his size by four drunks in a bar. Andre attempted to avoid confrontation, but they persisted. Eventually, he chased them out of the bar, and when they locked themselves in their car, he rolled their car over with them in it. Andre was never charged, probably because the police never believed the four drunk guys ranting about an angry giant that knocked their car over.
A similar, sadder event happened to Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog. Harassed by a man in a bar who recognized him to the point where the man laid hands on him, Davey Boy Smith (at one time considered the strongest man in professional wrestling) put him in a simple headlock. From which the man was unable to extricate himself, no matter how he screamed or struggled. Sadly, Smith walked him over to the bar's bouncer, said, "Can you take care of this?" and when the bouncer said, "I have it," let go. That's when the idiot tripped over his own feet, fell down, and opened up his skull to the brain on a protruding nail. And sued.
Paul "The Big Show" Wight, whose initial wrestling moniker was "The Giant". 7'2 (or 7'4, depending on whose measuring) and between 450 and 500 pounds, is famous for being one of the fastest and most agile super-heavyweights of the modern era, if not ever. So some drunk in a bar decides to insult him and deliberately try to pick a fight with him so he can later sue. Too bad that everyone on the bar - including the bartender and multiple security cameras - all witnessed Paul try to talk the guy down for a good five to ten minutes, and not respond until he was struck several times. Then he punched the guy once.
Disney is clearly a powerful company, and it has faced a great deal of criticism over the years, but the biggest example may have been the Southern Baptist's boycott that started in 1996 over opposition to their pro gay rights policies. To be frank, it was very hard fir this relatively small denomination to convince the American public that beloved icons like Mickey Mouse were bad influences for children and that parents should prevent their children from watching The Disney Channel or seeing movies like Aladdin. Disney ignored the boycott completely, more or less, and didn't change their policies in the least. After eight years of getting no results (with Disney's popularity and profits actually improving a little) the protestors threw in the towel.
In fact, these Moral Guardians have tried - and failed - to boycott many products produced by companies that are friends of the gay and lesbian community, but have failed because it's just hard to demonize them: Oreos, Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Wheaties, Starbucks, Pepsi, and even Microsoft. Their attempts to turn the public against these incredibly successful and popular products and companies has not been very successful for obvious reasons.
People who taunt military personnel, who are trained to kill people.
Richard Kuklinski told a story of an associate of his who owed money for gambling debts. Kuklinski vouched for him and told the associate that he should make sure to pay up. The associate told Kuklinski that if Kuklinski didn't continue to vouch for him, he would harm Kuklinski's family. Kuklinski is perhaps better known as "The Ice Man", a professional assassin for, among others, the Gambino mafia family. No guesses for how Kuklinski took care of the matter. However, Kuklinksi is widely suspected of having been the teller of tall tales.
Friends of Bruce Lee claim that a man once snuck into Lee's home in order to challenge him to a fight. Supposedly, Lee put the man in the hospital with one kick.
Steven Seagal claims that a man came into his dojo in Japan and challenged him to a fight to the death. Initially taking him seriously, Seagal launched a flying kick, only realising once the attack was committed that the man was drunk.
British Royal guards are the guys in the funny uniforms who are renowned to never move or act without reason. Urban legend holds that you can mess with them and they're not supposed to move. That's incorrect. They carry loaded assault rifles with bayonets and are active duty military personnel. Messing with them will provoke a swift reaction.
Some incidences of animal abuse occur on very powerful animals that could kill the attacker easily, if only they didn't have a My Master, Right or Wrong mentality. Seeing an instance of this is what inspired George Orwell to write Animal Farm - he saw a young boy whipping a horse much larger than he was, and was struck by the contrast.
Pretty straight forward example here. Casey Heynes was being picked on by a kid two-thirds his size. When the smaller kid began throwing some vicious punches, Casey had enough.
Less dramatic examples than the others, but anyone who taunts an admin or mod on an online forum.
When a Troll decides it would be funny to antagonize a bunch of expert hackers on their own forum. You can imagine how that ended.
Next time you think you're so anonymous, try it on a forum where I can't see all the users' IP addresses. (troll's computer is wiped clean)
In the same vein, when someone thinks it's a good idea to antagonize a fandom with a major Berserk Button and which is known for its internal drama by pressing that button. All those people fighting with each other over petty issues may well unite to fight the outside troublemaker.
Most animals who have run into a skunk tend to avoid them at all costs, including bears! Still, some dog owners have reported having dogs who just don't get the message, and there are some animals with that same mentality. Pity the dog owner that found out the hard way ... and having to bathe that terrible smell off their pet.
Porcupines and dogs. A golden retriever will yelp and run away after getting a few quills in its nose, having learned a valuable lesson. A pit bull will get pissed, grab and shake the porcupine, getting quills stuck in its mouth, in its eyes and all over its head and neck.
Despite some rather obvious problems with this approach, some would-be thieves still try to rob agun store, police station, or a jailhouse.
A man by the name of Frank "Rocky" Fiegel who lived in Chester, Illinois was known throughout the town for being the local scrapper. One tale mentions that several young men took him out to the woods with the intent of ganging up on him and beating him up. He came back without a scratch while the men out in the woods needed medical attention. To further illustrate this man's fighting ability, he was the inspiration for a certain cartoon character with a noted love for spinach.
Nikolai Valuev is a 7 foot tall, 320 pound professional boxer with a record of 53-2-1. Yet, a 61 year old man STILL decided to cuss out his wife over a parking spot. Needless to say, the first punch literally knocked him several feet through the air.
The attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, as noted in the entry for Tora! Tora! Tora! above. Yamamoto may or may not have actually said the "sleeping giant" line, but we do know that he mentioned his misgivings regarding this to his superiors:
Yamamoto: In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain, I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.
Audie Murphy in Hollywood. Wannabe macho types would take one look at this wiry little five-foot-eight man with the babyface and the soft, high-pitched voice and say: "That's the most decorated American soldier of WWII? I bet I could take him." Murphy had been a scrapper in school and in the Army due to his hot temper, small size and Embarrassing First Name, and practiced boxing and judo in Hollywood. He invariably curbstomped his attackers with anything that was handy, ranging from riding crops to lead pipes to bricks. Eventually he got tired of having to deal with these clowns, and finagled a concealed-carry permit from his friends in the LAPD. After that, he would usually just pull a .45 service revolver on the troublemakers and make them back down without a fight, which saved considerable wear and tear on his knuckles and their faces.
Two words: Orly Taitz. Along with being the most vocal voice in the "birther movement", she has accused President Barack Obama of being allied with Hamas, possibly killing several gay members of his former church, and someone working for him brainwashing Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza and ordering him to commit the atrocity in order to gain support for gun control laws, and she has called federal judges who rule against her - which is thus far all of them - traitors to their faces for doing so. She clearly doesn't realize she likely wouldn't have survived this long if any of her accusations were true.
Tim Langdell (Owner and sole employee of Edge Games) made a career out of bullying dragons — he had numerous dubious trademarks on the word Edge and would force settlements out of companies to use the word, using doctored evidence to make it look like he was maintaining the trademarks (and they were thus valid) when he actually wasn't. Amusingly, his downfall came partially from picking on someone his own size — although it was ultimately the biggest, nastiest dragon he tangled with (one Electronic Arts) that humiliated him in court and forced him into a settlement that was very much in their favor (including forcing him to withdraw many of his trademarks), their legal case was based in large part on evidence gathered by indie game developers and enthusiasts after they bullied small independent developer Mobigame, having their title Edge removed from the iPhone App Store and threatening them with legal action if they tried to reinstate it.
"Contempt of cop," when someone antagonizes or insults a police officer, often causing the officer to respond with force and a "disorderly conduct" or similar charge.
Similarly, annoying judges or lawyers, the people who represent and sentence you in court is an extremely stupid move. One girl in California was disrespectful to a judge, so he doubled her bond. When she told him to go fuck himself, he told her to to the County jail for 30 days. Another example is threatening lawyers - the fans of Rangers football team in Scotland now have a very small pool of people prepared to represent them, because of their charming habit of threatening lawyers they don't like with nail bombs, which turns the entire Scottish justice system against them. Lawyers stick up for each other when the chips are down, and making trouble for one, or threatening them, is a good way to get them to exercise their nearly unlimited power to teach you a lesson in manners.
North Korea, while having a very large military in personal, and having the highest percentage of military spending to GDP (25%), they still fall under this trope, since their army is poorly fed, laughably equipped, and spends a lot less on its military than South Korea does (which almost spends as much on its military as North Korea has a GDP). Yet they still have broken the cease fire agreement with the south many times and constantly advocates its wish to crush South Korea and the US. They only get away with it because they are backed by their own dragon, China (and even China's beginning to get sick of putting up with their crap). Their nuclear arsenal make them a very dangerous enemy to South Korea (provided they can successfully launch a nuclear missile, which is questionable). Nevertheless, threats against the United States still fall under this trope.
Burt Reynolds tells a story of meeting Rocky Marciano. Reynolds sized up the former heavyweight champion boxer and thought to himself that he could probably take him. Rocky immediately leaned forward and said, "Don't even think about it!" When Reynolds asked how he knew what he was thinking, Marciano simply replied, "I always know." Apparently Marciano had trouble with people thinking they could best the champ.
Aaron Barr of HB Gary Federal publicly bragged on the Internet about how he was going to take down Anonymous using social engineering. Yes, that Anonymous. It... didn't end well for him. After the resulting digital Curb-Stomp Battle, he was forced to resign in disgrace. Stephen Colbert said it best:
Anyone stupid enough to intentionally piss off Anonymous or doing acts that get their attention will usually not survive the backlash they will receive. The Zetadrug cartel are one of the exceptions (specifically, the Zetas threatened to kill people if Anonymous messed with them).
There's an old Brazilian saying that goes like this não se deve cutucar a onça com vara curta (translation: do not poke the jaguar with a short stick) when someone is annoying someone that can easily take you down. The comparison makes completely sense considering the jaguar has the second strongest bite among the mammals.
Mentally ill people. Because you don't know who might snap and take it really personally.
When this comes to animals, this does not even have to apply to the big, scary ones. Most insects for example offset their size by having extremely painful bites and stings, some of which can even kill.