We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics
In manga, especially shoujo, bullies tend to read from the same playbook. They tend to be more relational bullying or anonymous intimidation than the physical bullying more common in shonen works. These tactics are most common in shoujo manga, but not limited to them: josei and seinen works are also full of this.
- Hiding someone's desk or school shoes.
- Being ignored by the entire class, sometimes with the phrase 'there's a bug in here'. Often enforced by a clique of popular girls who'll do the same to anyone who doesn't toe the line.
- Being cornered and yelled at by a group after school.
- Embarrassing photos, graffiti or both posted in a public place.
- Stealing and/or throwing away someone's personal items.
- Spreading rumors about inappropiate sexual behavior, especially in the case of women.
- Force Feeding, generally bugs.
- Sending loads and loads of harrassing e-mails/text messages (or letters in the shoe lockers).
Tactics that are usually lampshaded instead of played straight:
- Tacks in shoes, usually in a piece involving performance art.
- Ripping up a girl's clothing.
open/close all folders
Manga - Josei
- In Sakuran, the other maids hide Tomeki's kimono and she gets scolded for this.
- In Bunny Drop, some third-year students corner Rin and get on her case for walking down the wrong corridor.
- In Amakusa 1637, before befriending Natsuki, Eri was often cornered and verbally abused by other girls.
- Chapter 13 of Private Actress has the main character Shiho infiltrating an Elaborate University High's middle school section to learn the truth about Fuyuka Sakuragi, a girl who was subjected to this (i.e. her sketchbook was ripped and stepped on, she made only short calls home because she was being watched, etc.) before she died in odd circumstances. Poor Fuyuka's parents believe that she was murdered by her bullies via being thrown down a flight of stairs by them, and since the police couldn't get any clues confirming their suspicions they hired Shiho to get info. Here is where Shiho meets her Foil and Shadow Archetype, Kana Juumonji/Satoka Ryoudo.
Manga - Seinen
- Volume 5 of Sangatsu no Lion, displays cases of stolen and hidden possession, public graffiti on desks and chalkboards, and class ostracization.
- Frequently featured in Mohiro Kitoh mangas:
- This happens to the transsexual Nitori from Hourou Musuko, mostly in the elementary chapters. She's teased by boys for being too feminine, a boy makes a rumor she's dating her best friend, and at one point some boys try to check what genitals she has. She does mostly fine until she comes to school in a girls uniform in mid-middle school and gets ostracised.
- Cool Big Sis Yuki was also victim of this when she was a middle schooler. One incident that involved boys forcing her to dress up in the girls uniform stunned her so much she dropped out of school and became a Hikikomori.
- Marika from Bokura no Hentai suffers similar ordeals. She has no friends throughout elementary, save for her friend she's known since preschool, and suffered from homophobic name calling. By middle school the bullying had ended though.
- In Hetalia's High School AU Gakuen Hetalia, New Transfer Student Seychelles is laughed at by the rest of her class when she introduces herself to them. One of her classmates is even taken to the infirmary due to laughing too much. Not to mention she's pushed around by Student Council President England and his Number Two France. She doesn't let that get to her.
- Towards the end of Serial Experiments Lain Lain's teacher and classmates hide her desk and pretend she doesn't exist. but her life has become so surreal at that point it's not clear if this is happening in the real world.
- Kasane,from the manga of the same name, is a girl that looks like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. She used to get beat up and harassed by girls in elementary for having a popular, attractive actress for a mother. Her classmates would write on her umbrella that she should kill herself and she was ostracized by the other kids. In the series proper classmates write insults on her desk.
Manga - Shoujo
- Keiko Suenobu's Life has many examples of this trope. Hiding the desk? How about we throw it out the window. Tacks in shoes? Nah, let's make her eat them. Embarrassing photos? Of the main character being raped.
- Suenobu's follow-up series, Limit, has this as backstory — with Morishige being ignored and mocked by the entire class.
- Kimi ni Todoke begins with Sawako being shunned by her class — but not due to bullying, but because everyone believes she's cursed. Later on she faces more traditional bullying from a group of girls who think she's too close to Kazehaya.
