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Hulking Out
aka: HULKSMASH
Ayano: Is he having some sort of allergic reaction?
Kazuma: I don't know but I'd be worried if my body did that, seems like you would go through a lot of pants that way.
— The reaction to seeing someone Hulk Out in Kaze no Stigma

This trope is what happens at the intersection of You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry, Involuntary Shapeshifter and Unstoppable Rage. Generally the trope goes like this:

  1. Character X is angered or in pain or some specific trigger is invoked.
  2. X reaches the breaking point and transforms into something at least twice his normal size. Skin color usually changes as well.
  3. Stuff gets broken until there's nothing else to break or X gets talked down from his rage.
  4. Cue change back to X's normal state — unless Magic Pants are involved. This might result in Monster Modesty.

If the subject is female, there's a good chance that they'll become an Amazonian Beauty and/or a Statuesque Stunner.

For some reason, werewolves in modern fiction are often subject to this type of transformation, rather than (just) the full moon. Can involve a Superpowered Evil Side or a Jekyll & Hyde scenario. Berserk Buttons are often involved as well. May result in a Heroic RROD.

See also One-Winged Angel, Limit Break, Super Mode, Turns Red, Growing Muscles Sequence.


Examples

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     Anime & Manga  
  • In Dragon Ball, Goku was subject to transforming into a giant ape-like creature with laser breath when gazing at a full moon. In Dragon Ball Z, Goku's son, Gohan had the same "issues". Cutting off their Saiyan tails reversed the transformation. Vegeta, having had the proper training, was in full control of his Oozaru form.
    • Going Super Saiyan is even closer to the trope; most Saiyans' first transformations come when they get really, really angry, and they really do get stronger the angrier they get. And when they combine anger with purpose... you're boned.
    • Broly is probably the best example of this in the series.
  • Mon example from Digimon Tamers: when Beelzemon kills Leomon, Takato becomes so furious it causes Guilmon to evolve into the highly unstable and uncontrollable Megidramon.
    • Ditto with SkullGreymon
  • Negi's Magia Erebea form in Mahou Sensei Negima!.
  • Naruto's Superpowered Evil Side tends to come out when he's angry.
  • This happens to Yammy Llargo in Bleach, only he Hulks Out when he was already the size of a football stadium.
  • In Desert Punk, desert gang leader Makoto has what's described as a case of "Hulk Syndrome." Insult his mother, and he grows huge muscles, goes berserk, and destroys anyone who crosses him. And that's after taking a long string of taunts without batting an eye.
    • It's not just ANY insult to his mother that causes this either. No. You gotta say she has a fat belly button for him to really get angry.
      • Only in the original version. In the English dub, calling his mother a dirty whore works too.
  • In chapter 305 of Hunter × Hunter, Kid Hero Gon Hulks Out when Pitou admits that Kite is already dead and beyond any help. He turns into a muscular long-haired adult whose raw power rivals that of the Chimera Ant King. Overlaps with Dangerous Forbidden Technique since Gon accomplished this by forcefully aging himself; reducing his lifespan and (maybe) sacrificing the ability to use nen ever again.
  • A rare female example of hulking out occurs in Angel Cop, where the psychic Lucifer enlarges her muscles, going from silky-smooth to rippling in an instant.
  • Never get Stella from Arakawa Under the Bridge in her bad mood, especially talking ill about Sister, you will regret it.
  • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star is a minor version- pretty much every fight scene starts with him rip his jacket to shreds by tripling the size of his muscles (they're back by the next scene). Several mooks use their special abilities to increase in size, not that it helps any.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Though the exact transformation varies, monstrels' bodies change in battle. and a few of them become huge. Importance to the team tends to have something to do with it; weaker monstrels experience Shapeshifter Weapon, whereas the big boss instead goes One-Winged Angel.
  • Fairy Tail: such is the effect of the Power Perfume in Ichiya's arsenal. Magic Pants are included, of course.

