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YMMV: Bully
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Derby Harrington and Bif Taylor are regularly considered to be a homosexual couple. While it's easy to see why Derby/Bif is a popular slash pairing (Bodyguard Crush), it doesn't explain why this caught on with the Bully fanbase at large.
      • This was born from a random line that Dan Wilson, one of the Jocks, says. "Word is Bif and Derby are made for each other." or something very similar to that.
    • Gary Smith: Just a jerk, or Jerk Ass Woobie?
      • Jerk Ass interpretation - Just a smug narcissistic jackass who isn't as smart as he thinks he is, who's primary motivation is that he loves manipulating people.
      • Jerkass Woobie interpretation - He hints that he has a horrible homelife, a host of medical problems for which he has to take pills that make him feel horrible, a personality and attitude that prevents him from having friends.
    • Peter Kowalski: Nervous Sideline Woobie, or a superior, more patient manipulator?
      • Woobie: It's how he's propped up to be seen throughout the whole game. Gary humiliates and beats him regularly, in Halloween, he's dressed up as a giant bunny, and is seen to be incredibly nervous at even the slightest rule-breaking.
      • Manipulator: That being said, though, he seems to guide Jimmy through the perfect path to topple leader after leader. He got close to Gary, so that Gary would rule him out as a threat-free woobie. And, eventually, Jimmy would do the same. It seems Petey's waiting for the perfect moment to seize control, himself, which Jimmy may have absolutely aided by making him head boy out of feeling sorry for him.
  • Awesome Music: Almost the entire score is an Earworm and everything is beautifully composed, taking in a wide variety of styles which fit moods and places very well.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • What happens when you find all the transistors for The Hobo. He gets sucked into the sky by a tractor beam while a maniacal laugh echoes.
    • Walking into the Freak Show and seeing a real live mermaid.
    • Also destroying all the gnomes for Brandi in the Scholarship Edition.
  • Breather Boss: The final boss fight against Gary on the school roof. Despite truly epic final battle music, he's no tougher than the standard enemy Mooks you've been beating up throughout the game, and may even be weaker, considering he spends most of the fight blocking your punches with his face.
  • Complaining about Games You Don't Play: As stated above, when the game was first announced, every Moral Guardian protested, saying the game was about a bully who beats up students. Some went as far as to say that it was going to be a Columbine simulator, simply because it was being developed by the same company (Rockstar Games) that developed the Grand Theft Auto series. When details of the game was released, it turned out to be the complete opposite. After the game came out, the same people then switched their protest due to the fact that there's an option to kiss some boys, crying that it was some kind of gay agenda. This is ironic considering this is optional on the player's part.
    • The first part was most likely intentional on Rockstar's part, as they have a history of deliberately stirring up controversy in order to get tons of free publicity for their games.
      • And admittedly, when first announced many publishers automatically announced it would be a Rated M game and all the early promotional art showed the protagonist bullying other kids. The fact that this came after the legitimate Hot Coffee Scandal for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas didn't help either.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Gary Smith.
    • The Greasers (excluding Lola) in general get this. It probably has something to do with the Greasers being the only clique that isn't inherently unsympathetic and the aforementioned All Girls Want Bad Boys.
    • Parker Ogilvie also gets it, mainly because he's basically a repressed nice guy by nature. Fanfic, however, forgets about the "repressed" part a lot, as well as the not understanding why he can't buy friends and love thing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Some of the minor characters have big followings among the fan community.
  • Fanon: With only slight amounts of time for characters to develop, a number of characterizations in fanfic have stuck and been repeated in other stories. A couple popular ones...
    • Trent Northwick is a serial molester of new girls, and he has horrible tobacco mouth from smoking
    • Derby Harrington is a foppish ponce who can easily be taken out with a right hook by any Author Avatar Mary Sue, and needs Bif to do everything for him.
      • Especially ironic considering that during Complete Mayhem, he's probably the toughest of the four faction leaders to take down.
    • The Greasers, and especially Johnny Vincent, are essentially nice guys.
  • Guide Dang It: What constitutes a "good" snapshot in the photography missions isn't always obvious, which leads to some "WTF?!" moments as you take the same picture over and over from slightly different angles and distances until you finally find one the game will accept.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the missions added in the Scholarship Edition, "Discreet Deliveries", ended up being remarkably similar to Breaking Bad, to the point that it could have been interpreted as a Shout-Out if the game had been released later than three months after the series began.