- In Skip Beat!, Kyoko has dealt with the entire list, from having her desk hidden to being ignored by her entire class due to her connection with Shou. She notes that that sort of tactic is so common that she couldn't even use it for reference for her role as a bully.
- In Kare Kano, after she stops trying to be a model student, Yukino Miyazawa has the entire class stop speaking to her. They're led by Maho Izawa, the local Alpha Bitch. Who later is subjected to the same treatment. Things get better after a while, tho.
- In A Devil and Her Love Song, Maria has her uniform ripped up and used as a flag, and balloons of ink put into her school shoes by her teacher.
- Lampshaded in Eensy Weensy Monster, while thinking of ways to bully Nanoha, the girls of the class think of ripping her party dress or putting a tack in her shoe 'like in a manga'.
- Discussed in The Secret Notes of Lady Kanako: Kanako notes that the 'girl culture' way of getting ahead is putting tacks in shoes rather than working hard at ballet.
- Himeko in Kannazuki no Miko is cornered by Chikane's fangirls but since hurting Himeko in any way is Chikane's Berserk Button, it doesn't end well for them.
- Komari in Gokujou Drops is similarly cornered by Yukio's fangirls, who strip her nearly naked, and Komari hides in embarrassment until Yukio finds her.
- In Revolutionary Girl Utena, Anthy is a frequent target for bullying, especially due to her "passive" nature. She's frequently yelled at behind the school, which can even devolve into her being slapped around as she won't defend herself but this is because she's the Rose Bride of the Duels, and said "role" doesn't really allow her to fight back aside of using words. During a Body Swap episode between Utena and Anthy, Utena-in-Anthy's body finds self in the receiving end... and shocks the bullies by actually hitting back.
- Nanami in particular is obsessed with bullying Anthy, as her brother Touga is obsessed over her due to her importance in the dueling. Nanami, extremely possessive of her brother and unaware of the duels (back then), once fakes being Anthy's friend to get close enough to her to learn that she get extremely frightened of people and SPECIALLY huge crowds and arranges for her to attend a dance in a special dress...then abandons her in the crowd and arranges for her to be covered in water, which causes the dress to dissolve around her. This backfires however as Utena immediately rushes to Anthy's aid and makes her a new dress out of a tablecloth, causing everyone to be further in awe of Anthy.
- In a later episode, Nanami turns her jealous wrath toward her Beta Bitch Keiko for daring to share an umbrella with Touga. She bans her from all extracurricular activities and has the remaining members of her Girl Posse deliberately snub and ignore her, which drives Keiko to become a Black Rose Duelist.
- In Sailor Moon, Usagi once finds a tack in her shoe... She put it there herself for the drama of it all.
- Ami used to be a victim of the "silencing" tactic by other students, since they believed that she was arrogant due to her intelligence — in reality, she was too shy to approach them. She was also totally ostracized and badmouthed by others in one episode of R, when she was framed for cheating in tests by the Monster of the Week, but once this is cleared up the other kids set it aside.
- In the R movie, it's revealed that Ami wasn't the only victim. Minako used to be looked down and shunned by classmates who found her too weird and childish ("Ooooh, Aino-san's playing pretend! She surely thinks she's Sailor V!"), while Makoto and Rei were feared and isolated because of either bad reputation as a bully who picked fights with others (Mako) or Psychic Powers that creeped people out (Rei).
- In S, Hotaru is subjected to the ignoring tactic too since her schoolmates are in fear of both her Ill Girl seizures and her odd healing powers.
- There's the memorable scene in which, despite not really being a student, Eudial finds slugs (which she HATES) in both her slippers and her locker courtesy of Mimete. This has fatal consequences when Mimete not only puts more slugs in Eudial's car, but she also tampers with the brakes — Eudial is too panicked by the slugs to drive said car well and ends up fatally crashing.
- In Hana Yori Dango, Tsukushi is subjected to graffiti on the wall saying that she's had 'two abortions' and photos of her and a boy in a compromising position.
