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Berserk Button / Film

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When a nice, normal character suddenly goes into a rage, you've hit their Berserk Button.

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    Films — Animation 
  • The air conditioner in The Brave Little Toaster actually explodes when another character points out that it was "stuck in the wall".
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie: Do not mention Poopypants' name nor laugh in front of him. He might just snap and lock you inside if you do. Laugh at his FULL NAME, and even BIGGER problems arise!
  • Cats Don't Dance: Darla Dimple is really self-centered when it comes to stardom, so when Danny makes the mistake of upstaging her during a shooting of Lil' Ark Angel, she reveals her true nature by throwing a nasty temper tantrum.
  • Coco: If you're a musician, don't play anywhere near Miguel's Abuelita unless you want her shoe on your face. And, whatever you do, do NOT mention her grandfather, in any way, shape or form.
  • Lilo & Stitch: NEVER call Lilo "crazy" for claiming "Pudge controls the weather", or she'll beat the heck outta you. Why? Because there's reason behind this — Lilo's parents died in a rainstorm.
  • Frozen:
    • Don't ask Queen Elsa sharp questions about fear when it is her own worst enemy. This results in a loss of control that ends up freezing Anna's heart and very nearly killing her (exactly the kind of thing poor Elsa was trying to keep from happening).
    • Don't call Oaken a crook, or he'll throw you over his shoulder and effortlessly toss you out of his store. Without losing his happy persona when returning to attend to the previous customer he was handling before you.
    • Don't throw snowballs at Marshmallow, or he will chase you on foot to scream at you.
    • Disagreeing with Hans in any way is a good way to get threatened with a charge of treason.
  • The Great Mouse Detective features Ratigan (Vincent Price). Ratigan can be quite Affably Evil, but he absolutely flips out when called a rat. A drunken mouse slips and calls him a rat during his Villain Song. His reaction is all the more effective in that after an initial moment of fury, he calms down...instead, he goes extremely quiet, and coolly, calmly, even lovingly, feeds poor Bartholomew to his Right-Hand Cat.
  • Hercules:
    • Thirsty?Video-less explanation 
      • Even the tiniest inconvenience will send Hades off, such as when his minions failed to tell him that the Fates have arrived.
    • Don't mention Achilles' heel to Phil. The rant Phil unleashes when Herc does pretty much explains that Achilles was the best hero Phil ever trained (so far), but that damned heel instead turned him into a full-blown example of a "Never Live It Down" moment for Phil.
  • Home on the Range:
    • Alameda Slim takes offense to his dimwitted lackeys calling his hypnotic voice "singing".
      Slim: My singing?! Birds sing. Saloon gals sing. Little bitty snot-nosed children sing. I yodel! And yodeling is an art!
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • Stoick does not respond well to anyone who trains dragons as opposed to killing them as a Viking is supposed to do. This disappears by the end, thankfully.
    • Outshining Astrid will make her pissed.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Edna Mode does not like it when supers get a supersuit from another designer. Especially if it has a cape. NO CAPES!
    • Jack-Jack when he is refused a cookie. He'll turn into a demonic imp and attack the one who denied him (as Bob learned the hard way).
  • The LEGO Movie: Lord Business gets "super frustrated" when his plans aren't carried out perfectly, or anyone messes with his stuff. Enough that he has to suppress the urge to grab the nearest person and throw them through nearby windows into the Infinite Abyss of Nothingness.
  • The Lion King:
    • Scar does not like being compared to his dead brother Mufasa. It's implied he knows that Mufasa was a better ruler than Scar could ever be, but his ego prevents him from acknowledging the damage his ineffectual rule over the Pridelands has caused.
    • Pumbaa is called a pig, prompting him to say "Are you talking to me?! They call me MISTER PIG!" before attacking. However he doesn't mind when Timon or Simba call him one; it's just strangers.
    • The 2019 remake replaces Pumbaa's dislike of being called a pig to being called fat. So much so that he scolds the hyenas ("I may run from hyenas, but I will always fight a bully!") before bowling them over with his tusks.
  • The Little Mermaid: King Triton does not like humans. At all. Saying anything about humans, especially anything implying that his daughter's fallen in love with one, is a bad idea.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: Sunset Shimmer rather frighteningly explodes at Human Twilight for her use of magic without knowing what she was getting into, clearly directing a lot of it at her own past actions.
  • Peter Pan does not like being called a coward. Captain Hook uses this to advantage in the climax so that he won't fly away "like a cowardly sparrow" when he fights him.
  • Pocahontas: Steal Percy's food, or just mess with him in general, and he will get very angry. Being the movie's Butt-Monkey and Designated Villain will make him inevitably fail at getting revenge, but you should at least be prepared for some running.
    • Also, Pocahontas herself, despite being a Badass Pacifist, absolutely despises it when someone calls her or any of her people "savages".
  • Spilling milk on Puss's famous boots in Puss in Boots is very much not recommended, and is the moment when the dance fight that he is conducting turns into a Sword Fight.
  • Rock-A-Doodle: The Grand Duke of Owls hates Chanticleer with an unbridled passion, to the point where the Duke will attack anyone for simply saying Chanticleer's name.
  • Robin Hood: Downplayed during the Archery competition when it looks like Prince John has Robin Hood at the end of his rope. His calling Robin a traitor when Robin knows that Prince John isn't the rightful ruler activates his Defiant to the End mode.
    Prince John: But traitors to the crown must DIE!
    Robin Hood: Traitor to the crown? That crown belongs to King Richard! LONG LIVE KING RICHARD!
  • In The Prince of Egypt, never suggest that Rameses can't live up to his father's reputation or ask him to sacrifice some of his authority.
    Rameses: [repeatedly] I WILL NOT BE THE WEAK LINK.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Sheila Broflovski absolutely loathes Terrence and Phillip to the point that she starts a war against Canada (where Terrence and Phillip's show is produced) over their movie Asses of Fire making the youth of South Park swear constantly.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Don't call Ralph a "bad guy".
    • Don't call Calhoun "Dynamite Gal". It triggers a flashback of the time she was Widowed at the Wedding.
    • Ralph Breaks the Internet: NEVER, EVER, EVER, LOOK AT DOUBLE DAN'S LITTLE BROTHER! You will be sorry...

    Films — Live Action 
  • Ace Ventura:
    • In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, do not mention Ray Finkle's Super Bowl losing kick in the presence of one Lois Einhorn. "THE LACES WERE IN!"
    • A subversion in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls: In a fight with a crazed Wachootoo tribesman, the tribesman grabs Ace and rearranges his hair into horns, mocking Ace's reputation as the "White Devil". Ace gets up and says that this has gone far enough, "NOBODY! MESSES! WITH THE 'DO!"... and then proceeds to get further pummeled by the tribesman.
  • In Act of Vengeance, the one sure way to enrage Jack is to insult his prowess as a lover. Linda uses this to goad him into coming out of the cage where he is holding Karen so she can attack him.
  • The protagonist of Adam goes ballistic after he learns of a harmless lie of his girlfriend's.
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: Do not call Bernadette by her birth name, Ralph. This very much Truth in Television, as calling any transgender person by their birth name is definitely a bad move. Not only will you piss them off, you may well be putting them in danger.
