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Iron Butt Monkey
Not flames nor falls nor phinicky fysics shall stay this coyote from his chosen hunt.

So, you've got a funny character in a Slapstick, just lining up a wave of truly incredibly bad and unlucky physical traumas for the character to wade through for your audience's twisted amusement. Just one problem. The things your character is about to go through should kill any normal being. Enter the Iron Butt Monkey.

The Iron Butt Monkey is, simply put, practically immune to harm... purely for the purpose of having hilarious injuries happen to him. Drop an anvil on him? He simply gets a nasty looking lump. Throw him off a cliff and watch him bounce down in a brutal manner? He'll be carted off to the hospital, maybe. Incinerate him? He'll reform from the ashes, or even simply be back next episode. One wonders how many lives this guy could save in the military.

Obviously a form of Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Primarily an animation trope, Western Animation is particularly fond of this one.

A relation of Butt Monkey, Made of Iron and Slapstick. See also They Killed Kenny Again, when the comedy buttmonkey is not immortal but merely gets revived ready to get killed again like something from Valhalla. Where this is used on characters who in-canon have explicit superhealing, see Good Thing You Can Heal and Immortality Hurts. Unrelated to the Iron Woobie.

Not to be confused with Iron Monkey, a Hong Kong action film set within the mythology of Once Upon a Time in China.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Angel Beats!, due to the fact that everyone is already dead and in the afterlife, everyone will fully recover from any injuries, no matter how fatal or violent. This leads to several scenes where characters are killed for humor.
  • Keitaro Urashima of Love Hina is a paragon of this trope, largely to make his parade of unlucky injuries stay amusing. Eventually lampshaded when Su claims he is "practically immortal" and when everyone is surprised that his leg has been broken by having part of a building fall on him and it stays that way for a few chapters. Oddly, being in a cast in no way stops him from fighting Motoko's sister who sends him flying, crashing head first into streets, or getting possessed. The original injury was a bit of Tempting Fate where Mutsumi says he has used up all his luck (which is usually low) just to pass the Tokyo U entrance exam. Then Hilarity Ensues.
  • Takara from Rising X Rydeen constantly gets electrocuted by Mikan for doing something perverted, usually by accident. Mikan's lightning blasts leave most people unconscious and smoldering but thanks to Takara's powers, one of which makes his body highly insulative, he gets by with a few bruises.
  • Dallas (immortal) of Baccano! when his deaths are being Played for Laughs.
  • Yako of Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro takes constant physical abuse from Neuro, but is almost never actually hurt by it.
  • Hayate is the focus of physical and emotional torment that would kill a lesser man a thousand times over. He has been compared to a Gundam in show for his ability to survive things such as getting run over or attacked by a tiger repeatedly.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has Nozomu Itoshiki. Although most of the injuries are self-inflicted, he has survived: drowning in wine, getting run over by a trolley, many many hanging attempts (including one in which he was yanked so hard the rope broke), his name written in the Death Note, surgery to get turned into a monster, and attempted murder by his students in a dream because they didn't want it to end. Nozomu has even been murdered a couple of times by Chiri and/or most of the class, and he turns up fine at the end of the episode/next segment.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo has Jelly Jiggler/Tokoro Tennosuke, who has a jelly body which Bo-bobo uses for attacks and physical abuse. Also Don Patch.
  • Youhei Sunohara in CLANNAD. Not only did he survive being a punching bag or beaten up with a baseball bat, but once he was dropped from a garbage chute SEVERAL FLOORS DOWN and walked away. Tomoyo was briefly worried if he'd be okay, but Tomoya assured her he was impossible to kill. Probably.
    • Pretty much every time Sunohara shows up, you can be guaranteed that someone is going to deliver him a Megaton Punch or kick him across the room by the end of the scene. Not only that, but he pretty much just gets up like nothing happened and walks away, when any other cast member would likely need a stretcher to leave.
    • Lampshaded by Tomoyo at one point in the Visual Novel.
    Tomoyo: You exist solely for gags.
  • Ataru from Urusei Yatsura. He is basically the very incarnation of this trope. It's even lampshaded in one book, where he gets a broken arm, and everyone can't believe it.
  • This was forever happening to Zelgadis on Slayers. He's been used as an anchor and shot in the face with a cannonball and come out of it fine every time due to his part-golem nature.
    • He does bleed and gets injuries, from time to time. What does it mean? The story's gonna take a turn for the worse.
  • Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo!. More justified in the OVA continuity, where she's capable of regenerating from just about anything. Interestingly, she tends more to be the one inflicting the pain in said continuity.
  • Yakumo Fujii from 3×3 Eyes. It's really A Good Thing He Can Heal.
  • Girls Bravo
    • Yukinari is actually somewhat of a subversion as he has been shown to still have cuts and bruises hours after Kirie or another girl beats him.
    • Fukuyama, on the other hand, just bounces back from similar abuse but he is Too Kinky to Torture and just brushes it off.
  • Tatewaki Kuno from Ranma ˝. If it's painfully hilarious it will happen to him, usually without leaving a dent in his stoic expression.