- In the shoujo manga Gatcha Gacha, Hiroyuki's fangirls write graffiti about Yuri being a slut on the walls, but Hiroyuki comes every day before school to remove it.
- Ouran High School Host Club: In the first chapter of the manga, Haruhi is targeted by a Tamaki fangirl named Ayanokouji, who has her clothes thrown away. (Ayanokouji is soon found out, doused with cold water in public AND permanently banned from the Host Club itself). In another chapter, the Benibara club members suggest that there will be a 'maidens behind the gym' meeting if Haruhi messes the play up.
- In Fruits Basket, Kisa Sohma is the victim of a version of the ignore tactic. First everyone in her class ignores her, and then whenever she says something everyone starts to giggle. This turns her into a Cute Mute.
- Tohru Honda and Saki Hanajima were also subjected to bullying in their earlier years. Tohru's playmates publically humiliated her via playing a game and bending the rules so she would end up alone and unable to join in, while Saki was beaten and later force-fed a bug by a boy and almost killed him with her powers by accident.
- The bullies in Tohru's present class try to continue with this (among other things, they fix the voting for a school play to make Tohru be the evil stepsister in Cinderella and shove Tohru when they see her talking to Yuki), but aren't able to do anything really bad because of the continued presence of Hanajima and Uotani.
- Happens a lot to poor Momo in Peach Girl. In fact, this trope makes up a lot of the drama in the show.
- In Oniisama e..., Nanako Misonoo is subjected to several of these tactics when she becomes a candidate to join the high-class group known as the Sorority. When she's reading out loud in class, the local Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse start whining about not hearing her and almost the whole class joins in until the Class Representative Kaoru gets pissed at them. A bunch of second year girls corner her and slap her verbally and physically after class, specifically saying it's because of the Sorority deals. Her P.E. gear is stolen (and in the anime, her friend Tomoko refuses to lend her hers as she mistakenly thinks Nanako has deserted her). The aforementioned Alpha Bitch issues a petition to have her kicked out of the Sorority under the false accusation that her mother is a Gold Digger who seduced Nanako's stepfather and kicked out his legal wife and son (They actually met after Professor Misonoo got divorced.) This more or less stops around the second half of the series, when the action actually starts kicking in.
- By association, Nanako's friend Mariko Shinobu also gets bullied by the same Alpha Bitch. She reveals Mariko's Dark and Troubled Past to the whole class (claiming that several girls already knew) and, in the anime, ends up provoking her into hitting her in public. And when Mariko's parents actually split up and Aya brings it up very cruelly, it goes From Bad to Worse.
- Hell Girl has several episodes involving bullies and bullying, with the victim invariably being driven to pull the red string to send their tormentor to Hell.
- The very first episode involves school council member Mayumi Hashimoto being tormented by Aya Kuroda, who not only steals the 100,000 yen in donation money that was entrusted to her, but frames her for the theft, forces her into Compensated Dating to get the money back, and then blackmails her with photos of her in the grip of an older man, which she threatens to release to the school if she doesn't continue to pay her and her Girl Posse ó and then Aya decides to release the photos anyway For the Evulz, getting poor Mayumi in trouble with the administration and driving her to pull the red string.
- The first episode of Futakomori features another bullied schoolgirl by the name of Maki Onda, who has to deal with an unknown party vandalizing her books and even her shoes with "Die", "Kill yourself", "Stinker", and other mean-spirited things; sewing the sleeves of her jacket together, and even putting caterpillars into her pencil box without her knowledge. She soon finds out that her teacher, Ms. Kamishiro, is the one doing this to her when her classmate Nakase shows her the caterpillars and the mannequin used in one of her worse pranks involving locking Maki in a running shower room with her clothes on. Kamishiro's worst comes when she burns Maki with hydrochloric acid and tries to coerce her into doing "experiments" with her in some kind of perverted science club that she's been running on her own for a while, which drives Maki to pull the red string and send her to Hell.