     Comics  
  • Naturally, the Trope Namer and Codifier is the Incredible Hulk.
  • Sonic the Comic has Sonic transform into Super Sonic when angered or stressed. While Super Sonic was the same size as Sonic, he fits the rest of the description.
  • Loose Cannon, a Captain Ersatz of the Incredible Hulk in The DCU.
  • In Wild CATS, the team's Genius Bruiser has the power to grow in size and strength at the cost of intelligence. If seriously provoked he sometimes forgets himself and grows past the point where he can tell friend from foe.
    • This is also the case with Walter/Wallop from ClanDestine, though he doesn't so much lose intelligence as control. The longer he stays transformed, the bigger, stronger and more out of control he gets.
  • Marvel storylines World War Hulks and Hulked Out Heroes had several big name heroes Hulking Out after being exposed to an enemy superweapon to make them go on a rampage. Deadpool, several members of the X-Men, all of the Fantastic Four except Reed Richards, Thor (who seems to be weaker in this form), Spider-Man, and even Doctor Strange were all Hulk-ified. Naturally they all fell victim to The Worf Effect — and Hulk.
    • Even She-Hulk Hulked Out even more in Avengers Disassembled: becoming larger, stronger and uglier as she went berserk over The Vision attempting to kill them. She's done that before... TWICE. Both instances occurred during her Sensational title. The first instance involved her in a pocket dimension, finding herself back to human form (despite being locked into her Hulk state at the time) and transforming into an enormous grey Incredible She-Hulk when night fell (incidentally, this was originally how Bruce Banner's change triggered as well), although the series of events that caused this to happen were subsequently undone. The second instance involved her ex-boyfriend bringing her back from the dead with gamma radiation, causing her to get bigger, uglier and a lot stronger.
  • Subverted and lampshaded in Invincible when Mark tries to hulk-out over Atom Eve's death and will beat Conquest. Conquest rushes Mark and tells him "child, please. Being enraged at me does not make you stronger. That is not how this works." Then again, Mark does nearly kill Conquest afterward, so...
  • It's not easy to make a Hulk desperate. Push Red She-Hulk far enough, though - say by overwhelming her with an army of supersoldiers - and she Hulks Out again, turning into a rampaging creature running on pure survival instinct.
  • In recent years, Batman villain The Scarecrow has reacted to great rage or pain by involuntarily transforming into the hulking monster Scarebeast on some occasions. He does not seem to retain any memory of these interludes.
  • In a story about the Justice League of America told by J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter himself went through a Hulking Out moment when the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold played a prank on him due to his addiction to Chocos cookies, by hiding a stash of his favorite cookie away from him in a warehouse and having all the nearby stores that sell Chocos be completely empty of their stock.

     Fanfic  

     Film  

     Literature  
  • In Twilight: New Moon, Jacob and the other werewolves sometimes change into wolf form because of anger. The pack leader Sam's fiancee has disfiguring scars because Sam "lost control for a split-second."

     Live Action TV  
  • A prize fighter in the Lost Girl episode "Raging Fae" keeps beating stronger foes because a Fae is secretly dosing him with a Hulk Out-inducing substance.
  • While werewolves in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer usually transform the day before, of, and after the full moon, when Oz learns to control the transformations he is then subject to Involuntary Shapeshifting when he feels strong emotions (like jealousy over Tara's relationship with Willow).
  • This is how werewolves in Sanctuary work. Henry seems to be the first person to figure out how to control the changes (without drugs).
  • Yet another werewolf example. In Big Wolf on Campus, Tommy would not only transform during a full moon, but also during times of extreme emotional stress... or arousal.
  • One prank in Just For Laughs Gags had a small boy wearing purple pants have his hat stolen, walk into a nearby portapotty - where he's lifted out through a door in the back by a large man painted green and wearing similar clothes as the boy, then gets in - and then rattles and breaks it open, yells and chases the kids.
  • Warehouse13 has the guys on a college wrestling team "hulk-out" when they take an energy drink that's "spiked," as it were, with the essence of a Viking berserker ladle. It's much more subdued than other examples, but there's a catch: If the guys drink too much of it...Let's just say they "flame on."

     Mythology 
  • Possibly the Ur Example is Cúchulainn of Celtic Mythology; in battle he would undergo something called ríastrad or battle frenzy, in which he would transform into something not unlike an Eldritch Abomination in its hideousness and ferocity. This form was only beaten once, when he was approached by a group of nude women. He modestly averted his eyes, whereupon the men snuck up on him and dunked him in a barrel of water, which exploded on contact. A second barrel boiled away, and the third became pleasantly warm before Cúchulainn resumed his normal form.

     Newspaper Comics  

     Professional Wrestling 

     Tabletop Games  
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken has Death Rage, where a werewolf will automatically transform to his "war form" and go on an unstoppable rampage. It's either triggered through pain or anger (and depending on your Karma Meter, that anger can range from "one of your packmates just got killed" to "someone talked sass to you").
    • Similarly, vampires have Frenzy, which is triggered by stimuli such as anger, fear or hunger. And unlike in the above example, getting sassed at is a perfectly normal stimulus for Frenzy. There's a reason everyone stays polite at Elysium...
    • And their predecessors in the old World of Darkness can also frenzy in many of the same situations.
  • In the Arthaus edition of Ravenloft, darklord Alfred Timothy inverts this trope: he's a malicious and willing werewolf, but his darklord curse forces him to revert to his human form if he allows anger, bloodlust, passion, or other strong emotion to overcome him while in his wolfman form.