  • Keigo Asano from Bleach is beaten and walked all over in pretty much every one of his appearances, but he never seems to get tired of it, keeps trying to get the girls that smack him around, and at one point actually blocked a kick from Rangiku, Shinigami who tend to be at least slightly stronger than normal humans.
  • Tsubasa Jumonji of Rinne. To list a few of the things that have happened to him: fallen out a two-story window, got his head chewed on by a lion at the zoo, has gotten run over by a team of sumo wrestlers, had bowling balls fall on his head, and has fallen into multiple kinds of holes. Those are only some of the things he's suffered, in two chapters alone — and he came out fine. (Albeit, he did have multiple casts on, but only for a week. At the end, he had a single bandage around his head.)
  • Mitsurugi Hanagata in Saber Marionette J tends towards this. Particularly notable in a few scenes where he only takes Clothing Damage from attacks explicitly stated to be fearsomely deadly to Otaru and even the Marionettes.
  • Excel in Excel♥Saga, but also Hyatt and Elgala in the manga, as well as Ropponmatsu and Iwata on the opposite side. Of these Ropponmatsu and Iwata are justified by their artificial bodies, and Hyatt by her explicit Healing Factor, but Excel and Elgala just seem to be that tough; once both got stuck in a massive explosion in the top floor of a building that collapsed on them, and they got out "just" practically covered in bandages.
    • There was also an incident where Hyatt received severe burns in a fire, but was shown peeling off her bandages to reveal her usual unburnt self the following day. Much to Elgala's shock.
    • Matsuya has started to notice though that the technology the Department of City Security uses (which may come from a lost civlization) simply does not work on Excel.
  • The titular character of Naruto, thanks to his Healing Factor, gets this treatment every now and then. A single punch from Sakura or Tsunade would kill most men, but Naruto just gets some lumps and bruises.
  • Mitsuba from Mitsudomoe, once she lampshades it in the first couple episodes.
  • Yokoshima from Ghost Sweeper Mikami. He always gets injured, and has spent some time in a hospital from some of his nastier injuries, and has even died on a few occasions, but always gets right back up at the mention of booty. He has also survived getting struck by lightning and falling from orbit with just Easy Amnesia as a side effect in the last one.
  • Mr. Satan from Dragon Ball gets smacked by Perfect Cell and goes flying into a mountain, survives getting smacked around by Kid Buu, is hilariously drowned in a bathtub by Fat Buu, obliterated in a public fight against Kid Trunks, dropped by Dende from 100-something feet and crushes his crotch against a rock, and more. Although he is hopelessly outpowered by the main cast, it is agreed that he is very skilled for a human that cannot use ki.
  • In Chibi Devi!, the principal of the daycare center is constantly set on fire, electrocuted, and frozen, but he always recovers after a bit of bed rest.
  • If you thought Keitaro was tough, meet Tomoki from Heaven's Lost Property. Not only does he get hit by megaton karate chops (one time being held up against an electrical fence), but also beam weapons to the crotch, being launched through roofs, crushed by several face-palms of doom, squashed by giant fly-swatters, dragged into the open air at Mach 17, and his most notable achievement, getting hit point-blank with a beam cannon that's able to annihilate planets and having his heart pierced. There is nothing that can kill this guy.
  • Played with in Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan. Most of Dokuro's antics actually kill Sakura, but she always resurrects him good as new on the spot, so there's never actually any lasting harm done. Except to the wallpaper.
  • Chuck from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt dies in some grotesque manner at least Once per Episode.
  • Kimihito Kurusu of Daily Life with Monster Girl is a regular guy, stuck in the same house as a very strong Lamia, a Centaur, a dippy Harpy, an enthusiastic Slime, an... eccentric... Mermaid, and a jaded Arachne. He takes a hell of a lot of abuse, but he's always up a few pages later.
  • Souta Takanashi of WORKING!!, who regularly takes punches from a co-worker who can put holes in walls and damage utility poles with little more damage than a bloody nose and bruises that last no more than a few hours. Actively analyzed multiple times - two fellow co-workers want to keep him around (to keep the aforementioned co-worker from attacking them instead), plus it's shown how Souta got to be so resilient (regular training from one of his older sisters, a professional self-defense instructor).
  • Mamoru Onodera of Deadline Summonner frequently suffers for the sake of his girls. While he does end up in the hospital, most of his injuries should have killed him outright. It doesn't help that his most powerful ability is a Desperation Attack.
  • Eita Touga from 12 Beast cannot catch a break whenever he's not fighting Gigas.
  • My Bride Is a Mermaid treats both Saru and Nagasumi like this. In Nagasumi's case, it's actually a minor plot point; he has to continually avoid/survive his mermaid bride's mafia family's various attacks against him whenever they just feel like offing him, from certain family members that already hate him and are also very easily provoked (most notably the bride's father/mafia boss), if it's not just an assassin hired by the aforementioned mafia boss who is just trying to outright kill him. Despite how serious this might sound, it's really just meant as a means for hilarity to ensure. In praticular, he's subjected so often to the Mermaid Voice over the course of the series, that he eventually builds up an immunity to it.

