Follow TV Tropes


Berserk Button / Live-Action TV

Go To

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

  • 30 Rock: If you eat Liz Lemon's food, she'll cut you so bad you'll have a chin. You'll all have chins!
    Devon Banks: You don't tell me what kind of pizza to like!
  • Adam-12:
    • Malloy doesn't take kindly to Dirty Cop stuff, and he ratcheted it up quite a few degrees in an ep where the cop was involved in blackmail and dragged Pete into it, trying to use their friendship. In the final scene, he tried to say Pete owed him because he'd saved Pete's life twice, and that only made Pete even madder.
    • Advertisement:
    • Then a few seasons later, a child molester who nearly killed a six-year-old says she asked for it. Police Brutality ensues, followed by a long dénouement of a What the Hell, Hero? nature.
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: "Yellow Fever": Bus Driver Stu Benedict's Berserk Button is the song "If You're Happy and You Know It." He and his girlfriend, Sally Knorp, loved that song... but then Sally broke up with him. AGAIN. Over NOTHING!!!
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Never refer to Agent May as "The Cavalry".
    • Calling Daisy Johnson Skye, the name she chose for herself without knowing her birth name, will result in Cal angrily screaming, "That's not her name!" Later, however, after her birth name is revealed, Coulson refers to her as Daisy in conversation with Cal in an attempt to placate him, only for Cal to scream at him for that and rail about how she's Daisy to him, but not to anyone else. Coulson doesn't know what to do with this.
  • Advertisement:
  • In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Crackpot", a man flies into a rage when another man accidentally gets his suit dirty. It's not what it seems, though.
  • All The Small Things: The normally-placid Kyle physically attacks an antagonist who speaks badly of Tom DeLonge, Kyle's favourite singer.
  • All That: Don't refuse Ms. Piddlin's peas.
  • Almost Live!: The "Mind Your Manners With Billy Quan" skits. Seriously, when you're around Billy, mind your manners.
  • In Auction Kings, Cindy hates when people win an item at auction and then don't pay for it. Cindy makes Paul a Medal of Dishonor when he does it. Everyone else goes on the Wall Of Shame.
  • In Babylon 5, a surefire way to anger a Vorlon is to ask it "What do you want?" This is because that is the question their old rivals the Shadows ask other races to determine their identities. The Shadows for their part aren't particularly angered when asked the Vorlon's question "Who are you?" but do avoid actually answering it.
  • Banshee:
    • Kai Proctor really hates it when people insult the Amish. He takes it really bad when one of the Amish being harassed is his father.
    • Kurt Bunker rarely manages to keep his composure in the presence of his former "brothers."
    • Anyone who messes with Deva is in for some very big trouble courtesy of Hood.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978):
    • Starbuck just about hates Ortega because he cheats in almost any Triad game.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • And as evidenced in season 4.5, do not keep Laura Roslin from talking to her people. Do not cut off Laura Roslin's wireless.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Howard Wolowitz doesn't like being reminded that he doesn't have a PhD. Every time he tries to start something, Leonard tells him to sit down and he complies. He might not have a PhD but he recognizes he's too puny to do anything about it.
    • Sheldon Cooper has numerous examples:
      • Perhaps it would be best to begin with an in-universe listing...
        Raj: What did you do? Did you change the contrast or brightness settings on the television?
        Leonard: No.
        Raj: Did you take a Band-Aid off in front of him?
        Leonard: No.
        Howard: Did you buy generic ketchup, forget to rinse the sink, talk to him through the bathroom door?
        Raj: Adjust the thermostat, cook with cilantro, pronounce the T in often?
        Leonard: No!
        Howard: ...Did you make fun of trains?
      • Don't mention Wil Wheaton around Sheldon, unless you want a "WHEEEEEAAAATOOOOOONNN!" that would make William Shatner proud. They make up at the end of "The Russian Rocket Reaction" and are now good friends (according to Sheldon, anyway). Unfortunately, Brent Spiner then inadvertently replaces Wil Wheaton on Sheldon's Mortal Enemy list.
      • Goofy.
        Penny: What's wrong with Goofy?
        Leonard: Beats me... he's fine with Pluto. note 
      • The following exchange:
        "You want me to share credit?"
        "GET OUT."
      • A minor example, but only his mother and sister are allowed to call him "Shelly".
      • He hates it when his science is understated. While he was in the middle of a feud with Leonard, he gets angry when Penny says Leonard called his paper a "little idea," and suddenly starts demanding to know the exact words he said. When Penny tells him that Leonard called it a "lucky hunch," he refuses to talk to him.
  • Black Books: For some reason, Manny suggesting that the children's book they're writing have a panda as one of the characters drives Bernard into a rage.
  • Bones: Dr. Brennan has two HUGE ones: People who use or threaten physical violence as a means of intimidation or control (usually manifests with mob bosses, gang leaders, and drug kingpins), and serial killers. Both will trigger physical violence, and she WILL win that fight. This has led to her beating up a gang leader, breaking the jaw of a meninist group leader, and breaking the arm of a perverted serial killer who had the audacity to touch her during an interrogation.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Holt, who is obsessed with minor details and is married to a history professor, is not fond of the way society uses the word "doctor."
    Philip: It's not like we're college professors calling ourselves "doctors."
    Holt: Not the same thing, my friend.
    Philip: Well, sure it is. When someone has a heart attack on a plane, do they yell out, "Yo, does anybody here have an Art History PhD?"
    Holt: A PhD is a doctorate. It's literally describing a doctor.
    Jake: Maybe let's refocus.
    Holt: [increasingly livid] No! The problem here is that medical practitioners have co-opted the word "doctor."
    Jake: Okay, Captain -
    Holt: I know we live in a world where aaaaaanyything can mean anything, AND NOBODY EVEN CARES ABOUT ETYMOLO -
    [smashcut to Holt and Jake back in the break room]
    Holt: Apparently that's a trigger for me.
  • The Catherine Tate Show: The comedy in the "Derek" sketches comes almost exclusively from his reaction when Mistaken for Gay.
  • Cavemen: Do not say "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" around Nick.
  • Cheers:
    • Cliff Clavin is very, very close to his mother. And any suggestion that she won't always be there for him is met with furious denial.
      Cliff: YOU TAKE THAT BACK!
    • He also gets angry at anyone who mocks his job, his uniform, or the postal worker profession in general.
  • Chicago P.D.: Want to get on Sgt. Hank Voight and the Intelligence Unit's shit-list? Threatening, hurting, or murdering a tender-aged victim will do it every single time.
    • And if you want to be certain abosolutely you've landed a spot, do the same to someone they care about.
    • More specific to Voight, don't impede, compromise, or jeopardize his cases. Penalties for doing so range from a severe dressing down to a severe beating down.
  • Community:
    • Don't steal Annie's pen.
    • Also don't mention Jeff's dad. He will beat you, even if you are a generally harmless old man.