  • Idiot Plot: Jimmy could have ended this in chapter 2 if he just went to hunt down Gary down. At least during Chapter 1, Gary was giving Jimmy a good reason to trust him until the end.
    • Not to mention, early on, you have to take pictures of a cheerleader in a risque pose. Later on, when they're plastered around town, you have to spray them with paint. Apparently; Jimmy didn't think of just tearing them down, which wouldn't have gotten the police and adults coming after him.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: Jimmy sometimes, depending on the situation.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Any of the main characters, any of the bisexual boys. But especially Gord Vendome.
  • Magnificent Bastard: This is clearly what the game designers were gunning for with Gary. Fans of the character see him as this, and most fanfiction portrays him as one of these.
  • Marty Stu: Arguably, Jimmy himself, since he can take down legions of people twice his weight and size, without so much as missing a beat, single-handedly (besides some basic advisory) becoming the king of the school and making everyone submit to him. Furthermore, he aces every class with very little effort.
    • Well, that last one qualifies more as pragmatism. The faster you ace the classes, the sooner you don't have to get nailed with truancy everytime you try to do a mission during school hours.
  • Misaimed Fandom: No, you are not supposed to sympathize with or root for Mr. Hattrick during the Hattrick vs Galloway mission series - the game carefully makes Hattrick the single most despicable character in the game. But then, see Strawman Has a Point below.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Anything that has to do with the asylum.
    • Also some of the freaks in the carnival Freakshow are rather creepy.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: As with Rockstar's other games, the Moral Guardians and their protests and attempts to ban the games only ensured that it sold well.
  • Porting Disaster: In the 360 version, the music minigame becomes a Luck-Based Mission because of a bug in registering both bumpers at the same time. Moreover, the release version of the game suffered some pretty nasty glitches and performance problems, which weren't fixed for some time afterwards. Most noticeably there is one errand(find Algie's jacket) which will NEVER appear no matter what you do.
    • The music minigame isn't perfect in the PC version either. Music class REQUIRES you to use left alt and right alt, sometimes at the same time, inability of some (most?) keyboards to register that input be damned.
    • A Christmas mission, exclusive to Scholarship Edition is a nightmare on the PC. The idea is to have Jimmy snipe a few people in order to complete the mission. However, the game has an odd tendency to simply not spawn the very last target at all.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Gary fangirls semi-frequently demonize Jimmy, either to make Gary the good guy or just to get him out of the way of the Gary/Petey slash. And Lola's pretty nasty and immoral, but she's not the force of pure evil that Johnny fangirls turn her into to justify Johnny/Peanut and Johnny/Mary Sue fanfics.
  • Squick: Everything involving Edna the cafeteria lady. If she's not trying to date rape old men, she's intentionally hacking phlegm into the food.
    • And Mr. Burton asking Jimmy to fetch used panties from the girls' dorm.
    • Plus there is the mission where Burton gets tumbled around in a portable toilet and is smothered in feces.
    • You can also make out with one of the old women in town.
  • Strawman Has a Point: There are a series of missions where you defend an alcoholic teacher (Mr. Galloway) from getting fired by another teacher (Mr. Hattrick). Granted, Galloway is pretty much the most popular and well liked teacher in the school and Hattrick is a Rich Bastard. But when Hattrick calls Galloway out on drinking in front of students, he's... kinda right about that actually. Of course, it's stated that years of bullying from Hattrick drove Galloway to the liquor in the first place.
    • Of course, the game is from Jimmy's perspective, and Hattrick is just another bully - if you're getting savaged by teachers, then of course the drunk is preferable to the vicious jerk.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Compare the electronica hook from the Nerds' Vendetta Theme to the one from Trio's "Da Da Da."
  • Villain Sue: Everything goes perfect for Gary Smith right up til his downfall, regardless of how many IQ points the supporting cast has to drop to make it go perfectly for him.
  • The Woobie: Petey.
    • Constantinos is also very Woobie-ish. Several of his lines indicate that he has some sort of depression, and two of his defeat quotes point to him possibly being suicidal as well.


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