    Comic Books 
  • Filemón is the god of this trope, he constantly receives horrible beatings, explosions and even gets burned and frozen several times, only for him to recover one panel later. The rest of the cast qualifies, but Filemón overshadows everyone.
  • Nodwick the henchman has it even worse. He's been beaten, decapitated (Ten times on the same page in one issue), burned, frozen, digested, crushed, skewered, turned into a goldfish, disintegrated... If it's painful and/or lethal, it's probably happened to him, and every time he's always duct-taped back together by the team's cleric, Piffany. Plus, it's explicitly stated that (to the irritation of his guardian angel, who has no idea what to do with him) he's actually not allowed to stay dead, due to the rules of the Henchmen's Union (and the fact that his absence would completely screw up the universe).
    • Henchmen in general in Nodwick. They get tied to catapult payloads as messengers to make sure the message arrived, and get to drag the giant stone back with them afterward. Their health plan comes in monthly flavors including "hemlock." Or the Hench Games, which... let's put it this way, people with heart conditions are advised to avoid the javelin toss because the henchmen compete to see how many they can catch. Nodwick just gets it the worst, which is really saying something.
  • Mr. Immortal of the Great Lakes Avengers is regularly killed in gruesome ways, much to Deadpool's chagrin, but his powers ensure that he'll resurrect shortly thereafter.
  • Deadpool himself often enters this territory due to effectively being immortal, meaning that at various points he's been shot through the head with an arrow, eaten alive by parasites, dropped out of a plane with no parachute, etc., all with no lasting effects.
    • Handwaved in that all of this, healing factor aside, is due to a curse from Thanos to keep him away from Death - with whom both men fell in love.
  • Exploited in Sonic the Comic. The Sky pirates black cat Simpson is an iron buttmonkey, so when they need to get past some booby trapped stairs, Captain Plunder just kicks Simpson straight down the stairs to set them all off.

    Eastern Animation 
  • The titular wolf from Pleasant Goat And Big Big Wolf. He's been blasted into the sky, bitten by piranhas, hit with frying pans, blown up, beaten up, sliced, stabbed, and stomped on (to name a few things he goes through).

    Film 
  • Those Two Bad Guys from Home Alone should have died several times over from Kevin's traps. A movie for kids manages to go further than a Sam Peckinpah film when it comes to makeshift household protection.
    • The second movie features even deadlier traps, including an explosion that destroys an entire floor of the house yet somehow leaves the bad guys largely unscathed.
  • Jeebs, from Men In Black. But only if you shoot him in the face. There are other parts of him that don't grow back.
    • By the sequel, his face is misshapen from multiple shots. When Jay shoots him to keep him from talking about Kay, he complains that nothing's going to taste right since it was "right in the piehole".
  • The Three Stooges have suffered plenty of injuries that would maim or even kill a normal human being, like having bricks fall on their heads, being shot several times in the buttocks, falling from great heights, having a stick of dynamite go off in their pants, and that's only scratching the surface.
    • Although if you've got to be shot, the buttocks are pretty much the healthiest place to do it. No organs, very few major blood vessels, lots of force-absorbing muscle.
      • Except if you get hit with shrapnel in one of the iliac arteries and bleed out within minutes. It may be the healthiest spot, but still not healthy enough.
    • Curly seemed the most resilient - a common gag was to have Moe pound him over the head with a hammer or run a saw over his scalp, and the tool would be irreparably damaged.
  • Jaws from the James Bond series goes through many things that would normally kill a person: he survived falling from a cliff while trapped inside a car, attacked by a shark (which he got out of by biting the shark), stabbed and thrown from a building, etc. Each time he experiences one of these he just gets up and dusts himself off.
    • Count the number of times Alec Trevelyan from GoldenEye lives through something that should kill him in Goldeneye. Before the opening credits, he's already been supposedly shot in the head and caught in an explosion.
    • Surely considering the fact that Trevelyan was shot by Ourumov who later worked together, it is not unreasonable to assume that whole "shot in the head" thing was staged?
  • The Blues Brothers survive a whole mess of stuff at the hands of a crazy woman Princess Leia that Jake abandoned at the altar. Drive by with a rocket launcher, demolishing the entrance of the building they were standing in front of? They just stroll through the rubble, and go inside. Apartment building blown up? Stand up, brush themselves off, and go to work. Propane tank explodes, launching their phone booth into the air? Hey, there's at least seven dollars in change in the wreckage of the payphone!
    • The cops are probably this to a certain extent as well — they chase the Brothers through a mall, end up either submerged in a pile of cereal boxes or with their car upturned; the apartment building explodes, and they stand up, brush themselves off, continue as normal; finally catch up with the brothers, only to end up crashing into a speeding winnebago. In the final chase, they get into a pile up (and in one case, end up landing in the side of a truck). All completely unharmed (and in Mercer's case, highly amused).
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit lampshades this. Roger Rabbit is the Iron Buttmonkey both as character and actor in the Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman cartoons. After repeatedly "blowing his lines," Roger begs the director to drop the refrigerator on him one more time, saying he can take it. The director says he's more concerned about the refrigerator.
    • It's actually a plot point that Toons are indestructible/unkillable....almost.
    • When Eddie visits Toon Town, he becomes the Iron Buttmonkey, surviving abuse pretty much like a Toon.
  • O.J. Simpson in The Naked Gun movies. Which, in light of later events, could be seen as Hilarious in Hindsight, or perhaps a reverse Karma Houdini?
  • Professor Fate in The Great Race, who survives being crushed by a falling hot air balloon, run over by a train, blasted into the ground by a rocket, blown up by a primitive grenade launcher (twice), and falling down a manhole. And that was just in the first half-hour.
  • Pain and Gain: Kershaw is essentially immortal.