    • And whatever you do, DO NOT refer to Starburns as Starburns to his face. A war (well, okay, a multi-day pillow fight) was started over this.
    • You'd do well not to insult the Barenaked Ladies in front of the study group, as Jeff discovered.
    • Don't call Abed "weird" in front of Troy (it doesn't matter how hot you are)
    • The pottery class instructor will tolerate no acting out of the pottery wheel scene in the movie Ghost (and don't even think of singing "Unchained Melody"!)
  • El corazón nunca se equivoca: Mateo starts a fight after the suggestion that he is jealous of Temo.
    • It's not a good idea to mock Temo in front of Ari or Diego.
  • CSI:
    • Gil Grissom has four: His first three were guys beating their wives, sexual assault of kids and people dealing drugs to kids. Later threatening Sara became a big no when they became a couple.
    • Catherine goes full Mama Bear if Lindsey gets hurt.
  • CSI: Miami: Abuse women or children and Horatio Caine will take you down...and quite possibly out.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Mac Taylor - Do not hurt Christine.
    • Lindsay Messer - Do not mess with Danny or Lucy.
  • The Daily Show:
    • One of comedy host Jon Stewart's major hot buttons is gay rights. When he was "interviewing" the show's senior black correspondent Larry Wilmore on the subject of the black community's opposition to gay marriage, Stewart got very worked up and aggressive, despite the fact that the "interview" was pre-planned and comedic.
    • Very little compares to what Jon will do to you if you diss New York City. He used to have a view of the Twin Towers from his apartment. The fact that he doesn't have that view anymore tends to fill him, just as it fills many, many New Yorkers, with Unstoppable Rage. Imply that New York City is unpatriotic, or not part of "Real America," and that Nice Jewish Boy will fucking destroy you.
      "You know, I just want to say to [Sarah Palin], just very quickly... Fuck you. I've never seen someone with a greater disparity between how cute they sound when they're saying something and how terrible what they're saying is. 'Don't ya know, Obama, by golly, he just is a terrorist? What? Oh, you know, he just, gosh, kills babies, you know.' I'm so over the idea that only small-town America is the heart and soul. Small-town America is fine, but it's the same as cities. Cities are just a lot of towns piled on top of each other in one place. They have this whole thing that somehow we can write off entire swaths of the country, that we are somehow... I get it. You know, New York City wasn't good enough for fucking Osama bin Laden, it better be good enough for you. I can't take it anymore. After eight years of this divisiveness, we're back to this idea that only small-town America is the real America. I get it. I'm from New York. We have a lot of gay people. But homosexuals don't have sodomy on Russian flags."
    • Also, do not, under any circumstances, let him catch you eating pizza with a fork.
  • Daredevil (2015).
    • Wilson Fisk is a walking case of hot buttons that can cause him to fly into a rage at any moment.
      • Vanessa in general - don't screw with his relationship with her. Anatoly learns it the hard way. So does Leland Owlsley. He even goes postal in season 2 on Matt when Matt uses the threat of barring her from ever reentering the United States to bluff Fisk into admitting his complicity in Frank Castle's escape.
      • Also, involving his loved ones in his business, which includes even talking to his mom. As Ben Urich learns the hard way.
      • Even scarier, Fisk's button seems to be time-delayed; he's perfectly capable of holding a fairly polite conversation for an indefinite time, even while furious, before erupting like a volcano.
    • James Wesley's death creates several new buttons for Fisk.
      • Upon finding Wesley's body, Fisk beats Francis up for failing to protect Wesley.
      • In season 3, Karen deliberately visits Fisk with the intention of trying to provoke him into attacking her so he'll violate his parole and the FBI will send him back to prison. She tries to do so by bringing up how she was with Ben Urich when he spoke to Fisk's late mother Marlene Vistain, but that doesn't deter Fisk, and he counters by revealing his knowledge of Matt's double life as Daredevil. So Karen tries again by revealing that she killed Wesley, which is enough to get Fisk to snap and prepare to attack her, only to be stopped by Foggy showing up in the nick of time. So Fisk resorts to putting out a hit on Karen, and tasks Dex with carrying out the job.
      • And when the hit fails due to a combination of Matt's intervention and Ray Nadeem standing up to Dex, Fisk proceeds to beat to death the agent who passes this news onto him.
    • What drove Matt Murdock to vigilantism was when he overheard a father molesting his daughter, and no one did a thing about it.
    • Elderly and children being harmed are two buttons for Matt. In fact his opponents love to specifically target such victims to lure him into traps. Early in season 1, the Russians abduct a child off the streets as bait for Matt. Later in the season, Fisk has Elena Cardenas (an elderly woman Nelson & Murdock are representing in a landlord dispute) assassinated specifically to lure Matt into an ambush by Nobu.
    • Frank Castle in one scene is buying guns and ammo from a pawn shop, and then proceeds to ignore the owner as he offers him all kinds of illegal items, until he mentions child-pornography. Cue pawn-shop owner being beaten to death with a baseball bat.
  • Deadwood: Do NOT accuse Dan Dority of being scared of you. He'll tear your damn eyeball out of your head, and let you flop around in the muck screaming for a little while before he bludgeons you to death.
  • Doctor Who:
    • No matter the incarnation of the Doctor, do not ever hurt or mistreat children. And don't try to justify hurting innocents For The Greater Good. This is a Very, Very Bad Idea.
    • In "The Sensorites", the First Doctor does not take kindly to Ian's assertion that he cannot steer the TARDIS properly, and threatens to leave Ian and Barbara behind the next place they land.
    • If you tell Jacob Kewper that smuggling is bad, your only hope of surviving is if he owes you a favour.
    • The Fourth Doctor's Berserk Button, as revealed in the arc "Nightmare of Eden", was drug dealers. The Tranquil Fury that radiated from him when he learned that a scientist was trafficking in a powerful narcotic was palpable.
    • The Captain in "The Pirate Planet" also managed to hit his Berserk Button when he revealed the miniaturized husks of the planets he looted and destroyed.
    • Don't make fun of the Fifth Doctor's celery. Okay, granted, he doesn't go full-on Ax-Crazy on you, but he will get angry. And he doesn't get angry very often, so that's kind of a big deal.
    • Don't tell the Sixth Doctor he's got no fashion sense. It's a very bad idea.
    • You do NOT call Ace small. She will hurt you. With a bat. And Nitro-9.
    • Captain Cook from "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" is, in fact, a crashing bore. Just don't say that to his face.
    • Daleks were this to the Ninth Doctor. While the Daleks were always the Doctor's arch-enemies, the Ninth Doctor (who had just come out of the lengthy Time War between the Time Lords and Daleks) has no problem with outright killing them and torturing them until Rose calls him out on it.
      • Indeed, Daleks tend to be this for the Doctor in general, and vice versa.
    • "New Earth": Two of the Doctor's Berserk Buttons get pressed in this episode:
      • He's absolutely livid when he finds out that the Sisters of Plenitude use clones as, essentially, husks for diseases in order to formulate cures.
