YMMV / Bully

YMMV for the film:

  • Hollywood Pudgy: The real Lisa was overweight and was repeatedly tormented by both Bobby and Marty about it. The actress chosen to play Lisa hardly even qualifies as chubby — yet Bobby still calls her a "fat bitch."

YMMV for the video game:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Derby Harrington and Bif Taylor are widely believed to be a homosexual couple. This believe stems from a random line that Dan Wilson, one of the Jocks, says.
    • Is Gary Smith a jerk, or a Jerkass Woobie?
      • Jerkass 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.
    • Pete 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.
      • A third theory is a mix of the two, with Petey having to put up with everybody's abuse until Jimmy comes around, and then becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist inspired by Jimmy enforcing his own "peace" upon the school, hoping this would put an end to the constant clique-based violence that had victimized him and other students, and put a stop to Gary's Evil Plan to put every person in the school against each others' throats. This is supported by Petey giving Jimmy genuine support throughout his quests to bring down most of the cliques (unlike Gary, who was setting Jimmy for a fall right from the start), and desperately tries to warn Jimmy that Gary still had a bigger scheme in the wings once Jimmy became complacent as "King of the School"... and even AFTER Jimmy had gotten himself expelled from Bullworth, and made a mortal enemy of virtually every clique he once led, Petey tells a depressed Jimmy that he shouldn't give up so easily, and that he needed to stop Gary's scheme.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Gary ends up being a bit of a pushover. This wouldn't be a problem if he weren't the final boss of the game and every other boss before him had more challenge to them.
  • Awesome Music:
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Breather Level: The two wrestling lessons during the gym class. They can't be failed: no timer, no health bar, no series of Quick Time Events that prematurely ends the lesson after three failures. You just have to follow the instructions, until you master the combat moves you're being taught.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Gary. He is one of the most popular characters despite being a jerkass.
    • 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 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 Darkhorse:
    • Johnny Vincent is the probably the most popular clique leader, due to his looks and being the most sympathetic clique leader. While most of the other clique leaders are generally assholes to Jimmy until he knocks some sense into them, Johnny actually acted friendly towards him until he earned Lola's attention.
  • 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, and needs Bif to do everything for him. This is especially ironic considering that during Complete Mayhem, he's probably the toughest of the four faction leaders to take down.
    • The Greasers are essentially nice guys.
    • Kirby Olsen is obsessed with shoes.
  • Game Breaker:
    • You can use mopeds for the bike races. Jimmy on a moped + everyone else on mountain bikes = nerfed races.
    • The unlockable go-kart is too awesome for the game world. It is faster than all the cars and will comfortably leave any police or prefects in their dust.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the missions added in the Scholarship Edition, "Discreet Deliveries", ended up being remarkably similar to Breaking Bad.note 
  • Idiot Plot: Jimmy could have stopped Gary as early as Chapter 2 if he made an attempt to track him down. At least during Chapter 1, Gary was giving Jimmy a good reason to trust him until the end.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Jimmy sometimes, depending on the situation.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Any of the main characters and bisexual boys.
  • 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.
  • Misaimed Fandom: 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.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Hattrick wouldn't be out of place as a Grand Theft Auto antagonist, so it's hard to say exactly when he crossed it. It was implied that he was responsible for the friendly fire incident that killed the Hobo's platoon, his bullying towards Mr. Galloway drove him to self-loathing and alcoholism, and even convinced him to commit himself to a mental institution. What's worse is that an unused file had him casually mentioning that his wife committed suicide, only for him to comment on how rude of her it was to do it, so he may have also been an abusive husband.
    • Gary was always a grade-A prick, but most of his actions would have, at worst, gotten Jimmy a beating. That was until he went to the Townies and convinced them to burn down the gym with several students inside.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Jimmy cannot stay up late in the game, as he'll feel sleepy and eventually pass out. While he's sleepy, the screen becomes to get blurry, Jimmy lower his head tired and this begins to slowly creep its the way into the soundtrack. Not to mention that by that time, the whole academy and the town become pretty much almost deserted. It's rather creepy to say the least.
    • Some of the freaks in the carnival Freakshow are rather creepy.
    • Anything that has to do with the asylum.
    • During the development of the game, Rockstar had considered Jimmy being killed in case the player failed to defeat Edgar at the showdown in the chemical plant, where Jimmy would fall into an acid pool, burning alive with Edgar mocked him. There is a recreation of this cutscene, using Edgar's lines where he mocks Jimmy as he dies. The fact that Rockstar considered having a 15 year old die burning in acid while a much older kid mocked him is horrifying to say the least.
  • 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.
  • Polished Port: The Wii version is a pretty straightforward example of this — and probably the best version of the game — including extra content, having somewhat improved graphics, and making solid use of the Wii's motion controls. The Xbox 360 and PC versions are theoretically this, as they also have the extra content along with much-improved graphics compared to the PS2 and Wii versions. However...
  • Porting Disaster:
    • In the Xbox 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.
    • On the PC version, the music minigame isn't perfect. Music class requires you to use left alt and right alt, sometimes at the same time, inability of some keyboards to register that input be damned. Also, 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. Also, the mouse has a weirdly heay inertia when aiming in first person view, which makes sniping sequences harder and more tedious than they should be.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: While the amusement park is the game's Gold Saucer, there's also a ton of races, collecting, and other side stuff to keep you away from the main story for a while.
  • The Scrappy: While not exactly a force of pure evil, Lola is still one of the least likable characters by far. She takes advantage of every guy around her and the only times she's ever nice to anyone, including Jimmy, it's just to gauge how she can exploit them and will immediately turn nasty if she can't. For perspective, even the Alpha Bitch cheer captain Mandy and Rich Bitch preppie girl Pinky are given some moments to show there's more to them than their initial characterization suggests, but Lola's characterization pretty much starts and stops at "self-absorbed, manipulative tramp."
  • 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.
    • Mr. Burton asking Jimmy to fetch used panties from the girls' dorm.
    • There is the mission where Burton gets tumbled around in a portable toilet and is smothered in feces.
    • You can 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 at the school and Hattrick is a rich bastard. However, he's kinda right when Hattrick calls Galloway out for drinking in front of students. Of course, it's stated that years of bullying from Hattrick drove Galloway to drink in the first place.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Gary's betrayal, particularly how shocked Jimmy was that it happened. Despite being a jerkass to him, Jimmy did see him as a friend up until that point.
    • In Scholarship Edition, you are tasked to help a homeless man dressed as Santa. In one of the missions, you have to destroy the "real" Santa's Christmas decorations next to a big Christmas tree, all while he begs you to stop and asks you why are you doing that. When you're done vandalizing the place, he cries out in despair that Christmas is ruined. It's pretty heartwrenching.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Edgar. He ordered his henchmen to perform various reprehensible acts against Bullworth, including setting the gym on fire and nearly killing a few students, all because his parents weren't able to afford to get him into Bullworth Academy. The only reason Jimmy lets his actions slide is because Gary manipulated him into doing it and the only real consequence he faced was a beating from Jimmy, but the punishment nowhere near fits the crime of arson and attempted murder.
  • The Woobie:
    • Petey.
    • Constantinos. 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.
    • Pedro to a lesser degree. One of the youngest kids in Bullworth, he's so paranoid about getting bullied that apparently he wets the bed. His philosophy seems to be "Look down, don't make eye contact with anyone".

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Bully