    Live Action Television 
  • In Father Ted, every time Ted calls Father Larry Duff's mobile phone, the distraction always causes Larry to suffer a horrible misfortune, often taking the form of an accident that would kill a normal person.
  • Richard Hammond on Top Gear, especially in the earlier series, always seems to get the physically unpleasant challenges (sitting in a car filling with water, running to the North Pole with a dogsled, etc.) When he actually did bounce back from a No One Could Survive That accident, his co-presenters were courteously solemn about it for at least half a series — but now it's open joke fodder.
  • Poor, poor Super Dave Osborne. Whether it's jumping off the CN Tower without a parachute, being crushed by a giant tanker truck, being pulverized by a massive piledriver, getting hit in the crotch with a golf club or a baseball, falling out a window to fall two stories and crash-land on the pavement, being eaten by Mr. T, or having a piano dropped on him, Super Dave was made of this trope.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has Charlie, especially when Mac and Dennis attempt to train him to box by breaking things (chairs, bottles) over his head.
  • Bill on The Red Green Show is Canada's standout example. Red himself is a lesser example, considering how often Bill injures him by accident during the Adventure segments.
  • Freddie on iCarly.
  • Nathan from Misfits is a pretty literal example of this, considering he's immortal. Plus, in more mundane terms, he's virtually impossible to insult or embarrass.
  • The Muppets: Beaker recently died. Still doesn't get any respect.
  • Given the accidents Tory Belleci has suffered over the course of Mythbusters (especially that bike accident), it's a wonder he's so rarely had to be treated for serious injury.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Professional Wrestling is crammed with such characters. One need only mention World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Colin Delaney, who repeatedly got squashed by wrestlers a great deal bigger than he was, only to be back to wrestle the next week with increasingly more bandages covering his body. Perhaps the most notorious example is former United States Women's Champion Mae Young, especially at the start of her WWE career in the late 1990s. Already well into her seventies by that point (she's 87 as of this writing), Mae's initial gimmick was that she was an Iron Buttmonkey senior citizen who constantly took "bumps" on behalf of her best friend, The Fabulous Moolah. (She once even was smashed through a conference table by The Dudley Boys!) As if that weren't demeaning enough, Mae was also made into an Abhorrent Admirer / Christmas Cake stereotype who (among other exploits) almost gave birth to Mark Henry's baby, French-kissed Vince McMahon, and was revealed as the object of Jerry Springer's (reluctant) lust on an unforgettable episode of Monday Night Raw. The sad thing, really, is that Mae was actually an accomplished wrestler back in the day (starting her career during World War II when many male wrestlers went off to Europe or Japan), but that younger viewers watching WWE programming are likely to think she's just some repellent old lady that's kept around backstage purely for comedy purposes.
  • Oh gosh, ECW's Francine absolutely belongs here. After her heel turn at ECW HeatWave 96, she took so much verbal abuse from the crowds and drew so much mockery from announcer Joey Styles. Then there was all the physical abuse she took as well.