      • He's not happy when he finds out about Lady Cassandra's Grand Theft Me, especially when she's possessing Rose, quite convinced she should accept her time, though he's able to set his button aside once Cassandra has a BSOD from temporarily jumping into one of the patients. When he's left with the problem of her finding a willing host, he still pleads with her to see reason, exclaiming that such a fate just plain isn't fair.
    • "Tooth and Claw":
      • Father Angelo finds out the hard way that Queen Victoria does not appreciate being condescended to.
      • Queen Victoria also takes a dim view of the Doctor's Nightmare Fetishist tendencies and him and Rose treating the entire situation like a joke, complete with trying to get her to say "We are not amused" while fleeing an alien werewolf. Which prompts her to have the Doctor and Rose banished after knighting them.
    • "School Reunion": Sarah Jane Smith does not like it when people make fun of her robot dog, K9. Especially if they point out his zeerusty appearance.
    • "The Idiot's Lantern": The Doctor's already furious when he finds out that not only has Rose had her face stolen by The Wire, but finding out that the police just "left her in the street?!" sends him over the edge.
    • "Love & Monsters": Elton accidentally hits Jackie's with his snooping, as she feels both that she's only being used and all the attention only goes to the Doctor. The fact that Jackie gets upset ends up pressing Rose's button enough that she and the Doctor personally appear in the TARDIS while Elton is at the Absorbaloff's mercy so she can cuss him out.
    • "The Sontaran Stratagem": The Sontarans, being a warrior race, do not like people saying that they have any weaknesses, even though they do.
    • "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone":
      • The Weeping Angels intentionally taunt the Doctor until he gets angry. This proves to be a mistake.
      • He's also furious when Amy gets in danger, first off when the Angels make her count down to her own death to frighten her. When Amy is left behind in the forest guarded by soldiers, the Doctor threatens to hold each of them personally responsible twice if anything happens to her. And when he realizes leaving her behind was a mistake, his behaviour crosses into Papa Wolf/Big Brother Instinct territory.
    • "The Vampires of Venice": Francesco does not take insults to his mother well.
    • "Amy's Choice": Upper Leadworth Amy, who is heavily pregnant, does not take comments to her size well, especially since the Doctor and Rory can't seem to stop making them.
    • Initially defied in "Thin Ice", as the Twelfth Doctor urges Bill to stay calm while they try to get information from a man who profits off keeping an innocent creature chained up in the Thames and letting it eat innocent people. However, when the man decides to make some horribly racist comments towards Bill, Twelve loses his temper and decks him.
    • "The Ghost Monument": The Thirteenth Doctor gets ticked off when some telepathic cloth monsters, while reading her mind, call her "Outcast, abandoned and alone".
    • "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror": The Thirteenth Doctor is not happy when the Skithra Queen asks her if she's ever seen a dead planet while threatening the Earth, as by this point in Series 12, the Doctor's already gotten to see such things twice over with both a ravaged Gallifrey and a potential future Earth.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": According to the Doctor, snapping off a Judoon's nose horn is the single most insulting thing you can do to it. The episode also establishes that the Thirteenth Doctor doesn't like being called short.
  • Dragnet: It's true that Joe Friday is too professional to go in for Police Brutality. However, if you molest a child, injure her enough to require hospitalization, exploit a recent change in arrest procedure to try to get off the hook, and then throw a racial slur at the plainclothesman who picked you up, he [Friday] will give you an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza: DON'T MENTION SUZANNE!
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger: Don't call Kegareshia an old lady. Seriously, unless you have a giant robot, don't. But, as pollution-based villains, the worst thing you can call her, or any Gaiark, is 'pure.'
  • Emerald City: West isn't exactly the most genial character, but is generally a lovable Deadpan Snarker. That is until someone lies. THEN she loses it, like when Dorothy was interrogated by her.
    West: If there is one thing I cannot stand, IT'S A LIAR!
  • ER.
    • Child abuse, for Doug Ross. Given that he was an abused child himself, it's completely understandable.
    • Dr. Kovac, a survivor of The Yugoslav Wars, despises having to treat Asshole Victim patients (for instance, criminals shot by the police) and is chewed out several times for his lack of impartiality. In one notable instance, Kovac passes over a badly-wounded school shooter in favor of one of his less injured victims for transport in a medical helicopter, leading to the shooter bleeding to death on the pavement and Dr. Benton, attempting to treat the shooter at the scene, very angry at Kovac.
  • Farscape:
    • Aeryn - Don't touch her Prowler. This is NOT what it sounds like.
    • Rygel - Do NOT touch his food. Oh, and if you torture him he will wear your head as an accessory.
    • Chiana - Don't call her a trailk.
  • In the BBC adaptation of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown, the eponymous Catholic priest is shown to display attitudes at least five decades ahead of his time. However, he has a fairly reasonable button for people of his job description that gets pressed towards the end of the very first mystery: hiding behind your religion when murdering someone.
  • Father Ted: While playing himself, Richard Wilson is portrayed as reacting violently whenever someone repeats his catchphrase as Victor Meldrew to him. The actor himself admits that this (much like anyone else haunted by a well-known catchphrase) is something that spills over to real life.
  • Fauji: Do not ask Major Narayanan any questions while he is instructing the class, and neither should you mention Peter in front of Devender. Just... don't.
  • Firefly: Do not insult Serenity in front of Kaylee. When an Alliance officer makes that mistake during "Bushwhacked", he gets a royal earful.
    Kaylee: Six gerstlers crammed right under every cooling drive so that you strain your primary artery function and you end up having to recycle secondary exhaust through a bypass system...just so's you don't end up pumping it through the main atmofeed and asphyxiating the entire crew. Now THAT'S junk!
  • Friends:
    • Don't tell Rachel she and Ross were on a break either. On the other hand, don't tell Ross that they weren't on a break.
    • Don't mess about on any sailing boat Rachel's on. She's inherited her father's intolerance for not respecting the dangers of being at sea.
    • For your own good, don't tell Ross you ate his sandwich, and especially don't tell him you threw most of it away.
  • Full House: If you are drinking around D.J. Tanner, do not attempt to drive. She will prevent you by any means possible, because her mother was killed by a drunk driver when she was young. And as D.J. herself learned, don't let Jesse catch you so much as holding a bottle of alcohol.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • King Robert has hated the Targaryens ever since he seized their throne. The very mention of them around him can be enough to send him into an angry rant.
    • Insubordination for Tywin, particularly from his children and any slights on the family name, real or imagined.
    • The Hound hates knights, so never, under any circumstances, call him "ser." Really, don't.
    • Ramsay doesn't like when people resist or challenge him, as evident when Theon initially refuses to accept his new name. And he really doesn't like when people point out that he's a bastard, even after he is legitimized.