  • Airplane!: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.. er, co-pilot Roger Murdoch.. doesn't take kindly to the suggestion that Kareem doesn't put forth maximum effort in every NBA game he plays.
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010): The Hatter may be as mad as a box of frogs, but he's among the best of the good guys in Underland and will do anything for his friends. However, if you mention the day his family was slaughtered, or you make one wrong move toward either Alice or the White Queen...suffice it to say that if his eyes change color, run.
  • William from Almost Famous represents this trope nicely. The band Stillwater and their Band Aids use every opportunity to take advantage of him, and he usually lets it happen, but there are moments when he's about had enough:
    Penny: Honey... you're too sweet for Rock 'N' Roll.
    Will: Sweet?... Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark, and dangerous, and pissed off, and I could be very dangerous to all of you! I. Am the enemy!
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Don't call Alvin and Simon's brother Theodore the fatty ratty, or they'll go all Shredder on ya bum.
  • The Back to the Future films: Buford Tannen, who was berserk to begin with, completely loses it when called by his nickname "Mad Dog", which he earned due to his viciousness and tendency to drool.
    • Marty McFly goes off when his courage is called into question, declaring "Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!". While this initially works well, pushing Marty's Berserk Button and allowing him to outmaneuver several future bullies, we also see past, present and future scenarios where this proud attitude causes very bad portents for him, with risk of job loss, crippling physical injury, and death all as possible results. This is a Shout-Out to Rebel Without a Cause.
      • Of course, this is subverted after two movies' worth of Character Development when Marty chooses not to get in a street race with some punks who try to provoke him with this, thereby averting the Bad Future we see in the second movie.
  • Back to School has a teacher played by Sam Kinison who speaks very softly and earnestly until the subject of The Vietnam War comes up, at which point he launches into a screaming rant in Kinison's trademark style.
  • Don't call Barb Wire "Babe" or else, she'll kill you.
  • There is an especially dramatic one in La Belle et la Bete, the 1946 version of Beauty and the Beast. Belle's father is a merchant and she asks him to bring her a rose when he comes back from one of his trips. So when he gets lost and ends up in the Beast's castle, the Beast has no problem with him eating or sleeping there, but he goes beserk when the merchant takes one of the roses in the garden. The roses are what the Beast love most in the world, so he tells the merchant he will kill him, or give him a chance to bring one of his daughters in his place. Seriously, "you stole my rose, prepare to die".
  • The same thing happens in the Faerie Tale Theatre 1984 version, very likely because the Beast was played by Klaus Kinski.
  • Berlin Syndrome: Being called "abnormal" by Clare (which is a very mild way of putting it) causes one of the few times where Andi loses his cool and hits her.
  • In the Swedish war movie Beyond the Border, Aron goes Ax-Crazy when he sees his brother tortured by the Germans.
  • The Big Lebowski: I move we rename this trope "The Sobchak". Witness Walter's epic rage at seeing someone marking a bad bowling roll with the incorrect amount of points that ends with Walter pulling a loaded gun and pointing it at the guy's face.
  • Billy Jack: Do not mistreat children in the presence of Billy Jack. If you do... "I just go BERSERK!!!"
  • In the latter-day Western Bite the Bullet, if you mistreat animals in the presence of Sam Clayton (Gene Hackman), he'll beat you up. If you speak disrespectfully of a prostitute, you'll be lucky if he doesn't kill you.
  • The Blind Side: Usually, Michael is the Gentle Giant. But when an armed drug dealer makes sexual comments about Leigh Anne and Collins, an unarmed Michael hulks out and lays out the smackdown.
  • Blood Diamond's Solomon Vandy goes furious when Leonardo DiCaprio's character Danny Archer calls him a "kaffir" (the African equivalent of the N-word); it results in a serious fight between the two that Archer ultimately has to end by pulling a gun on him.
  • Breaking Away: Whatever you do, do not call Moocher "shorty". He will be more than happy to give your face a quick introduction to his fist.
  • Bugsy: Benjamin Siegel hates being called "Bugsy". This was Truth in Television. He got the name because he tended to "bug out" over small things.
  • Canadian Bacon: Canadians will tolerate you insulting their flag or their anthem. But insult their beer, and everyone in a hockey arena will instantly gang up to attack you.
  • Backstory for Ed, the title character of The Carpenter is that he became so obsessed about building his house that he killed anyone that tried to interfere with it. This continues as his spirit punishes anyone messing with the building.
  • In Casablanca, the song "As Time Goes By" became this for Rick.
    Rick (storming halfway across the cafe): Sam, I thought I told you never to play that... (sees Ilsa sitting there)
  • What finally sets Cheech off in Cheech and Chong's Next Movie is some of Chong's "space coke", which causes him to break through the walls of their house and trash the yard of their neighbor, who had berated the duo throughout much of the movie.
  • Eustace accidentally presses Reepicheep's button when he grabs his tail in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The great Aslan himself gave Reepicheep that tail, and "no one touches the tail, period, exclamation point!"
  • Circus: Moose is generally as easygoing sort of fellow. But anything happening to Gloria will send him into a blind fury where he rips the doors off cars, among other things.
  • Cloud Atlas: The Mexican woman kills the assassin after he shoots her dog and calls her a wetback.
  • The Cotton Club: Dutch Schultz appears to have made a grudging peace with a rival gangster, but the rival won't stop needling him, casually remarking while grazing the buffet, "Aw, what's a Jew but a nigger turned inside out, anyway?" Schultz goes berserk and stabs him to death. Then again, it was never difficult to rile Schultz, in film or real life.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • The Joker in The Dark Knight always gets a little bit more serious whenever someone calls him crazy or a "freak". At first, he merely shows annoyance, but the final time he angrily orders a man cut into pieces and fed to his dogs. Ironically, he tells Batman he's a freak "like him". Which kind of fits the Joker's character of changing things along the way if it benefits him.
    • Do not remove Bane's mask. Ever. When the CIA agent asks him if pulling it off would kill him, Bane calmly remarks, "It would be extremely painful." Literal truth! It's an anasthetic mask that's crucial for his survival due to the injuries he got in the Pit. He then promptly turns the comment into a threat by adding "for you." In their second fight, when Batman damages Bane's mask, Bane ignores all forms of fighting and just starts punching through columns.
  • In the 1982 Film Noir parody Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid the protagonist Rigby Reardon (played by Steve Martin) goes into a homicidal rage every time someone mentions "cleaning woman". This is later used by the female protagonist to save them from the Bad Guys by tricking the main villain into saying the words and thus triggering a Bad Guy-killing frenzy.
  • Paul Kersey of the Death Wish series is an equal-opportunity vigilante crook-killer, but he is a lot more vicious when dealing with rapists, muggers and drug addicts, all of whom were responsible for his greatest tragedies.
  • In The Devil's Double, Uday has a Hair-Trigger Temper and is dangerously unstable at all times, but when he's told that his father's confidant referred to him as a faggot, he loses it and disembowels the guy in front of a room full of people. (Given his extreme machismo, his disturbing relationship with Latif, and...whatever that was with the drag queen, it's not surprising.)
  • In Diner Beth pushes Shrevie's by not keeping his records in order, and even more blasphemously, not knowing who Charlie Parker is.
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story - Watching his "wife" with another man and then laughing at Gordon pushes his berserk button. And proceeds to destroy the entire opposing team. By himself.