    Religion And Mythology 

    Tabletop Games 
  • A Henchman class for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition was published in the aforementioned Nodwick comic, based on playing one of these. They had no useful offensive options, so all class abilities were based on improving their carrying capacity, or more importantly make them take hits for others and even take advantage of death (such as spying around as a ghost until resurrected, plus being easier to resurrect). They got a d12 for hit points (matched only by the Barbarian class) to put the "Iron" in the Buttmonkey.

    Video Games 
  • Elliot from Jagged Alliance 2 certainly qualifies. Over the course of the game, he sustains cumulative wounds from Deidrenna's abuse, culminating in getting shot in the head by her when the player enters the last city- this is, as always, played for laughs when Elliot gets back up and apologizes for not being able to even die properly.
  • Tails in the 2d Sonic the Hedgehog games. When you play the Sonic/Tails co-op, whether AI controlled or by a 2nd player, Tails is completely immortal and cannot die (well he can die, he just comes back right away). This of course leads to a huge potential for abuse...
  • This is about half of the gimmick with Wario's transformations in the second and third Wario Land games, as well as I heard with at least one (non Nintendo published) Gamecube era game. Simply put, the characters are nigh invulnerable, so the only way to proceed is to do things like set them on fire and have them smashed to a pulp to bypass obstacles.
  • The Black Baron in Madworld always demonstrates the various level's death traps...by getting thrown into them by his assistant. It's either this tropes, or he has a loooot of stunt doubles.
  • This is how the Mummy's powers work in Sphinx And The Cursed Mummy. He's dead, so being set on fire/electrocuted/smashed flat/cut into three different copies doesn't affect him at all. Granted, he's still not a fan of it...
  • Phoenix in the Ace Attorney series has been whipped into unconsciousness, been hit in the face by scalding hot coffee mugs, and had birds peck at his face, and yet none of this ever leaves so much as a mark on him. At one point, he's even hit by a car and gets out of it with nothing more serious than a sprained ankle. He also once ran across a burning bridge, and fell off halfway across because the bridge fell apart, into a raging river noted that anything that falls in there goes missing forever in the middle of an enormous storm. He caught a cold.
  • During the course of Tales of the Abyss, Dist survives near-drowning, almost freezing to death, falling from an extremely tall tower while also being caught in an explosion (!), and a blast to the face from the most powerful magic user in the game, and is also hinted to have suffered years of abuse at Jade's hands in his childhood. Yet he never seems the worse for the wear; not only does he not die, he has no scars and we never even see him injured. No wonder Jade says he's as tenacious as a cockroach.
    • Ivar from Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2, among other things, gets trampled by an oversized boar, accidentally lodges his own sword in his forehead, and faceplants into the ground from dozens of feet in the air, but barely is fazed by any of it. He also gets beaten up by the party on multiple occasions, but always seems more annoyed then anything else in the aftermath.
  • Daxter, of Jak and Daxter, has this status sometimes. The example that comes to mind is the cutscene where Daxter narrowly avoids getting blown up after Riding the Bomb. He gets up and walks away unscathed... only to be flattened underneath a piece of debris.
  • Hong Meiling is perhaps the best known Iron Butt Monkey of the Touhou series, as she is often caught by Sakuya slacking off during her job of guarding Scarlet Devil Mansion's gate. Fanon depicts that Meiling becomes a cushion for Sakuya's knives on a daily basis, but since Meiling is youkai, she doesn't die.
    • She's also fanonly depicted as a chew toy for Flandre.
  • Sandbag from Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl feels no pain at all, and apparently likes to see how far it can get hit.
  • Vice Admiral Arthur Norbank in Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has a really hard time dying, despite his numerous failures as a commander and despite the players' sincerest wishes. His ships have been blown up so many times (due to his own incompetence), it's always an unpleasant surprise whenever he shows up safe and sound. In a later mission, the player has a chance to leave Norbank to die.
  • Fritz from Brain Dead 13. During his big hunt he's often hurt and damaged in several ways, including being stomped, locked in an iron maiden, having bits of a Frankenstein monster fall on him, getting shot in the face by his own cannon and so on. And let's not mention the stairs....
  • Weaponized in Whiplash. Redmond the rabbit is rendered indestructible due to the experiments of Genron. As such, he serves as the game's weapon, functioning like a Flail due to being chained to Spanx. He can also be "powered up" by sticking him into machines that either set him on fire, electrocute him, irradiate him or inflate him like a balloon and can break machines by being tossed into the mechanisms and jamming them.
  • Bowser, at least in the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series. If there's any otherwise likely death inducing humiliation in those series, it's probably going to happen to him, and he keeps on going. Castle about to explode? Bowser wakes up just in time for it to come crashing down on him. Volcano erupts? He flies straight out the top of it. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is basically this the game, with Bowser having to do every stupid thing possible to progress and getting flattened by every castle, robot and train in the kingdom.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner has Strong Sad. He is constantly getting beaten up or worse by other characters. He ends up doing all the dangerous stunts in the Dangeresque films. And in one email, The Cheat decides to curry favor with Strong Bad. We don't see what happens, but we hear what sounds like a power drill and Strong Sad shouting "Ow! Both my face and hands!"
  • Grif from Red vs. Blue. Seriously, this guy once took a punch to the groin hard enough to dent the metal floor beneath him. The fact that he was able to walk straight is nothing short of extraodinary. Oh, but not just punched. Hammered by a shotgun, a gas tank, and a concrete roadblock (which partly cracked upon impact around the area), all to the groin. Tex is a mean, mean girl.
    • "Why won't you just kill me?"
    • And this is all in one episode. This isn't getting into all the times he's taken shotguns to the back, fallen several feet, and taken a shot from a tank.
    • The entire Blood Gulch crew qualifies for this, actually-even Washington. Everyone there is a Butt Monkey to somebody, has survived horrible injuries, and/or been victim to No One Should Survive That at least once, Grif's just the one who survives the funniest ones.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Just about everyone, even though the show is called Happy Tree friends!