    • Mocking Cersei about her incestuous relationship with Jaime is a quick way of pissing her off — she responded to Littlefinger doing so by nearly having her Kingsguard slit his throat, gives a cruel retort to Tyrion when he jokes about it and is seen giving Ellaria Sand a Death Glare when she indirectly mentions it.
    • Tyrion puts up with a lot of bullshit with a witty quip most of the time. But when Joffrey threatens to rape Sansa at his wedding, he flips his shit and threatens to castrate Joffrey.
    • Do not bully Samwell around Jon Snow. And if you know what's good for you, never, ever harm any of his half-siblings. Ramsay Bolton learned that one the hard way.
    • Varys hates magic and all those who practise it. Given what happened to him as a boy, it makes sense.
    • Harming or stealing Dany's dragons. She considers them to be her children, and fucking with them will land you at the top of her shit list. For example, she locked Doreah and Xaro in a vault to rot after they took her dragons, and the Night King became her primary enemy after he kills Viserion.
    • Shae does not like people talking about her parentage.
    • Don't snore too loudly around Gregor Clegane, and whatever you do, don't actually put up a fight against him and DON'T mock Cersei post Season 6.
    • Joffrey hates having his authority challenged, and will often punish someone cruelly if they do so. When someone beyond his power to punish undermines his authority, however, it typically results in a temper tantrum.
    • Viserys hates being commanded to do anything, because he thinks it undermines his authority as the self-proclaimed rightful king. When Daenerys sends her handmaid Doreah to invite him to supper, he flips out.
      Viserys: (angrily dragging Doreah into Daenerys' tent) You send this whore to give me commands?!? I should have sent you back her head!
    • Bringing up how his last rebellion ended seems to be this for Balon Greyjoy.
  • Glee:
    • You think Sue's bad on normal day? Try insulting her hair. Then run for your life.
    • And don't - just don't - be stupid enough to call Kurt Hummel a fag or mock him with a limp-wristed gesture anywhere where his father can see it. Even in recovery from a heart attack, Burt Hummel will slam you hard up against a wall and invite you to take a swing at him instead, with the implication that you'll be lucky to survive the attempt coming through loud and clear.
  • Good Eats: Alton Brown will be happy to ruin you if you create soulless over-processed food.
  • Gotham:
    • Because Harvey Bullock is on the take does not mean he's a bad cop, as he reminds Montoya and Allen early on.
    • Playing Salvatore Maroni for a chump is a bad idea.
    • At first, Oswald Cobblepot reacts violently to being called a penguin or compared to one... until, that is, Maroni convinces him to embrace his once-hurtful nickname.
      • It's also a very bad idea to hurt or threaten Oswald's loved ones. And yes, he does have them. Just ask Theo Galavan.
    • Carmine Falcone generally puts up with treacherous plots against him by his caporegimi, but when he finds out that Fish's latest scheme invoked the memory of his "sainted mother", that's where he draws the line!
      Falcone: How dare you use my sainted mother against me!? That's wrong. You'll suffer for that.
  • Grantchester: Geordie learns the hard way towards the end of the second series that Sidney's button is comparing the recently-executed Gary Bell's manslaughter of Abigail Redmond to his killing others during the war. Needless to say, Geordie is taken completely by surprise when Sidney doesn't even wait until he's outside of the Lord's house before pummeling him for that one.
  • The Great British Bake Off:
    • For Paul, any basic mistake such as missing an ingredient—as David did in episode four of series 1, when he missed the eggs from the technical challenge (a souffle)—or accidentally substituting salt for sugar (which has actually happened twice in as many series) means you're automatically out of the competition. The souffle episode in question was framed to make it look as if there was more to it than that, but Paul's anger at the error was completely clear, especially at the end.
    • For all her comparative gentleness in getting it across, Mary can be as much of a perfectionist as Paul, and does not appreciate flaws in basic technique. Hilariously demonstrated in the first episode of series 5, as she watches a contestant try to achieve a tight Swiss roll by scoring it across beforehand. Of course it simply breaks apart at the cuts, and as this becomes more and more obvious Mary gets more and more tight-lipped, shaking her head in disapproval. Paul(!) and Sue have to bodily escort her away ("Now, now, come along and leave the nice boy alone...") before the stern lecture she's clearly dying to give can erupt.
    • In terms of flavouring, any contestant using alcohol in a bake Paul is about to taste had better make very sure they've got the strength exactly right, preferably down to the barest hint. Mary, meanwhile, doesn't at all mind a little extra booze in a bake (to the point where it's become a mild Running Gag), but is otherwise very hard to convince re: unusual flavours or ingredients.
  • Guest from the Future: Don't call Werther the biorobot a tin can, especially when trying to charge past him. He will grab you, spin you over his head, and throw you across the room.
  • Hannah Montana: Do not, repeat, do not call Lilly Truscott "stupid" within earshot of her boyfriend, Oliver!
  • Have Gun – Will Travel: One episode had Paladin taking a job to help his star crossed lover, and over the course of the case a ranch hand slaps her. Paladin nearly beats him to death, and only stops from a combination of her pleading and the ranch owner threatening to kill him if he continued his assault.
  • Hell's Kitchen:
    • The best way to press Gordon Ramsay's Berserk Button is to put up food that is improperly cooked or prepared, especially if it's undercooked:
    Chef Ramsay: It's RAW!
    • The other way to push Chef Ramsay's Berserk Button is to disrespect him, usually by forgetting to say "Yes chef" when he gives an order or by second-guessing/completely disregarding his orders.
  • In High&Low, do NOT say the word "crab" around Kabuto. Don't even say anything that could be MISHEARD as "crab". It's all thanks to an embarrassing childhood memory...
  • In Highlander, Duncan does not like it when people threaten whoever he’s in love with at the time. Threatening Tessa was a huge mistake multiple times in season 1. Richie didn’t take kindly to the times someone tried hurting her either.
  • Horrible Histories: Don't call Caligula a goat or otherwise make fun of how hairy he is. It leads to Disproportionate Retribution: "If you so much as whisper goat, with an iron rod you will be smote!"
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Ted is an extremely proud New Yorker and an extremely proud non-New Jerseyan. How proud, you ask? When Ted runs into Stella after she leaves him at the altar, the tipping point at which Ted decides to chew her out is not the fact that she left him in the first place—it's the fact that Stella refused to move to New York and expected Ted to move to New Jersey to be with her, but moves to Tony's place in New York once he and Stella get back together with no fuss.
      • Also not too long after being left at the altar, Doug, the short-tempered McLaren's bartender, insulted Ted saying "no wonder your fiancée left you." Despite never fighting anyone before in his life, Ted punched him.
    • Barney has a few:
      • Don't EVER tell him magic is lame or he'll come at you with a fireball (as Ted found out to his horror):
        Barney: Is This LAME?!? (spark flies out of his hand)
        Lily: Barney, no, no! We said no fireballs at the table!
        Marshall: What the hell is wrong with you?
        Robin: There's alcohol here!
        Wendy: Barney, we've talked about this. It's a fire code violation.