     Video Games  
  • In Breath of Fire IV, Ryu first transforms into his Kaiser form after he witnesses Captain Rosso kill some innocent children and send an invincible monster after him and his friends. Ryu then kills both the monster and Rosso, and it takes a Cooldown Hug from Nina for him to regain his senses. Afterward, he can transform into Kaiser at will, but it cannot be controlled until you finish a certain sidequest.
  • Bowser only reaches his highest level of power in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story after being (otherwise fatally) crushed, with a little help from the Mario Bros.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, there are several ways of unleashing The Beast, which Smiling Jack describes as a beast wearing you as a suit, in which you go into an uncontrollable frenzy.
  • In the original Fatal Fury, Tung Fu Rue will transform into a larger, more muscular version of himself after taking too much damage (although he will change back after taking more). Future games restricted this to the use of his super moves. More recent games that feature him reveal that he's not actually transforming at all, but that the muscular version of Tung is actually a Battle Aura of sorts.
  • In Amagon, the titular player character transforms into the Hulk-like Megagon for Super Mode.
  • One World of Warcraft expansion introduces worgen, humans afflicted by a werewolf curse, as a playable race. While they eventually learn to shift between human and worgen form at will, entering combat immediately shifts them into worgen form. Some even say "You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry" if you click on them enough.
  • Anders in Dragon Age II, whenever he is overtaken by the Spirit of Justice inhabiting him.
    Justice: You will never take another Mage as you took him!
  • Despite rage being a main theme, Asura from Asura's Wrath primarily averts this. He does, however, grow bigger arms that pack at least a a thousand times more power in them in his Berserker form, his Mantra form and his Destructor form (Which also has a human sized form, that basically is Asura mantra form, but with four extra arms and a rainbow aura instead of Asura's plain red Aura).
  • Grimlock's alternate mode is somewhere between this and Super Mode. In-game, the transformation isn't involuntary but does require Big Grim getting incredibly pissed to gain access to it and he does grow in size upon transforming.
  • One of Krieg's endgame abilities in Borderlands 2, "Release The Beast", has him mutate into a Badass Psycho when he activates Buzzaxe Rampage at 1/3 of his health. The mutation involves his left arm shriveling into a worthless stump while his torso and right arm grow to ridiculous size, giving him a massive boost in damage resistance as well as melee damage.

     Web Comics  
  • In 1977: The Comic: When the normally easy-going Bud has had just about enough and transforms either into or out of his alter-ego Budette.
  • MAG ISAKyle turns into this chunk of muscle after injecting himself with green roids
  • Fug from Pewfell is normally a Gentle Giant... until he gets angry, then he turns into something resembling an Eldritch Abomination with arms.
  • Shrinking Violent of Everyday Heroes has her transformation triggered with a blow to the nose. She can be snapped out of it via massive amounts of sugar. Unfortunately she's also a Type 1 Diabetic, which means a couple of days in the hospital after every Hulk Out, at best.
  • Sarah of Peter Is the Wolf. As a new Thrall (a were who's created, rather than born), she tends to transform when ever she gets too excited. Unlike every other were in the comic, she transforms into a wolf form three times her normal size and can only really be calmed down by sexual gratification.
  • Marty Monster from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, "Monster Mart". At the start, he'd been having problems with his transformation to and from his monster form, until he gets stuck halfway. At the end, seeing Dr. McNinja in mortal peril is enough to knock down his psychological barriers and allow him to grow bigger than ever before.
  • Sweater Puppy and The Incredible Cunt from The Magnificent Milkmaid. Both turn into giant, large breasted nymphomaniacs (in SP's case, a nymphomaniac werewolf) upon their triggers (Sweater Puppy from seeing or even thinking about the Moon, Incredible Cunt from being called "a cunt").
  • Prozac of Bear Nuts goes HULK SMASH after a prolonged time off his meds.
  • Jimmy Rollins hulks out after being reminded that this is a contract year for him in The Dugs' Baseball Comics.
  • Justin of El Goonish Shive does this in this filler strip.
  • The Incredible Lioness, a transformation of Rosechu from Sonichu.
  • In Sister Claire, apparently masters of Nun-Fu can do this at will.
  • In Tripp, Coco does this after aliens put a chip in her head.

     Web Originals 
  • Lung, a villain from the web serial Worm, grows bigger, stronger, more invulnerable and less human-looking the longer a fight goes on.
    • Crimson of the Slaughterhouse Nine becomes incredibly strong and durable when he drinks human blood.

     Western Animation  


Hereditary CurseThis Index Is CursedIndian Burial Ground
Heroic BuildMuscular IndexMacho Camp
Horror HungerWerebeast TropesHuman To Werewolf Footprints
Hologram Projection ImperfectionApplied PhlebotinumHuman Popsicle
Hair-Trigger TemperYou Wouldn't Like Me When I'm AngryRelative Button
Empathic ShapeshifterShapeshiftingShapeshifter Identity Crisis
Hour of PowerMagic and PowersInept Mage
General RipperImageSource/Comic BooksMagic Pants

alternative title(s): Hulk Smash; Hulk Out
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