    Web Comics 
  • Balder of Brat-Halla is immune to everything, as everything promised his mother, Frigg, they would not harm him. (Except mistletoe, of course.) Since Balder is immune to all damage, he makes an excellent club when wielded by his brother Thor. (Which is not to say he doesn't feel it...)
  • Fighter and Black Mage in 8-Bit Theater: the former is repeatedly stabbed in the head, often with no ill effects (it made him smarter once), while Black Mage more or less always survives what's thrown at him (having Australia dropped on him comes to mind) and when he does die that one time, it comes as quite a surprise, but he still gets resurrected in fairly short order so as to continue suffering.
  • Largo in MegaTokyo - if we ignore the broken arm that occurred in the first dozen strips. Piro has even commented that for a long time it was Largo's job to get physically hurt and Piro's to get emotionally hurt, until their roles started blurring slightly.
  • Gordon Frohman of Concerned has been shot multiple times, tossed around by exploding barrels, had his face eaten, was set on fire, attacked by zombies, sliced, knocked around by a giant antlion, held a live grenade while standing knee-deep in radioactive sludge and setting himself on fire, had an ornate axe stuck in his head, had his midsection pierced by a pipe, and went through many other ordeals... and survived. It's because he accidentally used a cheat code on himself before the beginning of the comic.
  • Ensign Shirt (first name Red) of Legostar Galactica. It is eventually explained that he gets his superhuman resiliency from being the descendant of the Claire of a Heroes parody.
  • Sawbuck in Homestuck takes horrendous abuse in the comic, but still survives due to his corpulence. What makes him a Butt Monkey to begin with, though, is that his time travel power only activates when he's hurt.
  • Nip of Nip and Tuck has been dropped from immense heights, blown up, set on fire, rocketed across the countryside in a homemade rocket-sled, and shot from a giant slingshot. His aptitude for this sort of thing was so bad his parents were relieved to learn he'd taken up a career as a stunt man.
  • Tiff of both Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks is showing signs of this. Her first appearance in Cuties had her spend the day dead after accidentally impaling herself, and so far in her first arc in Chicks she's busted her nose and been knocked senseless by a miss aimed spell.
  • Phil from Yosh! is initially this, but after the series Grew the Beard, this ability got expanded to include all forms of harm, especially magic.
  • This is basically Riku's entire purpose on Ansem Retort, as he can inexplicably take fatal injuries without missing a beat in his nonstop whining. Zexion and Axel actively exploit this for as much schadenfreude as possible, being trapped in a reality show specifically for their capacity for cruelty. It's eventually revealed that Riku is a Time Lord with a birth defect: he can regenerate indefinitely, but never changes his appearance.