        Barney: Ted provoked me!
        Lily: No, you're on a timeout. Go sit over there.
      • Also, don't ever break up a girl fight with him watching.
      • Played for laughs in The Exploding Meatball Sub: after Marshall points out that Barney had a bit of marinara sauce on his tie, Barney views this as terribly humiliating and concocts an elaborate scheme for revenge.
    • Robin, whenever she interacts with Patrice or whenever anybody so much as mentions Patrice to her.
    Robin: I love Patrice. We're like sisters.
    Ted: You've never gotten through even one exchange without screaming at her.
  • Human Target: If you wish to see another sunrise, DO NOT call Guerrero a "freak". Ever.
  • I Love Lucy: Ricky never reacts well when fellow Latin musician Xavier Cugat is brought up.
  • iCarly:
    • Despite having an anger management therapist, Sam still has a lot.
      • Never pick on Carly in front of Sam.
      • Never attempt to cut Sam's hair.
      • Never play a prank on Sam, even just to "be even". Mama doesn't play to get even. Mama plays to win.
      • If you offend Carly and she sends Sam to you, be afraid. Be VERY afraid.
    • Do NOT tell Carly to calm down. It will whip her up and send her ranting about.
      • If you're Spencer and her nerdy cousins are visiting for dinner, you better damn well be there!
    • Calling Spencer's butt flat will provoke this.
    • Also, do not kiss Carly without her permission when Spencer's around...he'll throw you out, literally
  • I'm With The Band: Charles, the music producer's son, goes nuts if anyone calls him 'Chucky'.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Elliot is a very nice and mild-mannered photographer; but if you find any fault with his work, he goes on a rampage of insults and stalking. Naturally, job-performance reviews are problematic.
  • From the Kamen Rider franchise:
    • Kamen Rider Kiva: Knight Templar Keisuke Nago goes berserk over a button on a shirt. Nago is a Bounty Hunter who takes a button from every crook he captures as a trophy. In one episode, a Fangire criminal goes out of his way to mess with Nago, even having the buttons of his coat reinforced so they can't be yanked off. This causes Nago to go completely off the deep end, even beating up some cops and abducting the criminal post-arrest just to get the damn thing. And while doing so, he rants "BUTTON! MY BUTTON! MY BUTTON!" Not his proudest moment.
    • Kamen Rider Double: While calling Hidari Shotarou 'half-boiled' will annoy him, making someone cry will really piss him off. Also, Shotarou once found out the hard way not to mess with Philip's mommy issues. Like Spock above, and like many other cases of The Spock, it takes a lot to get under his skin, which means when you finally do, it is (a) all that much more dramatic, and (b) a sign you're probably being a dick.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: Kaito hates dishonesty in all forms, including cheating to win a competition and Dirty Cowardice, guys like Mitsuzane Kureshima, Ryoma Sengoku, and even Shura are the only ones who finds this easy to piss him off.
      • In Gaim Gaiden: Knuckle, tarnishing Team Baron's name is for Zack. With Neo Baron being one particular example.
      • Ryoma Sengoku himself has few: One, don't use his research and inventions for petty acts of terrorism. Just ask Kugai Kudo. Two, Kachidoki Arms. And lastly, Kaito's evolution into Lord Baron!
    • Kamen Rider Ghost:
      • Takeru doesn't take too kindly of belittling human lives, despite him being already dead.
      • In the case of Akari, don't be Igor! Or you don't to be in a receiving end of an Armor-Piercing Slap to the face!
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid:
      • Hiiro Kagami has two: (1) Don't slice a pie or whatever dessert without his consent. (2) Don't be Taiga Hanaya if you value your own profession.
    Hiiro: I say no thank you to unlicensed doctors.
    • For Taiga, don't be Graphite, the Bugster responsible for My Greatest Failure; just the sight of him can make him go Leeroy Jenkins. Also, don't hurt Nico Saiba. That is not going to end well for anyone. The unfortunate part about Nico is that you don't even need to do that since she is a self-pushing button. She casually endangers herself by flipping off Cthulhu and emulating Taiga's self-destructive behavior anyway.
    • Emu Hojo is kind (Non)Combat Medic, but that won't stop him from finding a way how to mess you up if you make him mad. Seriously, don't treat human lives as insignificant!
    • Kamen Rider Build: Ryuga Banjou doesn't appreciate anyone calling Sento Kiryu out on his crap with or without the intention to hurt him. Only he (and Misora) can do that, because they never intend to hurt him.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O: Big Bad Swartz absolutely despises his younger sister Tsukuyomi, especially the implication that she's more powerful than him or might be the right choice to take over their parents' jobs as guardians of time. He might make some high-minded claims about wanting to save the multiverse, but his sheer rage when Sougo suggested that Tsukuyomi could do the job herself proved that he was lying his butt off.
  • The Kids from C.A.P.E.R.: In this '70s live-action Saturday morning show, Bugs went into complete gibbering hysterics for no apparent reason. Sometimes (not always) he also lost his immense strength. (The show wasn't around long enough to explore any of this, or we might have found out why this could be his "Kryptonite".)
  • The Kids in the Hall: Takes this to an extreme in the sketch "Citizen Kane", in which a man's inability to remember the name of said movie (and refusal to accept his friend's suggestion of the title he was looking for) drives his friend into a homicidal rage.
  • The King of Queens: In the episode "Bun Dummy," Carrie would get very defensive if someone (usually Doug) made even a passing comment about her wearing her hair in a bun (Indeed, Carrie was taking her bun-wearing pretty seriously). It was only when she saw a picture of Doug's old high school librarian (emphasis on "old") with her hair in a bun that she realized they were right all along. To be fair, it was just in that episode, so it could also be considered a Compressed Vice.
  • Law & Order:
    • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Don't bring up the fact that Olivia Benson is not a mother. At best, she'll tell you off. At worst, she'll lock you up.
    • And definitely don't cast doubt on her parenting skills now that she is officially a mom.
    • Law & Order: UK: Do not taunt DS Joe Hawkins about his light skin and biracial heritage. The Jerkass suspect who called him a "mongrel" learned this the hard way.
    • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Don't mess with Robert Goren's mother. It's a bad idea even if you're a judge. And don't ever hurt his partner Alexandra, because he will tear the city apart to find you.
  • Lost:
    • Hurley is a pretty easy-going guy who can take a lot of abuse, especially about his weight, but you're taking a chance if you ever call him "crazy."
    • Don't tell Locke what he can't do!
    • Also, touching upon Sawyer's dark past always makes him act even more angry towards people than usual.
    • Ben Linus can summon the smoke monster. Maybe don't lay hands on his daughter?
  • Lucifer (2016): Daniel loves puddings. He loves them so much that he keeps stacks of them in the precinct fridge and labels them with his name so that other people won't touch them. He becomes so upset when he realises someone is stealing all his puddings that Chloe sarcastically asks him if she should put some unis on the case and arrange for him to receive counselling.