- In Candy Candy, during the Boarding School arc Candy is bullied not just by Eliza and her Girl Posse, but by Neil and his friends. I.e., when Candy arrives at Saint Paul Academy she doesn't know about the dress code rules (wearing a black uniform in Sundays instead of the standard white one) and is cruelly mocked by everyone and SPECIALLY the aforementioned group when she shows up in the normal white uniform. (Not helped by the vey strict nuns refusing to let her change clothes). Not to mention, Eliza spreads Malicious Slander about Candy among the students (which causes some friction with her roommate Patricia at first), and later Neil and his friends trick her into going to the woods and then corner her, verbally harrassing her until Terry shows up to set things straight.
- Later, Candy's friend Annie Brighton is also shunned and verbally abused not just because she is Candy's ally, but because she's an adopted child like her.
- Tokyo Babylon gives us a girl named Hashimoto, who is totally ignored by her classmates when they're not treating her like shit. We meet her when the class is organizing a trip; she sits alone, and when the teacher asks the other students if someone will join her, nobody wants to.
- In Yami No Matsuei, a boy named Hijiri Minase is verbally harrassed by a jealous classmate since he's a mix of Teen Genius and Elegant Classical Musician. When a Deal with the Devil sealed within a cornea that Hijiri received a whole ago through a transplant starts taking its toll (It Makes Sense in Context), Hijiri starts developing a Super-Powered Evil Side and begins to retaliate...
- Tuxedo Gin has a rather...unusual version played out when a penguin named Linda falls for boxer-turned-penguin Ginji. Besides trying to trick him into a Baby Trap, upon finding out that Ginji is still in love with his human girlfriend, Minako, she resorts to sneakily doing things like leaving tacks in Minako's shoes.
Manga - Shonen
- Even though it's a shonen anime, the Girl Posse in Soukou no Strain just love applying stock shoujo bullying tactics to the protagonist, usually by tearing up her uniform while she takes a shower.
- Inverted in Tenshi Na Konamaiki when an antagonist arranges to have stock bullying tactics like stealing school shoes applied to herself and every other girl in their class except the protagonist to make her the odd girl out and the prime suspect.
- In the anime version of Shaman King, Lilly (the Meganekko from Sharona's group) was subjected to this by her classmates once her powers as a shaman were revealed. We don't know all the details, but what we do see is a flashback where Lilly breaks down in tears when she finds insulting messages written in the classroom's blackboard.
- In Bleach, a junior high-aged Orihime Inoue once was cornered by a group of girls who hated her uncommon hair color (light brown in the manga, red in the anime), then was given a Traumatic Haircut. She seems to have been physically abused too, as the flashbacks also include Orihime coming home while wearing bandages. This lasted until Tatsuki Arisawa decided it was enough and ran the bullies off.
- Ichigo Kurosaki was both shunned and cornered/beaten up in the past, because of his uncommon reddish hair made him look like a delinquent and either scared his school peers or "drove" bullies and delinquents to fight him.
- Discussed in Slam Dunk. When Sakuragi spots Haruko in the corridor of the third year students (she was delivering her older brother his forgotten lunchbox), she tells him she's very nervous and fears that she'll be thrown out. Sakuragi blushes and admits that he's kinda scared too. (Despite being a very feared ex-delinquent as well)
- Rukawa's trio of rabid fangirls bully both Sakuragi and Haruko. The first is booed and verbally lashed at during training, the second is nadmouthed and pushed to the ground once by the leader of the group.
- Happened in Uozumi's backstory, and it was so severe that it almost drove him to leave basketball as a whole.
- Kinf of a theme in both the backstory and the early episodes of The Prince of Tennis:
- Masashi Arai and his group of friends take the Sempai Kouhai dynamics to the extreme and often verbally bully Ryoma and the other first years.
- A first year!Tezuka once was beaten up for refusing to take a senior's bullying. For worse, said sempai hit him on the elbow with his racket - which is the source of his Game-Breaking Injury
- In the OAV's we learn that Kawamura used to be verbally and psychologically bullied by the sempais due to being Unskilled, but Strong.