    Radio 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Jeebs, from Men in Black: The Animated Series
  • Baby Huey of Harveytoons is built on this trope. He's invulnerable to the point where many of the gags of his shorts are centered around his enemies attempts to kill him backfiring horribly on them.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson is the king of this trope. He goes through everything from falling off a cliff (twice), to slamming into a tree in his car, suffering from skiing incidents, waterfall plunges, animal maulings, getting shot by a nailgun, amateur brain-surgery, amateur heart surgery, and getting hammered by a champion boxer!!! Not to mention getting shot by a cannon daily for a living as one of his many, many jobs. One has to wonder if he is truly immortal...
    • He did die once briefly of a heart attack but he went back into his body when he heard his family was getting a ham.
    • One of the later episodes had Homer being forced to perform in a circus act in which he's bitten by several cobras (some of which aren't even real snakes, but robots with venomous needles fitted into their mouths) and then has his throat ripped open by a mongoose sent in to kill the cobras. Not only is all this Played for Laughs, but the entire act is shown to be more humiliating than life-threatening for Homer.
      • Sideshow Bob counts in Cape Feare when he manages to be unhindered by a parade trampling him. Said parade also had about six or so ELEPHANTS that trampled him. Before that he had survived hitting his head against the speeding road, scalding hot coffee ("Ugh! This coffee is too hot!" *Pours it down the side and we hear scalding noises* GAHHHH!!), a drive through a cactus patch, and rakes. Lots and Lots of rakes.
    • Scratchy of Itchy and Scratchy is this as well. Every episode he appears in, he dies in a variety of amusing ways, barring the one episode where he gets Itchy.
  • Family Guy. The entire family. Peter falls down stairs (repeatedly), Brian (being a dog) gets hit by cars, Stewie's had large pieces of glass stuck in his head, Lois has fallen off the roof and been drenched in scalding-hot french fry oil... and yet its Meg who's the series Buttmonkey. Ironic, huh?
    • Not to mention that Meg's suffered such indignities as having her hair set on fire, having a piano fall on her (something that also befell Peter) and been shot full of poison darts. Really, the only family member who has not been an Iron Butt Monkey is Chris. Go figure.
  • American Dad! has Steve who is always getting attacked by animals, bullies or suffering other injuries. He often injures himself horribly but always comes back in the next episode as if nothing has happened. Interestingly, he very rarely breaks his glasses, unlike what would probably happen in real life.
    • The entire family isn't exactly exempt. Stan, Francine, Hayley, Klaus, and yes, even Roger have all been shown to get horribly injured on a regular basis, some are even worse than Steve's mentioned above (Francine for instance, has been shown to suffer brain injury) and all would show up next episode relatively not phased at all.
  • Wile. E. Coyote. is practically the Patron Saint of this trope. He's been crushed, blown up, fallen hundreds of feet, been knocked all the way through earth and back, and that's just the tip of a long list of abuses. He not only survives, but is right back at the same thing again.
    • In fact, in the sort of spin-off series Loonatics Unleashed, being an Iron Butt Monkey is Tech. E. Coyote's superpower.
      • On the subject of Looney Tunes, Daffy Duck's been shot enough times, his face (or at least his beak) should no longer be recognized. Sylvester's gone through many of the abuses that Tom has suffered over the years, being beaten, smashed, electrified, and so much else. Still other villains like Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian and the Tasmanian Devil have also survived incredible injuries.
      • Likewise Plucky Duck, Daffy's counterpart in Tiny Toons. Glorious, hysterical case in point.
      • Lampshaded in a Cartoon Network commercial that asked a bunch of questions people wondered about cartoons. They ask "How come you guys never get hurt?" and 3 characters answer "A good diet." "Exercise." "Flexibility really."
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry. Like Wile E. Coyote, he seems to be genuinely impervious to damage, with the exception of a few episodes where he does actually die. And even then, it never sticks.
  • Pinky and the Brain regularly get smashed, beaten, exploded, so forth, as Brain's schemes fail (a memorable one being the time they are blasted from the top of the Space Needle, all from Pinky's perspective). Of course, Pinky doesn't really mind when Brain bops him on the head, so perhaps he's okay with it. Brain, however, gets the worst of it. Naturally, they're still standing (if bruised) at the end of every episode, ready to do "the same thing we do every night".
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy. Ed has dropped houses on Edd and Eddy, the Kankers' trailer fell on the Eds, a pile of garage sale junk fell on Ed, Ed zapped Edd with a static electricity bolt powerful enough to blow up the latter's house...
  • Comic relief jerkass Earl of Lemongrab of Adventure Time. Thanks to his super-hard lemon candy skin, he has supercandyperson strength. He falls head-first out of the window of a castle and smashes his head into the ground hard enough to leave a big indentation in the earth, but he was fine. (Pissed-off, though.) Then, he fell from a tree and had a pretty nasty fall right on his back. Again, he was fine- just angry.
  • The Tick stands out here, as he is Nigh Invulnerable and The Ditz.
    • I think this would be a perfect time to mention that one incident where a group of his enemies decided to get together and destroy him.Long story short, they strapped him into a chair a dropped an A-Bomb directly on his head. He walked it off.
      • Hell that's his audition act in the opening of the animated series when he's trying out for a superhero assignment.
