aka: Hulk Smash
Ayano: Is he having some sort of allergic reaction?
: 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.
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:
- Character X is angered or in pain or some specific trigger is invoked.
- X reaches the breaking point and transforms into something at least twice his normal size. Skin color usually changes as well.
- Stuff gets broken until there's nothing else to break or X gets talked down from his rage.
- 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
Also known in some circles as "Retard Strength," for the phenomenon where mentally handicapped people can command a surprising amount of physical force and speed when stressed. This is generally attributed to the lack of emotional inhibitors to tell them that their actions are destructive.
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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.
- 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.
- 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 almost the same size as regular 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- MAG ISA — Kyle 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.
- 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.
- In the WordGirl episode introducing Eileen (The Birthday Girl), the more she was selfish the bigger she grew and the greener she got; once she gave somebody something she returned to normal size and color.
- In The Venture Bros. Doctor Venture once thought Hank to be blessed with "retard strength" but was mistaken.
- South Park
- Parodied in the episode "It's a Jersey Thing", when Kyle's "Jersey side" comes out. Only the "transformation" is him putting on hair gel and jewelry, ripping off his sleeves and writing a nickname on his shirt.
- Played straight in the episode "A Scause For Applause" when Jesus takes HGH at the end. The scene that follows that has to be seen to be believed.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Heloise spends an entire episode in a Sweet Polly Oliver disguise named Herman. When Jimmy and Beezy find out, they find "Herman" and proceed to utterly prank him. Just as they are laughing at him, the real Heloise shows up. It seems Herman is her real cousin, and they made him mad...
- Katie Kaboom from Animaniacs.
- The eponymous character of Kaeloo goes through this Once per Episode.
- In Heavy Metal, Hanover Fiste (with the help of the Loc-Nar) hulks out to disrupt Capt. Sternn's trial and allow him to escape.
- From The Simpsons: HOMER MAD!!! HOMER SMASH!!! GET REVENGE ON WORLD!!!
- Fuzzy Lumpkins in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Fuzzy Logic".
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Power Ponies", when the cast gets sucked into a comic book, Fluttershy gets this as her superpower.
- Spike had a similar transformation into this in "Secret of My Excess".