  • In Downfall, if you try to surrender on Hitler's watch, or he hears about you going AWOL, you're dead. Hell, disobeying him in any way is likely to have him go off on you at the very least.
  • Duck Soup: President Rufus T. Firefly is prepared to go to war over Ambassador Trentino calling him an "upstart". Later Firefly has calmed down and he and Trentino patch things up, realizing that neither of them can remember the word that set things off. Trentino jokingly tries several possibilities, and unfortunately hits on the right one, which starts the war all over again.
  • Played for Drama in East is East, when George (a Pakistani father with very conservative Muslim views and a Hair-Trigger Temper) snaps during an argument with his British Catholic wife Ella and savagely beats her for calling him "pig-ignorant". In Muslim culture pigs are considered unclean, giving the remark an extra layer of insult that poor Ella never accounted for (Culture Clash is a major theme of the film).
  • In Tim Burton's Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi is having a good day on set, until a well-meaning prop guy compliments him for playing "Boris Karloff's sidekick". Profanity ensues.
  • Elf: You feeling strong? Call Miles Finch an elf one more time. Buddy promptly does just that, resulting in a boardroom brawl between the two.
  • End of Days: The Devil is very fond of his dark longcoat, so damaging it is the most surefire way to piss him off royally. The first time a human does that, he crucifies the man to the ceiling. When Jericho later shoots holes through it during an attack, the Devil grabs him by the neck and threatens to throw him down several stories.
  • Family Reunion: When Richard mentions he got supplies for the planned Winfield family reunion for free via a variety of deals, Elizabeth Winfield yells at him—the first time, by her own admission, she had ever yelled at one of her own students. She prides herself in values and will not stand for her family's name, let alone her own, being cheapened.
  • Fanboys: Only call Han Solo a "bitch" if you want to start a fight. A rather unimpressive fight, but a fight nonetheless.
  • Otto in A Fish Called Wanda does not take kindly to being called stupid at all. Even though, as Wanda lays out in no uncertain terms, he's a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
  • A Fistful of Dollars: "I don't think it's nice, y'all laughing. You see, my mule don't like people laughing. Gets the crazy idea you're laughing at him. Now, if you apologize like I know you're going to, then I might convince him you didn't really mean it."
    • Though this subverted in that Joe is going to kill these men anyway to demonstrate his skills to Don Miguel Rojo.
  • Flyboys. Don't enact a racial stereotype on Skinner. You will get floored without warning and faster than you can react.
  • Ford V Ferrari: When Iacocca relates Enzo Ferrari's insults to Henry Ford II, he shrugs off being called fat and pigheaded with an amused smirk... and then he learns that Ferrari called him a second-rate knockoff of his grandfather, and Ford's face turns to thunder. Cue This Means War!
  • Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan takes great offense at Cunning Carla when she asks if Forrest is "stupid or something". Also, Forrest himself unleashes hell on several occasions when he sees someone mistreating his beloved Jenny.
  • The best way to guarantee a mad monster in Frankenstein is approaching it with fire.
  • One particularly hilarious example in Fred: The Movie; when Fred is told his "girlfriend" has moved, he goes on a rampage and destroys his living room. Because of his sunny disposition, he cleans up afterward.
  • He doesn't have much personality otherwise, but Jason Voorhees has a real soft spot for his mother. And, as Freddy Krueger found out the hard way, he doesn't like it when people pretend to be her or mock his devotion to her. AT ALL. Ginny from Friday the 13th Part 2 was lucky to be only hospitalized after doing the same thing during the climax. He also usually leaves people alone, unless he's provoked by outsiders who dare to enter Camp Crystal Lake, and isn't fond of bullies, given his former life as an ostracized child. And bad things happen to those who take off his mask.
  • The Full Monty: Gaz lashs out at Gerald when he calls him and one of his friends "ugly" in the job club.
  • Get Smart:
    • Don't ever question or mock the head of Control's credentials or Control itself's credentials, or you should pray you don't get a beatdown in front of your fellow members in the cabinet, as the Vice President learned the hard way.
    • When it comes to Agent 99, you can handcuff her to the backseat of the car you hijack, but there's one thing you should never call her, lest you pay the price:
    Agent 23: See, this is your problem! Some men like women who are feminine!
    Agent 99: [disbelieving outrage] I'm not feminine?!
    Agent 23: Nooo.
    Agent 99: I'M NOT FEMININE?!?!?!
    [kicks him in the face, causing him to swerve and brush another car]
  • Ghostbusters (2016) has Erin trying to warn the Mayor to evacuate the city upon learning of the true apocalyptic threat to it, and not doing a very good job of it. It's partly her own fault, as Erin isn't the most socially competent person on the planet to begin with and not in the best of emotional states, but things are definitely not helped when she inadvertently hits the Mayor's Berserk Button, severely pissing him off by comparing him to the Mayor from Jaws.
  • The Gillymuck: Do NOT make fun of the Gillymuck's name. Not if you ever want anyone to see you again.
  • In Go West, Young Lady, Bill flies off the handle when Killer Pete's Firing in the Air a Lot destroys her Endangered Soufflé. She storms downstairs to take on The Gunslinger armed only with a pie.
  • The Godfather: Don't ever tell Michael that you aborted his child.
  • Godzilla:
    • In the original film, Dr. Yamane urges the JSDF not to shine lights on Godzilla during the monster's rampage in Shinagawa. It's explained in the second film, when Yamane speculates Godzilla doesn't like bright lights because they remind him of the glare of the atomic bomb, which turned him into what he is today.
    • Across later films; though he already has a short temper, harming Godzilla's son is most definitely the very last thing you'll ever do. Kumonga, Kamacuras and Destoroyah each had to learn this the hard way.
    • Mothra is one of the most peaceful and benevolent kaiju, but you'd best not touch her egg or kidnap her Shobijin or she'll go full Mama Bear.
    • In Frankenstein Vs Baragon, eating humans sets Frankenstein's Monster off, as Baragon finds out.
    • See below for MonsterVerse examples.
  • Tommy DeVito of Goodfellas normally has a reputation for having a Hair-Trigger Temper, getting pissed off no matter what is said to him. But when "Billy Batts" Devino, a made man, talks about a rather humiliating period from Tommy's past when he was known as "Spitshine Tommy" for shining the other mob dudes' shoes, and then tells Tommy to go get his shine box, Tommy goes ballistic, beating Batts to what appears to be almost certain death in a savage rage. He, Jimmy and Henry Hill then put the body in the trunk of their car, and stop by Tommy's mother's place to get a shovel so they can bury the body. However, his mother invites them to stay over for dinner. To explain the blood splatter on his clothes, Tommy claims that they hit a deer driving over. After dinner, they drive out into the country to find a dumping site when they hear a loud thumping noise coming from the trunk (this is the In Medias Res scene that actually opens the movie; we then go through about an hour of material before we see the events leading up to it) It turns outt Batts is somehow still alive despite the beating. So to finish the guy off more permanently, Tommy stabs Batts eight times with a knife and Jimmy shoots him four times. Then they bury the body on the roadside.
    • This eventually gets Tommy killed right as he himself is going to become a made man, because you do not kill a made man without permission from the made man's bosses unless you yourself want to get whacked.
    • It should be noted that such an incident did really happen with the person Tommy was based on, Tommy DeSimone, according to Henry Hill.
  • The Goonies. First when Mouth tells Chunk he has naked pictures of his mom taking a bath, real cheap, forcing Chunk to break the door open. Second, averted, when Chunk accidentally breaks the water cooler he was drinking from when Mouth thought of putting chocolate on the floor so he can eat through. "Okay Mouth, that's all I can stand and I can't stand no more!"
  • Grand Canyon: Deborah is a struggling yet sensible single mother of two in South Central Los Angeles. The morning after her house is machine-gunned by a neighborhood gang, a door-to-door life insurance salesman stops by to sell her a policy that will cover the costs of her children's funerals. He makes the pitch while her young daughter is listening. She chews him a new one before nearly chasing him off her porch.
  • In Gunless, The Montana Kid does react well to being called "common"; apparently on account of what happened to his father.
  • Hancock:
    Hancock: Call me an asshole, one more time.
    Offender: Asshole... (Hilarity Ensues)
    • Similarly, Mary doesn't like it when someone calls her crazy. This leads to a superpowered battle between her and Hancock.
  • Cheat on Janine with a sexy aspiring singer in He's Just Not That into You? She can rationalize it. Like smoking behind her strenously anti-smoking back?note  It's ON.
  • Hidalgo: You can say whatever you like about Frank Hopkins, but leave his horse out of it. Or very, very bad things will happen.
  • In Highlander, Connor MacLeod's was when The Kurgan revealed he'd raped Heather — and then implied that she enjoyed it. Connor would have fought him on the spot if they hadn't been on holy ground.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:
The Goblin King: I know that sword! It is the Goblin Cleaver! The Biter! The blade that sliced a thousand necks! SLASH THEM! KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!!
  • Hocus Pocus: The generally practical Winnifred Sanderson only fully unleashes her wrath on anyone who dares to call her "ugly", and tortures or pursues the offenders single-mindedly. This eventually leads to her own demise, and that of her sisters.
  • House of 1000 Corpses: the Monster Clown Captain Spaulding is very amused by a pair of would-be robbers sticking a gun in his face and demanding his money. Then one of the robbers yells that he hates clowns, and Spaulding's grin wilts into a sneer. Things get ugly from there.
  • Hulk/The Incredible Hulk (2008): It's pretty much a given you won't like Dr. Bruce Banner when he's angry. Tormenting him is bad enough. Just look at Betty Ross the wrong way, however, and.... HULK SMASH!!!
  • I Shot Jesse James: Better not let Robert Ford catch you talking to his girl Cynthy, even in the most platonic of terms. He killed a man to be with her, and he's more than willing to do it again (as John Kelley soon found out).
  • In Enki Bilal's Immortal, Horus really doesn't like hearing Anubis' name. And no god can help you if you get them mixed up.
    Horus: Don't ever speak that jackal's name again, you understand? Only my name. Only me.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy does NOT like being called "Junior". Also, unless you are want to be slapped in the face, don't commit blasphemy around Henry Jones, Sr.
  • In Insomnia, the killer beat Kay to death because she pushed his. When she came to him for comfort after having a fight with her boyfriend, he came onto her. She laughed at him, and he reacted with violence.
  • Mr. Tibbs's outcry in In the Heat of the Night is the Trope Namer for They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!. Just call him Mr. Tibbs and it'll be much easier. It became so memorable that it became the title for the sequel.
  • The Invisible: Don't call Annie Newton "broken". You may find yourself beaten within an inch of your life and left in a sewer to die.
  • If you're a henchman working for James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organization SPECTRE, do not fail to complete YOUR TASKS — failure to please him is an automatic death sentence. Blofeld runs SPECTRE like a tyrannical dictator — he demands absolute and unquestionable loyalty from his minions, rarely gives them a second chance, and wouldn't hesitate to kill anyone who fails, crosses certain moral boundaries, defects from SPECTRE, or plans to cheat him. Fail your tasks? Get a poisoned dagger to your leg. Dare to question Blofeld? Get thrown into a piranha-infested water pool. Thinking of cheating him or cross certain moral boundaries? Get zapped in an electric chair. Dare to defect from SPECTRE? A goon squad will be sent to hunt you down no matter where you're hiding or located. Organizational discipline within SPECTRE is extremely harsh and notoriously draconian, and to heighten the impact of those who fail him, he often uses the Blofeld Ploy to scare a random but innocent mook, only to suddenly kill the actual target when the supposed one is off-guard.
    • Speaking of James Bond, he accepts the violent deaths of those in the world of espionage as a fact of life; but when innocent people end up getting killed as collateral (like Felix Leiter's wife Della from Licence to Kill), on the other hand, that's when you find yourself on his bad side. And as Sanchez, the Big Bad of that film, soon finds out, Bond's bad side is a dangerous place to be. To put it in perspective, Bond was perfectly willing to be fired from MI6 over it.
  • Rusty Nail of Joy Ride 3: Roadkill is the standard member of society until you pull a mean joke on him or insult his profession. He'll dish out some serious payback.
  • In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Fridge does NOT take kindly to Spencer when he called him a dumbass. Spencer learnt this the hard way and paid one of his lives when Fridge pushed him off a cliff.
  • In Jurassic World, Owen Grady is very protective of his four Velociraptors and doesn't appreciate anyone treating them as mere assets or harmless animals without feelings and personalities. Hoskins gets Owen in a bad mood with constantly talking about how he can tame raptors and use dinosaurs for military applications, and earns a punch to the face when he presses the issue.
    Hoskins: The mother hen has finally arrived—
    Owen: [punches him in the face] Get the hell out of here and stay away from my animals.
  • Kill Bill: Do not disparage the American or the Chinese side of O-Ren Ishii's heritage if you are attached to your head and wish to remain so.
    O-Ren Ishii: (calmly and sincerely) As your leader…I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you're unconvinced that a particular plan of action I've decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you, and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. (less calmly) The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is... I collect your fucking head. (shows Tanaka's head) Just like this fucker here. (shouting angrily) Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, NOW'S THE FUCKING TIME!
  • King Kong (2005). When the group gets dropped into insect trench, there are two examples of this: the first is Lumpy, the chef, whose Heterosexual Life-Partner Choy (who he was defending the whole film) dies from the fall. When the worms start coming from the mud, he's cut off from what other survivors there are, and surrounded by nightmarish creatures, they make the horrific mistake of trying to eat Choy's body. Lumpy proceeds to go Ax-Crazy with a machete, killing several of them even while one of them is eating his leg. He only gets killed when they've disabled one of his legs, an arm, and then got a hold of his head. And even then he's not screaming in terror: he's still swinging the machete while howling in anger.
    • The other is Carl, the director. It's debatable whether or not he genuinely valued the footage on the camera more than his crew, but it's indisputable that he was protecting it with his life, and the fall broke the camera, and ruined the film. He's got tears in his eyes and a look of utter despair... then he throws an off-screen elbow at something clawing at his side. Broken carapace flies around, and he promptly turns into Shaolin monk with a bo-staff as he smashes through the small bugs and cold-cocks a massive centipede-thing with one of the camera's tripod legs.
    • Not to mention Kong himself, who goes completely bananas when Ann is being threatened or taken away from him.
  • Professor Marcus, of The Ladykillers (1955), tends to flip when called 'crazy'. This is usually accompanied by an over-the-top crescendo of epic proportions from the score, and tell-tale looks of expectant horror on the faces of the gang. Luckily, something usually happens to interrupt Marcus.
  • If you are attached to your life and your bodily integrity, do not steal the Leprechaun's gold.
  • In Live Free or Die Hard, Big Bad Thomas Gabriel decides to kidnap McClane's daughter Lucy as revenge for messing up his plans and for killing his girlfriend. That's the precise moment when McClane goes from sarcastic to cold and quiet and very calmly says he's going to go kill Gabriel and get his daughter back.
  • In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Big Chris is intimidating and aggressive, but ultimately calm and controlled in all his dealings. Until someone makes the mistake of threatening his son.
  • Lucky Bastard: Porn star Ashley Saint has an entire control panel of Berserk Buttons: Don't ask her out after the shoot's done. Don't address her by her real name. Don't mention her kids by their real names. And whatever you do, do NOT bring up her past as a Las Vegas hooker.
  • Machete: After seeing that his brother Padre has been killed, Machete sends this text to Padre's murderer:
    "You just fucked with the wrong Mexican"
  • In Maid to Order (1987), if you value your job with him, do not bring up Stan Starkey's bandage.
  • In Man of Steel, the normally calm Clark goes nuts when Zod threatens Martha Kent.
    Superman: You think you can threaten my mother!?
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martians seem to really hate birds. They drop their "peaceful aliens" act just to kill a dove, and the Martian girl gets killed because she stops to kill a bird while trying to escape with the president.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor:
      • Thor is grudgingly willing to leave Jotunheim without a fight, until one of the Frost Giants calls him "Princess". Then it's on. This is the Wolverine of the Norse Pantheon. He was the embodiment of the rowdiest, strongest, most fearsome Norse warriors: berserkers. It's carried through in the adaptations. Becomes funnier when you see the look on Thor's companions' faces when it happens. Loki puts it best: "Damn".
      • Pretty much any insult will push Thor to a towering rage, at least before he learns humility in his banishment to Earth.
    • While we're on the subject of The Avengers, several of the heroes, Dr. Banner aside, seem to have a button-pushing issue at some point.
  • Cap doesn't like Tony's selfish attitude; when Tony suggests he would Take a Third Option to laying his life down for a comrade, Cap finally has enough and tells him to suit up, intending to fight him.
  • Clint Barton/Hawkeye does not take kindly to learning he was Loki's unwitting pawn and as such, responsible for several deaths and nearly killing Black Widow.
  • Don't tell Thor to put his hammer down. As Cap found out, he'll put it down...on your head.
  • In general for Stark, his complicated relationship with his father. Part of the reason Tony and Steve don't get along is because Steve unintentionally pushes that button. Invoked by Zemo in Captain America: Civil War to drive the two apart.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy:
    • Don't touch Peter Quill/Star-Lord's Walkman, or you will be in for a world of pain. Initially Played for Laughs, it later turns out that this is because it's one of the only things he has left to remember his mother by.
    • Rocket Raccoon does not take kindly to being called an animal. This is because he's the result of several horrible experiments, was taken apart and put back together again, then had cybernetic implants put in, seemingly while he was awake and conscious.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron completely loses it whenever someone compares him to Tony Stark. Or even hints that he might be connected to Tony Stark. Such as Ulysses Klaue learns.
    Ultron: It's just I don't understand - DON'T COMPARE ME WITH STARK!
  • In the film version of M*A*S*H, a player from the rival team tries to get one of the black players thrown out of the football game by hitting his Berserk Button (calling him a coon) and causing the player to attack him. Spearchucker Jones (played by Fred Williamson) decides that two can play at this game and suggests the player hit his Berserk Button by calling into question the virtue of his beloved sister. This other player attacks him and is himself thrown out.
  • The Matrix:
  • Smith has his own button. Once Neo breaks his sunglasses, his attacks become less of the graceful, smooth movements of a martial arts master and visibly more aggressive more akin to a street fighter.
  • In Men in Black 3, unless you want a spike through the face, don't call a certain Boglodite "Boris the Animal". "IT'S! JUST! BORIS!!!"
  • The thought of your favourite fictional character being Killed Off for Real is something that makes all fans shudder, but Annie Wilkes (played with considerable menace by Kathy Bates) in the film adaptation of Misery takes being a Loony Fan to nightmarish degrees. When she reads a draft of Paul Sheldon's latest Misery novel and learns of the titular heroine's Death by Childbirth, Annie's mood is... foul indeed.
    Annie: You dirty bird... How could you? She can't be dead! Misery Chastain cannot be dead!
    Paul: Annie, in 1871 women often died in childbirth, but her spirit is the important thing, and Misery's spirit is still alive.
    Annie: (violently slamming the injured Paul's bed, hurting him) I DON'T WANT HER SPIRIT!! I WANT HER!! AND YOU MURDERED HER!
  • In both the book and the film of Mommie Dearest, Joan Crawford, portrayed as an abusive mother, is reduced to shrieking rage at the discovery that her daughter is using wire hangers in her closet.
  • In Monsters, fighter jets flying overhead send the giant aliens into a killing rampage, presumably because they've come to associate the sound with Death from Above.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Overall, Ghidorah is one of the few things that truly pisses Godzilla off. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla is abnormally agitated when patrolling Antarctica before Ghidorah awakens, and the look on Godzilla's face when he and a reawakened Ghidorah first see each-other again makes it clear they mutually despise each-other. In Godzilla vs. Kong, the entire reason why Godzilla's on a global rampage is because he can sense Mechagodzilla's signal and identifies it as a rival to his dominance, with the novelization confirming that Godzilla recognizes that the Mecha signal's source is part-Ghidorah.
    • Kong has a few due to his Dark and Troubled Past. The sight of Skullcrawlers is just one after they killed his parents when he was an infant. Threatening humans he considers his own such as Weaver or Jia is another such Button.
    • Downplayed with Madison Russell, but the Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong novelizations both show that it really gets on her nerves when people treat her like she's Just a Kid based on her young age, and her reaction is quite justified considering what she's accomplished and proven about herself in both her film appearances.
    • Besides Godzilla, a couple of the other three big hitter kaiju in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) demonstrate their own respective Berserk Buttons. Mothra, arguably the most benevolent Titan yet encountered, is aggravated when Monarch activates a containment field around her which has a bug-zapper effect on some of the normal-sized insects in her temple. Ghidorah goes berserk whenever he hears the ORCA's signal, stopping whatever he's doing to hunt down the signal's source and make it stop, usually with extreme prejudice; this is prominent after Ghidorah usurps Godzilla's dominance of the other Titans, with Ghidorah at one point notably abandoning the chance to kill a downed Godzilla when he hears the ORCA's signal again.
      • In the same film, and in its tie-in graphic novel prequel Godzilla Aftershock, Emma Russell tends to crack and lose her composure when someone brings up her daughter or dead son and questions her sanity in tandem.
    • In Godzilla (2014), Big G's mere presence is a Berserk Button for both of the MUTOs, driving them to get up and fight him off due to him being a natural enemy of their kind.
  • In The Muppet Movie, Miss Piggy apparently has two: pig/pork jokes, and threatening Kermit. Professor Krassman makes the mistake of hitting them both at once.
    Krassman: Say goodbye to the frog, pig!
    Miss Piggy: Why should I?
    Krassman: Because in sixty seconds, he won't know you from kosher bacon!
    Miss Piggy: THAT DOES IT!
  • Muppets from Space. Ed.
  • The Muppets: Animal's trigger word is drums. Not a good thing for a drummer. By the time the film begins, he's in court-ordered therapy over his rage issues, with Jack Black informing the other Muppets not to use the d-word. Problem is, it's also Jack's trigger word too. As is "Tuesday", which quickly leads to a huge brawl breaking out in the therapy group.
  • Jason REALLY doesn't appreciate Duncan saying the word "fuck" in Mystery Team.
  • The Naked Gun: Frank Drebin pummels the anti-America cabal members after they insult The United States as weak and cowardly. [1], [2], [3]
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? George "Babyface" Nelson is very chipper until someone calls him "Babyface". The real Nelson also hated the nickname, as one can imagine.
  • Once Upon a Time in America: When David "Noodles" Aaronson dismisses a bad idea by telling his best friend Max Bercovicz, "you're really crazy", Max violently attacks him while screaming, "Don't ever call me crazy!" This happens twice. It turns out that Max's father had been committed to an insane asylum, and Max was terrified of meeting the same fate.
  • Otamyas in Daft Queens does not "like... being... called... Mother... Fucker!"
  • Phantom of the Paradise: Winslow goes ballistic any time it is mentioned/suggested that the Juicyfruits perform songs from his Cantata. The first time it's suggested by Philbin, he gets slammed against the wall. Later, assembling tiddlywinks in Sing-Sing Penitentiary, Winslow hears on the radio that the Juicyfruits will be opening the Paradise with his music: he bashes a guard unconscious and leaps into the production chute, escaping prison and attempting to trash the Juicyfruits' stored records.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Jack has two: his ship, Black Pearlnote  and rum. When his first mate, Barbossa, stole his ship and marooned him on an island prior to the events of the first film with just a pistol and a single bullet, and Jack managed to escape from that island, he kept the pistol and bullet with him as a constant reminder of his debt to be repaid; he intended to use that bullet to end Barbossa's life, and to that end, he carried around that pistol without shooting it for a decade, having no intention of using it on anyone else to save his life. But when he's marooned on that island again, his sole consolation being the ample supply of rum there, and then he awakens to find that Elizabeth has burned it all, he considers shooting her with that pistol…if only for a few seconds.
    • In At World's End, Bootstrap seeing Will get stabbed by Davy Jones. He then proceeds to tackle Jones in a flying rage, allowing Captain Jack and Will to stab Davy's heart.
    • This seems to be Captain Teague's reaction to anyone who questions the Pirates' Code or proposes they ignore it for the sake of their own interests. An unfortunate Mook of one of the Pirate Lords learned this the hard way.
    • In the fourth film, Jack lunges for Barbossa's throat and has to be restrained when he learns that Black Pearl has sunk while Barbossa was its captain.
    • Falling victim to an Indy Ploy, or Plan, or Batman Gambit of Jack's will be a surefire way to set the unwilling victim off.
  • The Pitch Black DVD special feature Johns Chase Log explains exactly why Riddick seems to harbor a large amount of animosity to Johns, compared to.... well, nearly everyone else he meets. The way that Johns managed to draw out Riddick after months of chasing was to threaten to kill children at gun point until Riddick gave himself up. A moment of crossing the Moral Event Horizon if there ever was one. Johns almost certainly would have gone through with it if Riddick had called his bluff, judging by how quickly Johns decides that they should sacrifice the young child of the group.
  • Planet of the Apes:
    • As revealed in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the Apes get angry and defensive (in one case violently so) when called "monkeys". Also Don't try to get Zira to eat bananas.
    • In Battle, the gorillas get really mad when humans say 'no'.
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes:
      • Caesar's berserk button was attacking Will or his father. He mangled their neighbor's finger when he got aggressive with Charles.
      • And Bright Eyes' was when she thought the humans were going after baby Caesar.
    • Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a laboratory ape who got experimented on before he was uplifted. As a result, he harbors a big grudge against humans and the merest mention of them sends him into a rage. Notably, at the start of the movie, before the apes know there are any humans around, he's a pretty chill and friendly guy. Once the humans show up though... well, to say he goes off the deep end is a massive understatement.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Pikachu is trying to decipher Mr. Mime's miming until Tim bluntly tells him that Mr. Mime's saying he can go fuck himself. Suffice it to say, Mr. Mime was lucky that it knew Barrier.
  • Police Academy: Hightower, despite his intimidating height, is an all around nice guy. His chosen profession before enrolling in the police academy was even a florist, but do not say anything racist around him, especially directed at the meek little Hicks. No one had ever seen him get pissed before, but as soon as the slur was uttered everyone present said "oh shit" and tried to head him off. He single handedly overturned a police car with the offending person in it.
  • Gene Wilder's comic screen persona is largely based on the Berserk Button. He almost always plays characters who start out calm until something sets them off. He established this shtick in The Producers ("I'M HYSTERICAL!") and continued to use it in many of his subsequent roles.
  • In The Protector or Tom-Yum-Goong, you will not mess with Tony Jaa's elephants.
  • Pulp Fiction: Do NOT fuck Marsellus Wallace like a bitch (in fact, do NOT fuck him, period, unless your name happens to be Mia Wallace), or you will be fucked, all right—fucked like an unarmed idiot confronted by a pair of armed hitmen (one of whom happens to be erudite). If you're lucky, you'll just lose your L.A. privileges (and the main reason that was settled on was because Butch saved his life — when he turned around and bet on himself after agreeing to throw a fight, Marsellus was fully prepared to "scour the earth" for him). If you're really unlucky (in the case of his rapist Zed), he will "get medieval on your ass."
  • In Punch-Drunk Love, Barry seems to have anger issues, lashing out in periodic bouts of impotent rage. After some thugs hurt Lena, we learn that he has been lashing out to manage his rage...because if he doesn't, he can be very, very dangerous.
  • There are a couple of things that tick off the kidnapped heroine and cause her to Take a Level in Badass in P2: seeing a video of her kidnapper/stalker molesting her, and then hearing him call her the c-word.
  • In The Quick and the Dead:
    • Outlaw Dog Kelly is so named because of an incident in his Backstory where he was forced to eat his beloved dog or face starvation. Any mention of his nickname or the incident in question is a good way to seriously piss him off, as evidenced in the deleted scene when The Lady teases him about it.
    • Speaking of The Lady, she has two:
      • The first one is Herod, who she has sworn vengeance against for forcing her to try to Shoot the Rope to keep her father from being hanged when she was just a little girl, resulting in her shooting her father in the head instead.
      • The Lady also went for blood when her second opponent, Eugene Dred, raped Katie, the young girl who she had befriended and who looked up to her.
  • Do not call Jim Stark of Rebel Without a Cause "chicken". His overreaction to this insult gets him into a fair amount of trouble, and even ends up getting people killed.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera:
  • Rock 'n' Roll High School. Never try to burn a pile of your students' rock n roll records, or else they will take over the school with help from The Ramones.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show:
    • Do NOT, under any circumstances, make Dr. Frank N Furter jealous. You WILL regret it. This is evident when just realizing Rocky and Janet had slept together causes Frank to go into a psychotic rage and starts to chase Janet all over the castle.
    • Making Riff-Raff jealous is just as bad...if not worse. Case in point, Richard O'Brien had stated in an interview that Riff's main reason for killing Frank was purely out of jealousy.
  • If you insult C.D.'s nose in Roxanne, prepare to be shown up, then decked!
  • Saps At Sea - in this Laurel and Hardy film, do NOT blow a horn of any sort in Ollie's presence. After his nerve-shredding work in a horn factory, the merest sounding of one - "Horns! HORNS!!!" - will turn him into a terrifying berserker ready to beat the crap out of whoever was responsible.
  • Scanners: Darryl Revok does not sound like Dr. Ruth. He sounds like Revok. Darryl. Revok. ...Er, that's not a reference to the sex-talk Dr. Ruth, by the way.
  • Two things are guaranteed to set off Tony Montana in Scarface. The first is trying to kill a woman or child in his presence, or trying to make him do the same, as he "doesn't need that shit in his life", as a hitman working for Sosa learns the hard way. He also gets increasingly violent whenever anyone so much as touches his sister Gina, to the point that when he caught his buddy Manny with her (after he had married her without Tony's knowledge), Tony gunned him down.
  • David Greene in School Ties is a perfectly nice, polite guy until you say something anti-Semitic around him.
  • Serenity:
    • While River's rampage at the Maidenhead bar triggered by a Fruity Oaty Bars commercial was very much a Manchurian Agent style activation of her assassin abilities, the same cannot be said about Simon getting shot by the Reavers during the film's climax, where she got very angry, very calmly.
    • Mal and Zoe also have a Berserk Button in regards to Serenity Valley. When Jayne, in the middle of ripping Mal's leadership abilities, accuses him of getting everyone on his side killed in that battle, Zoe, the other major survivor of the battle, gives him a high-quality Death Glare and tells him very calmly, "You want to leave this room." Jayne gets the hint and backs off.
    • Simon has a general Berserk Button as well in regards to River being put in danger. After the first job Mal takes her on during the movie, a job which almost gets everyone on the job eaten by Reavers, Simon hauls off and decks Mal when he and the others make it back to Serenity.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Frank Pontipee does not like being reminded that his full first name is "Frankincense". He starts a brawl with two of his brothers for telling Milly about it and during the Barn Raising he struggles to contain his temper after a rival mocks his name.
  • In Sightseers, Chris is driven to murder by a man who drops an ice cream wrapper in a museum and won't pick it up.
  • Never tell Freeman Lowell (in the film Silent Running) that plants don't matter. Or imply that synthetic food is better than the grown kind. Ever.
  • Sky High (2005): Gwen/Sue Tenny/Royal Pain hates when Stitches calls her "Daddy's little girl".
  • In Snatch., you don't ever want to hurt a pikey's family. It may not be immediate, but your demise is a foregone conclusion.
    Turkish: For every action, there is a reaction. And a pikey reaction... is quite a fucking thing.
  • There's a lovely scene in Sneakers where a guard makes the mistake of addressing Donald Crease note  as "Midnight". Among the havoc this brings down on the idiot, this causes Crease to loose a Precision F-Strike at him. In a PG-rated film.
    Crease (in an extraordinarily quiet and controlled voice): Did I ever tell you why I left the CIA?
    Mother: Umm... no.
    Crease (still in the same very quiet voice): My temper.
  • Spaceballs:
    • Princess Vespa does not like people shooting at her hair. Emphasized by her quickly going from someone who Doesn't Like Guns to someone who can use one on them like a Marine.
    Princess Vespa: My hair! He shot my hair! Son of a bitch!
    • Never perform an important task Dark Helmet was planning to do, or he will castrate you with the Schwartz.
    Dark Helmet: What!? You went over my helmet!?
  • Space Jam:
    • Lola Bunny goes into a basket-busting frenzy whenever anyone calls her "Doll".
    • Michael Jordan has a few of these: Don't call him wussy man, don't call him chicken, don't call him washed up, and especially don't call him baldy.
  • Stand by Me:
    • Teddy Duchamp goes from mocking to frothing in seconds if you insult his dad's sanity. This is an odd case, since his dad once disfigured him on purpose.
    • Later in the movie, Vern flips out on Teddy when Teddy calls him "pussy" one too many times.
  • Star Trek (2009):
    • It is perfectly okay to talk shit about Commander Spock's Momma... as long as you do it while he's under heavy sedatives and has all four limbs tied down. Otherwise, you are going to get curb-stomped. Epically.
    • Captain Nero seems in command of his emotions until you get on the subject of the destruction of Romulus. Which he saw happen. Nero will get very angry if anyone suggests to him that it didn't get destroyed in this timeline. And bad things tend to happen to...well, the universe when Nero gets pissed off.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness:
    • Spock when Kirk dies from radiation poisoning from having to enter the energy core to manually fix the Enterprise after Khan shot it. Beating Khan to death, considering Spock was all originally for a fair trial for Khan, until Uhura tells him to stop is some serious berserk button issues.
    • Unless you wish to face the wrath of Lieutenant Uhura, do not hurt Spock. You have been warned.
      • Also, lest you wish to face the wrath of the Klingons and Lieutenant Uhura, do not interrupt Uhura while she's negotiating with the Klingons.
    • Threatening Khan's crew or implying that they're dead is a seriously bad idea. Admiral Marcus found that one out the hard way.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Return of the Jedi, Luke is trying to keep his anger in check to avoid falling to The Dark Side, but then Vader threatens to do something to Leia, who is the only family he has left. What happens next seems to take Vader by surprise as he cuts off Vader's sentence, knowing Vader was about to say she will turn, or another terrible thing would happen to her.
    • Before Anakin turns to the dark side, touch Anakin's loved ones and DIE. Even after he turns, loved ones are still a Berserk Button. See the beginning of his duel with Obi-Wan. At the end of Return of the Jedi, what's strong enough to break Vader's addiction to the Dark Side? His Berserk Button regarding the death of one of his family, even one he's barely seen for over 20 years and never really knew, that's what.
    • Do NOT call General Grievous a droid. Also, don't even suggest that his transformation into a cyborg was not his choice.
    • Taunt Hux's mother at your own peril.
    • Let the Wookie win. Yes, people very rarely consider the feelings of droids, but droids aren't likely to rip someone's arm clear out of its socket because they're a Sore Loser.
  • Subverted in Straw Dogs (1971): Dustin Hoffman does go completely homicidal when the lads try to break into his house, but he remains entirely calm throughout.
  • Terry Tsurugi, The Street Fighter, has two major buttons:
    • He hates those who go back on promises, as his two clients from the start of the movie find out when they can't afford to pay him for a job he did for them.
    • If he finds out that you are a member of the Yakuza, expect no mercy.
  • Speaking of Street Fighter, resident hammy villain General M. Bison weaves back and forth between being Affably Evil and Chewing the Scenery, until someone makes the mistake of calling him insane.
  • Stuart Little: Don't call Stuart a rat around George.
  • Superbad: Spitting on Officer Slater is one shot of getting whacked with a baton. The teen with the mullet learned this the hard way.
    Mullet Bully: Fucking pigs! (Mullet Bully spits, Officer Slater gets splashed. Slater immediately points his nightstick at the punk.)
    Mullet Bully: Oh, shit. (Officer Slater swings his baton, knocking the spitting idiot out.)
    Officer Slater: Nice mullet, asshole.
  • Tall Tale: You can insult Pecos Bill or his friends. You can even insult his momma, or his horse. But don't you EVER insult Texas.
  • Ted: The mere mention of Teddy Ruxpin will cause the title character to kick your ass!
  • The Ten Commandments:
    • Never interrupt Jannes the High Priest of Egypt in the middle of his long-winded proclamations or the pompous old windbag will threaten you with the point of a sword snatched from the nearest guard!
    • A less humorous example is never disobey God or endanger anyone under His protection. You will hear from Him in a way you won't like...
  • There Will Be Blood: Do not, in any way, ask Daniel Plainview for money, or even slightly insinuate that you want to mooch off him, or else he will murder you. That is Not Hyperbole, just ask his brother. Or his son-in-law.
  • This Is England. Don't mention the Falklands War in front of Shaun.
  • Another man whose horse you shouldn't insult, even slightly: D'Artagnan from The Three Musketeers. He won't even challenge you to a duel; he'll just charge with intent to run you through. At least, that's what he does in the Douglas Fairbanks incarnation (1921).
    • The funniest thing about that is that D'Artagnan is fully aware of what a crummy horse it is — he sells it the minute he gets to Paris. He's just looking for an excuse to run somebody through.
  • In 1944, both The Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello made use of an even older vaudeville routine called "The Stranger with a Kind Face" (allegedly created by Joey Faye) in which the words "Niagara Falls" serve as a trigger for a violent outburst by one of the characters. A variation of the same routine (the keyword was "Martha"note ) showed up in an episode of I Love Lucy, too.
    "NIAGARA FALLS!! Sloooooooooowly I turned....."
    Step by step... inch by inch...
    • In another Stooges short, Curly goes into an Unstoppable Rage whenever he hears "Pop Goes the Weasel". Moe and Larry use this to turn him into a champion boxer.
    • Let's face it... Moe has a Berserk control panel, mostly directed towards incompetence from his two companions. If your name is Larry, Curley, Shemp, Joe or Curley Joe, and you manage to screw up in Moe's presence, you will end up on the receiving end of a slap, eye poke, nose-twist, or the dreaded 81C. At the very least.
  • The author from Throw Momma from the Train has absolutely no intention of doing what the title suggests, no way no how, until Mama suggests a better phrase for his book than either of the two he'd been trying to choose between.
  • Tokyo Zombie: "He did it to you, didn't he?" - said by Mii-chan to Fujio a few times, then used to get him mad in the final fight.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • Don't you dare harm any human in front of Optimus Prime, especially humans who are particularly close to him. He WILL scare the crap out of you, like what he did to Sector Seven, who kidnapped Sam and Mikaela. Or beat you senseless, like what he did to Megatron, Starscream and Grindor when they captured Sam and tried to get his brain. he destroyed the Fallen, who was endangering the whole human race. And brutally cleaving Megatron's head in half and then using the latter's gun to blow Sentinel Prime's head off for slaughtering thousands of people and several of his friends.
    • Similarly, don't threaten or kill Bumblebee's friends. He might be mute, and he might be the Kid-Appeal Character, but there's a reason why Optimus made him Sam's guardian. He curb-stomps Rampage and Ravage brutally when the former threatens Sam, and when Soundwave has Wheeljack/Que executed in the following movie... heads don't go rolling, they go flying.
    • Don't Rickroll Bumblebee.
  • Reginald Charming of Tricky People behaves fairly professionally for much of his screentime. However, as Lyric discovers the hard way, lying to him is a quick way to send him over the edge.
  • In the Norwegian Found Footage film The Troll Hunter, the titular Trolls become psychotically violent and aggressive if they can smell Christians in the vicinity. Apparently, it comes from when Christianity arrived in pagan Scandinavia and began pushing out the old beliefs; the Trolls, who have lived in Scandinavia since ancient times, must view Christians as an invading threat to their habitat.
  • In True Romance, mafia gangster Vincenzo Coccotti is called in to find Clarence Worley, who killed a pimp in his employ and unwittingly took off with the mob's drugs. Vincenzo pays a visit to Clarence's father Clifford. Knowing that Vincenzo is going to kill him no matter what, Clifford endeavors to piss him off so that he'll die without giving up the location of his son, which he does by going into one hell of a speech about how "Sicilians were spawned from niggers". And it works.
  • Undercover Brother:
    • "You mess with the fro, you got to go."
    • Conspiracy Brother has a Hair-Trigger Temper and flips out at seemingly random word choices that have an etymological connection to color. Undercover Brother tells him "Good morning," accusing Undercover Brother of being a spy. According to Conspiracy Brother, the word "good" comes from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word for white, and the expression "good morning" is actually code for killing black people.
    • Mr. Feather, when he realizes that he's being subconsciously influenced by black culture.
    • Lance, the meek Token White member of the BROTHERHOOD. When he's called a "sissy", he pulls a man's heart out of his chest, rips another guy's head and spinal column clean out of his body (c.f. the title creature in Predator 2), and squashes the speaker's head between his hands.
  • The Untouchables (1987):
    • In what seems to be a bit of a Delayed Reaction to a berserk button, Al Capone talks about "enthusiasms... enthusiasms... enthusiasms...", and then he brings out a baseball bat, and then... oh, my!
    • The mostly calm Eliot Ness finally cracks and shoves Frank Nitti off a roof when he brags that he'll walk free from court after killing Malone.
  • Venom: Don't call the eponymous symbiote a parasite.
  • The Waterboy is about a college waterboy who gains incredible adrenaline-based tackling powers when anyone insults his beloved H2O or his beloved momma.
  • An unusually dark, but still funny example in Where the Truth Lies: "You call any Jew on this planet anything you like, but nobody calls my partner a kike! You understand?" Vince is repeatedly bludgeoning the man's increasingly bloody face against the floor as he says it.
  • White Dog: The titular dog has been trained by his Nazi owners to viciously attack anyone with dark skin. As a result, he's normally calm, friendly, and well-behaved, but he flies into a rage whenever he sees a black person.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Eddie Valiant does not work for Toons. Also, don't even think about sitting in his brother's chair. It's an Empty Chair Memorial for Teddy and he doesn't want it disturbed.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Veruca Salt, as the worst Spoiled Brat of the four Spoiled Brats, cannot handle being told that she cannot have whatever she wants, and will sometimes go on a destructive rampage when this happens, such as in her main song "I Want It Now!"
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Do not call "Mad Max" at home on Tuesday nights when The Equalizer is on.
  • Wolves: After the Catapult Nightmare, Cayden's first major symptom of lycanthropy happens when he's fouled at a football game. Lying in the grass with a bloody nose, he looks up and sees his attacker showboating and loses his shit. He leaps about twelve feet through the air and beats the tar out of the guy, actually leaving fist-shaped dents in his helmet. It's not clear if the guy is okay later, and the incident probably doesn't help when Cayden is accused of murder.
    Cayden: Now, any guy in this situation would be angry. But I think we can agree that this was... not normal.
  • The Woman: Both times Chris Cleek is told he can't do something, he beats up the person who said it while screaming, "I CAN'T!? I CAN'T!?" several times.
  • X-Men Film Series: