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Bullying a Dragon

See that guy over there? The one that can make Your Head A Splode with his Psychic Powers? What a weirdo. Let's throw rocks at him!

This is the fate-tempting and suicidal tendency of characters to bully, persecute, or in some other way provoke people or things they really shouldn't be messing with. That weird loner who sits in a corner reading? Fine. That sweet cute girl who can heal people? If you're that much of an asshole, go for it. The blind kid that somehow knows what you're about to do and is powerless to stop you? Yeah, jackass, whatever floats your boat. But the kid who can warp the fabric of reality and just wants to be left alone? Bad idea.

A Sub-Trope of All of the Other Reindeer, where the character is surrounded by tormentors even though they are known to have some incredible power conducive to being a Person of Mass Destruction, and most of the time because of this. This frequently crops up in Kids Are Cruel (in which case it would be "Kids Are Cruel And Also Too Stupid To Deserve To Exist"). It's usually a way of getting us to sympathize with the main character, but, really, bullies should be smart enough not to mock the "freak" Blessed with Suck and Super Strength. Even when logically—or at least using the basest level of human decency and smallest inkling of self preservation—these bullies should find a weaker target or cut the poor kid some slack. So, in a sense, Straw Bullies. Then again, Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb and the Prideful.

The Fettered especially have it bad, because they choose not to fight back, and often protect their tormentors from the Forces of Evil. Sometimes the bully in question knows this, and we're back to them being cowards who pick on those who can't/won't retaliate.

If the victim snaps, they will turn the tables (if not turn the table into a buzzsaw, set it spinning at hurricane-level speeds, and shove their tormentors' intestines into the spinning blades.) Also, don't lie. It is very catharsis-inducingly awesome when the bullies are finally killed off or subjected to a Fate Worse than Death as Revenge. (And, if they have not done anything remotely objectionable up to this point, this could well be taken as a case of Dark Is Not Evil.) Unfortunately, many of the times a bully attempts to go after someone of this ilk is because they are trying to elicit a response, which in turn, would prove everyone's point about how much of a freak they truly are.

Please note: the trope need not require actual bullying (though it is a popular method). As long as the provoker or provokers intentionally and excessively antagonize someone much more powerful than they are, knowing full well beforehand just what they are screwing with, then it's Bullying A Dragon. Also just because a person can beat up or kill a person doesn't mean they have the right to (As You Know, blowing someone's head off for a minor insult is kind of a dick move). Also, if the Dragon suffers abuse because they're massive jerks, then we may be dealing with Cape Busters instead.

Also see Fantastic Racism. A popular Freudian Excuse and backstory for a Start of Darkness. This trope doesn't usually have anything to do with The Dragon who's the Big Bad's second-in-command (although, it might). Video Game examples where the AI keeps trying to bully you despite the power difference because it's not programmed to back down has a special trope, Suicidal Overconfidence. The Cornered Rattle Snake is weaker than the 'Dragon' and may not appear powerful or willing to fight back but can be dangerous if pushed too far.

Compare:


Examples:


Conflict BallIdiot BallHollywood Tactics
Blind Shoulder TossStupidity TropesBut Thou Must
Boxing LessonThe BullyCarload of Cool Kids
Reptiles Are AbhorrentImageSource/Comic BooksGreen Arrow

alternative title(s): Bullying The Dragon
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