  • Luke Cage (2016):
    • Cornell Stokes hates being called "Cottonmouth". Woe behold anyone who uses that name within earshot of him.
      Shades: I suggested we wait [before shooting up Pop's barbershop].
      Tone: Wait? Wait for what, Shades? You ain't even down with the clique! You can't give orders. It was loud 'cause it's supposed to be! Niggas need to know you don't rob Cottonmouth-
      Cottonmouth: [gets in Tone's face] MY NAME IS NOT COTTONMOUTH!!
      [Tone, who up until this moment had been very self-assured, shakes with fear]
      Tone: [stammering] My—my bad. My bad!
    • Don't call Mariah Dillard "Black Mariah" to her face either. And most definitely don't accuse her of having wanted to be molested by her uncle. You know she's changed for the worst in season 2 when she embraces her villainy and doesn't so much as flinch when Luke addresses her that way.
    • Bushmaster is very insistent on correcting people who refer to Mariah with her married name with a rather forceful "STOKES. Mariah Stokes."
  • MADtv: Call this show's version of Oprah Winfrey a stupid bitch, see what happens.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Francis does not want to be reminded of his mom.
  • Married... with Children: After Al is mistakenly circumcised, he calmly points out that "the next person who asks 'What's up?' goes down". Unfortunate for Bud and Jefferson, who did not hear this thread before being knocked out.
  • Merlin:
    • Do not infer that something is the result of magic on Merlin when Uther is around. Don't confess to using magic when Uther is around. In fact, don't even say the word 'magic' when Uther can hear you. The result will not be pretty.
    • Don't call Arthur a prat. Or a dollophead. Or say he's fat.
      • Unless you're Merlin, that is... who will simply get put in the stocks, or similar, because Arthur's fond of him. But yeah...
  • Miami Vice: Don't ever touch Tubbs' Cadillac... just don't.
    • Also, Crockett and men who abuse women. Taking an ugly turn if he's drunk.
  • The Mighty Boosh: You don't want to criticize the writings of Howard T.J. Moon.
  • Monk:
    • Adrian Monk has several things that set him off, but most of his Berserk Buttons (such as urinating in the subway or public nudity; which by the way are things that you really could get arrested for in real life) are played for comedic effect. But never, ever make fun of the late Trudy Monk or her murder, unless you WANT him to break your face.
    Dr. Shuler: "His vital signs have improved. We're not sure why."
    Stottlemeyer: "That would be the hatred. Pure malice, it's the best medicine in the world."
    • Randy Disher, the Cloud Cuckoolander and sometimes Butt-Monkey, has buttons:
      • He does not take it kindly whenever the cops think that he is not a reliable source when he had managed to witness a murder (while anesthetized), as happens in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" (then again, you might take someone's claims they saw their dentist murder a patient while they were being operated on and were semi-conscious with a grain of salt).
      • Don't diss Randy's music. In "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," notice how Randy is offended when Murderuss calls him "white".
    • Natalie Teeger is often both amused and exasperated by Monk's eccentricities. However, even she has buttons:
      • Natalie flies into a furious rage when Monk is late with her paycheck or is unable to pay her. This is suggested in "Mr. Monk and the Genius" to happen very often. In the opening scene, Monk and Natalie are fighting about back pay, with Natalie actually screaming in frustration, and are interrupted when Linda Kloster walks in and says she thought she heard screaming. Natalie immediately coolly comments, "Oh, no, that's just me. I scream every payday."
      • Oh, and don't criticize Julie's acting or singing abilities, or Natalie will have a vendetta against you. Just ask John Hannigan from "Mr. Monk and the Critic," after he writes a scathing review of Julie's performance in a play, and, it turns out he used the play as his alibi while he killed his girlfriend Callie Esterhaus.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room" has a unique instance, as Monk figures out that the killer is a bald man from the fact that the victim's monkey begins throwing a tantrum whenever he sees a bald man.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • "The Golden Age of Ballooning" sketch in one episode starred Ferdinand von Zeppelin, creator of the zeppelin airship, taking a trip in one of his zeppelins. Several people come up to him to congratulate him on his marvellous "balloon," to which he screams in a terrible German accent, "IT'S AN AIRSHIP!" and throws the offender out the window. And he's NOT going to name it after Bismarck. It's a Zeppelin! It's nothing to do with bloody Bismarck!
    • Downplayed in the Mattress Sketch, it's important that if you go a certain furniture store, you must never say the word "mattress" to Mr. Lambert. Instead, you must say you want to see the "dog kennels"note , because if you do say "mattress", he'll promptly stand up and put a paper bag over his head and respond to nothing, and the only way to snap him out of it is to stand in a tea chest and sing Elgar's "Jerusalem" a capella. It's nothing he can help you understand, but apart from that, he's perfectly all right.
  • The Muppet Show: Miss Piggy. She seems like a nice but diva-ish actress until you insult her. And then ... HII-YAAA! Also... if you know what's good for you... stay away from the frog!
  • The Muppets: Discussed by Fozzie after his is pressed by Statler. As he's driving away from the hospital to confront him over his scam, he has this to say about how he's feeling:
    Fozzie: Every forest ranger will tell you the same thing. Most bear attacks do not happen because of hunger! They happen because some bear got his feelings hurt!
  • My Name Is Earl: Joy is already a borderline psycho-bitch. See what happens when you mess with her kids. Also, Earl's dad really hates drug dealers.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • Don't leave Dr. Forrester waiting, like Mike did when he first was tossed up on the Satellite of Love.
      Dr. Forrester: Ah, Mr. Nelson. Mr. "El Relax-O". That's nice. Maybe I should make you do your INVENTION EXCHANGE FIRST! FIRST, YOU HEAR ME?! FIRST!
    • Also, in another episode, Crow is furious that Mike is using his underoos (and even ripping them apart) to make a chain of clothing and other cloth to get back to earth, along with Gypsy’s bra and Tom Servo’s... pantyhose?
    • While the movies they watch are certainly badnote , the best way to get the crew to actively hate on the film is scenes of mistreatment of women. Notable examples are a female slave being thrown into a funeral pyre in Viking Women And The Sea Serpent and the brutal strangulation of the female scientist in It Conquered The World. The crew is particularly disgusted by Deathstalker's slimy treatment of women.
  • Nashville:
    • If you know what's good for you, you will not eat the bean dip of Juliette Barnes. Or anything else of hers.
    Juliette (to Avery): Touch my caramels and Imma cut a bitch.
    • Also, try and go behind her back and she will verbally castrate you in front of her staff. And it's best not to insult her now late mother either.
    • Should you be in earshot of Teddy Conrad, don't bring up Maddie being Deacon's biological daughter rather than Teddy's. Seriously, just don't.
    • Don't call Rayna Jaymes a bitch in front of Deacon Claybourne. It will not end well for you.
  • NCIS: You try to mess with Agent Gibbs's coffee, you better damn well try to find a coffee for him!