  • South Park's Ike was like this right up until about the time he started going to school. Most of his appearances involved Kyle playing "Kick the Baby!" and punting him through windows.
  • Beavis And Butthead. Tornados, huge car crashes, lightning & former drill segreants are barely enough to stun them for more then a few seconds.
    • In the more recent season they even manage to bounce back after being bitten by a hobo and recieving multiple incurable diseases.
  • This was a plot point of all things in The Penguins of Madagascar. Mort, our resident Buttmonkey, is so dumb that he can take lethal blows without serious damage. The penguins decide to suction out their own brains so that they, too, can have this "Halo of Ignorance". It works until they are too stupid to carry out their mission.
  • This trope was used occasionally in Avatar: The Last Airbender when earthbending gets involved, then subverted in one of the few deaths in the series.
    • Sokka is the king of this in the chibi shorts, particularly "Bending Battle." He gets used as a human pinball.
  • XR from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command exemplifies this trope. The name's short for "X-pendable Ranger," and he was designed to be easily repaired after massive damage, so Once an Episode he meets a brutal fate, complaining all the while.
    • He insists it stands for "X-perimental Ranger". His presence on this page begs to differ.
  • Waspinator of Transformers: Beast Wars. It helps that, being a Transformer, he's made of metal. Once the writers saw the pattern they'd made, they kicked it Up to Eleven, having poor Waspy blown up, ripped apart, or shredded in nearly every episode ever. He always survives. In fact, he is one of the three characters introduced in the first episode of Beast Wars to survive to the end of Beast Machines. Yeah, it's that kinda show.
    • Kind of. Waspinator's manner of speaking frustrated the writers in the first season. Since he had to make an appearance in every episode, they took to him making those appearances in pieces. This had the effect of making him a favorite with the fans. Once the writers caught onto this, Waspinator gets scrapped in increasingly hilarious ways.
  • Iago the parrot took a lot of damage in Aladdin. The only time it was not played for laughs was near the end of the sequel, when he's just destroyed Jafar's lamp and Aladdin is mystified because he seems to be dead, but Genies can't kill anyone. You'd be surprised what you can live through.
  • Mentioned by Billy West in a commentary, Fry from Futurama: getting slammed into a wall at full speed by those transport tubes, surviving a fall from a helicopter without deploying his parachute, eating a big heaping bowl of salt, three cola induced heart attacks in high school.
    • And those are the ones that don't involve super-advanced medicine or symbiotic worms.
  • Goofy, especially in the How to... shorts.
  • Squidward from Sponge Bob Square Pants: His unfortunate fates include being shot out of a cannon, run over by a giant boulder, hit in the face with a pie bomb, zapped by the Flying Dutchman, attacked by a bear, and blown up from eating too many krabby patties, as well as having his toenail ripped off and his head explode. Yet he always manages to get right back to the way he was. Plankton, Mrs. Puff and sometimes even SpongeBob himself are just as unlucky.
    • Just living between Spongebob and Patrick is unfortunate enough.
  • Time Squad: All three main characters; Larry has been electrocuted, smashed by a washing machine, been shot at, several times his body has been reduced to just a head, and has had his computer system scrambled by magnets. Otto gets frequently beat up by people from history, chased by a grizzly bear, viciously attacked by an evil My Little Pony (seriously), suffers from Tuddrussel's stunts, was crushed by a bookcase (off-screen), left in a hurricane, and was practically the resident buttmonkey at the orphanage. Tuddrussel takes a good amount for himself when it comes to getting beaten up by people, like Joan of Arc for example, has been slammed into the ground after destroying a giant fly monster, attacked by a lion, took on lava from the top of a volcano and really takes an equal amount as his comrades.
  • Spike in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has armored scales, and has been literally used as a pincushion without ill effect. Twilight can take a surprising amount of punishment as well, though this has yet to be lampshaded.
    • All ponies seem capable of taking pretty big punishment- Rainbow Dash breaks her wing in one episode and walks it off within a matter of days, Pinkie Pie is run ragged by the Cake twins, Applejack almost works herself to death in "Applebuck Season". The only ponies out of the Mane Six who haven't had a lot of physical punishment yet are Rarity and Fluttershy.
  • In The Dreamstone the Urpneys take this trope Up to Eleven, aside from the cartoon abuse they take from Zordrak, nearly each and every new scheme involves them being transformed or horribly injured in some slapstick manner (to name a few, being shrunk, zapped with electric bolts, beaten up by Amberley, fell victim to numerous vehicle crashes and mauled by a band of vicious leaves). Out of any of these situations, only being fed to Frazznats or turned to stone has lasting effect.
  • Fluffy and Uranus of Duckman are effectively living teddy bears, and routinely get eviscerated in elaborate ways by the title character.
  • Popeye usually goes through this until he eats his spinach...
  • Gawayn: Sir Roderick takes this trope Up to Eleven and is a literal example, actually being encased in armour.


Butt MonkeyLoser ArchetypeThe Chew Toy
Invisible PresidentCharacters as DeviceIron Woobie
In-Vehicle InvulnerabilityAcceptable Breaks from RealityJust Add Water
I'm OkayRule of FunnyNon-Fatal Explosions
Hammered into the GroundImageSource/Western AnimationMatchlight Danger Revelation
Ironic FearComedy TropesI Say What I Say

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