[Children's] ingenuity in finding unexpected ways of doing mischief to themselves and others should never be underestimated.
— Lord Hoffman, Jolley (A.P.) v Sutton London Borough Council  1 W.L.R. 1082
It seems fictionland is inhabited by the worst bullies
in existence, always ready to mock you and steal your lunch money, no matter what happened to you, you'll always be different from All of the Other Reindeer
. Not even the Littlest Cancer Patient
gets a break. Especially not the Littlest Cancer Patient
. After a while, it looks like we have a society of youthful sociopaths running around the city. Oh wait...
Note that the victim is almost always the protagonist; at least fictionland doesn't think bullies are good protagonist material... unless they
can grow a stubble
, that is. In Teen Drama
, the Alpha Bitch
and the Jerk Jock
represent this trope. One way to defuse the abuse is for the kid to make his aggressors realize what they're feeling.
This only works if the mean kids are good but misguided
though, if they aren't a beat down is in order.
If the target of abuse could easily rip them apart if it wanted and the kids know
it, then the kids are Bullying a Dragon
(not to mention Too Dumb to Live
). And even if the target of abuse is not superpowered at the time, just wait until the bully-magnet that Used to Be a Sweet Kid
undergoes a Start of Darkness
, possibly as a result of the cruelty of other kids, and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge
, often at a point when the bullies themselves have forgotten the whole thing.
A favorite for films with grown protagonists is to reveal this as part of their Back Story
via Flash Backs
See also Teens Are Monsters
, Big Brother Bully
, and Humans Are Bastards
. Contrast Children Are Innocentnote
. The Royal Brat
is a particularly disturbing take on this. Adults Are Useless
for when the majority, if not, all the bullying occurs all the time because the adults ignore it or are oblivious.
Sometimes leads to Would Hurt a Child
. But all too often the bullying has catastrophic consequences
Please do not add any real life examples.
This trope is Truth in Television
, as if we needed to say it, but to list the examples would be asking for an Edit War
Of course one of the causes for this trope in real life is explained in Developmental Psych. It's called ego-centralism and until a child reaches a certain point in their mental development they don't understand that their actions hurt others as they are not hurt themselves.