- The worst case, however, happens in the backstory of Kippei Tachibana and the whole Fudomine team, who were physically abused by the sempais and by their coach. They fight back (with Tachibana attacking the Sadist Teacher) and are suspended from tennis tournaments for a year; they use said year to train, then come back to the circuit when the manga starts.
- Also, in the anime a teenager Hannah Essenheimer had her tennis clothes torn off by her rivals right before a tournament, forcing her to forfeit and making her stop playing.
- Being the Deconstruction Genre of the Fighting Series Played for Laughs, Muteki Kanban Musume could be classified as shonen. This trope is exaggerated by Megumi, who was The Bully at her childhood and now is a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Instead of hiding The Rival Mikiís shoes, she blows up her bicycle tires, instead of posting embarrassing photos, she publishes the true facts about Miki (that she is The Slacker, The Bully and spreads Malicious Slander) in public places, and she sends menacing letters to Miki and leaves Mikiís card at the scene of a crime. Oh, and she leaves hot dog skewers instead of taks in Mikiís shoes.
- Tantei Gakuen Q uses these in the Boarding School case. A School Idol is believed to hace gone missing, and there's evidence that she was bullied into almost insanity by the Student Council President through the internet. Her internet boyfriend, also a student of said school, kidnapped and killed the Student Council President and attacked a potential Spanner Inthe Works, all in the name of revenge...
- A filler episode of Detective Conan dealed with bullying. More exactly, the case's Asshole Victim was a student who drove a boy to suicide several years ago due to his bullying and, despite initially repenting, later returned to his bully ways. When the suicidal kid's dad found out, he asked the guy to house sit for him... but secretly trained his pet dog John (a very intelligent German Shepherd) to attack said bully under very specific circumstances... and push him down the stairs of his home.
- Also, a filler episode has a girl named Maho Izawa as a former victim of this, almost ending up as a Hikikomori due to trauma.
- In Yuyu Hakusho, being bullied pushes Kiyoshi "Seaman" Mitarai into becoming a member of Sensui's group. There's a flashback in which we see him being beaten up and mocked by his classmates.
- Koe No Katachi is about the bullying that a deaf girl named Shouko is a victim of. When she transfers from school due to this, a boy named Shouya (one of the bullies) is used as The Scapegoat and ends up bullied as well. And five years later, Shouko and Shouya meet again, and Shouya wants to prove to Shouko how sai experience has changed him...
- In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Kenichi Shirahama enters the Ryozanpaku dojo half to be able to defeat the master and date his cute granddaughter, half to become stronger and face the bullies that pick on him. Said granddaughter, Miu Furunji, is implied to have transferred to Kenichi's school after having been bullied at her former one because of her physical beauty; this is why she wears glasses and braids her hair outside of the dojo.
Live Action TV
- In the video for Pearl Jam's Jeremy, in addition to him being neglected and ignored by his parents, the titular Jeremy is mocked and bullied by his classmates. He goes the Ate His Gun way in front of them. The worse thing? It happened in real life
- Red String is an American web comic written in the style of shoujo manga. Being set in a high school, a number of these cliches are used.
- Reika is a frequent target of rumors and shaming due to lies spread about her supposed promiscuity and later because she attracts the romantic attention of two boys who are popular with the rest of the school. It's later revealed that Sayuri, a girl jealous of her, deliberately kept spreading the rumors to elevate her own popularity...
- ...this backfires after Sayuri's attempts to ruin the reputation of two more girls are proven false, leading Sayuri to be the target of the same type of bullying she once perpetuated. One strip featured bugs left in her shoe.
- In the webcomic Sunstone, this kind of bullying figured into Alan's backstory in college. Wrongly accused of being gay, people harassed him for this, but things escalated when his sketchbook of BDSM artwork was discovered, stolen, photocopied and then posted around the campus, getting him in trouble. Worse still, it was one of Ally's social circle at the time that kept the gossip about Alan circulating. This contributed to Alan's cynicism about mainstream's society's views about his subculture, and up until he met Ally, he was completely closed off from everyone because, as Ally explains, "when people pull that kind of shit on you, it ruins any benefit of a doubt you might otherwise give strangers."