    • Also Gibbs's: Try to mess with his team, his friends, his loved ones and ESPECIALLY children he helped with, you mess with the WRONG person. No lie. He can HUNT you down, he can seriously HURT you.
      • Also don't waste his time for solving a case. So if you are one of his team members and you want to talk to him something that was NOT case-related, DON'T. He can stare at you....with his Death Glare.
      • Honestly, for WHATEVER any stupid reason you do, DON'T MAKE GIBBS VERY ANGRY. If you see him yelling at his team, or someone else, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
    • Abby's: Try to mess her, her friends, her team, her career and her loved ones, for the mother of God, seriously DON'T. NO, REALLY, DON'T. You won't like it when you messed with her. TRUST ME. IT. WON'T. BE. PRETTY.
      • Unless you want to get tased by her when you threaten her and her friends, you better take that back!
      • Oh, and DON'T LIE to HER. No, I'm serious, DON'T.
  • NUMB3RS: Threatening Charlie or any member of his team is one way to get on Don's bad side.
  • NYPD Blue: Andy Sipowicz is a veteran of The Vietnam War (as is Dennis Franz). He doesn't talk about his experience much, but when a fellow officer lied about serving in the war, Sipowicz went off on him.
  • Oobi is known for being understanding, kind, and soft-spoken... unless something bad happens to his toy car, in which case he goes ballistic.
  • Orange Is the New Black:
    • You probably don't want to ever tell Piper she's not worthy of being loved, unless you want to get a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • Pennsatucky is extremely prideful, and doesn't take kindly to being disrespected. She has perceived disrespect twice in the series. During the show proper, she attempts murder for it. And in a flashback—well, what do you think she's in prison for?
  • Orphan Black:
    • Do not threaten children around Helena.
  • Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Do not mess with Larry Kubiak's lunch. According to rumors he once punched and possibly killed a nun for accidentally sitting on his lunch bag on the bus.
  • Pit Boss: Never claim to Shorty that all pit bulls are vicious, or say that you've got something better to do than help a pit bull in need.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In the third season of the original incarnation, whenever Rito Revolto would call Lord Zedd "Ed"... it just wouldn't end well. At all. Actually, Rito was just a walking Berserk Button for all the other villains.
      • Alpha 5 does this as well when Zedd invades the Command Center in "Changing of the Zords, Part 2":
        Lord Zedd: Oh, Alpha, you can come out of hiding.
        Alpha 5 [trembling]: I don't like you... Ed!
    • Power Rangers Dino Thunder: Tommy is a teacher; mess with his students at your own risk. Doesn't matter that they can take care of themselves; Papa Wolf Tommy will make you regret threatening them.
      • Being placed under Mind Control is one for Kira. As shown in "The Missing Bone" when the Fossilador breaks her free now that he's done with her, she is immediately pissed off at him for the things he forced her do under his control.
        Kira: Nobody messes with my mind and gets away with it!
    • Syd from Power Rangers S.P.D. may have problems getting along with RIC in "Dogged" due to its malfunctions, but damaging it is not something you would wanna do in front of her as the Krybots learned it the hard way.
    • In RPM, don't call the suits "spandex" in front of Dr. K. Not even schoolchildren are safe from her wrath ("tights" seems to be OK). On a less comical note, she does not take kindly to being reminded that she created Venjix. Also, never put a scratch on Scott's car, don't call Fresno Bob "Bobarino," and don't call Tenaya 7 either human or cute.
    • She doesn't react as violently as the franchise's other examples, but Kendall Morgan has a tendency to get extremely annoyed if any of the Rangers call her "Kendall" instead of "Ms. Morgan." Since she's technically their actual boss, it makes sense. The only exception to the rule is Koda, who always calls her by her first name and is never called out for it. Which is an Imposter Forgot One Detail when he's replaced in the Halloween Episode. Time will tell whether this Berserk Button becomes a significant issue when Kendall becomes a Ranger.
    • Franchise-wise button: do not threaten the people of wherever the Rangers in question are protecting, especially their close friends and family or kids. And especially don't manipulate kids by toying with their emotions.
  • Press Gang: If you like your eardrums intact, your confidence undestroyed and all your extremities attached, don't suggest to Lynda Day that she might be attracted to Spike Thomson... especially if your name happens to be Spike Thomson.
  • QI: A more humourous example is Stephen Fry in this wonderful gameshow. One of the few things that ruffles Stephen's usually relaxed mood is willful ignorance or asking why people should know obscure facts, or read certain books etc etc. Asking this tends to get you a forceful, yet beautiful, summary on why you are wrong.
    Stephen: It's always the children who say, "Sir, sir, what's the point of geometry" or "what's the point of Latin" who end up having no job, being alcoholic and they don't notice that the ones who actually find knowledge for its own sake and pleasure in information and in history and in the world and nature around us are actually getting on and doing things with their fucking lives!
    • Needless to say, several players (most notably Lee Mack, whom Stephen Fry has said is probably the smarter of the two of them) spent most of the time of the show jumping up and down on this particular button because it's funnier that way.
  • Quantum Leap: Dr. Sam Beckett absolutely hates all forms of racism or intolerance, it being one of the few things that makes him genuinely angry. Meanwhile his sidekick Al, despite his womanizing ways, reacts quite badly to the mistreatment of women.
  • Reba: A mild example, Played for Laughs, is a therapist, David, who appears in one episode. Call him "Dave," and he'll have a cow. As for regular characters... Reba gets upset should she be compared to her ex-husband's wife and told to be Not So Different from her, while said ex-husband's wife won't take being called "blondzilla" kindly, which Reba learns the hard way.
  • The Redd Foxx Show: Ray J. Johnson employed a variation on this as his signature trope; whenever addressed as "Mister Johnson," he would angrily rattle off a list of other things he would prefer to be called.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Do not call Kryten tetchy!
    • In "Polymorph", the Polymorph is attempting to get Rimmer angry so it can suck the emotion out of him, it begins by taking the form of his Mother and has sex with Lister but Rimmer holds back, at least until the Polymorph says "The things this boy can do with alphabeti spaghetti" in which Rimmer responds "ALPHABETI SPAGHETTI!".
    • In "Beyond a Joke" it is revealed that Kryten has a device that saves all negative emotion, eventually this device fills after Lister asks for some Ketchup to go with the Lobster Kryten had just served, once the drive is full Kryten's head proceeds to explode.
  • Revolution:
    • For Miles Matheson, don't call his brother a coward. Even if he's dead and you're said brother's daughter.
  • Rome:
  • The whole point of Room 101 is getting celebrities ranting about their personal Berserk Buttons.
  • Roseanne:
    • Don't mess with Dan's motorcycle.
    • Do not call Roseanne a "crazy old hillbilly", or she'll take you to the "hillbilly day spa".
  • Sam & Cat: Do not threaten or insult Dice in front of Goomer
  • The Sarah Silverman Program: Sarah befriends a homeless guy that she knew in high school. When she talks about his mother 'queefing' he goes crazy and tries to kill her.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • A memorable sketch by Chris Farley had his character being secretly filmed for a Product Switcheroo Ad and reacting pretty badly to the fact that he had his coffee replaced. Turns out he hated being lied to about what he purchased, and he then over-reacted... as in "being held down by several people while he swears to kill them all in revenge" 'overreacted'.
    • In "The Barry Gibb Talk Show", Barry Gibb has a lot of moments where he rants at his special guests every time they unintentionally trigger him. A few include interrupting him, making a bad "Stayin' Alive" joke on his show, and saying the Bee Gees *were* the greatest band around.
  • Schitt's Creek: David Rose can’t handle anything that violates his sense of aesthetics, including things as small as placing breath mints where the lip balm should be.
  • Scrubs: When he was first introduced, Hooch did not take kindly to his name being misused. And then, he went crazy. Man, Hooch is crazy. Also, did you pull a screw from a door, so it won't stay open right? The next 7 years of your life are hell, courtesy of the Janitor.
  • Sesame Street once featured a character named Cyranose de Bergerac, who had a nose that would put Pinocchio's to shame. Unlike his namesake, the mere mention of the word "nose" in any context really would send him into a violent rage, coming at the offender waving his nose like a sword. He was later briefly joined by a Roxanne expy who had a similar complex about her large ears.
  • In the Shadowhunters episode "The Mortal Cup", Valentine kills one of his underlings for insulting Jocelyn.
  • SM:TV Live: TV Presenter Dec would frequently go insane from people being unable to follow the basic rule of this show's phone-in game thing "Wonkey Donkey" (The rule, quote him is: "IT HAS TO RHYME!!!")
  • Soap: In this TV series, Danny Dallas' brother, Jodie (Billy Crystal), is gay. Do not say this around Danny. He's just a little bit in denial.
  • Spaced: Tim's reaction to a little boy entering the comic store and asking for a Jar Jar Binks toy is to throw the little kid out of the shop. His boss, Bilbo, also punched an employee in the face for saying Hawk the Slayer was rubbish. And his dad.
  • Speechless: Maya's is anybody who dares mock her son, or performs any act of ableism.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • Scotty has a very logical Berserk Button for a chief engineer. Insult The Federation? Fine. Insult Captain Kirk? Fine. Insult him? Fine. Insult the Enterprise and compare it to a garbage scow (like the Klingon officer did in "The Trouble with Tribbles")? Prepare for a Bar Brawl.
    • James T. Kirk will let a lot of stuff slide. But DO NOT try to hijack or steal his lady, the Enterprise. He WILL blow up the damn ship, just so you can see who you're truly messing with.
  • Supernatural:
    • Don't mess with Dean's car.
    • Did you just call Naomi a bureaucrat? Because that's an offense even the king of Hell won't risk reaping the consequences of.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron does not like it when someone lies to her. However, being somewhat lacking in emotions, her anger tends to be very cold. John Connor is both Cameron and Sarah's Berserk Button. Harm him, and your life is forfeit. And don't take Cameron's leather jacket. She likes her leather jacket. She does not like you.
  • The Time In Between: When he returns, Ignacio maintains an icy calm demeanor, but any reminder of Ramiro sets him off.
  • Top Gear:
    • Do not imply that Richard Hammond has had his teeth whitened. Or (from the Middle East special onwards) play Genesis' "I know what you like (In your Wardrobe)"
    • Never drive into the back of James May's car on an extremely high and precarious road or he will come after you with a machete. Even if you are one of his best mates.
    • And never - but never - tell Jeremy Clarkson there's no hot food available.
  • Torchwood:
    • There's an engineered instance: the guy Suzie has been messing with will go into a ten-second Unstoppable Rage when the titular organization is mentioned.
    • Do *NOT* touch Jack's Hand-In-A-Jar.
  • Tracker: Mel's was Nestov trying to hit on her. And he never seemed to get the message, either. That only made her madder in the part in the next to last episode where where he seemed to Heel–Face Turn and she nearly collected him.
  • True Blood:
    • Jason Stackhouse may be an idiot, but don't ever say anything bad about his sister, as Gabe found out when Jason kicked him in the balls. TWICE.
    • Also don't call him "J." Unless you were on the football team.
    • This might be sort of obvious, since rejection sucks, but Lorena doesn't exactly take too kindly to Sookie telling her that Bill doesn't love her.
    • Sookie is Bill's Berserk Button. So much so that, when he finds out that she's moved onto Eric, he attempts to kill the latter.
    • Sookie is also Eric's Berserk Button, since he's in love with her. Especially since he lost his memory, any new addition to the room or situation sparks his fanged fury.
    • Tara hates vampires. And I mean, she HATES vampires.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "It's a Good Life", Anthony Fremont for some odd reason absolutely hates singing. He's quick to deliver Disproportionate Retribution on anyone who sings or plays music in his presence.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Jacqueline is very sensitive about her appearance. When Kimmy tells her, "Just follow your gut," Jacqueline suddenly snaps, "I don't have a gut, you motherf-" before Kimmy clarifies that she means "intuition."
  • Veronica Mars: Do not mess with Logan's V, or he will smash up a police car with a baseball bat JUST TO GET ARRESTED, so he's close enough to beat the shit out of you.
  • Vida: Eddy will not tolerate anyone speaking ill of Vidalia, even her (Vida's) own daughters.
  • WandaVision: Don't question Wanda's false reality. She could always rewind time... if your name is Vision. If you aren't Vision, you could choke and almost die, have glass break in your hand to make you bleed, or even expel you from her reality to make sure everything's fine. She's got some major mental issues.
  • The West Wing: If you waste his time by making a fuss about how you shouldn't have to pay parking tickets because you're a diplomat,the President of the United States will END you. Although in that particular case, technically he'll end your secretary who's unlucky enough to have to place the call, but still.
  • White Collar: Neal, who's generally a pretty mild mannered person, gets mad if you damage a piece of art. Even more so if you accuse him of doing that same thing.
  • The Whitest Kids U' Know: PIZZA'S NOT FOR BREAKFAST.
  • Win Ben Stein's Money: This game show is a parody/comedy game show that is Q&A style. If a contestant for Ben Stein's cash answered in the form of a question, accidentally or otherwise, then it earned them a tongue-lashing from Stein, who then required them to wear a Dunce Cap for the rest of the round that they gave that question in.
  • Without a Trace: In one episode, Jack and Samantha catch a serial killer (who was posing as his twin brother) by using his Berserk Button: he hated his childhood nickname, "Mouse." The resulting violence was then cut short by the above agents immediately pointing their guns at him.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place:
  • The X-Files: Do not insult Langly's hair or mistake him for a woman.
  • The Young Ones: Do not mention The Good Life within Vyvyan Basterd's earshot. It's an equally bad idea to remind him that he has a girl's name. Also, Neil may be an Extreme Doormat 90% of the time, but don't mock his flares.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: