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Bears Are Bad News
aka: Everythings Worse With Bears

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Absolutely not a bear you'd want to cuddle with.

"Just so you know... I don't feel mercy or sympathy. Cuz I'm a bear, after all."

Want to make a bad situation worse? Add a bear!

Just as monkeys and penguins are used to make something funnier or cuter, bears have a knack for scaring the crap out of everyone. Polar and brown bears are the largest extant land-based predators in the world, with a penchant for aggressive behavior, so it's easy to see why.note  Because of this, throwing a bear into a scene is the best way to let the audience know that our heroes have gone beyond rock bottom and are now totally screwed.

In many a film and television show, our heroes will quite often find themselves cooped up in a cabin as a killer bear is just outside, trying to get in.

This can sometimes be Truth in Television. Being between a mama bear and her cub has been justly described as the most dangerous place on earth, but any number of bears can be very dangerous indeed.


Another issue is that bears are very intelligent (often regarded as being very close to chimpanzees) and they actually have individual personalities. This adds to their unpredictability as to how a bear reacts to a certain situation will entirely depend on both the bear itself and the mood it's in at the time.

Bears have such a long history of scaring the Pooh out of human beings that most of the names we've ever given them are derived from conciliatory euphemisms, as part of an old taboo against naming something so dangerous. The English word 'bear' originally meant "brown one", and the Slavic word medved originally meant "honey eater." Even the original Proto-Indo-European word was related to the word for "destruction", proving just how ancient this particular Primal Fear is.

Incidentally, this same fear has also inspired great respect, as such, a great way to raise the credentials of any badass, villain, or Anti-Hero if you give them a bear. Especially as a mount, because there's nothing cooler than riding a bear... except maybe a robot bear or zombie bear, or a bear made of fire or ice...


Ursine Aliens can also invoke this. Contrast with to Panda-ing to the Audience, Beary Funny and Beary Friendly, which are about more positive depictions of bears.

Do not confuse this with The Bad News Bears (the Trope Namer, though not an example), with the Bearer of Bad News, with The Bear, which is about a big hairy Manly Gay guy, or with Exit, Pursued by a Bear, though that trope's name is an example of this trope. In the Land Down Under, you should watch out for drop bears, though those are supposedly carnivorous koalas rather than actual bears — but even real koalas can be plenty dangerous in their own right, being Australian Wildlife and all. Mama Bear may be related but is usually metaphorical.

For animals that tend to get a similar treatment, see Savage Wolves, Cruel Elephant, Rhino Rampage, Maniac Monkeys (and Killer Gorilla), Threatening Shark, and Reptiles Are Abhorrent (and Never Smile at a Crocodile). Often a Super-Trope to Fighting Panda, for when pandas are portrayed as martial artists capable of kicking ass. Contrast Beary Friendly and Beary Funny where bears aren't bad news.


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  • According to the Boston Bruins hockey team, if you do not follow the unwritten rules and etiquette of being a hockey fan, a giant bear will find you and kick your ass. And when it's done doing that, it will dance. The bear has since become the team's commercial mascot, as it has been shown promoting new jerseys, rallying fans for a new season, celebrating Christmas and doing a little exercise. But it still finds time to punish those who violate good hockey fan behavior.
  • Australian rum brand Bundaberg Rum features a polar bear as its mascot, the Bundy Bear, who prominently features in their advertising. Things do tend to be worse with "Bundy" around, but that's got more to do with how he's an enormous Troll to tourists.
  • A Capri-Sun commercial has a kid beating a giant cyborg bear with the straw from his pouch.
  • Is it any wonder that Sugar Bear is one of the few cereal mascots who successfully runs off anyone who tries to take his Golden Crisp as opposed to all the other sorry saps like Lucky the Leprechaun and the Trix Rabbit?
    • During the sugar-is-now-evil transition from Super Sugar Crisp to Super Golden Crisp in the 1980s, Sugar Bear could turn himself into Super Bear. Super Bear was a realistic-looking grizzly bear with no traces of cuddliness whatsoever. Eventually, Post figured out that a scary carnivore might not be the best mascot for a children's cereal, and the concept was dropped. Breakfast of the Gods takes advantage of that brief time that Super Bear was scary.
    • In the early '60s, when Sugar Bear became a sweater-wearing hipster, his TV ads showed him barging into sweet old Granny's house and stealing her cereal. A thieving nuisance, but at least he was mellow and good-natured.
  • An ad for Hotels dot com has a family lost in some woods, and the father wandering outside the car briefly, before a bear seen briefly in the background chases him back and forth. In the end, though, he just winds up, inexplicably, with just a broken arm as a result of the encounter.
  • McDonald's is apparently so delicious that even bears will attack your car for it. In one memorable commercial, the Hamburglar planned to scare Ronald and the others out of their cheeseburgers with a bear costume, but they were onto him; they planned to humor him for a while, but unfortunately, a real bear came along first, who they mistook for him. Suffice to say, Hilarity Ensued.
  • Orangina has a dancing bear for its commercial who is about to attack a doe... until he sees the doe drinking Orangina!
  • How could a Panda Bear be evil?
  • Biggie Bear of the "Parents For Responsible Viewing" PSAs. Doesn't get any more bad than pretending to be good, then committing murder, drug supplying, and rape.
  • An old Pepsi commercial had five bears emerging from the wilderness to terrorize a small town by spelling out "Pepsi" in a distinctly "YMCA"-style dance. After the townspeople fearfully comply with the beasts' request, a man remarks, "Heaven help us if they ever learn the Macarena." Coca-Cola, on the other hand, is famous for its commercials with lovable, cute polar bears. A serious subversion.
  • An ad for Safe Auto insurance lampoons other insurance company mascots as an obnoxious bear that goes around from car to car terrorizing people, growling at them to "Switch and Save!" You can see him in action here.
  • Want someone to bully campers into putting out their fires? Say hello to Smokey Bear! An aversion to the trope, actually, since Smokey is, in fact, a wise, friendly bear, but woe upon anyone who tries to destroy forests in his presence!
  • This bear working in the movie business is almost a subversion, weren't it for the occasional tantrum. Also, he seems to be very fond of Stuff Blowing Up.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Early on, the eponymous Baki the Grappler has to wrestle a monster bear as Training from Hell.
  • Biomega gives us Kozlov, a Russian scientist who had his mind uploaded into a bear. He's also a sniper.
  • A case in Case Closed features Conan, Dr. Agasa, the Detective Kids and three hunters dealing with a bear that is on the loose and on a rampage. It turns out they're faced with a literal Mama Bear, who lost one of her cubs to the case's Asshole Victim. When her other cubbie is returned to her, she subverts the trope by immediately calming down and peacefully leaving with her remaining cub.
  • Teddy Bomber from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Cowboy Funk".
  • Death Panda, by Waita Uziga (yes, him).
  • At the start of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro gets home to find that almost all of his family has been killed in his absence. He initially assumes that a bear too hungry to hibernate was responsible, but then it turns out that his younger sister Nezuko had been turned into a demon, which means that the Big Bad Muzan Kibutsuji was the culprit. A late series flashback also shows Tanjiro watching his father Tanjuro decapitate a bear with a hatchet despite being terminally ill, realizing the bear was hungry but saying he had no choice but to protect his family.
  • Digimon:
    • The franchise has Grizzmon, an Adult-level grizzly bear. He's appeared twice in different anime series: first in the Digimon Frontier movie as the commander of the Beast Digimon army, and many appear late in Digimon Fusion as a staple Mook species in Apollomon's army. Expanded universe material bills the species as ferocious warriors with honourable spirits. Related is Bearmon, Grizzmon's lesser Child-level incarnation who takes the form of a bear cub, also appearing in the Frontier movie and Xros Wars.
    • Digimon V-Tamer 01: A Wake-Up Call Boss from halfway through the manga's run was Callismon, said to be the product of exposing an aforementioned Grizzmon to a sample of Arcadimon's data. The result was an enormous bear of immense power with a Hand Cannon, providing the first real challenge to Taichi and Zero in a very long time.
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai: When Pop and Maam are washed ashore following a Hopeless Boss Fight against Vearn, with Maam passing out from exhaustion after swimming ashore while carrying Pop, whose magic power is entirely spent, Pop wakes up to find a ferocious-looking grizzly bear. Pop is prepared to fight the bear to the death, and the bear raises its claw... only to roar while waving its arm around without attacking, with Chu showing up soon thereafter. It turns out Chu had defeated the bear off-screen earlier, and then sent out the bear to help search for the heroes. Pop is immensely relieved upon discovering this fact.
    Pop: Crazy mouse... you scared me...
  • Fruits Basket: While visiting a lake house, Shigure playfully claims its the kind of place where Jason would show up. When Kyo asks who "Jason" is, Shigure messes with him by telling him it's a new species of bear, which Kyo and Tohru are both gullible enough to believe right away. Later, when Tohru, Yuki and Kyo see bear tracks while out on a walk, they all assume the worst, though no bears ever actually show up and Yuki points out that "Jason" isn't actually a kind of bear.
    Yuki: Just so you know, Jason isn't a bear, he's a character from a horror movie.
    Kyo: So there's a bear in a horror movie! What do I care!?
  • General Olivier Armstrong's Badass Army in Fullmetal Alchemist is nicknamed the "Briggs Bears". And although she's Panda-ing to the Audience and adorable, Shao May has one bite for such a tiny thing.
  • In Futakoi Alternative a loan shark walks around with a polar bear for some extra muscle.
  • The most infamous straight example in anime or manga would be Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin. The primary nemeses are bears. The leader bear, Akakabuto, is an ungodly huge, strong and malicious bear with one eye.
    • The manga of its successor Ginga Densetsu Weed does this too... though later in the series. The main bear they fight is an Akakabuto Expy hybrid bear who kills GB.
    • Ginga: The Last Wars (the final Ginga arc) has a bear become the Big Bad once more: Monsoon, a son of Akakabuto hell-bent on dominating Ohu just as his father tried to do nearly fifteen years ago. Not only is he using his fellow bears as soldiers, but he also starts recruiting dogs too.
  • Bears have been among the deadliest things in Golden Kamuy. Of course, they can't take out Sugimoto the Immortal.
  • Good Luck! Ninomiya-kun starts with the main character fighting a bear twice his size — and several moments later it shows that his sister has beaten an even larger one.
  • One of the most famous scenes in Hajime no Ippo has Takamura fighting against an angry bear to save his own life, after Ippo and the other Kamogawa boxers ran away from it when all of them were training in the mountains. Takamura actually wins against the bear in a hilarious and awesome moment. Despite that, Takamura spares the bear's life after he sees it's actually a Mama Bear with two cubs crying for it. The whole incident leaves Takamura with three giant scars on his chest and gaining him the title "Bear Slayer" after the thing hits the news. It also doubles with the Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? trope, as Takamura never shies away from reminding others that he beat a goddamn bear.
  • Bizarrely drawn (and bizarrely voiced...seriously, they emit some kind of screech instead of growling) bears shows up several times in Haré+Guu. Actually, this is counted as normal for this anime.
  • Inverted in Haruhi-chan. In one episode, Tsuruya claims that she once defeated a bear.
  • Almost played straight in Hayate the Combat Butler, during a school hiking trip, one of the groups is terrorized by a huge bear. Which is then turned into a pet by Isumi.
  • In Inuyasha it is played down. Early in the plot, a common bear gets a splinter from the Shikon no Tama, and turns into a giant bear monster. However, Naraku easily defeats him, and finally steals the jewel splinter.
    • In a later episode, Sango fights a bear youkai all by herself. Granted, she is a powerful fighter, but it is still a world in which youkai are usually much more powerful than humans.
  • In Kamen no Maid Guy, after training in the mountains, Naeka feels as though she could take on a bear. She finds herself staring down a growling grizzly moments later, courtesy of Kogarashi. Turns out she's not as ready as she thought.
  • A similar incident occurs in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Kenichi, annoyed by his training in the mountains, throws a rock at what he thinks is his eldest master secretly watching him. It turns out to be, you guessed it, a bear. Despite being a fan of How-To books, Kenichi does exactly the wrong things in trying to escape this particular bear.
  • While Kinnikuman is training for his match with Warsman, Mari-chan is attacked by a bear and he has to save her. It puts him in the Palo Special, which he counters with a Kinniku Buster.
  • In Koihime†Musou's Hot Springs Episode, Rinrin comes across a bear that she thinks is a little cub she raised when she was a kid. It isn't. Cue fleeing from an angry bear.
  • Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear features light-hearted examples with the protagonist Yuna wearing what is effectively superpowered, bear-themed onesie pajamas that come with two fluffy, adorable bear familiars, named Kumakyuu and Kumayuru. All three of them are still extremely dangerous with physical or magical attacks, they hand out Curb Stomp Battles to anyone they face, and almost drive the predators around a city to extinction. Apex predators indeed.
  • In My Heavenly Hockey Club, the hockey club runs afoul of a bear during a trip in the woods... and it makes a strong connection with Hana. Eventually, they try to teach it to play field hockey so they can use it as a goalie in an upcoming game... but contrary to what they'd hoped, it's immediately noticed to be a bear and carted off, perpetuating the Running Gag of the team never getting to actually play a single game.
  • In Naruto, a flashback shows a young Karin being threatened by an almost comically-oversized bear while her teammates are nowhere to be found. Sasuke then comes by and drop-kicks it.
    • We later see more of them on the island Killer Bee and A trained on including one with an eyepatch. Bee apparently spends some of his "vacation" time sumo-wrestling them.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • The magical world arc takes the Mama Bear to literal levels, having a bear named Mama serve as the Apron Matron in charge of Ako, Akira, and Natsumi. She beats up anyone who dares abuse the girls serving under her.
    • Earlier in the series, Negi along with Ninja Kaede (only he was scared) are chased through the woods by a bear while carrying a giant cookable mushroom.
  • One Piece, being as fond of Animal Motifs as it is, of course, has some:
    • The original Seven Warlords of the Sea all have an animal theme. Bartholomew Kuma's is, naturally, a bear. Both times he's appeared to antagonize the Straw Hats, things went south fast for the heroes. However, Kuma can also be a subversion, the first time appeared Zoro was able to appeal to Kuma's honor to be allowed to sacrifice himself in place of Luffy. In the Sabaody Islands, Kuma's arrival was what saved the Straw Hats, despite initial appearances.
    • We also get Kumacy, Perona's giant zombie teddy bear. He shows up in the middle of Usopp's fight with Perona — that's already going pretty badly — and delivers a nasty No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that forces the sniper to take a level in bad ass just to survive it.
    • One of Trafalgar Law's crew members is a bear in a jumpsuit. It knows kung fu.
    • In the flashback to their childhood, Ace has begun caring for Luffy after the later got mauled almost to death by a bear.
    • A Bear Zoan-type Devil Fruit, however, is notably absent. Yet.
  • Ooku starts with a young boy getting mauled by a bear while picking mushrooms in the forest. And then the Redface Pox hits his family and spreads throughout Japan, greatly reducing the male population. Generations later, researchers learn that bears are carriers for the Redface Pox and that hunters protect themselves with age-old traditions.
  • The last villain encountered in Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, Shikuma, was cursed by a Bear Spirit like Isana and Shiina. As a result, he's a grotesque half-man half-bear hybrid with huge, clawed paws and a bear muzzle on an otherwise human face. Most notably, he was the toughest enemy ever fought by Shiina, and that includes Isana, a whale man.
  • Senri in +Anima. Especially when his eyepatch comes off on a large mountain and he starts attacking everyone. The only way it stopped was by both The Power of Friendship and Cooro putting his Eyepatch of Power back on.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Ursaring seem to show up whenever the anime needs a menacing wild Pokémon to put the heroes in danger. Oh yeah, did we mention that Ursarings can fire lasers (Hyper Beam) from their mouths?
    • Subverted — sort of — in an episode of the Pokémon: The Original Series Gold and Silver series. In this case, the bad news came from a Teddiursa, a cute-looking bear cub that stole food and blamed it on other Pokemon. At the end of the episode, it evolved into an Ursaring at which point it could no longer use its cuteness to steal food.
      • Played painfully (and we do mean painful) in one episode where the gang had to pass through a forest with a dozen or so Ursaring in the middle of mating season, with no tolerance for intruders.
    • Paul's Ursaring exemplifies this more than any other specimen on the show. Almost NOTHING can even slow it down, and anything that DOES seemingly work on it invariably ends up making it angry, and consequently stronger. On top of all that it has the ability Guts. When it comes out, there's little Ash can do but gawk in horror as it annihilates his Pokemon.
    • In the Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, Team Rocket manages to befriend a wild Bewear. A huge bear that resembles a costumed mascot. Well, "Befriend" isn't the correct term as it seems to be overprotective of them, to the point of being too overprotective. It can tear down entire forests by accident when overexcited, and when actually pissed off it took out an Ultra Beast with zero trouble.
  • Sherwood the Monster Princess (not Hime, her sister) from Princess Resurrection has blood-immortal empowered Panda bears as her Servants. They have, for example, ripped to shreds an army of lesser vampires.
  • Even Ranma ½ includes an unbearable example. While in the original manga, Ranma fought Cologne on the beach while she summoned a shark to assist her, in the anime, the fight instead takes place in a mountain resort, where in an even more outlandish fashion, she creates an ice sculpture of a bear that she can levitate and use to attack on a whim.
    • When Ranma, Genma, and Soun need to retrieve the scroll of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique from a women's Onsen before Happosai does, they have the bright idea of painting Genma's cursed form (a 7-foot-tall panda bear) to resemble a huge, voracious bear and scare off the women. Unfortunately, the only paint they had on hand was white...
    • In the manga, Ryū Kumon is introduced by soundly beating up an escaped bear that was attacking Nodoka (before Ranma could even intervene).
    • Genma himself turns into a giant panda when wet and quite the member of the Abusive Parents "club", even from before he was cursed...
  • One of the prominent background members of the Dead Moon Circus in the 90s Sailor Moon series is a blue-skinned ballerina who happens to have a giant, smiling bear head with mismatched eyes that never blink. Her expression never changes.
  • Saint Seiya: Some of the training scenes feature fighting bears with their bare hands as a means of showing how dangerous it is.
  • Sekirei:
  • The Beastmaster Maeda Matsu in the Sengoku Basara anime, in a fit of temper, ultimately calls up a bear to attack her brother-in-law Keiji. Keiji is already making a hasty retreat and the bear attacks Matsu's husband Toshiie instead (though Toshiie comes out of it more or less fine since the whole thing is played for laughs).
  • Subverted with Shirokuma Cafe. Shirokuma is the friendly polar bear owner of the titular cafe, Panda is a regular customer who prefers the lazy lifestyle, and even the Badass Biker Grizzly, is a genuinely nice grizzly bear who just has a low tolerance for foolishness.
  • Speaking of Arakawa's manga, this trope is played for laughs in Silver Spoon, when a Beware Of Bears sign in the woods makes our hero so nervous that he mistakes an approaching horse for a bear.
  • In Softenni, the girls run into a bear about three times the size of an average human in the mountains. Kurusu not only fights it to a draw (while naked), she lets the bear give the team a ride up the mountain.
  • Holo of Spice and Wolf finds out that her hometown was destroyed by a gigantic bear spirit.
  • In Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, while searching for a lost girl, Sherlock comes across a bear. She tries to play nice with it, but this is a bear that can uppercut. That the bear knocks her into the sky and off the cliff is a major catalyst for the episode. When Sherlock, Kokoro, and Airi come across that same bear later, it's still almost invincible.
  • Tono to Issho: Azai Nagamasa fears that Oda Nobunaga will send a bear in place of his sister Oichi as a wife. He then imagines Oichi as a dominatrix in charge of a bear army.
  • The enormous Asian black bear in Unlock City that escapes from the zoo and gets trapped inside the local high school. It ends up slaughtering some of the characters, including one girl that was straight up torn to bits.
  • The World Is Mine has an overall bear motif: A giant bear-like creature called Hakumadon is attacking Japan, rampaging through whole towns and turning anyone who encounters it into slurry ("My daughter followed my mother into the woods and they both came back in a bucket!"). One of the two Mad Bomber Serial Killers, Mon, always carries a stuffed teddy bear which is implied to be the only friend he had as a child. When Mon encounters Hakumadon, his partner Toshi dies and he gets shredded... but both miraculously survive, the only evidence being Mon's slashed teddy bear. When Mon and Hakumadon meet again, another character thinks he sees Mon once more getting killed, but again he survives. A few characters wonder if Hakumadon is a god sent to reclaim the earth or that it and Toshi+Mon are in a "killing contest". In reality, Hakumadon is an American shock-and-awe weapon/robot that went out of control — imagine the Big Dog rig but three stories tall, covered in shaggy fur with yard-long teeth and claws. Appears to have been inspired by the "Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident" (see Real Life).
  • Yaiba: When the revenant warrior Goemon Ishikawa Turns Red he transforms into a huge, armored Bear-Man armed with dual sais and Fuuma Shuriken.
  • The central premise of Yuri Kuma Arashi is that bears can take human form and infiltrate society, and they often devour other characters violently despite their adorable designs. They're used as an allegory for Japan's views on homosexuality and contrasting that view with the country's large quantity of Yuri Genre series. Director Kunihiko Ikuhara has stated that bears tend to be seen in real life as predatory dangers but are often portrayed as cutesy innocents in pop culture, which is a clear parallel to Japan's view of lesbians versus how they're depicted in anime and manga.


    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 10 of Happy Heroes, a bear attacks Big M. and makes off with his bread. It comes back at the end of the episode, this time going after his fish.
  • Lamput: In "Skinny Monster", Fat Doc tries to get the attention of a creature he thinks is Slim Doc as a monster. Slim Doc comes back a few seconds later and demonstrates his monster potion has worn off; the creature Fat Doc poked turns out to be a bear and chases the two for having pestered it.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Smart Dodging episode 29, Wolffy sets up a cage trap for the goats but catches a baby polar bear in the trap instead. The baby polar bear's mother and father are not amused and immediately chase after Wolffy.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The flavor text for the card Grizzly Bears reads Don't try to outrun one of Dominia's Grizzlies; it'll catch you, knock you down and eat you. Of course, you could run up a tree. In that case, you'll get a nice view before it knocks the tree down and eats you. In the early days of Magic, a 2/2 creature with no abilities cost 3 mana, 1 of the creature's color and 2 of any color, while the Grizzly Bears (also 2/2 with no abilities) is only 2 mana; 1 green, 1 other. Thus, they're faster.
    • Other Bears in Magic include Werebear (starts off a weak 1/1, but get 7 cards in your graveyard and it turns 4/4), Ashcoat Bear (you're not even safe from your opponent summoning bears during your turn), and Bearscape (they can come from anywhere!)
    • The bears of Tarkir are even worse news than usual since they start at power 4 and weigh somewhere around a ton. The Khan of the Temur, Surrak Dragonclaw, earned both his position and his many scars by fighting one, which is an achievement roughly on par with stopping an oncoming car by punching it. This changes somewhat in the plane's new timeline, as the return of the dragons knocks the bears down several pegs in the food chain, especially since dragons are noted to find bear flesh quite tasty — although this has the side effect of winnowing the bear populations down to the absolute meanest, fiercest and most battle-hardened bears around.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has two pandas with uncontrollable tempers, Gyaku-Gire Panda and Maji-Gire Panda. There's also Mother Grizzly.

    Comic Books 
  • The British comic 2000 AD had an ongoing strip about Shako, a polar bear Villain Protagonist supposedly inspired by the shark in Jaws, thus neatly combining the worst aspects of both bears and sharks.
  • One graphic novel in the Blacksad series had an (anthropomorphic) polar bear heading the "Arctic Nation", a Nazi/KKK fusion white-fur supremacy group. The leader was undercover and is the chief of police. In the first album, one of Statoc's enforcers is a brown bear that beat Blacksad to a pulp with his Rhino partner.
  • Extinctioners: Harvest (real name Sindi Ursulus), an anthro bear with the ability to control plant life, is one of the hybrids in the story working for the human invaders. Her bio also mentions that due to her fathers dictatorship status in her home country, it would be an understatement to say she grew up spoiled.
  • In the tenth day after his creation, the Monster in The Frankenstein Monster is confronted by a bear in the woods, whom he kills and uses its pelt to create his signature vest.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #22, Indy is captured by Ben Ali Ayoob who releases him in the courtyard of his castle to fight an enraged grizzly bear unarmed.
  • The Herder Witch: While passing through Blossomville, a bear gets loose and goes on the rampage. Thankfully, fellow witch Padora is there to freeze it in ice and then capture it inside a magical container.
  • In Jonah Hex #50 (original series), Jonah is forced to take shelter in a cave during a blizzard. The cave is already occupied by a grizzly bear which attacks him. With his rifle out of action, he is forced to kill the bear with his knife. The bear manages to mangle his face some more in the process.
  • Junior Braves of the Apocalypse: The Junior Braves encounter a zombified bear while hiking through the woods. This is their first introduction to the fact that animals are just as vulnerable to the virus as humans.
  • In the second volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, one of Dr. Moreau's creations is H-9, who happens to be a more ferocious take on the title character of Rupert Bear. H-9 is shown to be very ill-tempered and even tried to assault Allan Quatermain and Mina Murray.
  • A zombie bear (Ursa Major, of the Russian Avengers) appears in Marvel Zombies. It bites down on Machine Man's head where he impales it with spikes and rips it apart. Hell, you wouldn't want to get on Ursa Major's bad side in actual Marvel continuity either, even if he is a good guy. He's pretty tough. In fact, he's pretty tough even in human form.
  • In A Mind Switch In Time, a grizzly bear attacks two campers in the Smallville woods. Fortunately, Superboy arrives and shakes the bear off before sending it stumbling back into the brush.
  • The archenemy of the New Mutant Dani Moonstar is the Demon Bear, a gigantic spectral bear who steals souls and seemed to have killed her parents.
  • Fajer in Pride of Baghdad, a monstrous black bear, and the most morally black character in the comic.
  • In one of Garth Ennis' more bizarrely hilarious moments, The Punisher (amidst the Welcome Back, Frank story arc) falls into a polar bear enclosure at a zoo. Hearing the bad guy mooks in pursuit, Frank punches the nearest bear. Frank escapes, and the enraged bear attacks the bad guys. The finale includes Frank throwing the big bad into the bear pit and letting the bears chew her arms and legs off.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "Bathing Smurfs", Gargamel deals with a bear chasing him through the forest, which leads to his accidentally finding the Smurf Village. He later encounters the same bear who eats up his Trail of Bread Crumbs (cherries that he left so he could find his way back to the Smurf Village) and gets into a fight with it, getting bruised in the process.
  • Thor (2014): A One-Scene Wonder in Jason Aaron's Thor run post Secret Wars was a Ghost Rider riding a Bear instead of a vehicle. The baddest news bears if there ever was one.
  • Tintin has an unfortunate encounter with bears in Destination Moon. At first, he is covered with cuddly bear cubs who want to get their paws on his lunch (sandwiches with honey), but he goes Oh, Crap! when he sees the mean-looking parents coming.
  • Tomahawk: The first time Tomahawk meets his future wife Moon Fawn, he has to save her from a bear attack as she is bathing in a creek. He succeeds in killing the bear using only his tomahawk.
  • In Tragg and the Sky Gods #9, Tragg and his tribe move into a new set of caves on the coast. However, the caves are already occupied by a cave bear that attacks them.
  • In a story by Wilhelm Busch, a bear eats the donkey of Saint Anthony, but Anthony makes the bear carry him instead.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes has a Story Arc where Calvin decides to run away from home with Hobbes because he tried to push the car out of the garage and it accidentally rolled into a ditch. Walking through the woods, they think they hear something big crashing through the brush, and climb a tree out of fear that it's a bear:
    Calvin: There it is! The bear's coming out of the brush! Oh no! It looks like it's on its hind legs! Bears stand up only when they're really mad!!
    Hobbes: Wait, that's not a bear. That's your mom!
  • There's a Far Side cartoon in which a bar fight is happening in an old Western saloon. From the speed at which people are running out the door/being thrown through the window, it's implicit that there's a pretty tough guy inside. Well, his bear is parked outside among the horses.
    • Gary Larson actually did this a few times. Another example can be summarized by quoting the caption. Two bear hunters are examining the gruesome fate of a third, and one of them says:
    There he is, just like all the others. Tied up with his own shotgun, hunting license stuffed in his mouth. I want this bear, Dave. I want him bad.
    • In one strip a shark tricks a bunch of beach-goers into the water by shouting "Bear! Bear!"
    • In another one, the well-known fact that female bears are fiercely protective of their offspring was lampooned, where the cartoon had a tired office worker absent-mindedly stepping into an elevator between a mother grizzly and her cub. (She seemed docile in the scene as shown, but according to the caption, what was about to happen would not be pleasant.)
    • Another one has two boys playing catch with what appears to be a teddy bear...
    And no one ever heard from the Anderson Brothers again.
    • Another has two bears observing some picnickers, and one says to the other:
    "C'mon Look at these fangs! Look at these claws! You think we're supposed to eat just honey and berries"
  • Garfield tends to have trouble with bears on Jon's Horrible Camping Trips; one of the worst (which provides the current image for Mistaken Identity) was when he found what he thought was his teddy bear Pooky away from the campsite, only to find the real Pooky and a very angry bear there. "Momma!" cries the — real — bear cub he's holding.
  • A recurring storyline in Non Sequitur is "Homer the Reluctant Soul" which involves Homer's numerous lives and rebirths; many of them end at the hands of a bear; at the end of one of his lives, it revealed that this is actually the same bear, whom he has met in the bear's numerous lives. (Its name in the afterlife is Maurice; when he confronts it there, it simply says, "Right, like the food chain is my fault?")
  • Rhymes With Orange has a strip set in an office building. There's a live bear in a display case with the case labeled, "To put your emergency in perspective, break glass."

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Brown Bear of the Green Glen", John's first impression; it has to threaten him to get him out of the tree.
  • "The Cat on the Dovrefell": The traveler's white bear chases a huge pack of trolls out of the farm when one of them disrupts its sleep.
  • "Goldilocks": They were bad news for a girl who was dumb enough to break into the house of three bears, damage the furniture, and then take a nap there until they came back.
  • In the folk tale of Masha and the Bear, a young girl has to outwit a bullying bear who's press-ganged her into becoming his servant for taking shelter in his house while he was out.
  • Used in one Appalachian folk tale. A grandmother sends her grandson to buy baking soda. The boy buys the baking soda, but on the way home, he has to cross a bridge under which a bear lives. The bear eats the boy. Every time a member of the family goes to see what happened to the boy, they too run into the bear and get eaten. Finally, the family's pet squirrel is the only one left, and he also comes across the bear. Before the bear can eat him, the squirrel outsmarts the bear and the bear coughs up the humans.

    Fan Works 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes III: Double Trouble, Calvin sets up a trap for Chill that exploits this.
  • In Total Drama' fanfic Courtney's Crusade for Redemption'' Courtney's opponent in the boxing challenge is the series' recurring bear. She wins.
  • In The Dragon and the Bow, (a crossover between Brave and How to Train Your Dragon) we meet the Vendal, a malicious Barbarian Tribe led by Mor'du the Demon Bear. They're not actually bears, but they wear bear pelts, wield weapons tipped with bear claws, and kill people in a manner similar to bears. Mor'du himself is the most dangerous of the bunch, especially because he's the Child by Rape of Hilde the Witch and the Red Death. In this case, Half-Dragons Named After Bears Are Bad News?
  • John Gage gets clawed by one on a Horrible Camping Trip in this Emergency! fic. Since they don't have their usual paramedic equipment, Roy has to keep John alive until they can get help.
  • Played with realistically in Equestria Girls: Dinosapien where a grizzly menaces Maia and Sandalwood on account it's a Mama Bear trying to intimidate them away after Sandalwood accidentally spooked the cub going for his trail food. She and Eno square off briefly but aside from a light tackle from Eno, they don't physically fight and just back off.
  • Forum of Thrones: The cruel leader of a bandit clan calls himself Bear and wears a helmet shaped like a bears head, paired with knives embedded in the fingers of his gloves, to emulate claws. Surely enough, he is bad news whenever he shows up.
  • Half-Life: Full Life Consequences: John Freeman got quiet then dropped weapon and said "I have to kill fast and bullets too slow" and started killing Combines with bear hands.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, George is interviewed for the Guardians by Bayr, a big, hairy man who can turn into a 12-foot-tall grizzly bear. He does this to show off in front of George, not knowing that George can turn into a 50-foot dragon and is so not impressed (though he does pretend to be impressed).
  • In Must Love Ned Flanders, which is a fanfic of The Simpsons, Naomi gets chased by a bear in Alaska.
  • In The Nightmare House, Lisa Loud has a nightmare about an evil teddy bear who treats her like a baby and spanks her.
  • In Paradise, an Ursa Major passed by in the Unicorn territory, causing the whole herd to go into Red Alert mode.
  • A Pikachu in Love: An Ursaring shows up in the later chapters and nearly beats both Pikachu and Pichi to death. (Pikachu was too exhausted at the time from staying up all night to put up a good fight.) Though, granted, they did crash into his den unannounced by accident...
  • Baloo the cave bear in Prehistoric Earth can be surprisingly friendly and affable for the most part despite his tough and grizzled appearance. However, that still doesn't change the fact that he's an utterly massive bear with incredible strength, viciously sharp teeth, and equally viciously sharp claws. And God help you if you're stupid enough to harm or threaten his primary caretakers Will and Alice in front of him.
  • Smokey the arctodus in Prehistoric Park Reimagined proves a quite vicious force to be reckoned with, first getting introduced on the clear winning end of a Curb-Stomp Battle against Diego the smilodon and still proving fairly gruff and aloof when he's later seen amongst the animals rescued and living at the titular park (to the point that even the other arctodus rescued don't want to risk pissing him off). And that's without taking into account how both he and the park's usual poster boy for Beary Friendly Kronk the arctotherium become quite horrifyingly more aggressive than normal when under the effects of a mysterious unnatural aggression and rage inducing virus.
  • The Raven's Plan has Bran warging into a bear and mauling Ramsay to death.
  • Technically, the Drop Bears in A Teacher's Glory are giant arboreal carnivorous sloths, but they are still creatures even jonin prefer to avoid when they can.
  • In Vigil, one of the many Uplifted Animals humanity has created are bears. Some of which joined XCOM, resulting in giant, power-armor clad humanoid bear soldiers with plasma cannons.

    Films — Animated 
  • The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie: Played with; the first bear we see is friendly, and quietly helps Feeno make mortar for brick-laying. The next bears we see are some of the dinner guests at the inn. One is fairly passive, and asks for a jar of honey, only to be thrown out by his fellow patrons for not requesting meat. The rest of the bears play the trope straight, and are just as rowdy as the other guests, slamming their fists on tables, and later along with the rest of the guests, trashing the place in a riot.
  • Supposedly played straight in Alpha and Omega when several bears threaten Humphrey and Kate due to Humphrey for accidentally making a cub cry, but ultimately a subversion. If such bears can be defeated by wolves with anime hair, then they clearly don't pose a threat at all (wolves are far too weak to even scratch a grizzly, so...). Though this proves otherwise. Subverted in the sequel A Howl-iday Adventure. Fearing that they might experience a repeat of what happened in the first film, Humphrey initially refuses to help a lost bear cub before doing so. But at the film's climax, the bear cub actually gets his mother and their fellow bears to effectively use this trope to defeat King and his rogue wolves and force them into retreating.
    • The first movie had a fight with a bear near the beginning of Balto's journey to find the medicine, and the bear was portrayed as outright demonic.
  • Balto features a fight with a bear near the beginning of Balto's journey to find the medicine, and the bear is portrayed as outright demonic. It's only defeated by falling through the ice and drowning.
    • This carries over to the sequel, where Balto and Aleu fight a bear. Thanks to his embodiment of an animal totem, he comes across as more of a spirit guide, but he's still fairly menacing and seems to believe Scare 'Em Straight is the best way to guide them.
    • Even though they are cubs and thus good the polar bears Muk and Luk spell this trope for their babysitter, "Uncle" Boris (who at one point says "I hate bears!"). Good thing that they apparently are stuck as cubs forever (if the time between the movie and sequels is of any indication).
  • In Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, the Hand of Horror reveals that Irving's worst fear is having to tell jokes to bears, which causes an entire nightclub where the guests are angry grizzlies to spawn, with poor Irving as a comedian. Naturally, Irving fails to entertain the ursids and they all promptly gang up on him and maul him alive. Thankfully, they all get poofed away when the Hand reveals the Boogeyman's worst terror (being unable to scare others at all), which the heroes find ridiculous.
  • Brave has Mor'du. He's twelve feet tall with razor sharp claws, one glowing red eye and an almost rabid taste for human flesh. You know, for kids! He also ripped off the leg of King Fergus, father of protagonist Merida, leading him to have an unending grudge against bears. Given Merida leads her queen mom to become a bear, Bears Are Really Bad News...
  • Seemingly played straight in Brother Bear, when the main character sees bears as irritations at first and goes on to full-blown hatred towards them after one inadvertently caused his brother's death. Subverted when he turns into one and finds out that bears actually aren't so terrible.
  • At one point in The Christmas Tree, Judy's kids and their dog Licorice get attacked by a bear with an uncanny resemblance to Baloo from The Jungle Book.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has living gummy bears trying to take out a Flying Car gremlin style, until being stopped by a gummy bear-loving monkey.
  • The climax of The Fox and the Hound. Where a bear is portrayed as some demonic beast spawned from the depths of Hell. (This has a lot to do with the fact that Amos shoots it but only wounds it, making it very, very angry, as wounded animals often are.) It might not be the most terrifying antagonist to appear in a Disney film, but it's definitely on the list.
  • In Fun and Fancy Free, this is averted with Bongo, Lulubelle and the gang of friendly bears, but played straight with the huge, monstrous bear, Lumpjaw.
  • Averted with Lars, his parents and his friend Greta in The Little Polar Bear and its sequels. Downplayed with Brutus, a grown-up polar bear who serves as a major antagonist and Lars' archenemy in the films. He dislikes Lars for ruining his seal hunting plans. However he is merely a simple neighbourhood grump and not that much of a villain, although he does commit some minor immoral acts such as interrogating a lemming and threatening Lars' dad in the original film and leaving Lars with his friends behind on a train to be transported away from the Arctic to the south in the sequel The Little Polar Bear 2 The Mysterious Island.
  • Vincent from Over the Hedge is one of the three Big Bads, and insists R.J. that he must find food for him, or else he will eat him.
  • In Sherlock Gnomes, Irene's bouncer, bodyguard and general enforcer is a gigantic, hulking teddy bear who is missing an eye.
  • In Sing, street performer Mike runs afoul of the Mafia, portrayed by bears, speaking with Russian accents, when he tries cheating at cards.
  • In Tom Sawyer (2000), the Big Bad is a massive, hulking anthro grizzly named Injurin' Joe, a far more sadistic and deranged version of Injun Joe from the novel. In an otherwise lighthearted musical film, the guy stands out as a particularly monstrous and spine-chilling antagonist.
  • Lotso, the teddy bear from Toy Story 3 is a straight example.
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt lampshaded, in contrast to the children's book on which it's based. The children perceive the bear as a danger and run away from it, despite it being conveyed to the audience that the bear is a gentle, friendly creature in this version.
  • In Zootopia the crime boss Mister Big has polar bear bodyguards.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 13th Warrior features man-eating bear-monsters as the primary antagonists who turn out to be neolithic cavemen wearing bearskins.
  • The Adventures Of The Wilderness Family features the family being menaced by a Grizzly bear several times. Averted in the case of the film's other bear, Samson, who later comes to their rescue.
  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: the prospect of a woman joining the news team will raise the possibility of the network being overwhelmed by bear attacks as they are attracted to her menses; at the film's climax, the hero and heroine must defend themselves after falling into the bear pit at the zoo. The news team tries to fight them off with... little success.
  • Annihilation (2018) has a mutated bear who has a human skull growing out of the left side of its face. What makes this bear more terrifying is the fact that after it attacks its victims, it lets out their screams of agony to attract prey.
  • The 2015 film Backcountry is about a couple who go on a camping trip in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. Unfortunately, things start to go south when it's revealed that they're woefully unprepared (as in the boyfriend purposefully left his girlfriend's cell phone behind, and didn't even bring a map), and things go From Bad to Worse when all their food and water is lost. The two end up being attacked in their tent by a black bear, and the girlfriend is forced to flee after the bear drags the boyfriend away and starts eating him alive.
  • In Back to the Future Part III, Marty discovers that the cave he hid in houses a bear. He runs.
  • The new Trope Namer, the 1976 film The Bad News Bears, actually has nothing to do with this trope. Those Bears just initially sucked at playing baseball.
  • Bear, a film produced by Freddie Wong. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In Berserker, the cast is menaced by a regular bear in addition to the bear-masked Viking remnant. The two even fight each other at one point.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
  • Just like in the novel, Clan of the Cave Bear has bear wrestling as one of the Cro-Magnon tribe's rites of passage.
  • Claws, a hard to find killer bear film from the 80s.
  • A bear shows up at the start of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, mauling Caesar's son Blue Eyes and giving him scars on his chest. Caesar steps in between Blue Eyes and the bear and shouts at it while the bear roars back. It all ends when Koba jumps onto the bear from behind and stabs it, leaving it to die from blood loss.
  • A grizzly bear is one of the creatures hounding the cast in Day of the Animals. When it confronts a character played by Leslie Nielsen, a brief wrestling match ensues.
  • The Jigsaw-ish villains of the Death Tube duology wear cartoon bear costumes because it is a Widget Series.
  • In The Edge, two men are stranded in the wilderness and must outsmart a bear in order to survive.
  • Flight of the Eagle is set in the Arctic and features polar bears (which the expedition hunts for meat). One of the expedition members, Fraenkel, ends up getting mauled to death by a polar bear.
  • Ginger Snaps also brings up the bears-are-attracted-to-menstruation myth, when Brigitte tries to figure out what kind of animal attacked Ginger after she experienced menarche. In reality, only polar bears have a clear response to human menstrual odors.
  • In Girls Nite Out, the mascot of the school basketball team is a bear. The killer steals the costume and gives it Wolverine Claws by putting knives into its paws.
  • Godzilla's stance and fighting style in Godzilla (2014) are partly based off of those of bears. A case of Shown Their Work, as Gojira's original suit actor based his movement on that of bears after studying them in zoos.
  • The Great Outdoors features a large bear (rumored to be a man-eater) which had her head fur removed via shotgun many years earlier by John Candy's character. This bear shows up toward the end of the movie and is shot in the butt with the shotgun lamp, causing the raccoons to make fun of her.
  • Grizzly featured a giant prehistoric killer bear going on a killing spree on ranger's station; the bear's claws are so sharp he can cut off a person's arms and decapitate a horse with a single swipe.
  • Grizzly Bear Activist/Lunatic Timothy Treadwell, subject of the documentary Grizzly Man, made it his life's mission to prove this trope wrong. His mission: Unsuccessful. See the Real-Life folder for details.
  • Several direct-to-video films including Grizzly Park, Bear and Grizzly Rage.
  • In The Cannon Group's Hercules, the first enemy sent to destroy the hero as an adult is a grizzly bear who manages to slay his adoptive father. Hercules not only beats the tar out of the bear, he tosses the beast into space, whereupon it becomes the Ursa Major constellation! It could be this So Bad, It's Good film's Signature Scene.
  • In Arnold Schwarzenegger's debut Hercules in New York, Hercules' date in Central Park is interrupted by a bear that has escaped from the zoo, which Hercules wrestles into submission.
  • The 2015 film Into The Grizzly Maze features Thomas Jane and Billy Bob Thornton up against a killer bear.
  • In Lake Placid, the group is chased and menaced by a bear... only for the gigantic crocodile to lunge out of the water and eat it.
  • In the epilogue of Legends of the Fall, Tristan meets his demise at the claws of a grizzly played by Bart the Bear.
  • In The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, the horrible disembowellings by the mutant are at first attributed to a bear.
    Ranger Brad: In my time as a forest ranger, I've seen bears do things not even a bear would do.
  • In The Love Bug, as Thorndyke's car is stuck in the mud and his assistant Havershaw attempts to push it out, a bear enters the car, enticed by the food they had. After they get out, Thorndyke immediately takes off without Havershaw, but because his racing goggles are heavily smeared with mud, he doesn't realize there's a bear until he strikes it, making it growl and prompting him to faint.
  • The protagonist of Man in the Wilderness is mauled by a bear that wounds him so badly, his companions leave him for dead.
  • Misfit Heights has a zombie bear.
  • The 1966 film The Night of the Grizzly is one of the earliest "Killer Bear" films.
  • Only the Brave: A repeated motif is a bear made of fire, representing the danger fires bring and the cost they inflict. This comes from Eric's memory of one of his earliest fires, an entire forest goes up in flames and out comes running a bear on fire. He says he'd never seen anything so beautiful or so terrifying.
  • In Outlander, Kainan and several Vikings go searching for the creature that slaughtered a village. They find a giant bear. While the bear is bad enough in its own right, it wasn't the creature that slaughtered the village — and the Vikings assume that it was, and stop searching.
  • In Paddington, as with the rest of the franchise, this is played with and downplayed, since Paddington isn't a wild vicious bear but tends to stumble into occasional mayhem which results in calamity for the people around him. Implied when Mr. Brown tries to inform the insurance company he has a guest in the house that's a bear. Also, when the family first encounter Paddington at the train station, Mr. Brown alerts them to the presence of a bear on the platform and warns them to be careful... because he's probably selling something.
  • In the first Problem Child movie, during the scene of the camp, Ben's friend Roy tries to invoke this by scaring everyone wearing a bear costume. Unfortunately for him, Junior brings along a real bear.
  • The all-but-forgotten 1979 eco-horror flick Prophecy features a mercury-crazed, skinless, gooey mutant bear which is attacking the human populace nearby. Then the geniuses take her cubs...
  • Rampage (2018): Inverted. George the albino gorilla is Bad News for a grizzly bear whose enclosure he ends up breaking into in the night, because he's infected with a pathogen that makes him grow into a violent Kaiju. The grizzly only gets in a few scratches on him before he snaps its neck, and thanks to his Healing Factor, he soon shrugs it off.
  • The Revenant is about a Mountain Man who is mauled by a bear, kills it, and then is left for dead by his hunting party, before miraculously recovering and dragging himself over thousands of miles of wilderness on a quest for revenge. And it's a TRUE STORY.
  • In Road to Utopia, bears intrude in the cabin and Bob Hope mistakes one of them for his girlfriend while he groped its paw and commented on its long claws. One of them even talks.
  • In Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the two lead kids get menaced by a polar bear (or at least a man in a laughably awful polar bear costume).
  • Savage Planet featured space bears.
  • Semi-Pro "Everybody panic! Oh my God, there's a bear loose in the stadium! There will be no refunds!" "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The trainer for that bear was killed by said bear later that year. And the bear got put down.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The fishermen briefly have a bear scare, but it's just Steve using the bathroom. Later, Stantin and Knox run into a real bear. They try to just casually walk away, but it chases them for a distance.
  • Snow Dogs: After Ted is thrown from his sled, he ends up being chased off a cliff by a grizzly, which leads to him then tumbling down a mountain and into a frozen lake where he falls in and nearly Freezes to death.
  • Br'er Bear in Song of the South certainly qualifies. He is Beary Funny but at the same time is a brute when he gets mad.
  • The Son of Kong features a giant cave bear attacking Denham and Hilda, only failing to kill them thanks to interference from the eponymous son of King Kong, Kiko who defeats and drives it away.
  • Spaceballs: Spaceball-1 is about to self-destruct, and the bad guys are trying to get to their escape pods, but since it's a Mel Brooks movie, there were also a bunch of circus folk on the ship, and they took all of the escape pods. Skroob tries to buckle himself into what he thinks is the only empty pod, but there is also a bear, to make this part more hilarious. It scared President Skroob. Even funnier when you remember that the circus was ordered closed earlier in the film by Lord Helmet as punishment.
  • Ursine Aliens in the Star Wars movies aren't necessarily bad news, but they're always forces to be reckoned with. Wookiees are some of the most feared badasses in the galaxy, and Ewoks look like teddy bears but prey on humans who offend them or their "gods"; when both species work together, they succeed in taking down The Empire with shockingly primitive technology.
  • Ted is a comedy about a teddy bear named Ted who comes to life as a result of a child's Christmas wish. Years later, the boy is all grown-up and struggling to become an adult. Ted is a slacker who just wants to drink beer and smoke pot and wants his best friend to do the same. Not scary, but still bad news.
  • The Three Stooges met with foul-tempered bears on more than one occasion. They were a little more civilized than the trope usually allows for; one even proved capable of driving a car and signaling for a turn.
  • The 2015 horror film Unnatural features ravenous genetically-altered polar bears besieging Arctic residents. And they are VERY bad news.
  • One of the PCP-afflicted animals running loose in Wild Beasts is a polar bear named Pompeius, who at one point mauls a ballet teacher.
  • The Japanese film Yellow Fangs, which was based upon the Sankebetsu incident.

  • A Russian joke goes something like this:
    A guy is lost in the woods, so he just stands there and keeps shouting "Hello!"
    Suddenly, he feels a pat on the shoulder. He turns around and sees a bear, who asks, "Dude, why are you yelling?"
    "In case someone hears me?"
    "Well, I heard you. Feeling better?"
  • There's a joke about someone in the woods who finds a praying bear. There are many versions of it.
    • The version where it's a generic hunter in the woods:
    A hunter is out hunting bear in the woods. He sees one, lines up his sights, takes a shot, and misses. The bear sees the hunter and charges towards him. The hunter tries to take another shot, but finds he's out of ammo. He throws down the gun and starts running away, but he realizes that the bear is going to catch up to him.
    The hunter falls to his knees and starts praying. He says, "Dear Lord, I ask that you let this bear find some religion before he does me in."
    He turns around, and the bear stops, falls to its knees, and starts praying. The bear says, "Dear Lord, for this food I am about to receive, I am truly grateful…"
    • The version where it's a Christian in the woods:
    There’s a Christian who’s hiking in the woods one day when he comes upon an angry bear. The bear stood up on its hind legs and growled ferociously, clearly preparing to charge. In panic, the Christian started to run, but the bear followed close on his heels.
    Finally the hiker came to a cliff. So he dropped to his knees and asked God to please make this bear a good Christian bear. To the hiker’s amazement, the bear suddenly stopped growling, fell to his knees and folded his paws together in prayer! "Thank you, Lord!" exclaimed the Christian.
    "Thank you, Lord!" exclaimed the bear, "for this meal I'm about to receive!"
    • The version where it's a Jew in the woods:
    A man, out for a walk in the woods came across a bear. Frightened for his life, he ran as fast as he could to escape and hide in a cave. He was horrified to find that the bear followed him into the cave trapping him. He closed his eyes and recited "Shema Yisrael" in anticipation of his final moments. When he is finished, he opens his eyes and is surprised to see the bear in front of him with his eyes closed - also praying!
    The man thinks to himself "how lucky am I to be cornered by what must be the only Jewish bear! He's frum! We're mishpocheh...and I'm not Kosher. I'm saved!" He then listens more carefully to the bear's prayer: "...hamotzi lechem min haaretz."
    • The version where it's an Atheist in the woods (the longest one):
    A photographer, who was also a confirmed atheist, decided to go into the woods to capture photos of the fall foliage. It was a beautiful day: fall colors, birds chirping, a babbling brook, and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves.
    While snapping shots, the photographer heard a noise behind him and whirled around to see a huge bear coming through the bushes.
    He dropped his camera and ran. And kept running and running... And looking behind him, he noticed the bear was gaining on him! He was so scared that tears came to his eyes. He ran faster, but the bear was closing in on him. He ran faster yet and tripped over a root. Rolling over onto his back, the man saw the bear rise to his full height and raise a huge paw... and the atheist cried out, "Oh, God, no!"
    And everything stopped. The birds stopped chirping. The brook stopped babbling. The gentle breeze stopped. And the bear froze with his paw in the air. And the man heard a booming voice say, "Young man. For years you've doubted my very existence, but now that your life is in peril you call my name to help you. Why should I do so?"
    And the man thought for a moment, and said, "Yes, you are right. If you are God, then it would be hypocritical of me to become a Christian at this point in my life. But, do you think that you could at least make the bear a Christian for today?" And the booming voice was quiet for a moment and then said, "Done."
    And everything started again. The birds chirping, brook babbling, and gentle breeze rustling the leaves. And the bear slowly lowered his paw. Then the bear put his paws together, and bowed his massive head and said, "Dear Lord, please bless this food we are about to eat."

  • The Adventures of Strong Vanya: Grand Duke Dimitri keeps three wild, hungry Siberian bears in a pen behind the palace's gates to deal with unwanted visitors. It is said that whoever gets to deal with them will not need a coffin afterwards.
  • All American Pups: In the first book, Claude Coyote leaves the pups alone and runs when he thinks he hears a bear, and Jake is worried about having to deal with it. Turns out, the bear noises were only Fritz's hoarse barking.
  • Animorphs: Rachel's favored combat morph is a male grizzly bear. She acquired it specifically because she knew the team was taking on their most dangerous mission yet. The characters also consider their polar bear morphs (biggest land predator, to Rachel's outrage until she acquired one) to the baddest of their badass. They only bust them out for serious shock value and mayhem (and a polar bear-morphed Controller killed Rachel). A boy named Julio later also takes a grizzly bear as his battle morph. Rachel is a bit offended about that.
  • Bard: In "Fugitives in Winter", Felimid tricks the enraged king hunting him into following a false trail into a bear cave. He wasn't expecting the inhabitant to be a two-headed monster that refused to stop at killing just the king, though...
  • The Bear Kingdom takes place in an Alternate Universe where bears have taken over, and humans are nothing more than slaves, pets, and sometimes food.
  • The Belgariad: Males of a certain family possess the power to spontaneously become bears when the Rivan King is threatened. Given that they're already from the local Viking analogue, this just makes them more dangerous. Fittingly, they're from a culture that worships Belar, the bear god. It's not certain whether this is just a happy coincidence or a very direct blessing from Belar himself, but it is definitely awesome. There is also an extremist sect devoted to Belar known as the Bear-Cult. In the Belgariad they're a mild annoyance, but in the Mallorean they definitely make things worse. Belar, meanwhile, generally appears as a young blond-haired warrior, and not a bear.
  • The Bloody Road To Death: Rasputin, a former circus bear which can drink beer and throw hand grenades, is adopted by the 27th Penal Panzer Regiment. Porta is distraught when it gets killed in action. This, by the way, is based on fact (though the bear is fighting on the wrong side).
  • Borne: The ruined city is ruled by Mord, a three-story tall biotech bear who can fly, and who is served by an army of nonflying, normal-size "Mord proxies" with superspeed and enhanced senses.
  • In the Cambridge Latin Course series of plot-oriented textbooks, a bitter British chieftain attempts to kill his rival chieftain with a bear he has spent a year training for murder. The bear breaks free of control and goes on a rampage, nearly killing the king. The rampage is stopped by Quintus, who has a penchant for heroic animal abuse. Nobody ever said it made sense.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: The first book has a giant, evil, demon-possessed bear that exists to kill things. If you suddenly can't see or hear any other animals, start praying.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: In Prince Caspian, Lucy was attacked by a non-talking bear when traveling to meet the Narnian army. It serves as a warning that Narnia as a whole is not the nice place they were once rulers of.
  • Colonization: The Ursoids ('bear-like') are one of the alien powers bordering human space. They never get a day in the limelight, but they're variously described as expansionist and willing to bash your brains in if they think you've gone back on a deal.
  • Combat Team: The wildlife is so dangerous that the only way people can survive on the planet is with the help of domesticated mutant Kodiak bears.
  • Crabbe: Franklin Crabbe runs afowl of a bear while out in the woods. He manages to survive the encounter by making himself as small as possible, causing the bear to just bat him around a bit before losing interest.
  • The Dark Tower: The group, in the third book, has to fight a giant zombie cyborg bear god named "Shardik" in reference to the Richard Adams novel about a similar creature.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Death Masks: the Denarians are first introduced. The first of them? Ursiel, a monstrous demonic bear rampaging through the alleys. It takes all three Knights of the Cross to take him down. Compare later battles where the Knights go one-on-one with the Nickelheads, or when Ivy takes on a large group singlehandedly. Some Tropers have blamed Conservation of Ninjutsu... but good grief, it's a bear!!
    • Turn Coat: they threw fireballs at the naagloshii, they threw lightning bolts, werewolves, vampires, heavy arms fire, the fires of creation that angels use. Nothing worked. What kicks its ass? Someone turned into a bear. A bear the size of a minibus.
  • Fighting Fantasy: If you meet a bear in a gamebook, it's likely going to attack you.
  • The Fox and the Hound: A bear tries to attack the hunter, but Chief saves him. This is one of the few aspects of the book that are actually somewhat carried over into the Disney movie, albeit at the climax of the story instead of towards the beginning as in the novel. The Disney film avoids the Groin Attack the dog gives the bear, as well.
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A little girl lost for weeks in the forest is bad enough. This is also the Appalachians.
  • His Dark Materials has panserbjorne, sapient polar bears with opposable thumbs who forge suits of plate armor from meteoric iron. The name means "armored bears", but colloquially could be taken as "tank bears".
    • In The Movie, they are called "Isbjorne", meaning "ice bears" or polar bears. Not as intimidating, but you do not want to run into a polar bear anywhere.
    • They are morally neutral, with their current king Iorek Byrnisson as a friend to the protagonists. Nonetheless, one should pity the ones that are enemies to the bears. Besides being giant polar bears in sky iron armor that can think and talk like humans, the panserbjorne have flamethrowers. Armored Polar Bear Vikings with Flamethrowers.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Hobbit: The protagonists stay in the home of Beorn on their journey, and are warned not to go outside at night. The reason? He turns into a bear. Even worse is his appearance at the Battle of Five Armies. "He came alone, and in bear's shape, and seemed to have grown almost to giant-size in his wrath." He charges through the entire Goblin army to retrieve Thorin's body, then does it again to chase down and kill Bolg, the Goblin Chieftain.
    • The Lord of the Rings: However, unusually, Beorn and his descendants are good folks. They are also the prototypes for D&D werebears, whose alignment is lawful good.
  • Hoka: The aliens look like teddy bears, but they are indeed a menace. To your sanity, at least.
  • Hunted A True Story Of Survival: A literal Mama Bear goes after the writer for killing her cub and it only ends when the writer manages to crush the bear under tons of ice. The kicker? It's supposed to be based on a "true story"
  • I Want My Hat Back: In this children's book, Rabbit steals Bear's hat. This ends very badly for Rabbit.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Urzhad are cave bears native to the Beor mountains, which can grow to the size of a house and are stated to be dangerous foes even for dragons.
  • Joe Pickett: A subplot in Trophy Hunt concerns a rogue grizzly that has wandered far out of its usual range and is wreaking havoc in Joe's bailiwick. Joe is rightful very worried about the idea of having to track the bear down and confront it.
  • Judge Dee: In The Haunted Monastery, the judge, faced with a villain whose reputation and connections at the Imperial Court make him untouchable by the law, locks him in a room with an angry bear.
  • Line of Delirium has the Bulrathi, a race of huge ursine Proud Warrior Race Guys, who are obsessed with melee combat despite almost everyone else using all manner of ranged energy weapons. During the Vague War, the Bulrathi would often interrogate captured humans, then hit them in the liver and send them home. After a few days, the person would die. In a quirk of evolution, Bulrathi speak with falsetto voices. On the other hand, they make excellent tenors, but good luck trying to watch a Bulrathi performance without bursting into laughter (unless you're afraid of having your head torn off). True to their nature, the Bulrathi even managed to use their voice as a weapon, specifically against the Silicoids, who use focused EM fields to move, communicate, and attack. The high-frequency sound emitted by Bulrathi warriors resonates with the Silicoid EM-emitting organ, requiring a single punch to disable it. One of the few Bulrathi featured in the series has become a Combat Pragmatist since the war, though. He never goes anywhere without his blaster and will take hostages if necessary, only engaging in honorable combat if he's sure he has the advantage.
  • Mad Amos Malone: In one story, Amos takes a British Great White Hunter out hunting for jackalopes, because the man is looking to bag an animal he's never gotten before. Unfortunately, they run afoul of a flock of the jackalope's primary predator, the owlwolf, and have to retreat into a nearby cave. Then the owlwolves suddenly retreat, and it's not because of the two hunters and their guns, it's because they've woken up the cave's owner, a grizzephant, which is a bear the size of a woolly mammoth.
  • Maerchenmond: Zigzagged. Kelhim is a huge bear who is a feared fighter, but actually has a soft heart and a friendly personality. He is a talking animal, and one of the hero's best friends. He also helps him to fight the armies of evil. In the second volume, magic disappears from this world, and Kelhim transforms into a raging beast that chases not just animals, but humans as well. In his cave are numerous skeletons. The hero does not know this when he visits Kelhims cave, and is attacked by him immediately. Kelhim is eventually killed by an android, but soon returns to the one he was before.
  • Monster Hunter International: In Monster Hunter Vendetta, the MHI compound is attacked by an army of zombie animals, including at least one zombie bear that Owen and Agent Franks have to kill at close range.
  • Nightfall (Series): Myra, Tristan, and Prince Vladimir encounter one during Myra's first hunt. It leads to one of the most tense action sequences in the first book.
  • Old Yeller has the title dog saving his humans from an angry mother bear after the youngest kid tried befriending a bear cub.
  • Paddington Bear: Played with. Paddington is on the whole a very polite, friendly, courteous and helpful sort of bear. However, having recently made his way to London from Darkest Peru, his lack of understanding of both human and English cultural mores can result in him causing plenty of trouble for the people around him unintentionally. Downplayed, since Paddington is not a vicious bear and so the trouble he causes tends to be more along the lines of "social faux pas and clumsiness-induced inconvenience".
  • Prospero's Daughter: Logistilla's bear is her guard, and it menaces some of her family on occasion.
  • Quest for Fire: The protagonists are terrified of bears, particularly the "grey bear" (probably Ursus arctos). They even regard their enemy Cannibal Tribe as descendants of the bear. Even the herbivorous cave bear can be nasty when provoked by starvation or sheer anger.
  • Reverend Huuskonens Beastly Manservant: Zig-Zagging Trope. Subverted in that the titular reverend adopts a bear cub, then a complicated series of events leads to him taking a grand tour or Eastern Europe all the way down to the Black Sea, training the bear to be an excellent manservant (unpacking suitcases, ironing and folding clothes, helping him during the sermons and running a bar with unrivalled efficiency). Played straight in that the bear's name is Beelzebub, and if you should threaten his master, he is still very much an adult male brown bear.
  • Rudyard Kipling:
    • "The Truce of the Bear" in which a blind Indian beggar explains to hunters why they should not pay attention when they have a bear cornered and it stands on its hind legs and seems to beg for mercy. The flesh of his face is withered "like slag in the furnace" because of a blow from "Adam-zad, the Bear that walks like a Man".
      • Which Kipling explicitly said was to be a deliberate political warning: Don't Trust Russia! (He wrote it in 1898, and meant Czarist Russia.)
    • There's also a couple of lines from another famous poem of his:
      But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail
  • Sacrament: The main character is mauled by a bear and ends up in a coma.
  • Seven Brothers: Inverted. The Hunter Trapper brothers are bad news for bears, although they know to treat this game with respect. Their father, too, killed over fifty bears during his lifetime, and when he was finally killed by one himself, it was a Mutual Kill.
  • Shardik features a bear which is believed to personify the power of God. Whether or not this is true, the bear only ever seems to maul the bad guys.
  • Snuffles, a novella by R. A. Lafferty, initially subverts this. Snuffles is an somewhat intelligent alien creature that resembles a bear and is very friendly until the second chapter where it's played straight, then taken Up to Eleven.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • When the wights attack The Fist in A Storm of Swords, they have a reanimated undead bear in tow. Cue pants pissing. Also the famous scene in which Brienne the Beauty is dropped into a pit with a bear that's angry, starved, and has been trained to kill and devour men. Her only weapons? A blunted sword and a lacy pink dress. She holds her own until The Cavalry arrives.
    • In A Clash of Kings, the loathsome Amory Lorch is thrown unarmed and naked into the aforementioned bear pit. He dies horribly.
    • The bear is also the totem for the Northern House Mormont, a House which boasts a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, as well as Daenerys Targaryen's former right-hand man, who killed at least two Dothraki warriors in combat..and that's just what happened "on-screen". They're also one of the two houses that still openly swear fealty to the King in the North (the other, House Reed, has a "lizard-lion" as their official animal). House Mormont's women are also warriors because they had to protect their children and lands from raiders while the men where elsewhere — it is, in fact, a point of family pride that if you even think of harming their holdings or the kiddies, Mormont lasses will quite professionally go all Mama Bear on you. Many are even rumoured to have slept with bears (which handily dodges questions about paternity).
  • Spellsinger: Bears are among the most physically-formidable of all Warmlanders. Several of the bad guys use bears as Mooks, or recruit a bear as The Dragon. In one book a bear warlord gets zapped to our world into a group of non-anthropomorphic bears. When he tries to take charge of them, they promptly maul him to death.
  • Star Risk, Ltd.: Grok is a nonhuman whose species strongly resembles bears. And he's not above using the resemblance to his advantage.
  • Survivor Dogs:
    • Bears are called "giantfurs". They're scary enough to make Alpha terrified. According to him, even wolves fear bears.
    • Subverted with the first bear depicted. A black bear appears when Daisy and the Fierce Dog pups are on a test in the mountains. It's large and frightening, but it isn't remotely interested in the dogs. It's looking for honey in a nearby tree. Everything goes south when Grunt tries to attack the bear, causing it to get angry.
  • The Terror: The infamous real-life Franklin expedition run afoul of an Inuit spirit called Tuunbaq, which takes the form of a gigantic polar bear with a long writhing neck. The men assume it to be a normal polar bear until it starts killing them and butchering their bodies (including their commander, Sir John) in ways a bit too intelligent for a normal animal. For example, it takes two crewmen, cuts them in half, and then places the upper part of one man onto the lower part of the other. Oh, and it also sucks out their souls.
  • Three Dark Crowns: Arsinoe tries to get a bear familiar with low magic. The first one is some kind of undead abomination that nearly kills her. The second one is controlled by her The Beast Master foster sister and best friend Jules. Jules loses control of the bear right smack in the middle of a celebration, causing several deaths and nearly killing one of Arsinoe's sisters, Mirabella.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: One of the species of Wild creatures (the local Fair Folk) are golden bears, which are giant, intelligent, capable of speech and absolutely capable of wielding weapons.
    • In the first book, when a golden bear breaks out of captivity with her young, she slaughters an entire village that trapped her and proceeds to utterly destroy everyone chasing after her until she dies of the accumulated wounds.
    • Inverted in book three, when John Crayford and his company are rescued from certain death by a pack of golden bears.
For the female of the species is More Deadly Than the Male.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played mildly for laughs in a Season 1 episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where Simmons (a biochemist who's usually fearless to the point of recklessness around dangerous animals) gets alarmed at the mere possibility that there might be bears anywhere within the reach of the long-range scanner during a hike through the Canadian wilderness.
  • One All That skit had the crew smothering an unlucky Butt-Monkey reporter freezing in the tundra with honey to attract a nearby polar bear.
  • The Angel episode "Soul Purpose" is largely a series of nightmares experienced by Angel, who's being fed upon by a parasite. This includes a Squick-filled dissection scene involving, amongst other things, a completely random bear.
  • On Boy Meets World, as part of an Escalating War, one group of the main characters superglue the other main characters to their classroom seats, dowse them in honey and set a bear loose in the classroom. Given that the source of the bear is never explained, nor do they get in trouble for it, this one goes directly under Rule of Funny.
  • Then there's of course the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Pangs". An angry Native American spirit is locked in combat against Buffy, upon which he transforms into a large grizzly. Spike promptly blames Buffy and starts freaking out.
  • Stephen Colbert is famous for his fear and hatred of bears or "godless killing machines" (one once killed everything he loved), so naturally the featured film clip for his interview with The National Parks director Ken Burns features a river filled with almost a dozen grizzlies.
    Colbert: That is the scariest film I've ever seen.
  • One episode of CSI is famous for its use of the line, "The bear could be considered a lethal weapon."
  • Once on Destination Truth when in Hokkaido Josh and his team were dismayed to find out that besides being reputedly haunted the abandoned town they were visiting was certifiably full of bears. And unlike the last time they dealt with bears in Alaska they didn't have any guns with them, which led to a humorous scene where they go to a mega-mart and try to find improvised anti-bear weapons (eventually settling on a baseball bat). Luckily the only bear they encountered was a stuffed one in a school.
  • One of the early episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman had the title character getting trapped inside of a cabin due to a rabid grizzly.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Locke's idea of entertainment is to throw Brienne into a bear pit with a wooden sword and no armour and see how long she lasts.
    • Season 7 one-ups this with a bear wight menacing the characters.
  • Ghosts (US): Flower was killed when a bear mauled her whilst tripping on hallucinogens at a music festival.
  • An episode of Grimm featured a type of Wesen called Jägerbar ("Blind Idiot" Translation of "hunter-bear"). They are notable for being the most animal-like in their "woge" form, especially females, who look like ordinary bears. Traditionally, Jägerbar love to hunt, especially humans. Modern Jägerbar, though, have mostly abandoned this custom. Naturally, the episode features those who still follow it.
  • The Haven episode "Fur" featured hunting trophy animals coming to life and attacking people, including a bear.
  • In the Here Come the Brides episode "The Soldier," Captain Clancey is mauled by a grizzly bear while drunkenly stumbling home from his birthday party.
  • In one episode of Highlander, Duncan McLeod is helping a fugitive Native American woman who has stolen the child of a white mine owner to replace her own child that died of poisoning from polluted water from the mine. During the night, a bear wanders into the log cabin in which they're sheltering.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Marshall is worried about being uninsured while looking for work and keeps coming up with worst-case scenarios about every situation, all of which include being attacked by a bear (well, a guy in a bad bear costume). The bad bear suit heightens the Rule of Funny, as does Marshall melodramatically screaming "NOT LIKE THIS" every time.
  • I Shouldn't Be Alive:
    • In "Trapped Under the Ice", the father and son duo, after surviving their canoe capsizing in ice water, have to face a forest full of bears, and it's as terrifying as it sounds, as they were practically defenseless.
    • This happens in "Trapped On the Mountain" where the elk hunter gets mauled by a grizzly.
  • The Jeff Corwin Experience:
    • In a rather comical example, Jeff Corwin discovered that Asiatic black bears have really bad gas after eating a big meal.
    • During an episode in Alaska, Jeff pointed out that if a grizzly bear felt threatened, there was no way he could outrun or out-climb it. He'd just become its dinner.
  • Inverted with David Letterman, who loves bears and was positively thrilled when Jack Hanna let him hold a pair of day-old cubs. In a more recent show, Hanna was recounting how he, his wife, and a family of hikers had a close encounter with a Mama Bear and her pair of two-year-old cubs (ironically just after shooting a PSA for the National Parks) and Letterman felt it would've been a shame if Hannah was attacked because it would have meant the possible death of the bear.
  • On Longmire, one Victim of the Week was tied down in the forest, drugged and had meat tied to his body in order to attract a bear. The man was ripped apart by the bear and the seasoned cops and hunters who examined the scene considered it the most gruesome death they ever saw.
  • In Lost, the castaways are attacked by polar bears (in a tropical Island of Mystery; it's that kind of show) on a couple of occasions.
  • In the Married... with Children episode, "Bearly Men", Al and Bud go hunting with Peggy's father to prove their manliness. Al and Bud run into a bear (they hit it with a car). Thinking it dead, they take the bear home... only for it to wake up and escape into Chicago. Al, Bud, and Peggy's father then have to go after it.
  • One of the terrors of the horrible Mirror Universe in The Middleman.
    Ivan Avi: I was born into an evil world. Skies choked with ammonia, seas full of benzine, baby farms! Random suffocations... bears...
  • One episode of Monk had a bear show up... twice. Both times were plot-relevant.
  • In Northern Exposure, Holling Vincouer was once mauled by a bear (whom he named Jesse) while hunting. While recovering, he claimed to have a nightmare where he was pursued by all the animals he had hunted in the past. The experience changed Holling; while he had sworn vengeance against Jesse (to the point where Jesse had become his personal Moby-Dick), he vowed never to hunt any animal other than Jesse except with a camera.
  • Dwight from The Office wisely fears bears. He once went to see a movie about bear attacks, but mistakenly walked into Wedding Crashers, he stayed, because "bears attack when you least expect it."
  • Prehistoric Park had this trope in effect in episode 2, with protagonist Nigel Marvin chased by a cave bear (he had stumbled into its cave). He even lampshades that this should not be happening, as he was under the belief that said bear was extinct at the time he was in.
  • An episode of Reaper had Sam trying to get someone to sell their soul, and being chased out of the guy's property by a polar bear. Which had been delivered to the jerkass by the Devil. Andi in particular was amused. Sam was not.
  • In the Ripping Yarns pilot episode "Tomkinson's Schooldays," all new students at Graybridge School must undergo a hand-to-hand fight with a grizzly bear.
  • An episode of the Animal Planet series River Monsters filmed in Alaska had a run-in with a grizzly where it stole a salmon the host had hooked right off his line, then came back again. Only when the guide accompanying him fired a warning shot from the huge revolver he was carrying did the bear finally leave.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • A sketch had an ursinologistnote . He decided to kill his wife by releasing the bear he was studying, who then proceeded to...pick up a gun from a table and shoot her. (Which the scientist blamed on "too much TV", but the bear was revealed to be the ursinologist's brother in disguise.)
    • One sketch featured a world in which bears killed everyone and took on the role of humans.
  • According to Scrubs, while unwanted pregnancy or STDs are not fun, "Losing a baseball scholarship because a bear ate your arm is a much worse consequence of sex." Probably true. This line immediately follows a flashback in which Elliott, having parked in the woods with her high school boyfriend, starts drizzling honey on him as part of foreplay when a ravenous bear comes and breaches the car, eating the poor guy's arm.
  • In an episode of Starsky & Hutch, Starsky gets kidnapped by a psycho cult. Things go about as expected, and at one point whilst trying to escape he turns a corner and comes face to face with a bear. A very large bear. That he is supposed to fight. With a rock. Yeah.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise have mentioned a similar creature on Vulcan called a seh'lat. The big ones are definitely bad news, as Archer and T'Pol learn when they have to evade one in the desert. Smaller ones can be kept as pets, but they have to be properly cared for, as discussed by Archer and T'Pol.
    T'Pol: You have Porthos.
    Archer: Porthos doesn't try to eat me when I'm late with his dinner.
    T'Pol: Vulcan children are never late with their seh'lats' dinner.
    Archer: I can believe that.
  • Star Trek: Discovery introduces a creature that's described as a macroscopic version of a tardigrade — which is also known as the "water bear", and this creature is as large, powerful, and dangerous as a bear.
  • Super Sentai and its adaptation Power Rangers have many mecha and Monsters of the Week being based on bears. A few notable are:
    • In Ninja Sentai Kakuranger/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3 the Yellow Ranger has the bear as their animal motif, having three mecha with the theme (two anthropomorphic, one not).
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force has the Rangers gain a pair of bear zords: a black bear and a polar bear, able to shoot beams of fire and ice respectively. The Bear Brothers turn out to be too powerful for the main megazord to use reliably, forcing the Rangers to find a stronger zord that could handle the bears' strength.
    • Juken Sentai Gekiranger is a show about two competing schools of martial arts styled after animals. The evil school has Maku, one of the most ridiculously overpowered villains in the series. Even the other villains fear him. Guess what his power animal is? This character is adapted in Power Rangers Jungle Fury as Grizzaka, without any real changes.
  • Surviving Disaster, a non-fiction surviving disaster show, has an episode on how to survive an avalanche — with a bear attack.
  • A demonic-looking bear actually shows up in Teletubbies along with a similarly demonic-looking lion. The bear in the flying carousel, on the other hand, isn't scary at all.
  • In The Terror, a group of British sailors try to chart a path through the Northwest Passage and find themselves hunted by a monster that takes the form of a polar bear called the Tuunbaq. It looks like a normal bear from a distance (and the crew initially assumes it to be one), but then it gets closer and reveals disturbingly humanlike face and unnatural long neck. It’s sadistic, uncannily fast, not happy about explorers encroaching on its land, and It Can Think.
  • In one episode of That's My Bush!, George W. Bush buys a bear for protection against the angry mob outside. This is a bad move, as the bear picks up a bolt-action rifle and hunts him down — all so the show could end on a pun about the right to arm bears.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger featured bears a number of times, Episode 173 featuring a particularly scary one.

  • Genesis:
    But if you're sitting there beside her/And a bear comes in the room/And you keep on going 'cause you're unaware/Then you know that you are there/Beyond the silver rainbow/You won't know if you're coming or going
  • Subverted in Grandaddy's "Silver Lake" video — at one point the band is performing in a small cabin, Jason Lytle opens the door, sees a bear and immediately shuts the door again. The bear then lets himself in through the back door, to the band's visible concern... But apparently it just enjoyed the music and wanted to rock out to it — the bear even gives Lytle a high five. Adding to the humor is deliberate Special Effect Failure — the bear is obvious green-screened stock footage when it's outside the door, and a man in a bear suit once it's inside.
  • If you are the band Horion and you wanted to release an album named "No Fear Restriction", what you'd put on the cover to match? Right...
  • The back of the album cover of Jethro Tull's Stormwatch has a 1000 foot tall polar bear stomping on an oil refinery station.
  • Nekrogoblikon has a song called Bears.
    Claws leaving scars, giant teeth tearing skin,
    Fur on the outside and darkness within!
  • Radiohead's album Kid A's marketing campaign told a vague but disturbing story about genetically modified bears killing everyone. The "Radiohead Bear" has remained the band's logo ever since.
  • "Bears" by the Royal Guardsmen is built around this trope.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • Elisha in 2 Kings 2:23-24, while walking up to Bethel, was insulted by some bandits. They had called him "bald head" and implied that he had been complicit in the death of Elijah. His response? Summoning two bears to come and maul 42 of them, making this trope Older Than Feudalism. There's a reason why this story isn't included in compilations of Bible stories meant for toddlers.
    • Also, David kills a bear and a lion that threaten his flock. People tend to forget that although he was only 12ish when he fought the giant Goliath, he was a pretty badass kid.
    • Even God himself states that bears make things worse in Amos 5:19: "It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear."
  • The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft noted a conspicuous absence of bears in some shamanic societies' legends, probably owing to the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-ness. Though Celtic lore does mention the bear as the king of the animals (a distinction kept until the popularity of the lion as a symbol for Jesus).
  • The Inuit and other Arctic peoples had mixed opinions about polar bears. On one hand, they are the biggest living terrestrial carnivore, so they were obviously feared. On the other, their mythologies usually held the polar bear with a lot of respect, as a sacred shamanic symbol.
  • Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier. Killed a bear when he was only three.
  • Native American Mythology:
    • Averted by many legends. Amongst the Navajo, for example, the bear is a symbol of healing, peace, and tranquility and harming one brings very bad luck. Then again, if you try to provoke a bear you're probably going to get everything you deserve.
    • Played straight by others. The Origin Story of Devil's Tower in Wyoming involves one or more gigantic bears trying to kill frightened children and the Creator raising the tower up under the kids to save them.
    • Keep in mind that there's a very important difference between black bears and grizzly bears. Black bears are generally regarded as the positive aspects of the bear, being peaceable and shy. Grizzly bears are almost literally called Ax-Crazy in some legends.
  • Japanese Mythology: The Oniguma (devilbear): strong enough to carry away horses and quick enough to smash monkeys with one blow. Also, it was said that killing bears would cause the "Bear Wrath", a really nasty event.
  • Classical Mythology: Averted in the Greek myth of Atalanta, who, after being left to die as a baby, was raised by a she-bear, and became a badass Action Girl.
  • One possible etymology of King Arthur's name is a derivation from *artos, which means bear, and he sure as hell was bad news for the Saxons.

  • The family in Vacation America panics when a grizzly bear approaches them in the middle of taking a picture.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Back in the territorial era, there was a gimmick of the wrestling bear. While the "matches" would generally involve the bear's trainer, at times, it was used as a threat against a heel manager. The most famous were Victor, who worked with heel manager "Playboy" Gary Hart in Texas, and Terrible Ted, who worked in Maple Leaf Wrestling in Toronto, the World Wide Wrestling Federation, Dick the Bruiser's World Wrestling Association in Indianapolis, and other promotions until he retired in 1974. There is a match, such as it was, between Terrible Ted and Gene DuBois on Volume 4: No More Mr. Nice Guy of the Wrestling Gold DVD series hosted by Jim Cornette and Dave Meltzer. But it goes back to at least the 1930s with a wrestling bear named Ginger.
  • Terrible Ted was the trope namer for Bear Hug, as he had been declawed and lost all of his teeth during his carnival days prior to his pro wrestling debut, so "hugging" was his most effective form of offense. The less famous Smokey, whom Ted was partnered with when he joined the pro wrestling business, was much more dangerous and eventually was taken by the humane society after mauling someone to death. On the not-so-bad news side, a young Bret Hart would let Ted lick melted ice cream off of his feet when it was living under the Hart porch.
  • Bearcat Wright Jr., who wrestled through the territories in the 1950s through '70s and his successor of sorts, Bearcat Brown through the sixties through eighties.
  • Willie Williams (a kickboxer who did some MMA and Pro Wrestling) actually did fight a bear, instead of its trainer, which earned him the nickname "Bear Killer".
  • Ivan Koloff, the man who ended Bruno Sammartino's EIGHT-YEAR reign as WWE (then WWWF) World Heavyweight Champion, was known as "The Russian Bear."
  • The Bear Hug has been used as a submission hold by everyone from evil Russian Nikolai Volkoff to "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry. It was innovated by George Hackenschmidt, whose Red Baron, ironically, was "The Russian Lion".
  • Sylvester Terkay, better known for his work in Japan, had a run in WWE where he used the Red Baron "The Man-Bear."
  • Big Show uses a bear as his logo.
  • Bear Fukuda, the resident street fighter of Next Door Project "El Dorado", which went on to become "Secret Base".
  • 1970s British wrestler John Elijah was known as "Bearman". Only of ordinary size for a heavyweight (~210 pounds), he once nearly lifted Shirley Crabtree ("Big Daddy") over the top rope, inducing his 350 pound opponent to signal for a round of applause from the crowd.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show: In one skit, the Swedish Chef is cooking at a campsite, and is annoyed by a group of squirrels. Eventually, he gets angry and chases them offstage with a cleaver. A few seconds later, a bear—who has the cleaver—chases him back onstage and offstage in the other direction, with the squirrels laughing their heads off.

  • Several sports teams such as the Memphis (originally Vancouver) Grizzlies (basketball), the Chicago Cubs (baseball), the Chicago Bears (football), and the Boston Bruins (hockey).

    Stand-Up and Recorded Comedy 
  • Comedian Mitch Hedberg had a joke where he and a friend decided to go out to the woods to do drugs in order to avoid authority figures only to run into a bear, which was "even more of a buzzkill". The friend attempted to appease the bear by promising to prevent forest fires. Smokey is way more intense in person.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech features Clan Ghost Bear, one of the strongest Clans in the Inner Sphere. The Clan deploys huge bear themed BattleMechs such as the Kodiak and the Grizzly. They have a well-deserved reputation as The Berserker, too. They're considered slow to anger, but once someone succeeds in pissing them off they have a tendency of going into an Unstoppable Rage and tearing through whatever has gotten them mad. Even more alarming is their habit of blasting their way through everything that happens to be between them and their target, even if it's a neutral party or even an ally.
  • Dishonored Roleplaying Game: Tyvian bears are described as having fangs the length of a man's arm and claws that can puncture metal, and local folklore holds that they are literal embodiments of the island's brutal and unforgiving wilderness.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • What's the biggest, strongest werecreature? That's right — the werebear. In defiance of the "bad news" aspect, however, werebears are the only good-aligned lycanthrope (besides were-ravens, but they seemed to not fit in with the others, being divine creatures in at least a sense), being Chaotic Good prior to D&D 3.5 and Lawful Good after. This was probably thanks to Beorn.
      • The dire bear made a pants-wettingly terrifying appearance in Neverwinter Nights 2, just so you could get a sense of scale: it is bigger than a friggin' garbage truck, and covered with bony spikes.
    • Werebear-ians: Barbarian Were Bears. Ouch.
    • There's a Running Gag about Dungeons & Dragons druids: no matter how good their stats, they will invariably reach level 5 as a human/elf/whatever, then spend the rest of their lives as a bear because the Natural Spell feat lets them still cast spells while in that form.
      • And to take this Up to Eleven, they have animal companions as well. So this means that they can transform into a bear (Wild Shape) and ride a bear (Animal Companion) while summoning bears (spontaneously cast summon spells). Oh, Crap!.
    • Also, they're very mysterious.
    • Most templates in 4e have a requirement of a certain creature type being necessary in order for it to apply, usually humanoid. However, the Death Knight template's only requirement is that the creature be level 11, which means Cave Bear Death Knights are realistic possibilities in any campaign.
    • In 4th edition, the Druid class gains at 1st level the ability to change into animal form (which doesn't technically change your stats, it just makes you look different and gives you different attacks) at will for as long as you want. So, technically, you could play a Druid who spends their entire life as a bear.
    • Plus, there's a spell in 3.5 edition called "Bite of the Werebear", which grants +16 strength, +8 CON, three natural attacks, and the Power Attack feat to the target. It has a range of self, but can be cast on familiars for... interesting results.
    • There are also the extremely popular owlbears, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and come in normal, polar, and Pelor save us all, winged. Notably, owlbears take the "bad news" part further than most, as they're noted to be incredibly violent and savage, due in large part to their anguish at being a blend of bear and owl.
    • This is definitely the case for the enemies of Breland, considering the Brelish field elite bear cavalry (as befits Breland's coat of arms). Obviously, the Brelish themselves would tend to disagree.
    • 5th Edition allows certain druids to take on much more dangerous forms at lower levels, allowing a druid to turn into a grizzly bear at level 2 and an even scarier polar bear at level 6.
    • "Bad news" depends on who you are. Just to remind the forces of evil that good is not just feathery-winged angels, there are the bear-like Lawful Good Warden Archons. For extra fun, there are also the Neutral Good Ursinal Guardinals, who are not only celestial super-bears, but are also wizards as well! To spread the fun around, the Book of Exalted Deeds introduces the prestige class the "Sentinel of Bharrai" for Ursinal-revering mages who want to escape the problem of Squishy Wizard syndrome. Among other things this class allows them to turn into bears, and eventually into dire bears, at will!
  • Pathfinder:
    • Bears, polar bears and dire bears (identified here as cave bears or short-faced bears from Real Life prehistory) are carried over from D&D, and are of course very powerful, dangerous and aggressive beasts. D&D's werebears are also present.
    • The kokogiak is a titanic — around elephant-sized — ten-legged polar bear originally from Inuit Mythology. They're intelligent enough to understand morality and thus have an alignment beyond True Neutral, and of course, they're Neutral Evil as a rule. They are monstrously aggressive and openly sadistic and are massive and powerful enough to be as cruel as they please towards whoever short of a dragon or a tribe of giants has the misfortune of crossing their path without having to worry about their victims being able to fight back. Luckily for everyone else, they're fairly uncommon and only found in isolated areas of the Grim Up North.
    • Sadly, Pathfinder hits bears with the nerf-bat as far as druid's Wild Shape goes. While shaping into a bear grants stat benefits on a par with other animals of the same size category, the bear chassis doesn't come with any special attack forms or defences that can't be improved on by other forms such as great cats.
  • Exalted: The Huraka (wind bears). While they are normally gentle wind herders, they also serve as the shock troops of the air elementals. You know you're screwed when giant, flying bears with wind powers come barreling toward you.
  • Gamma World has Napoleon, a sentient bear that thinks he's Napoleon Bonaparte. Who also leads an army of other sentient animals.
  • Old World of Darkness: What's stronger than a werewolf in its hybrid "war form"? A Gurahl werebear in their version of that same form. Not only that but the incarnation of death itself was the aptly-named Death Bear, which had to be fought to bring someone back to life. Guess which changing species was the only one up to the task? Ironically enough, the Gurahl are actually the ones who are supposed to make everything better. Just as werewolves are Gaia's warriors, werebears are Gaia's healers — they have the most potent restorative rituals of all the Changing Breeds, including the ability to bring the recently deceased back to life (but if they get there a little too late... well...)
  • In Risk: Legacy, the Enclave of the Bear faction has bear cavalry as its 3-troop "vehicle" unit.
  • Warhammer:
    • One of the specialities of the Kislevites, the game's Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Slavs. The bear is the official symbol of the nation of Kislev and associated with its line of Tzars to the extent that they are depicted in heraldry riding one (most notably Boris Ursus). Not to mention, their Top God is the aptly named Ursun, the God of Bears, and his clergy are known to ride bears as well. As seen in both Warhammer: The Old World and Total War: Warhammer III, the Kislevites also have access to several regiments of War Bear Riders, ice sleds that are pulled by bears (some of which carry mortars), and even Kaiju-sized Elemental Bears coalesced from the ice and snow that makes up their homeland.
    • There's also a mention of a Chaos Lord whose chariot is pulled by skinless bears.
    • Also the Dogs of War character Beorg Bearstruck, a Norse barbarian that was transformed into a werebear. He leads a mercenary regiment of Norse marauders called the Bearmen of Urslo, who wear bearskins and display a bear-claw device on their shields. Beorg and his followers are all savage barbarians who revel in battle, massacre and shedding blood for the Chaos Gods, although he does also have a distant cousin called Ruprecht of Bearmark, who ran away to study poetry in Nuln...
  • Warhammer 40,000:
  • Warriors Adventure Game: In the campaign Mission of Mercy, the cats protect a young girl who gets attacked by a bear. Notable for being the only time bears appear in the series.
  • The Witcher: Game of Imagination takes this trope Up to Eleven. You can take down small armies of humans (or humanoids), fight off some lesser or even epic monsters and stop powerful magicians on a daily basis. Yet a single bear can tear Player Parties composed entirely of grizzled veterans apart, one character per turn. It says something that short of flying dragons and high vampires, bears are the toughest creatures you'll face. And they are much, much more common.
  • World of Synnibarr takes things a step further, not only having a handful of bear subtypes with an assortment of powers (mostly-psychic based), but also a set of "Grizzlies". While they were equally dangerous, the cake goes to the Giant Flying Grizzly; eye-lasers that would instantly kill you from 200 feet, the ability to fly 100 miles per hour, and the tenacity to stalk their prey "vast distances".
  • World Tree RPG: Gormoror, bear people, downplay this — they're aggressive and barbaric, but easily enough reasoned with. Churshash, however, play this entirely straight — they're very aggressive, bear-like animals driven into constant pain and rage by Wounds That Will Not Heal, their blood induces mindless fury in anyone it touches, and are generally a fair match for four well-armed and prepared warriors.


  • Graalok the Ash Bear from BIONICLE, who briefly terrorizes Takua and Jaller in Mask of Light. Bonus points for being a cyborg bear.
  • The first figure in the BMOG toyline is Ursenal, who is essentially a bear made of guns. His profile states that he's technically a good guy, but his tendency to shoot first and ask questions later is... problematic, to say the least.
  • Japanese artist Mori Chack's Gloomy Bear line is based around this trope. The titular bear, despite its cute, pink appearance, is often coated in blood, and is described as violent and wild. He's often seen mutilating his human "friend" Pitty in artwork featuring the two.
  • Averted by teddy bears. They're so soft and cute and huggable! Unless you go by Cute Is Evil.
  • The main premise of the Teddy Scares line is that teddy bears rejected and outgrown by their owners have come back as undead monsters. The best examples are Rita Mortis and Redmond Gore, who are both very violent and antisocial.
  • Transformers:

    Video Games 
  • Achaea:
    • In the Southern Vashnar mountains, there is a point where the traveller must decide between going south or southwest. Southwest is a safe path leading to the city of Cyrene. There is a small and easy to miss sign at the fork in the path, which reads "CAUTION: bears south". They're not friendly.
    • Speaking of Iron Realms, there's a whole race of humanoid bears in Lusternia called the Tae'dae. Though usually Winnie-the-Pooh-esque Gentle Giant's, they're about eight feet tall and have the highest potential natural strength in the game.
  • Age of Empires:
    • In Age of Mythology, players can hunt bears for food (the villagers sent to the process will get quite injured, though)... and use a cheat code to unlock a "lazer bear", which wears the flag of Canada and fires beams.
    • In Age of Empires 3, the bears are treasure guardians but they're neutral. They'll only attack when you attack or when one of your cannons manage to get a AOE attack on them. There's 3 different types of bears, the strongest one being the Polar Bear (found in snow maps). There's also tamed bears.
  • Altered Beast: The form you can take in the third stage is a werebear. A werebear that can turn enemies into stone by breathing on them.
  • Assassin's Creed III: Liberation: One of the Lady persona missions has the main character being in trapped in a confined space with an angry bear. Only her wits and her hidden blades can save her (meaning that you have to partake in a quick-time event).
  • Aztec Wars has war bears as one of the Russian units. They're fast and utterly devastating against infantry, but useless against buildings and vehicles.
  • Backyard Sports: Everything's usually worse with the Polar Bears. Unless you play as them, that is.
  • Baldur's Gate: Random wilderness-dwelling brown and cave bears, while far from the toughest enemies of the game, start off showing as neutral to you, become aggressive if you get at all close, and can serve up a good mauling if you stop to fight. And usually come in pairs or groups. Oh, and you can encounter them right after the tutorial, at level 1.
  • In The Banner Saga 2, the kragmen use war bears, which are powerful enemies.
  • Battle Bears: Most of the enemies are also bear-based, including a brief fight with the Colbear and a Bearbershop Quartet.
  • Battle K-Road not only has beaten Tekken to the punch by a few months when it comes to putting a bear in a fighting game, it also made it a tough Final Boss.
  • BearZerkers is about avoiding being killed by bears.
  • Board Game Online: Bears are quite a nuisance when they show up. They can chase you back several spaces or kill you. However, you can sic a bear on an opponent if you have cocaine.
  • Brain Dead 13: In one death scene in the Trophy Room, a bear rug comes to life and mauls Lance down to the ground, and there is a Discretion Shot in which his body parts (green ooze, bones, eyeballs, baseball cap) fly over the place.
  • Castle Crashers: Parodied. During the forest stage, you keep hearing vast thumping footsteps that cause various animals to void their bowels in terror. About halfway through the stage, a huge bear emerges from the bushes, only to be scared off by the continued footsteps, which turn out to belong to an enormous troll.
  • Chibi-Robo!: Sunshine, but only when he's going through honey withdrawal.
  • Club Penguin: Herbert P. Bear, the main antagonist. In "Operation: Blackout", he takes over the island and freezes the other EPF agents.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
    • One of the Allied Spy's unit responses is "I don't like bears...", which is justified by the Soviet War Bear's ability to sniff out and maul spies. On the DVD extras the actors cannot believe it. Watch as George Takei tries to get his head around it ("Battle Bears? B E A R S?") or Autumn Reeser laughing as she asks for an explanation.
    • In the challenge mode of the Uprising expansion, the mission where you unlock the War Bear's is called The Number One Threat to America, and features giant bears that can smash tanks.
  • One of the scariest and most talked-about scenes in Condemned 2: Bloodshot involves being chased through an abandoned mountain cabin by a rabid Jaws-sized monster bear.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has a level called "It's War", in which the game's reluctant, accidental antihero fights against an army of evil, fascist bears known as the Tediz. (Pun of "Nazis") These bears are more human than animal, but they are still creepy, and more horrifying is the boss of the level, a huge cybernetic bear with spider legs, embedded weapons, and a hand puppet of a girl, which he uses to lure Conker in.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back has a level late in the game in which the titular marsupial must run away from a couple of fierce polar bears.
    • Crash Bash: One of the bosses, the Bearminator, is a polar bear who pilots a submarine that fires bullets that destroy the stage and can also summon robot bears to push the player into the water.
  • Curse The Eye Of Isis: An early boss battle consists of fighting two possessed, reanimated bears with a ton of health.
  • Cyril Cyberpunk (also known as "Cyberboard Kid") was a DOS side-scrolling game developed in 1996 by Reality Studios where the protagonist, Cyril, attempts to stop an alien invasion of earth using his hoverboard and pellet gun. He boards a ship and begins his conquest to fight the evil alien invaders. The aliens in question? A race that take cute teddy bear shapes. Enemies include fluffy brown balls that roll on the ground and bump into you to cause damage, teddy bear robots that include bipedal robots that shoot lasers from their snouts and hovering teddy bear heads that shoot darts out of their expanding jaws, teddy-men who operate fork lifts, lime green ships with laser cannons, jet-pack spacesuits that shoots swarms of pellets, and even cute teddy babies sitting in high chairs and wearing bibs that throw TOXIC PORRIDGE at you! By far, some of the cuter 2D enemies yet created.
  • Danganronpa: The recurring antagonist, Monokuma, is a robotic bear running the series of Deadly Games that the students are forced to participate in. He is controlled by a human, though.
  • Defense of the Ancients has Ursa, who is infamous for his instagibbing abilities in casual games, and Syllabear, who can summon a bear and turn into a bear as well. Given the right items and some levels, the latter can tank, dish out insane dps, permanently immobilize enemies and destroy towers in five seconds flat. They return in Dota 2 and then zig-zags the trope. Ursa is actually a friendly and protective bear unless you trespass his territory and then he reacts like a bear protecting his domain. Sylla, on the other hand... is insane and trying to usher The End of the World as We Know It even if he's in the Radiant side. Furthermore, Legion Commander is still racist, but she expresses the biggest disdain towards bears, like adhering the trope. Against other species, she just says "Never trust an X" in normal speed, but against bears like those two? "Never trust a... BEAR!"
  • Detarou's escape-the-room games all have two trademarks. The first trademark is being as weird as possible. The second trademark is having a panda who, contrary to the "cute and cuddly" perception of some, will try to lure you into a trap and laugh at your stupidity on a Bad End screen if you fall for its tricks.
  • Disaster: Day of Crisis had a bear as part of the many pre-release screenshot collections. And that bear means business. It's not your ordinary bear. It's a bear that's Made of Iron.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze features Bashmaster, the Unbreakable, the penultimate boss of the Snowmads. Aside from being an enormous and angry polar bear, he's also armed with a huge hammer covered with spikes on one end and commands the powers of ice to pummel the Kongs with blocks, shockwaves, and spiky balls of ice. And his theme song is amazing.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has you fight bears from time to time, but also has bereskarns, bears with spikes that have been corrupted by the darkspawn taint. A high-level shapeshifter can actually transform into one. A Rogue with the Ranger Specialization can summon a bear. Mastering the specialization allows a Rogue to summon an even bigger bear. Anywhere. It's a pretty good meatshield/damage dealer too.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has bears as rather tough enemies, but even worse is the rare, huge, and extremely dangerous Orlesian great bear. The Codex notes that out of all the big, vicious creatures that inhabit Thedas, great bears are the ones that even the most daring of hunters won't touch. If you're feeling extra masochistic you can toggle a trial which makes ALL bears meaner and tougher. The Inquisitor even lampshades this in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC by stating "Bears and I traditionally do not get along."
  • Echo Secrets Of The Lost Cavern: One puzzle is about helping drawing of a caveman get rid of a drawing of a bear by throwing drawings of rocks. Making a mistake causes the bear to attack the person. Solving this puzzle allows Arok to get rid of a real-live bear napping in his path.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind:
      • Several varieties of bear appear in the wilds of Solstheim, added by the Bloodmoon expansion. They are considerably more dangerous than any animal on Vvardenfell, and are on par with some lesser Daedra and Dagoth Ur's Ash Creatures in terms of strength.
      • Bloodmoon's main quest has a part which involves you hunting down and killing a Spirit Bear. However, before you can do that, you have to kill either a group of Skaal hunters or a group of werewolves. Unfortunately, the Spirit Bear has the annoying habit of entering the fray against the hunters/werewolves, often getting killed in the process.
    • Bears in Oblivion are among the most hated and feared enemies in the game for their high attack power, high health, and ability to stagger the player character. They are oftentimes more dangerous than most of the quasi-demonic hordes of Daedra currently invading Tamriel.
    • Skyrim:
      • Bears are once again some of the most hated and feared enemies in the game, possibly even more so than dragons. At least the dragons give you the courtesy of announcing their attack with a bellowing roar and circling you a few times beforehand. By the time you hear a bear roar, you have only seconds to prepare before the creature gets back on all fours, rushes in, and mauls you. In addition, it is possible to contract all kinds of nasty diseases from their attacks. With the exception of the bear in the tutorial level (which is much weaker), most bears can maim lower level characters very easily, so it is best to avoid confrontations with them until a decent level is reached. Worse still, bears come in two even more powerful varieties: the significantly stronger Cave Bear, and the even stronger Snow Bear, which also has a resistance to frost, but luckily is weak to fire.
      • The Stormcloak Rebels have a prominent bear motif. Their generals even wear bearskin cloaks, complete with a hood made out of the bear's head.
      • The Dragonborn DLC throws in werebears, which are essentially werewolves that turn into bears rather than wolves, combining two extremely dangerous foes. See those three naked men running at you? That's your cue to get the heck out of dodge before they transform.
  • Enviro Bear 2000 and its iTunes retouch, Enviro Bear 2010, prove this from the bear's perspective. You play a bear attempting to be more efficient at getting food for hibernation by driving around in a car. Given the controls, that translates loosely into "smash up the forest in a car".
  • Etrian Odyssey: In the first Land of Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan, there are bear-beast FOEs and bosses that will destroy a party with on-par levels if they don't prepare accordingly. Several of these bears are part of dungeon puzzles in which the player has to lure them towards wooden barricades covered with honey so that they can destroy those barricades and allow the player to progress.
  • Fallen London: The Neath apparently seems to have exactly one bear, imported from the surface by the local circus... a bear with an apparent taste for honey that managed to get into the Prisoner's Honey stocks. Which means the bear is entirely and constantly blitzed out on a drug that makes it fade in and out of the Dream Land of Parabola, altering its surroundings wherever it goes and chasing people in their nightmares. You only encounter the Honey-Mazed Bear in the very late game, and hunting it down is one of the more difficult Dangerous tasks the game lets you undertake; to the point the first time you do it raises the stat's cap.
  • Fallout:
    • Zig-zagged by the New Californian Republic in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, which has a two-headed bear as its symbol. While most people see them as a return of the ungodly old bureaucracy with an army of conscripts barely able to hold a gun, the Republic has essentially restored the civilization around itself close to pre-War levels, and good luck pissing off the Rangers and getting away with it. Colonel Royez in Lonesome Road DLC wears power armor with a freaking bear's head in it, pissed off as a ghoul after you dropped a nuke over his head.
    • Fallout 3 has the yao guai, giant, vicious, mutated bears that roam the Capital Wasteland disemboweling anyone they come across. In terms of dangerousness, they're second only to the deathclaws. And then they start appearing in packs.
      • They return in Fallout: New Vegas in the Honest Hearts DLC, which includes a giant flaming one called the Ghost of She. They're bigger as well, with the cubs being as big as their Capital counterparts — and unlike their cousins in the Capital Wasteland, they are still hostile to you even if you have the Animal Friend perk.
      • In Fallout 4, the yao guai look every bit like the giant pissed-off mutant bears they are. Don't get near them without Power Armor, grenades, a good build, or all three.
      • In Fallout 4's Wasteland Workshop DLC, you have the option arranging cage matches between captured enemies from the Commonwealth Wasteland. If you manage to tame them through the use of the Beat Wave Emitter, you'll find that most captured enemies grant a bonus to your settlement's defense rating. Yao guai and deathclaws grant the highest bonuses at 7 and 10, respectively. However, it's not unheard of players pitting yao guai and deathclaws against one another, only to have the yao smack the heads of the deathclaws so hard they turn to bloody chunks.
  • Far Cry:
  • Final Fantasy VI:
    • Vargas, a boss from the beginning of the game, has two bears for no apparent reason other than making the fight slightly more challenging.
    • There is a type of bear-like enemy in the mountains of Zozo that enjoys ambushing the party, stealing a LOT of money, and fleeing in its next turn. It made an annoying dungeon so much worse...
  • Final Fantasy VIII's iteration of the recurring Death Claw enemy resembles a bear, but with four scythe-like appendages replacing its forelegs.
  • Final Fantasy XIV first throws bears at you in the hard mode version of Halatali, when they're released from cages as part of the dungeon's grueling training regimen.
    • And then you start encountering bears (and bear-like enemies called Miacids) in the open-world zones of the Heavensward expansion. Amusingly, despite living in a world with dragons, primals, and other fantastical creatures, Alphinaud practically craps himself when he first encounters a bear.
    • It could even be said that the Warrior class fits this trope, with the PvP-only Bearliege armor, the bear-themed achievements specific to the class, their accompanying warbear mount, and the animalistic growls and noises associated with several of their attack and stance abilities...
  • The title character of Five Nights at Freddy's is an animatronic bear who entertains children by day and tries to gruesomely murder the security guard at night, with the help of three other robotic animals.
    • Even worse is the mysterious "Golden Freddy", a discolored Freddy suit that sometimes shows up, which outright terminates the game if it gets you.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 2 doubles the fun. Not only is there the old (aka Withered) Freddy who gets repaired to become the FNAF1 Freddy there's Toy Freddy, who may look cute but is just as malicious as his older counterpart. As for Golden Freddy, he moves on from crashing the game to outright killing you. The mysterious Purple Freddy is now the one that crashes the game.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 3 has Phantom Freddy. While he doesn't outright kill you, he can certainly scare you and give Springtrap enough time to catch you. There's also Shadow Freddy in the mini-games, who leads the original animatronics to their deaths.
    • Nightmare Freddy from Five Nights at Freddy's 4 lives up to its moniker. A horrific bear with razor sharp teeth and claws. To make matters worse, he can spawn Mini Freddies to scare you before going in the kill. Nightmare Freddy, it turns out, is also a Meaningful Name. Then there's Nightmare Fredbear, the Disc-One Final Boss of the game. Fredbear turns out to be none other than Golden Freddy, and he's the biter in the Bite of '83. Granted, that last part was accidental, but still. There's also a hidden animatronic simply known as Nightmare that looks like a black Freddy. He's the True Final Boss. All he does, though, is cause a Non Standard Game Over by resetting the game.
    • While Five Nights at Freddy's World is meant to be Lighter and Softer, that doesn't mean bears aren't bad news anymore: the first boss is Bubba, a giant stitched together bear that looks like a cross between Freddy and Frankenstein's Monster. All the above mentioned Freddys are also in this game and are able to fight, but they're the good guys this time.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location has Funtime Freddy, who has a bit of a Monster Clown motif going for him, on top of speaking in a creepy, high-pitched, stuttering voice on Night 2 ("I-I know you're over there so-omewhere!").
    • Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator has Molten Freddy, the result of a merging of all the Sister Location animatronics sans Baby, who got rejected. Funtime Freddy seems to be the one in primary control though. Rockstar Freddy, Nedd Bear, and Helpy are the first aversions of the series, as the first two are only there to be purchased to improve the player's pizzeria, and Helpy is there to assist the player in creating their pizzeria. Then there's Lefty, a black version of Rockstar Freddy with his left eye missing, who's a very risky purchase and more deadly than Molten Freddy. However, it turns out that Lefty is the 'can' in Sealed Evil in a Can, and that Lefty's true identity is The Puppet...who's the Big Good of the series all along anyway.
    • Ultimate Custom Night brings back most of the bears listed above (Withered Freddy and Funtime Freddy don't make the cut), and finally make Rockstar Freddy, Nedd Bear, and Helpy straight examples of this trope (or at least a downplayed version in Helpy's case, as he won't kill you outright, but attract animatronics that will into your office). There's also the Monster Progenitor of the series, Fredbear, only seen if one only has Golden Freddy set to LVL 1 on their custom night, then uses a Death Coin to get rid of him.
    • While there are no new examples in Five Nights At Freddys VR Help Wanted proper due to the premise being recreating some of the 'urban legends' of the past (with many of the above and Palette Swaps of the same coming back), the 'Curse of Dreadbear' DLC introduces the titular Dreadbear, which basically crosses Freddy with Frankenstein's Monster. The player's introducton to Dreadbear features him looming over the player.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery also brings back some of the previous examples and Palette Swaps of the same, and introduces Freddy Frostbear (and his variant Black Ice Frostbear), An Ice Person variant of Freddy that can ice over the screen rather than just cause static and prevent the player from using their controlled shock button.
    • Five Nights At Freddy's Security Breach (main page nonexistent yet) seems to be introducting another aversion to this trope, as Glamrock Freddy in the trailer seems more interested in protecting Gregory from someone (greatly implied to be Vanny). Time will tell if this holds, though.
  • The Flame in the Flood: Bears are one of the most dangerous enemies in the game, able to both deal and take a lot of damage. Fortunately, they'll leave Scout alone if you stay away from their caves. Unfortunately, there's one bear you have to either kill or flee from to progress in campaign mode.
  • Freedom Planet has Neera Li, a royal priestess who can fire off icy wind blades from her scepter and rain down icicles on her opponents; Spade, an assassin who uses playing cards as a weapon; and Prince Dail, who fights the player with robotic weapons such as a mechanized peacock. Oh, and they're all panda bears.
  • In Frostbite for the Atari, there is a polar bear that will chase you offscreen if you make contact with it, which counts as a death.
  • Frozen State: In addition to human-alien hybrids, bears are an enemy in the game.
  • Fur Fighters had some of the Mooks as bears with polar-bears being the strongest and brown-bears making up the majority. Oddly not Black Bears and they were commandeered by a massive Cat.
  • Throughout Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, the player regularly fights against golems, stronger-than-normal enemies that take the form of humanoids built from various substances. Then you get to the Ice Domain, where the golems are replaced by giant, undead polar bears.
  • Giant Bear Rampage:
  • In Girl's Garden, bears will try to chase down Papri if she comes within sight of them. They can be distracted by leaving pots of honey on the ground.
  • The Mauler enemy line in Golden Sun and its sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age tends to be a group of Demonic Spiders, with the Mauler in particular usually able to One-Hit Kill Ivan with its Bear Claw attack. The next one is called the Ravager, and it has a Bonus Boss in Crossbone Isle cave called a grisly.
  • Guild Wars:
    • Bears are capturable as pets in the tutorial area of prophecies, although it's difficult and having one is considered a status symbol. They're also capturable in the main game but then are considered worse than common pets, because they have a special attack that does nothing but slow their attack speed. In the "Presearing" (tutorial) area of Prophecies, the capturable bear is the black bear (and they have an on-command skill to just interrupt said capture.) Brown bears and polar bears are available as common pets in Prophecies and Eye of the North, and there is a special variant of the polar bear known as a Jingle Bear available as a reward for a holiday quest in Eye of the North.
    • The Norn in Eye of the North can shapeshift into anthropomorphic bears as well. Whenever you talk to a hunter for the first time, they'll turn into one and attack. Additionally, there's the Nornbear, a corrupted version you have to kill, and whose brief existence inspires a Religion of Evil. Norn characters in Guild Wars 2 are able to replicate the shapeshifting. It also includes the Kodan, a race of permanently anthropomorphic bears who consider themselves the most enlightened race.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic V, Hammers of Fate add-on, dwarves have heavily armored and very badass bear cavalry. Just like on the page picture.
  • The Horizon Zero Dawn DLC "The Frozen Wilds" introduces the Frostclaw enemy. They're gigantic robotic bears that shoot ice, have tons of health, near impenetrable armor, and dive bomb the main character, destroying her health bar. The end of the DLC introduces the Fireclaws, same thing except stronger and they shoot lava.
  • In the old NES game Ice Climber, polar bears wearing sunglasses and swim trunks would show up and cause earthquakes. They could easily kill the player.
  • In Infinite Undiscovery, Gustav the bear joins your party and proves to be a powerful tank (as you'd expect)... but counts as two characters toward the Arbitrary Headcount Limit. Also played straight with enemy bears and their daunting HP totals.
  • In Jables's Adventure, you encounter bears on the trip to The Lost Woods and they're one of the toughest enemies in the game. Then, Under the Sea, you encounter the SCUBA bear, who's invincible. Finally, in a volcano, you encounter a bear with a flamethrower, who's not only invincible but impossible to dodge (you have to find something fire-retardant to block him).
  • One stage of Kao The Kangaroo: Round 2 involves running from a giant bear while avoiding falling into pits. "Exit, pursued by a bear" indeed.
  • Katamari Damacy features a bear-themed level called Ursa Major in which the object is to gather the largest bear possible into your katamari. The problem? Picking up any sized bear, no matter how tiny, automatically ends the level and bears are everywhere! Even gathering a single bear-themed item like a "beware of bears!" sign or a "tiny teddybear" will end the level.
    • We ♥ Katamari ups the ante with a "Cowbear" level in which you must gather the largest cow and/or bear item to win. Now only must you dodge bear-themed items, you must be wary of cow and milk-themed items as well or the round will end prematurely.
  • Averted in Kentucky Route Zero: The Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces contains an entire floor labelled "Bears," which contains live bears. If you enter that floor, the bears will all ignore you.
  • Averted with the bear cubs in Kinectimals...unless you are Joel Heyman of Rooster Teeth (see below).
  • Kingdom of Loathing has bars in the Spooky Woods, but they're fairly weak monsters that are only a threat to absolute newbies. There are some straight examples, like the "clan of cave bars" players can encounter in the Hidden Temple (whose power and defense scale with yours up to a certain cap), or the heavily-armed Warbears that showed up for Crimbo 2013.
  • Since King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! is a Sierra game, it's no surprise that the bear attacking a beehive can kill you (and so can the bees). What is amusing is to see the bear kill Graham with one swipe of its paw. Since the bear's paw is closed, its more like It punched you in the face.
  • In League of Legends, Annie summoned and a sealed a demon in her teddy bear. When she uses her Ultimate, she summon Tibbers, a raging demon bear. That's on fire.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Bears are the strongest animals that aren't explicitly one of Calamity Ganon's monsters. Alongside wolves, they're also some of the few animals that will actively try to kill you if they spot you (as opposed to at most charging you down if you're in front of them and then running for it, as most large animals do). They hit hard and take lots of hits to kill, and the Hyrule Compendium states that the stronger of the two bear variants is considered to be the most dangerous wild animal in Hyrule. You can also ride them around, though stables will unsurprisingly refuse to let you register them.
  • Little Red Hood: A bear appears as an enemy. It is an instant kill and is invincible.
  • The latest build of The Long Dark introduces bears, just in case Savage Wolves wasn't bad enough. They take a fair few rounds from the .303 hunting rifle to kill, and they can give you a vicious mauling, which of course, happens entirely in first-person, and yes, it is horrifying to watch.
  • Mabinogi has bears in several flavors, and they're almost as tough as Ogres. Also, Tarlach is human only at night, becoming a bear by day. While he's not particularly violent, he constantly holds up the plot by Wangsting when you need info, sending you on Fetch Quests, and just not telling you the truth about what's going on. In part because he doesn't know the full story either.
  • In Mass Effect 2 during one mission the mooks describe Shepard and his/her team as "armed for bear". And seeing how the rest of the mission goes for them they're not wrong. Incidentally, the term "armed for bear" likely owes its existence to this trope.
  • The Bulrathi, from the first two Master of Orion games, landing on your planet generally made for having a bad day, unless you had a significant numerical and/or technological advantage over them.
  • Mega Man:
    • There is a polar bear enemy in Mega Man 7, and it can take a lot of hits before it goes down.
    • Subverted in Mega Man X5. Grizzly Slash is the first boss most players take on, and he gives a good weapon/ability too.
    • Brought straight back in Mega Man X8 with Bamboo Pandamonium, a panda that spams explosives and whose berserk attack is a hard-to-avoid Megaton Punch, and every boss can't be hurt while berserk.
    • Mega Man Zero 2 had Polar Kamrous, and she's just as deadly as her predecessor.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has bears all over the area, one mention goes to the side quest for hunting the legendary brown bear, which can kill Snake with one hit and take a lengthy amount of tranquilizers shots.
  • Mickey's Dangerous Chase: Bears appear as enemies.
  • Minty Fresh Adventure!: There is an Ursa Minor, a giant space bear. You have to fight it, and its presumed parent, the Ursa Major.
  • Miscreated: You encounter bears in the game, and they AREN'T friendly.
  • Zigzagged with a minor ghost called Honeybub in Mishap 2: An Intentional Haunting. According to her bio she was perfectly docile during her stint on a popular children's show, but was a method actor and got a little too into the role when her agent landed her a part as the villain in a horror movie in an attempt to prevent typecasting.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Subverted with the bear-like Arzuros, which certainly looks intimidating with its blood-red claws and armored paws but is nothing compared to the many, much stronger monsters you will face. However, Monster Hunter Generations plays it straight with the Redhelm Arzuros, whose tough hide and tremendous strength tears down any hunter who expects an easy fight.
    • Monster Hunter: Rise introduces the Goss Harag, a massive bear that is based on the Namahage. It not only possesses formidable strength, but it can use its ice breath to form icy blades on its claws to rend unfortunate hunters. Rise also has the Apex Arzuros, which, similar to Redhelm, is vastly more powerful than the nominate species and a genuine threat.
  • Mother:
  • In Mystik Belle, the forest east of the school grounds is where you'll have to go to get one of the three items needed to repair the Walpurgisnacht brew. Just before the forest's entrance is a sign that reads '"West — Hagmore School of Witchcraft, Village of Lur. East — Death and Dismemberment."' Naturally, the forest is already host to several dangerous obstacles and fauna, such as raccoons and bees. But you'll eventually come across a bear. A Russian bear wearing a living ushanka while performing the Cossack Dance, no less!
  • Naughty Bear wouldn't be the same game with some other animal.
  • One of the Druid's animal companion options in Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 is a bear. Try to guess what every player picks. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer interrupts your not quite pleasant stay at the town of Mulsantir by having a bear show up at the gates. Not just any bear either, but a bear god. With an army. An army which includes ghost bears. To make matters worse, it's a bear god specifically out to kill you, meaning the residents of the town are keen to throw your woefully unprepared ass out against it like some sort of sacrificial lamb. If it weren't for Gann and his magical bear god weak-point detecting skills, you'd be fucked. Inverted if you decide to spare and recruit said bear god. You have a freaking bear god on your side!
  • Oniken: The Mini-Boss of the third level is a polar bear, which turns out to be a robot.
  • The Oregon Trail. Bears are always eating party members. 'Specially if you try to hunt them.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps averts this with Baur, the ursine guardian of the eponymous Baur's Reach, whose only hindrance to Ori is obstructing the path to the Reach in his Endless Winter-induced hibernation. He later rescues Ori from an avalanche triggered by Shriek after the awakening of the Memory of the Forest, and thanks the former for restoring spring to the area.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The Ice Vellumental resembles an immense polar bear, and is the most technically complex and challenging of the Vellumentals to beat.
  • The Perils of Akumos: The whole space station is trying to kill you. What next? Oh. A bear attacks you.
  • Persona 4: Teddie is not this, being a likeable, cute, pun-spewing living mascot costume. But his Shadow is a creepy-faced, deep-voiced nihilist that turns into a giant Frankenstein-like version of Teddie and tries to kill the Investigation Team. It's implied that Teddie's Shadow was somehow hijacked by the Big Bad.
  • Bears don't get much worse than in Pit People. The Narrator is a giant space bear who has decided to make Horatio and his allies' lives a living hell because he thinks Horatio is too boring to live.
  • Pokémon:
    • Snorlax is based on the idea of hibernating bears, in which it will mercilessly attack you when you woke it up. Its pre-evolution, Munchlax, despite being a Baby Pokémon, is much more aggressive than Teddiursa and Cubchoo when it comes to getting food, particularly honey.
    • Teddiursa is a small teddy bear. However, when it evolves at Level 30, it becomes the dangerous Ursaring. Ursaring is a Mighty Glacier that hits and moves like a truck. Weighing in at a base attack stat of 130, it is a beast to be reckoned with and its decent physical movepool is enough to back it up. It also has two abilities which raises its stats if it has a status condition: Guts raises its attack while Quick Feet raises its speed.
    • Cubchoo, like Teddiursa averts this trope, as it's a polar bear cub with a giant Snot Bubble. Its evo, Beartic, however, resembles a huge polar bear with icicles over its mouth, it can have Snow Cloak or Slush Rush as abilities, meaning it benefits from Hail condition, which are debilitating to most Pokémon. It can even learn Sheer Cold.
    • Gen VI introduces Pancham and its evolution Pangoro. Pancham tries to be intimidating, but its too cute to pull it off (even when compared to Munchlax). It evolves into Pangoro if it levels up with a Dark-Type in the party. Pangoro is not that bad of a Mon however, because underneath its gruff and mean exterior lies a noble heart that hates bullying. Still, it's stupid to piss one off (namely, bullying the weak).
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon has Stufful and Bewear. Stuffle looks like a red panda plushie and Bewear looks like a cuddly bear costume mascot. Both pokemon have extremely powerful limbs that can send boxers flying (in the case of Stufful), or in the case of Bewear, effortlessly crush spines like dry twigs even when all they want to do is give a friendly hug. They have the reputation as being one of the most dangerous Pokémon in Alola. Just to top it off, it's also Lusamine's trump card in every battle with her.
    • Kubfu and Urshifu from Pokémon Sword and Shield are basically what results when a bear learns and masters martial arts. As a testament to their power, Mustard's Signature Mon is Urshifu, and he's the one who trained Leon, Galar's unbeatable champion.
  • Whispering Rocks Summer Camp has a slight bear problem in Psychonauts. Specifically, telekinetic bears.
  • Quest For Infamy features a black bear that gets used as an enforcer by the local group of Brigands.
  • Red Dead Redemption:
    • The Tall Trees area in the northeast is populated by large grizzly bears. While not invulnerable (as with every animal, you can kill and skin them), they can fuck your shit up quite easily. Whether or not they're more dangerous than cougars is up for debate, but they're certainly scary. And if you kill one bear, watch your back — most likely, there's more to come.
    • It turns From Bad to Worse in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, as they are now zombie bears.
    • Brumas. This golden bear is much bigger than any other bear, and can take two headshots from the most powerful gun in the game before going down.
    • To make this harder, to actually get the most powerful weapon in the game you need to kill a bear with a knife. Thankfully, you only need to kill a bear with the knife. You can use any weapon you want to bring it down to "can be killed by a single stab with a knife" health. And you can also use your knife on horseback by repeatedly riding past the bear and stabbing it until it falls.
    • Red Dead Redemption II: Bears return and they're worse for several reasons, chief among them being that they'll cause your horse to panic and buck you as it flees, leaving you helpless and on the ground as a bear charges you. And those are normal bears. There's also the Legendary Bharati Grizzly Bear, which is a huge, scarred, and very, very angry grizzly you can track and kill. It will not go down the first time you shoot it. It will almost certainly not go down the second time you shoot it. Most likely, it will get close enough to start mauling you and you'll need to defend yourself with a knife in order to survive long enough to shoot it again. But once you kill it, you can have its hide made into the Bear Hunter outfit. Averted with black bears, which will flee when they see you and are sometimes prey to cougars. It's played straight, however, for the player's horse, which will shy away from the black bear just as it would from a snake.
  • Return to Krondor does not have any actual bears, but it has Big Bad Bear. He is taller than everyone else. He has muscles to match his height. He is a mercenary and a pirate leader. He will kill men, women, and children who get in his way. In the game, one small-time pirate name Knute left him and was thrown in jail. Bear broke into the jail with an army of mercenaries, killing everyone they encountered. He personally went down to the cells where Knute was held in and ripped Knute's cell door right off its hinges and told Knute to follow him. Then he grabbed Knute by the throat and demanded to know "Where is it?" and "What had Knute done with it?" Knute just kept screaming that he did not do anything. Bear called Knute a liar and sliced him to pieces. When you finally fight Bear yourself, you will find that he wears the best armour and uses the best swords. Oh, and you will find that he is completely immune to your attacks. He wears an amulet that makes him immune to your attacks.
  • In Rimworld bears can easily become the downfall of an early colony, especially tribal or "naked brutality" starts. They can easily survive a number of shots from most early weaponry. Thankfully, randomly generated wild bears are only aggressive against humans in self-defense or if there are no more prey animals on the map. However, later in the game your colony might be hit by a pack of already aggressive manhunting bears.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider has Lara fighting ravenous bears looking to eat her, in a Mythology Gag to earlier titles in the series.
  • R.O.H.A.N. Online: The first enemies you come across in Akhma Cave are Ursas, Warrior Ursas, Elder Ursas, and Ursa Mages. The weakest of them, the Ursas, start at level 20, but the most advanced Ursa types can easily go up to level 30. You will NEED a party in order to take these things (and Akhma Cave in general) on, because unless you're really high level, you WILL get eaten alive, particularly because the tougher ones like to mob you.
  • In Samurai Shodown (aka Samurai Spirits) 0/5 Nakoruru is almost killed by a bear in Rera's storyline intro if not for Rera taking over Nako's body. Nakoruru is hesitant to defend herself for two reasons; one is that in Real Life the bear is one of the Ainu's most holy animal (Nakoruru being Ainu) and the other is that Nakoruru is a friend to all living things and doesn't like to use violence. Rera apparently pulls a Hollow Ichigo and kills the bear after taking over Nako's body because she doesn't feel like dying. Rera is not a bad person, just a part of Nako that doesn't like how Nako normally behaves.
  • Taupy from Sands of Destruction is Beary Friendly to the World Annihilation Front but a Lightning Bruiser to their enemies.
  • In Sheltered, one of the enemies you face in the wastelands is bears.
  • Shinobido has bears in some mission. And they're insanely powerful, veeery suspicious, move erratically and can take a lot of damage before dying. However, you can kill them instantly if they're distracted (usually a salmon will do the trick).
  • The Simpsons arcade game had a bear as a boss. Even its associated boss theme screams, "You're one doomed motherfucker!" When you beat it, however, it shrinks and turns into a fat mook.
  • In The Sims 3, exploring the crypt can end in a special status effect, and you learn that what's at the bottom of the crypt is bears. And occasionally GIGANTIC RAMPAGING ZOMBIE BEARS.
  • Skinwalker Hunt: There are bears in the game that will attack you if they see you. You can kill them with your guns and cut meat out of them though.
  • Smite brings us a rather obscure Bear Goddess from Celtic Mythology, Artio. She's a supportive Druid lady who acts as a Guardian to her teammates using nature magic that turns into a massive bear that charges forward, roars to disrupt her enemies, or swipe the enemy with her claws twice that hurts. One of her magic is a circular entangling vines that surround her and prevent movement-based skills for a good amount of time, and it'll stay active even as she turns to bear. Basically, this bear does not let you go away and wants you to stay awhile as she mauls you to death.
  • Spelling Jungle: The sequel Spelling Blizzard features Polar Bears, expys of the lions of Spelling Jungle, who guard their den fiercely and charge Wali if he gets too close, but retreat when he gets far enough away. Unlike the lions, they can be bribed.
  • Splatoon 2 features Mr. Grizz, the owner of Grizzco Industries. He's only seen speaking through a bear statue, and his business is also the Hold the Line mode against mutant salmon, even the game describes his business as incredibly shady.
  • With Kuma as part of the roster of Street Fighter X Tekken, players finally get to see Zangief wrestling an actual bear.
  • The Sun At Night has giant Cyborg bears that server as enemies.
  • In Syberia, Kate encounters a brown bear while in the hunting cabin, trapping her in there. Apparently, giving it its favorite fish satisfies its hunger.
  • Bears are a common enemy type in the Tales Series.
    • An eggbear (A bear that lays eggs) serves as an early boss in Tales of Eternia. Later, as a Secret Test of Character, Reid gets to be the same bear and relive its experiences that occurred just prior to his fight with it, ultimately fighting himself and Keele, though not before unleashing its wrath upon one of the traders who killed its family and random monsters who get in the way.
    • An eggbear also serves as an early boss in Tales of Vesperia and is the cause for Karol's memorable quote of "Prepare to die, eggbear!".
    • In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, the two most deadly physical attacking monsters in the game are the Galf Beast and the Wolf Heddin. And which of these is the final evolved form of the bear? Actually, the bear has a divergent evolution and thus has two final evolved forms: the Galf Beast and the Wolf Heddin. Apparently, someone at Namco really likes bears.
    • The first monster Emil is attacked by is a bear. In New Game+ playthroughs, any monsters you inherited from your previous game can't defeat the bear until Marta arrives on the scene.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Heavy Weapons Guy, according to the Scout, is "like a big shaved bear that hates people."
    • Taken to new and very literal levels with a mod that turns the Heavy into an actual bear. With a minigun.
    • And then comes The Warrior's Spirit, which are bear claws that enable the Heavy to cause more damage and grant Life Drainnote . Brings a new meaning to "I will kill you with bear hands!"
    • Taking it even further, one hat for the Heavy is a the head and paws of a bear Heavy killed himself.
    • The comic "A Cold Day in Hell" involves Scout, Soldier, and Pyro encountering three bears while they were searching for the Heavy in northern Siberia. The trio kills them, and it turns out that they were babies when the massive Mama Bear shows up.
  • Kuma, Heihachi Mishima's guard bear from Tekken. Not so much with his Palette Swapped counterpart, Xiaoyu's sort-of pet Panda.
  • One of the Predators in Them's Fightin' Herds is a giant bear called Huggles. It's the final opponent in every character's arcade mode and, out of all the mook Predators, is the toughest of them to fight.
  • In Thief, you can eavesdrop on a conversation between two guards about bear fighting as a blood sport. One of the guards laments that bears were ferocious when he was a kid, and the pit owners have to strap hooks and razor collars onto the bears to keep the fights interesting.
  • Tokyo Jungle: Inverted in the story mode. In Act 10, a bear acts as an Old Master to a Tosa dog that had been chased out of its territory earlier in the story. The bear feeds it and enlists the dog's help in securing its territory to help it regain its courage and confidence.
  • Tomodachi Life: If two of your Miis get into a fight and fail to resolve it, you can view a daydream of them battling the other Mii, with the most common of the three types of daydreams being a tug-of-war over a stretchy teddy bear with a third Mii's face that has a permanent "Sad" expression.
  • UnReal World, being a pure iron-age Finland survival simulator, has bears that are exceptionally dangerous. Even if you survive an encounter with one, it's highly likely you'll be left heavily wounded. In the Finnish folklore-based lore, they're also considered sacred and thus their skulls have to be subject to a special ritual lest their spirit seek vengeance, although in-game not performing this ritual has no actual effect.
  • Vindictus throws a giant, pissed off polar bear at you in the "Dethrone the White Tyrant" mission of Hoarfrost Hollow, who is easily the toughest boss of that particular part of the game. And just for an encore, there's a Red Tyrant Bonus Boss sometime after you get through with Hoarfrost Hollow which is even worse than the white one.
  • The Brrr Bear from Wario Land 3. They have ice powers that they can use to freeze Wario and send him sliding back across the level.
  • Bears are one of the summonable unit in Warlock: Master of the Arcane. They are reasonable early game unit, but lose effectiveness later in the game unless upgraded.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features bears as hostile animals you can encounter out in the wilderness as is typical in most RPGs but cranks this trope Up to Eleven when you have to fight one barehanded one as the final quest in the Fist Fighting questline.
  • The Grizzly Noise from The World Ends with You, especially of the Taboo variety.
  • World in Conflict: "The Red Bear has awoken. The world will see his might."
  • Druids in World of Warcraft can take the form of a bear to become more effective tanks. As it can deal decent damage while tanking, this is arguably their strongest form. What really speaks to their intimidating capability is their ability to scare things into attacking them over the much more dangerous people nearby. A human might be forgiven for focusing on the bear trying to claw their face off over the mage prepping a fireball, but when you can make a 60 foot dragon see you as the most dangerous thing around, you are one scary bear.
    • That was preceded by Druids of the Claw (who can turn into bears, boost allies' damage by roaring and regenerate their health, though not while in bear form) and The Beastmaster Rexxar in War Craft III, who could summon his bear from anywhere.
    • Polar bears in Warcraft III are tough, amphibious neutral monsters with saberteeth.
    • Bears can also be tamed by hunters (although like the druid form, they are more suited for tanking than damage).
    • Blizzard's "special" mounts (i.e. mounts that are not available through normal faction vendors) tend to be bear-heavy for some reason, presumably the prestige of owning one:
      • The most (in)famous bear mount is the Amani War Bear. It could only be gotten as part of a level 70 raid instance, Zul'Aman, by killing four bosses and rescuing their hostages before time runs out and they are murdered. When Wrath of the Lich King was released and the level cap raised to 80, the Amani Bear was removed from the game so it would be a status symbol for the players dedicated enough to have gotten it at level 70.
      • A purple (rather than red) Palette Swap of the Amani War Bear called the Amani Battle Bear has since been introduced to allow players who missed out on the War Bear to get something similar after Zul'Aman was retooled as a Level 85 Heroic instance, and is still fairly difficult to get in the time limit (it requires downing the enemies and bosses as efficiently as possible without wiping). One of the four bosses happens to be a troll infused with the power of a bear spirit who can charge distant players (one-shotting anyone who has the debuff from his charge), and who can turn into a bear, increasing his damage done to the tank and giving him the ability to roar and silence players.
      • As the racial mount of the forest trolls, bears feature in associated raids and dungeons. Typically decorated with tiki masks, the tusks of something big and strong and even Shrunken Heads, the presence of green, muscular trolls riding bears is a sign that the enemy rider is an elite. The presence of these bears is usually a sign that things are about to get real. One boss in Zul'Aman is Nalorakk, a troll with the power of the bear loa, is a fearsome warrior and implied to be a Bad Boss, since he asks his minions who they're more scared of- the intruders or him.
      • Wrath of the Lich King also introduced an Armored Brown Bear mount available from the Dalaran mount vendor. It costs considerably more than the usual mount.
      • The reward for being part of the kills of every leader of the opposite faction, a feat that can require nearly a hundred organized players? A black war bear mount. Even better? Those bears were implemented in the closing days of Burning Crusade, during that brief period when mob levels (including faction leaders) were upped but players could not level yet. Despite (or because) of this, many top guilds actually got up at 4am to kill the faction leaders before WotLK came out. Despite the fact that killing one faction leader easily took 30 minutes because of the vast level gap. Bears are Serious Business.
      • The Hyldnir, a group of giant blue warrior women, ride polar bear mounts in battle, one of which you can receive as a rare reward from a daily quest, which itself can involve riding a fighting bear.
    • There is also a race of humanoid bears called Furbolgs in both World of Warcraft and Warcraft III. They are usually peaceful, shamanistic beings, but Demonic Corruption has been bad for many of them, turning them beastly and mindlessly violent. The presence of corrupted Furbolgs is usually lampshaded as a sign things are going badly for a region at large. When sane they admire the night elves' respect for nature and forest life and are thus old friends, and also hold the tauren in esteem due to their similar cultures. Any other race who wants their respect has to earn it.
      • One tribe of those fiercely guards a tunnel that connects between three zones, one of which can only be reached through that tunnel (and if you aren't a druid, you don't have easy access to another one). While it is possible to befriend them to the degree of them letting you pass with moderate effort, people who decide to skip that are in for one rough treatment when they try to run through the tunnel. Incidentally, two of the mentioned zones are crawling with other furbolgs and regular bears, as well.
    • Similarly, the Moonkin are a race created by the goddess Elune to protect her sacred shrines — they are half owl and half bear, to represent the wisest and strongest animals respectively. Druids can also assume their form in order to perform a caster DPS role.
    • Welcome Bears, a Beef Gate monster in the Western Plaguelands. Tirisfal Glades, a starting area, is directly adjacent to the Plaguelands, so unwitting low level characters were often mauled on wandering across the border. While the zone level has been significantly nerfed, they're still likely to kill the unwary.
    • Even that was one-upped by the Bear Reaver. Imagine a creature, wandering about the wilderness, that has the abilities of a Humongous Mecha demon that requires multiple characters at the level cap to kill, but with the graphic of a wild bear. According to the article, this was more dangerous than the demon itself. Making the humongous robot demon into a normal-sized bear made it more dangerous (mostly because it was harder to see coming).
    • Mists of Pandaria introduces the playable Pandaren. For those who don't know, Pandaren are humanoid panda martial artists that can kick your ass and may be the only race that can out-drink a Dwarf. They are surprisingly a peaceful and jovial race as a whole, but like the aforementioned Furblogs, Pandarens are not to be trifiled with. And seeing as they choose which faction they join, they're likely to make things worse (or better, or both) for both the Alliance and the Horde. And if that weren't convincing enough, they have a legit bear's roar when using the /roar command.
    • There is even a ghost bear named Arcturis. The most awesome thing is that Hunters specialized in Beast Mastery can tame it.
    • Ursoc is a Wild God with the form of a bear, and the patron deity of the furbolg. He's normally benevolent, but in Legion he ends up being corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare, and becomes a raid boss.
  • In Yakuza 5, Saejima has to fight a giant, maneating bear using only his fists, having just crashed his snowmobile in the middle of a blizzard while escaping from prison (again).

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: An episode featured Smokey Bear vs. McGruff the Crime Dog, and since this is a Death Battle, Smokey gets to show all his ferocity towards McGruff. Including pinning McGruff down, mauling him, and finally turning giant to crush him and his monster truck like a bug.
  • The Doodle Toons pilot episode, "Rabbit for Dinner", depicts a bear as the bad guy that captures Bellybutton's Love Interest, Jellybean.
  • Dorkly Originals: In a Sonic video, Sonic frees the animal critters from inside Badniks. Unfortunately, one Badnik contained a very large bear that proceeds to immediately tear into Sonic and devours him.
  • Dreamscape: Snowball can become a gigantic and dangerous adult bear with huge claws.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Windears are very quick to anger, especially if you are dumb enough to try and fight them!
  • Dumb Ways to Die: Poke a stick at a grizzly bear? Whoops.
  • Gaming All Stars: The Ultimate Crossover: The Bearminator, a submarine-piloting polar bear who can summon smaller robotic bears to assault his targets, interrupts Link and his gang from proceeding any further not long after escaping from the G-Man's clutches, prompting them to evade his gunfire as they work to take care of him.
  • Happy Tree Friends has Flippy, a bear who, while on the surface appears nice, goes insane now and then and brutally kills the entire cast.
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad's turf is guarded by a (wooden cut-out of a) bear holding a shark.
  • In How to Kill a Mockingbird, the pirates' laser-swords shoot bears that are on fire.
  • Puffin Forest: In "Miscellaneous Monsters and Bears of Sand" a PC lied to a guard that they were hunting sand bears, monstrous half bear half scorpion creatures. One of PC's didn't realize that sand bears weren't real and was later killed by a manifestation of his fears in the form of a sand bear.
  • The Ursa from RWBY are bear-like Grimm and they serve as Elite Mooks. Ursa Major are even bigger, stronger versions, and they're downright terrifying opponents. Of course, from their perspective, the trope is more "Badass Teenagers With Mix And Match Weapons Are Bad News".
    • In the mobile game RWBY: Amity Arena, the Ursa is a Mighty Glacier with really high health and attack who goes straight for the tower the player is supposed to defend with no interruptions, fitting the trope even more for whoever sees the adversary deploying one.
  • In episode 12 of Unforgotten Realms, Roamin the Paladin rides to the scene of a big battle on the back of, not just a bear, but Ursa Arkadios, Archduke of the High Bears! Oh, and they're loaded with every sword in the rulebook.

    Web Comics 
  • Radic from Murphy's Law occasionally wildshapes into a bear.

    Web Original 
  • The Creepypasta 1999 is about a kid discovering a local access cable channel that prominently features a children's program about a host who kidnaps and tortures children. His name is... Mr. Bear.
  • There is such thing as a Bear Attack Flowchart.
  • There's the Memetic Mutation image that illustrates this page... which gets some responses.
  • Bears of War.
  • The Bear Trap. It's not one of those usual Bear Traps — it's a Bear trap.
  • Cerberus Daily News has Brizzly, a sapient, biotic grizzly.
  • CollegeHumor reminds us that Cartoon Bears are still bears.
  • Course of Honour has the protagonists attacked by a bear. According to Kiem, at least. Jainan, being from a different planet, objects that a terrifying beast with scales isn't exactly what a bear is supposed to look like. They both agree it is very bad news, though.
  • In a roundabout sort of way, when the Game Grumps play Naughty Bear, their first part got decidedly low ratings due to their inability to complete the very first task of the game, even though the game itself was guiding them.
  • This is a running joke in the online web series LoadingReadyRun where Kathleen, one of the people in comedy group, has what she describes as a "completely rational fear" of bears.
  • In More Tales of MU, bears are the only animal that the typically arrogant elves will not hunt:
    Iason: And did nobody ever think to teach you anything about bears?
    Jamie: Not to mess with them.
    Iason: That will do for a beginning.
  • Stated in this rendition among the many of The Most Interesting Man in the World.
  • The nightmare "Unspeakable Things" on the Nightmare Project has the dreamer pursued by a metal-skinned bear through a Lethal Lava Land.
  • When tasked with pondering how the ongoing, deadly civil war in Syria could possibly get any worse, The Onion came to one logical conclusion: Bears.
  • The Russian Internet meme Preved Medved (Hello Bear).
  • That's not important. Let's focus on RAPEBEAR.
  • Joel Heyman from Rooster Teeth picked the wrong Fluffy to tame.note 
  • The SCP Foundation maintains a few "ursine"-tagged subjects, nicely compiled into the Bearitage Collection:
    • SCP-549, which moves and behaves like a normal grizzly despite being 17 centimetres long. As in, it's still as heavy, strong, and hungry as a regular bear.
    • SCP-1048, a sapient teddy bear that can use any material to make hostile creations in its image.
    • "Bugsy", a grizzly that gets bigger and more aggressive the more people know about it.
    • Another teddy bear, SCP-1145 isn't actively malicious... it just so happens to now be a Nuclear Nasty after getting utterly irradiated by the bombing of Nagasaki.
    • SCP-1313, a mathematical equation whose solution is a live grizzly bear. Foundation mathematicians are thus investigating the implications of bears existing in the set of real numbers.
    • SCP-2875, aka The Town that got Fucked By Bears. It's a town in Wisconsin that, every three days, randomly spawns anywhere between 50-100 grizzly bears. Bears that have to be tranquilized and beaten to death, because if you shoot one two more take its place.
  • Serina: The largest of the bumblebadgers, a clade of quadrupedal birds adapted for life as generalist meat-leaning omnivores, are called bumblebears, and are dangerous and bad-tempered ground predators adapted for purely carnivorous lifestyles.
    • A relatively small species, the bramblebreaker, is described as "an animal nobody wants to meet". They're highly muscular, dangerous predators and extremely foul-tempered even by bumblebear standards, but provide a useful service for other animals through their ability to open paths through the dense cactaiga by simply chewing their way through the dense growths of spiny plants.
    • The truculent bumblebear, at eight feet in height and nine hundred pounds in weight, is the largest bumblebear to ever live and the apex predator of its era. They're extremely powerful and dangerous predators, equally happy killing and eating literally any creature they encounter as they are chasing off other predators from their kills. They have no natural enemies, and their most common cause of death is being killed by a conspecific in a conflict over territory.
  • Survival of the Fittest: There is a common joke among handlers that inactive characters are killed and eaten by an "Inactivity Bear". Also, in her first post, version 4 character Maria Graham has a dream where she was actually "Robo-Bear 5000", which was a robotic bear disguised as a student and was going to avenge its kidnapping.
  • The Tales of Paul Twister: The local name for bears translates to "walking horror."
  • TierZoo: Zigzagged when the series looks into extant and extinct bears and their position in the metagame of Outside.
    • Played straight by powerful generalist bears like brown bears, kodiaks, and black bears. Their versatility, intelligence and ability to hibernate to conserve resources through winter make them premier S-tier predators.
    • Exaggerated by the cave bears from "The Ice Age Tier List", which was even bigger and stronger than modern bears — while black bears are S-tier on versatility and intelligence, the cave bears made S-tier on the back of its overwhelming power, defense, and hitpoints, plus its ability to switch between hunting and scavenging when need be. Datamining suggests that unlike other large Ice Age builds, their decline was not a result of the in-universe Game-Breaker, Humans, arriving on the scene. Note that the "cave bear" in "The Ice Age Tier List" is actually a combination of both its real-life counterpart and another giant bear species — the short-faced bear — combining the former's herbivory with the latter's scavenging and fighting prowess.
    • Subverted by most specialized bears, with only the very strong polar bear making it outside of the very low tiers. Even then, it's hampered by lacking the useful Hibernate ability and having to contend with the unforgiving Arctic server, including months-long Arctic nights. In the lowest tier is the panda, which has specialized extremely heavily into eating bamboo, even though it provides them almost no energy or XP.
  • Violated by Bears Man's origin.
  • Whateley Universe: the Mediwhila Native American tribe just off the grounds of Whateley Academy are Weres. But the leader's boyfriend is a Werebear. Do not mess with this guy.
  • What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?: Nash finds it hard to believe just how many stories he's had that involve people trying to take on bears in some way, calling bears "living furry tanks" and at least once uttering the Trope name itself (which left him open to Tara following it up with "Especially when they play baseball."). Some of the more infamous examples:
    • One story about a man who wanted to find a bear, kill a bear, wear the bear's skin, and then maul his ex-girlfriend to death to make it look like some sort of freak bear attack. Nash was quick to point out the flaws in this plan.
    Nash: Number one, it's a bear. Number two, it's a bear. Number three, and probably most important... HOLY SHIT, YOU FUCKING IDIOT! IT'S A GODDAMNED BEAR!
    • They also had another story where a man and his girlfriend were camping and a bear started to go into their tent while they were sleeping. The man managed to punch the bear in the face and drove it off. Both Nash and Tara agreed that punching a bear in the face to save your girlfriend is better than a marriage proposal. Tara was also concerned about her then-boyfriend finding out about the story as he wants to punch a bear and now has proof you can survive doing it.
    • Another one about a man donning a realistic bear costume and harassing a family of bears, going so far as to get near the cubs, leaving Nash to have to explain why the Mama Bear trope exists: "You get next to Mama Bear's cubs, that is death!"
  • This picture sums up the worst of the worst.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: Subverted in "Snow Bounders". Cruella and the pups stumble into a cave to get out of a blizzard only to be greeted by an angry bear ready to maul them. Cruella wasn't in the mood for any of that, and it only took a few mere moments before the bear ran away with fear. Played straight in the end of the episode when the bear found Horace and Jasper.
  • Adventure Time crosses over this trope with Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking. In song.
    Billy! He's the greatest warrior ever, a hero of renown! Who slayed an evil ocean, who cast the Lich King down! [...] Also... He fought a bear!
    • Averted and then played straight with the bear in the episode "In Your Footsteps", who unlike most characters, looks and acts mostly like an ordinary bear. Despite trying to ineptly copy Finn's voice, clothes, and mannerisms so he can be a hero too, he's shown to be harmless, none too bright, and misunderstood. At the end of the episode, however, he brings the book of heroes, the Enchiridion, to the evil Lich possessing a snail (although it could also be due to deception of The Lich's part).
  • There was an animated Beast Fable adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Injun' Joe (or just Joe) was portrayed as a bear.
  • In the 3-part episode of All Grown Up!, "R.V Having Fun Yet?", the gang encounter a bear. Luckily, they are saved by a dog that Kimi found during their cross-country road trip.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, there is a gang of bullies, whose strongest and angriest member is a pink bear.
  • In an episode of American Dad!, Stan has both his legs ripped off by a vicious polar bear, after being pushed in by the bear's tank by Roger, who wanted to save Stan and pretend to be a hero, so he'd let him move back in with him.
  • One episode of Animaniacs has a skit with a Funny Animal type of bear, overcharging people for useless junk at his neighborhood Garage Sale. Then the Warners show up and start pestering him to sell them his actual garage.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: In "Vampiris", Frylock succeeds in eradicating all the killer vampires off the planet, though this, in turn, allowed a breed of steak-sauce cravings bears to take over in their place. Shake then proclaims he made his own cure to the bear problem and covers himself in regular steak sauce. It goes well as he expected it.
  • A Running Gag among many 11-minute Adult Swim animated comedies; the ones that happen to be related to each other by same way (usually creative staff). It started with an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast with Space Ghost brawling a bear; then became a prominent character in Perfect Hair Forever and spread from there.
    Granny: And then the Lord made bears. Lots of bears... too many bears. Should've dialed back on the bears... and so, he dialed back on the bears!
  • Babar:
    • Ursa Major and his polar bear pack in Land of Ice, who terrorize the neighboring penguins and refuse to negotiate when Babar and his family try to reason with them.
    • While the bear in A Charmed Life is neither evil nor threatening, the magical amulet he gives Babar is an Artifact of Doom that creates a Villain World in which Rataxes rules over Celesteville.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: On a camping trip, a bear mauls Mr. Van Driesen, and cuts his song about men's feelings to an abrupt halt — and it's the high point of the trip for Beavis, Butthead, and Stuart.
  • Bonkers had the titular cartoon bobcat's co-star Grumbles Grizzly, who often played an antagonistic role in the Raw Toonage shorts, but is more of a grumpy neighbor during his few appearances in the actual series.
  • Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot has one special example in the form of the series' villain, Grizzle. Even if he doesn't successfully hurt the Care Bears and does receive his dose of Karma at the end of each episode, he does still cause a considerable amount of collateral damage to Care-A-Lot indirectly.
  • Catscratch has a bear for a recurring character. His most basic purpose is to make the cats' lives suck.
  • Some Classic Disney Shorts have been known to pit a main character against a bear, either a generic bear (i.e., Mickey Mouse's encounter with one in "The Pointer") or, especially in the case of Donald Duck, a goofy-looking bear named Humphrey.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: Who is driving? Oh my god, bear is driving! How can that be?"
  • In the Code Lyoko episode "Teddygodzilla", XANA brings Milia's teddy bear to life and turns it into a giant to attack the heroes.
  • Danny Phantom just couldn't do with a regular bear, they had to make it a mutated ghostly one with four arms!.
  • In one episode of Darkwing Duck, Darkwing takes Launchpad and Gosalynn on a camping trip, only for a very mean bear to be a persistent problem. When it finally turns violent, Darkwing decides to use his flamethrowing gas gun on it ("Hate to do this to an endangered species," says the hero) only to discover that the "bear" is actually a robot created by F.O.W.L. agents.
  • Dennis the Menace: In "Circus Berserkus", Joey mistakes an escaped bear for a teddy bear. Mr. Wilson doesn't think it's real until he pulls its nose.
  • Dilbert: Dogbert hosts a TV financial round-table. With 3 financial specialists and one drunken bear.
  • One of the antagonists in the Easter Special The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town is Gadzooks, a mean bear who guards the pass between Kidville and Town, mugging any travelers for their food. The Bunny fools him by coloring his eggs and claiming they're colored paperweights. (Explaining why he does so from then on.) Gadzooks wises up eventually, but turns over a new leaf — and becomes a powerful ally — once the children of Kidsvile surprise him with a new Easter suit.
  • Inverted with Bosco from Evil Con Carne. He's likely the least dangerous character on the show.
  • In an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, after Bloo's makeshift beard of honey gets the gang chased around by a swarm of bees, Mac says the situation could have been worse had the honey attracted a bear. That immediately shows up before Mac even finished the sentence.
  • In Garfield and Friends the Buddy Bears may not attack or maul anyone, but their presence inevitably makes things worse for Garfield anyway, especially if their theme song is any indication:
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we always get along!
    Each day, we do a little dance and sing a little song!
    If you ever disagree, it means that you are WRONG!
    Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, WE ALWAYS GET ALONG!
    • Seriously, they can be downright sadistic sometimes. They once offered Garfield a whole table full of free food just to tempt him when he was trying to prove to Jon that he could go five minutes without eating. By the way, Garfield won the bet.
    • There is another verse of their theme song which is doubly creepy:
      Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, we never have a fight!
      Anyone who disagrees is never, ever right!
      If you have a point of view, then keep it out of sight!
      Oh, we are the Buddy Bears, WE NEVER HAVE A FIGHT!
    • To which Garfield questions them...
      Garfield: But what about having an individual point of view?
      Bear 1: I have an individual point of view.
      Bear 2: And I agree with him.
      Bear 3: And I agree with both of them.
      All: We all have an individual point of view!
  • Goof Troop has two straight examples and a subversion. The Christmas special and "Winter Blunder-land" both feature a bear as an actual threat to the characters. In "You Camp Take It with You", when Goofy and Pete take Max and PJ camping, there is another bear. Everyone except Max is worried the bear would or did eat the boys, but he turns out to be just another father trying to protect his son in the wilderness (though in this case he was a Talking Animal and his baby had a diaper). In the ending scene, he is significantly nicer than Pete and about as nice as Goofy.
  • Gravity Falls: Dipper has to prove his manliness by killing the Multi-bear, mortal enemy of the Manotaurs. Despite being a powerful fighter, the Multi-bear turns out to be a Beary Friendly guy who likes listening to BABBA just like Dipper, and Dipper can't bring himself to do it.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • In the episode "Here Thar Be Dwarves!", during his camping trip, Billy comes across a disheveled, mangy-looking, and starving Yogi Bear who wants Billy to give him his basket of food so he and his equally undernourished nephew Bubu can eat something. Billy refuses and the furious Yogi chases him across the forest until the kid hides in a cave and taunts both bears because they can't get him there. In an example of Artistic License – Biology Played for Laughs, Yogi and Bubu lament being unable to keep pursuing Billy because bears are Dirty Cowards that hate going into caves. They both later turn up at Billy's singing performance, having seemingly made peace with him.
    • In "Druid, where's my car?", Basil the druid teaches Grim and Billy how to achieve the forms of their inner animals by transforming into a grizzly. However, he immediately lets out a ferocious roar and starts tearing Grim apart until he comes to his senses, apologizes, and returns to his human form while explaining that those who transform into animals may experience "an unquenchable thirst for blood".
  • Hanna-Barbera ursine stars Yogi Bear, Breezly Bruin and The Hair Bear Bunch are usually bad news to their protagonists. Averted with the CB Bears, who are heroic. Two other notable exceptions are the Hillbilly Bears and Blubber Bear from Wacky Races.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Birdman is tasked with defending Boo Boo Bear, or as he's also known, "the Unibooboo".
    Phil Ken Sebben: He's a bear! Buster Brown and his Hairy Hollyknockers! Have you ever tried to bring one down?
  • In Hero: 108, High Roller's henchmen (other than the Zebra twins) are an army of bears! They are seen as his henchmen. Especially their king being High Roller's sidekick in evil.
  • The Hill Farm: A bear the size of a battleship is certainly bad news. Interestingly the farmhand/shepherd is able to keep the monster bear from eating a sheep by swatting it on the nose with his shepherd's crook. But when one of the hunters wanders into the bear's cave and takes a shot at it, the bear comes out of the cave and menaces the farm.
  • Grier in Huntik has a bear Titan named Breaker. With four arms and Spikes of Villainy. Yeah, Grier's a pretty badass Anti-Villain.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius punishes Samy with a bear on a stick. It eats him, chews him up, and spits him out.
  • Subverted in a Joe Oriolo Felix the Cat cartoon, "Out West With Big Brownie". In it, Felix and Poindexter encounter Big Brownie, a giant brown bear who causes trouble for Felix, Poinsy and the ranch owner Bart at the start of the episode. But as Poindexter insists, it turns out Brownie isn't bad, just clumsy and misunderstood.
  • An episode of Johnny Bravo has Johnny run into a talking bear who claimed to be Chronos, Master of All Time!!
  • In the Christmas Episode of Kim Possible, Ron and Dr. Drakken are stuck in the Arctic. So how do you top that? You add a vicious polar bear.
  • The Legend of Korra has a couple:
    • Two of them are in the main cast. The larger of the two team pets is Naga, a Polar Bear Dog. Korra is distinct in that she's the first to be able to tame such a beast. Korra can and does use Naga as an intimidation tool, and Naga is fiercely protective of Korra. (She is also female, making her a literal Mama Bear example.)
    • In the predecessor series Avatar: The Last Airbender, it's played straight with a platypus bear, another one of the Mix-and-Match Critters. The first time we see this, it's trying to attack a man for coming onto its territory.
    • Subverted with Bosco, the Earth King's pet bear. He's more Beary Funny than scary. The Gang themselves were skeptical that there was such a creature as "just a bear" and suggested that perhaps it was another type of creature, such as a platypus-bear, skunk-bear, armadillo-bear, or gopher-bear. But no, he's just... a bear.
  • In the second season finale of Moral Orel, Orel's father Clay gets drunk, accidentally shoots Orel, and promptly passes out after Orel calls him out. It is only then that a grizzly appears and begins sniffing around the camp. When Clay's drunken sleep-muttering attracts the bear's attention to them, Orel reluctantly empties the revolver he has to kill the bear and save his father.
  • Looney Tunes: In "Big Top Bunny", Bugs joins the circus and butts heads with Bruno the Magnificent, an egotistical Russian bear who isn't keen on sharing the spotlight.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Bears have threatened both the heroes and the villains of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop in the episodes "Tall Timber Treachery" and "Cross Country Double Cross".
  • Pound Puppies (2010) has Squirt and Niblet, who are lost in the Canadian wilderness due to getting stuck in a plane's cargo, discuss this trope in "Homeward Pound". Niblet believes the bears will help them and Squirt believes the bears would kill and eat them, prompting the two to split up when they can't agree on what to do. In a subversion of the trope, Niblet manages to convince the bears to save Squirt from going over a waterfall and even provide them — and the rescue crew coming to find the two — with plenty of fresh fish.
    • Played for Laughs in Patches' take on three episodes (including the one above) in "The Secret Super Pup Club". In the first two scenarios (the Canadian wilderness and a construction site), a bear pops out to scare/threaten the Pound Puppies, only to be scared off when Patches leaps from nowhere and barks at it. It gets ridiculous when the third scenario involves five of them coming out of nowhere in a suburban neighborhood, only to be once again scared off by Patches.
  • Death Bear from Regular Show.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch featured the Care Bears brutally massacring the non-bear Care Bear Cousins.
  • In an earlier episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko and Heffer instigate a snowball fight with Ed Bighead, who attempts to retaliate by shooting snowballs back at them. He inadvertently hits a bear, who responds by slowly removing Ed's goggles and punching him hard enough to knock all of his teeth out.
  • Scooby-Doo:
  • Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings (2002): In one episode, a friend of Simon's makes fun of him for still owning a teddy bear. Simon vents by drawing an angry version on said teddy bear on his chalkboard. He then goes to the Land Of Chalk Drawings, and discovers the bear he drew running around wrecking peoples' things.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied with a bear wandering around Springfield, not even getting angry once, but causing enough of a panic to lead to an extensive (and costly) bear watch program. Although as pointed out by Lisa, Homer was only paying $5, so regardless of whether it's a percentage or just $5 per person, it was the smallest tax hike in history.
    • In a more straightforward example, Homer is traumatized by a bear attack and has nightmares of being attacked by vicious bear mascots.
      Homer: Are you a Care Bear?
      Care Bear: [takes out a crowbar and starts tapping it] I'm an Intensive Care Bear.
      Homer: Why does a bear need a crowbar?
      Care Bear:...Eh, I don't like to get my hands dirty.
      • That bear later turns into an Androcles' Lion as Homer finds out that he had a defective tracking tag on his ear that kept sending painful jolts in its ear.
    • There was also a bear with a chainsaw. Chainsaw bad. In the episode where Mr. Burns and the Rich Texan were destroying the environment, Kent Brockman announced that "Smokey the Bear" is now "Choppy the Lumberjack". Cut to a bear in a lumberjack get-up cutting a tree with a chainsaw, while an activist protested to his actions behind him. Choppy backhanded him angrily and revved up his chainsaw.
    • In another episode, Bart and Lisa are stuck in a forest fire. Homer arrives in a helicopter, and let down a rope ladder. Before the kids can climb it, a bear shoulders them aside and climbs the ladder himself (only being stopped from reaching the chopper by Homer cutting the rope).
    • One of Homer's dream sequences involves him as "Homey the Bear", a Yogi Bear parody in both appearance and animation style. Not so bad, until Homey proceeds to brutally maul Ranger Ned (Flanders).
    • Kent Brockman reported in season 7 about a bear who stowed away on a space shuttle that is now terrorizing the astronauts.
    • One of the most infamous cases of this trope took place in the episode, "Homer vs. Dignity." While pulling a prank for Mr. Burns that was an in-universe example of Panda-ing to the Audience, a male panda mistook a panda costume-clad Homer for a female and implicitly raped him.
    • Even the tame bear and television host Gentle Ben attacks his handler after hungrily going for the food table.
    • Inverted when Chief Wiggum designed a supposedly educational skit that involved dressing one of his men in a costume and calling him "Curtis E. Bear." He designed it with the same incompetence and violence that he exhibits in everything else he attempts, so the version that was performed involved beating up the cop in the bear suit while having lost any of the actual message of courtesy that was the occasion for the skit.
    • In Treehouse of Horror XI, Bart and Lisa meet the three bears, who are less than friendly to intruders. They manage to escape. Goldilocks on the other hand...
  • Gargamel runs into bears (with predictable results) in various episodes of The Smurfs (1981) and The Smurfs (2021).
  • South Park:
    • Subverted when a Mama Bear carries off several Jewish Cub Scouts... to be guests at a birthday party for her cub.
    • In the battle of the YouTube stars, Sneezing Panda kills three of his opponents.
    • Played horrifyingly straight in "The Return of Chef," when a grizzly bear shows up along with a mountain lion to rip the already brutalized Chef to pieces.
  • In Space Ghost Coast to Coast, there's an episode that Space Ghost is attacked by a bear, because there's a shark in the set. According to his educational documentary sharks like to walk along with bear, so the shark, named "Kentucky Nightame", attracts him.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has Squidward running afoul of an easily-provoked Seabear in "The Camping Episode": "DON'T RUN, SEABEARS HATE THAT!"
    Squidward: What'd I do that time?!
    SpongeBob: I don't know! Maybe he just doesn't like you!
  • Teen Titans:
    • Raven spends much of the episode "Hide and Seek" in disbelief that Melvin's imaginary friend Bobby is real, instead believing Melvin is telekinetic and won't admit it. When Monsieur Mallah finally manages to kidnap Melvin and the other kids, and we learn that Bobby is not only real but a giant, nightmarish Lightning Bruiser of a teddy bear. Beatdown ensues.
    • Beast Boy also tends to turn into a bear (among other ferocious creatures) when he's angry enough.
    • In the episode "The Quest", the first of three animal spirits that Robin has to fight his way past on his way up the mountain is a bear. The guy is polite about it, but the fight is anything but easy for Robin.
  • Joe Bear in the Tex Avery-directed cartoon, "Rock-a-Bye Bear".
  • Averted in the Tom and Jerry episode "Down Beat Bear" where the titular bear is a nuisance at worse owing to its habit of dancing whenever he hears music (and dragging Tom along to be his partner). While he does inflict some Amusing Injuries on Tom, they're completely accidental and he harbours no ill will towards the cat at all.
  • Total Drama Island has a recurring grizzly bear that menaces the campers in numerous challenges. In "Paintball Deer Hunter", it mauled Cody to the point where he had to wear a body cast and was sent home for his injuries, while in "Search and Do Not Destroy", it actually manages to halfway swallow Owen when he has to get a key around his neck. Izzy also disguised herself as a bear in "The Sucky Outdoors" to scare her teammates for laughs... and then the real deal shows up shortly afterwards.
    • In Total Drama World Tour, Bridgette is attacked by a bear after she is shipped off to Siberia by Blaineley. She does end up befriending it after discovering it was aggressive due to having an injured paw and then tending to it, but the bear (who she names Bruno) ends up following her when she returns to the Aftermath show and becomes insanely protective of her, even attacking Geoff when Bridgette tries to get affectionate with him.
  • In The Venture Bros., the Revenge Society is recruiting new members, and during the Terrible Interviewees Montage, one of the interviewees is a guy in a bear costume. He's covered in blood, looks freaky, no one knows how he got there and just stands there, not speaking or doing anything except breathing creepily. Phantom Limb, Professor Impossible, and Baron Underbeit, all experienced supervillains, are scared shitless. And then he pulls out a knife.
    • The bear reappears in a much later episode and his true intentions are vague. During the middle of a massive (artificial) blizzard, Hank is worried about his girlfriend Sirena and goes out into the storm to find her. He slams his against a streetpole and is knocked out. The bear finds him, carries him, takes him to a convenience store for a snack, then takes him to Dean's dorm room where he learns that Sirena is cheating on him with Dean. Why the bear did all this is unknown.
    • And in another episode The Monarch forces a prostitute into a deathtrap gauntlet. Featuring the polar bear from Lost.
  • During The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald episode Scared Silly, Hamburglar attempts to use a bear-emulating whistle as part of a prank invoking this trope on his fellow campers; unfortunately for him, a real bear stands behind him before proceeding to run after him and Ronald's gang. Although Ronald manages to send him careening into an extradimensional doorway, Grimace (Having been deeply frightened by the chase) continues to encounter computerized illusions of said ursine a few times once the cast enters the Haunted House later on.
  • We Bare Bears:
    • Grizzly, Panda, and Ice Bear are usually an inversion, but the episode "Primal" shows Panda and Ice Bear going feral from hunger. When Grizz tries to stop them from attacking each other, they start to chase him.
    • In "Planet Bears", all three bears go mad with hunger after an unsuccessful trip to the grocery store and start fighting over a granola bar Grizz happens to find.
  • In one Woody Woodpecker cartoon, Woody's foil is a clockmaker trying to turn Woody into a cuckoo; a running gag in the short is said foil making loud noises and waking up a hibernating bear who doesn't like being woken up. Eventually, Woody is able to use this to his advantage, moving the sleeping bear to the shop right before the top of the hour when every cuckoo clock chimes simultaneously, and the clockmaker (who wisely has earplugs for when that happens) is trounced hard enough consider giving up.

  • They're learning Kung Fu now. We're all gonna die.
  • These traditional American values
  • Preying on public fear and stereotypes, the following hoax[1] describes a 19-year old Russian girl and her stepfather get eaten alive by a literal Mama Bear and cubs.

    Real Life 
  • This trope may be the reason the word "bear" exists in the first place. Linguists believe that the Proto-Indo-European word for "bear" (*h₂ŕ̥tḱos, which evolved into the Latin ursus, Greek arktos, et al.) may have become taboo because people feared that actually using the word would summon a bear. As a result, various Germanic peoples began calling them "brown" as a euphemism, resulting in the English bear and bruin, German Bär, et al. Other languages have their own euphemisms:
    • Even *h₂ŕ̥tḱos itself isn't much better — it roughly translates to "destruction/destroyer". Appropriate that as well as coming to mean "bear", "arktos" also came to refer to the region around the North Pole. This also means that the Latin name for the Eurasian brown bear — Ursus arctos arctos — simply means "Destroyer Destroyer Destroyer".
    • Beowulf is probably a kenning referring to bears that literally means "bee-wolf" (y'know, because they like honey).
    • The Russian word medved (honey-eater), is a (Proto-Slavic — compare Polish niedźwiedź, Czech medvěd, Croatian medvjed, even the not Slavic but geographically close Hungarian medve) euphemism for the now-lost original word for "bear", but medved itself became taboo in the medieval period. Instead of naming the animal directly, people would refer to it with nicknames, either endearingly-pejorative ("the hairy one", "the clumsy one") or respectful ("the master"); a common practice was to give it a similar-sounding human name ("Mikhail Potapych", "Misha"), a practice which also became popular in Romanian language (the bear was called Moş Martin — "Old Uncle Martin"). In Polish, shortened form miś was used. Among the Szeklers, Hungarians living in the Carpathian Mountains, in what is now Romania, the corresponding nickname would be "Mackó úr", which more or less amounts to "Mr. Teddy". Keep in mind though, that they have a good reason to use the nicknames, as the nicknames are all from areas where bears still very much roam free and can and will pop up.
    • In Finnish there's otso, kontio, and mesikämmen (the last meaning "honey-paws"). The official name karhu was also originally a euphemism.
  • The Nazis probably felt this way about Voytek. A bear... that drinks, smokes, fights, and carries ammo. However, in his personal life Voytek was known as a kind and lovable fuzzball, who loved sweets, baths and hanging out with his buddies. A case where he brought this upon someone: one day when Voytek went to the steam baths, he found an enemy spy hiding in them. He roared and backhanded the spy, who promptly surrendered, presumably not having expected a bear to blow his cover. So he was punching Nazis before Harrison Ford made it cool.
  • Try to read all the way through this page without getting the chills. Some standout incidents include:
    • The woman who climbed onto her roof when the bear broke into her cabin. It followed her onto the roof and killed her. Nowhere is safe...
    • The one where a bear broke the necks of two campers, dragged them off, and ate part of them. When police found the bear five days later... it was guarding and protecting their corpses. The disturbing implication that the bear had come to enjoy the taste of human flesh to the point where it jealously guarded the corpses make this one even creepier.
    • The bear who apparently ripped the door off of a trailer to get to the man inside.
    • The bear who dragged a five-month-old off of the porch of her house and killed her.
    • The one where the only information they give us is that "his/her partially consumed remains were found." Especially scary is the guy whose half-eaten body was found in a campground when people woke up the next morning or the one where "days later, searchers found his campsite with his bare skeleton, one intact hand, and both feet, still booted."
    • And then there's the guy who managed to drag himself 1.5 miles to a meadow to die after being mauled and partially eaten.
  • Russia's animal symbol is the bear; this was memorably used in one of Ronald Reagan's campaign ads, but depictions of Russia as a bear or identifying Russia with bears goes back to at least the 19th century. A related nation, the Carpatho-Ruthenians/Rusyns have a red bear as the official national coat of arms, but they share none of the infamous reputation as their bigger brother by virtue of living with no sovereign state of their own.
  • You know the scientific name for the grizzly bear? Ursus arctos horribilis.
  • What's scarier than a bear? A rabid bear. One managed to smash through a house once and savaged everything in it until it was shot to death by the owner. Note that the bear even head-on charged his jeep! If Cujo was bad, this is much worse.
  • There's a reason the expression "loaded for bear" means "carrying the biggest gun you can get your hands on." In the muzzle-loading days, it meant cramming in extra powder. It takes quite a lot to put a bear down and there's a lot of Taking You with Me potential if you don't get it right. A party of Eastern European hunters once cornered a large male brown bear — after they shot it twice with a 9.3x74mm double rifle, the bruin did not show the least desire to die, but charged them furiously, prompting the leader to perform the quickest reload of both barrels in his lifetime and shoot again, only to see this did not even stop the furious bear, let alone kill it. The entire party ran away like madmen, and when they could scrounge enough guts to go back, they found the bear dead: all four expanding rounds had hit, one of them almost cut down a hind leg, yet the bear survived long enough to charge them.
  • Campgrounds in the more remote areas of Canada typically offer literature and lectures by the park ranger on proper bear safety. Despite this, examples abound of tourists failing to abide by rules like "don't keep food in the tent" and "don't get between a mother bear and her cubs" seriously and paying a heavy price.
    • Brown bears/grizzlies are only found in a few remote areas of the U.S. (basically Alaska, the northern Cascades, and a band of mountains running from Yellowstone up to the Canadian border), but the smaller, shyer, more widespread black bears can still be very dangerous—especially if they get too comfortable around humans. So once again, for the people in the back: Do not feed the bears. Do not approach the bears. Carry spray when you go hiking. Store your food safely,note  and pitch your tent upwind of it. Stay out of the woods in the spring, when the bears are hungriest.
  • As depicted in Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadwell had been hanging around bears for thirteen years and filming them until two finally ate him and his girlfriend. Before that, he apparently had such a way that he could get close to cubs without hitting the momma's Berserk Button. It was described as being a particularly harsh fall, with a salmon run that was far below average and bears that were hungrier and more aggressive than usual. Guess it doesn't matter how much of a strong connection you have to nature when there's a food shortage... it didn't help that he had stayed longer than planned and the bears that did know him weren't the bears in the area anymore.
  • Stephen Colbert puts bears in the Threat Down for a very good reason. (See Live Action TV, also Phil Ken Sebben's dislike of bears.) Word of God says his fear of them is partly based on a recurring dream, and partly on the movie Man in the Wilderness. Also partly because his father, who was a doctor, used a hypothetical bear-mauling as an example of the kind of thing you can brush off with ease with the aid of modern medicine. Which explains the Fridge Brilliance of his referring to pundit Bill O' Reilly as 'papa bear'. Bears are the number one threat to America, and Billo is largely responsible for the modern TV personality Colbert professes to parody. Therefore, he's the greatest of the greatest threats to America.
  • When the Stock Market goes down, it's said to be in a bear market. It's said to be a reference to the way they attack; they swipe down with their paw. Along with the fact that bears hibernate.
  • Legendary NFL linebacker Dick Butkus was dubbed "The Most Feared Man in the Game." Who did he play for? That's right, the Chicago Bears.
  • A Russian circus manager was killed by an ice skating bear.
  • A group of armed militants in Kashmir stopped to have some pudding in a cave hideaway... shared by a bear. The bear killed two and severely injured a third. The cave was shared, not the pudding. This may be why the bear attacked.
  • In Finnish, an infuriated person is said to be "mad as a bear shot in the arse".
  • Gold Rush miners used to pit bears against everything. The bear always won so they got bored and imported some lions. The lion would roar and charge, the bear would crush their skull with one blow.
  • The Lewis and Clark expedition experienced grizzly bears for the first time when they were exploring the west. "Experienced" here meaning "coming across a creature so incredibly strong they were unable to kill it with all of their guns and had to hide up trees until it left." Climbing a tree is not a foolproof solution to bears. Bears, even grizzlies, have been known to climb trees, too. Standing on the ground, a big bear can reach as much as 10 feet into a tree.
    Lewis: (in his journal) I find that the curiossity of our party is pretty well satisfyed with rispect to this anamal.
  • The Sankebetsu brown bear incident. Not at all a page to read before going to bed. According to Cracked it involved 50 hunters failing to get a bear. (#4 on the list.)
  • Bear-hunting was a favourite pastime of medieval Russian princes. Subverted in that, with armed retainers, clever tactics, and special-issue anti-bear spears (special rogatinas with oak handles and silver heads), it actually wasn't all that difficult to kill a bear. Pseudo-Demetrius I, the wacky early 17th century impostor that threw the country into bloody infighting, was very popular with the commoners of Moscow because of his badass stunt where he used his freakish strength to not only stop a bear in mid-pounce with his rogatina (that was standard practice), but also throw it backwards over his head. So if bears wrote TV Tropes, they would have to make a trope for "Russian Princes and Political Opportunists That Pretend To Be Such Are Bad News".
  • Berserkers. Norse warriors who, among other rituals, went into battle wearing bearskins. If a bear's scary, one would imagine a person who you assumed killed a bear to get its hide would be a tough customer... The Norse were scary enough, but God help you if you were attacked by a berserker. The name even MEANS "bear-shirt wearer".
    • While "ber" literally means "bear" in Old Norse, it is not a name given to boys out of fear for calling forth a bear. That being said, they still respected the power and ferocity of the bear that they created the name "Bjørn." A very notable holder of this name being Bjørn Ironside, a Viking ruler and one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok.
    • The noble title "baron" derives from an Old Frankish word that originally just meant "warrior". This word might (linguists disagree vehemently) in turn be derived from a Germanic word for "bear", either because warriors' strength was compared to a bear's or because warriors sometimes fought bears.
  • Sort of a weird example, but this is SFW, yet so... bizarre.
  • In 2006 a brown bear nicknamed "Bruno" by the press became something of a cause célèbre when it wandered into southern Germany from Austria, making him the first wild bear to be seen in Germany since 1838. Bruno was extremely large and aggressive, showing a particular fondness for killing (but not eating) domestic animals. The fumbling attempts of the Bavarian government to deal with him (particularly Minister-President Edmund Stoiber's description of him as a "Problembär" ("problem bear")) attracted a great amount of derision. Bruno was finally shot to death by government marksmen.
  • And now they're joyriding in your car.
  • Subversion: There was a drug bust of a Marijuana farm guarded by 10 black bears. They were so docile and domesticated that all that happened was that one of them sat on a cop car's hood for an hour, and then they just watched everything.
  • For the prehistoric giant cave bear this was inverted. For them, everything was worse with humans. We pushed them out of their living space and then hunted them to extinction.
    • While that was going on in Eurasia, prehistoric Native Americans had to deal with Giant Short-Faced Bears, 1800-pound brutes that were twice as tall as humans when standing upright. These massive beasts are also believed to have gone extinct due to competition with humans, but unlike cave bears and modern bears (with the exception of the polar bear), they were almost entirely carnivorous, using their size and strength to chase sabertooth cats and dire wolves away from their kills or attack slow-moving animals. Its South American relative Arctotherium was even larger.
  • As if World War III wouldn't be bad enough, it was almost started by a bear. More exactly, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a black bear tripped an intruder alarm at a US Air Force installation in Duluth, Minnesota, putting the entire base on full alert and nearly starting World War III.
  • Despite their cute appearance, pandas are still bears, and they will maul you for hugging them unless they've been trained for that.
  • Most large carnivores attempt to avoid contact with humans unless they learn that humans are an easy source of food (either scavenging human refuse or hunting humans). Polar bears don't make any effort to avoid humans and appear to consider them to be exactly the same as everything else that's not another adult polar bear: food.
    • There is an old Inuit story of a woman who went to live among strange people. She became a burden, and so they placed her in a boat, took her out to sea and cast her overboard. She struggled to regain the side of the boat, but they cut off her fingers to keep her away. As she died in the water, she became Sedna, the goddess of the sea and mother of all beasts. Her fingers became the walrus and seals and whales that the people would hunt to eat. But her middle finger became the white bear. When the other animals see a man, they try to run away. But when the white bear sees a man, he is filled with revenge and tries to kill the person who he believes murdered the woman from whose finger he was born. Wise Inuit stay away from the white bear...
      •, when you see a polar bear, it's the Goddess giving you the finger. Makes sense.
    • Both polar and brown bears are just as intelligent as they are persistent in their stalking of prey. They have the long term memory which popular culture ascribed to elephants, they are excellent trackers and navigators on rough ground, they regularly use tools to get food or to play, and the acting bear Bart found out how to make a bridge from a plank of wood. It's only a matter of time until they find out how to fire guns.
      • And maybe not much time, at that: the use of weapons is already a concept they're familiar with. Inuit have reported for centuries that polar bears kill walrus by bashing them over the head with ice chunks, and a female bear fitted with a camera was recorded chucking an ice block into the water in an attempt to concuss a swimming seal.
    • They're probably plotting as we speak. In a few centuries, we'll see bears roaming the streets instead of humans, and they'll write a version of this page about humans. Oh, wait, such a page already exists.
  • Subverted with this video. Apparently, they make hockey better. The Alaska U Nanooks disagree. Bears only know how to destroy.
  • The Svalbard Ski Marathon: probably the only annual sporting event where the entire track has to be surveilled by armed guards to stop polar bears from eating the competitors.
    • It's not just the marathon. In Svalbard, you are required to carry a rifle while outside a settlement for self-defense against polar bears.
    • Why a rifle? Because shooting a polar bear in the face with a handgun won't make it stop.
  • Everything's worse with a bear market, despite financial advisors' attempts to subvert the trope.
  • One of the knights who killed Thomas Becket was Reginald FitzUrse, "son of the bear".
    • Even better, "Fitz" in those days indicated that you were the acknowledged but not legitimate son of someone. That's right: his name literally means bastard son of a bear.
  • The Sloth bear of Mysore, which plagued the Mysore province in India in 1957. The Sankebetsu Brown Bear incident, seen above, is scary, but while that killed seven people, and wounded two others, the sloth bear of Mysore killed 12 people, and mutilated a dozen others, making it the single bear responsible for most human fatalities ever. To make matters scarier? No one really knows why the bear attacked, it only ate three of its victims, so this cannot have been the primary motivation, implication that it was a "thrill killer", remains. And to make matters even worse, sloth bears attacks by clawing the face of their victims with their long claws, perfectly adapted for destroying termite mounds. Yep, that's right, most of those that died had their face torn apart, and most of those who survived live with such a face for the rest of their life. Eventually, after three hunts, Great White Hunter Kenneth Anderson shot it dead.
  • People often think it's a good idea to feed or tease a bear and end up getting attacked. They blame it on the bear.
  • Grizzly bears are bad news to the smaller black bears. It's hypothesized that the latter has adapted to avoid confrontation with the former, including climbing trees, being active at different times of the day, and residing in inaccessible places (i.e. with thick vegetation and mountainous terrain). Confrontations between the two species can range from tense to outright violent.
    • And where the grizzly bears go away, the black bears flood in. As said by wildlife conservationists, stressing out the importance of grizzly conservation: "Would you rather deal with one grizzly bear per square mile, or ten black bears in the same area?
  • Honorary mention: Jörg Jenatsch was killed by a man wearing a bear costume.
  • Purely on the visual side, in 2009 a German zoo made news for its bears all getting an affliction where they lost almost all their fur. Usually, furry animals end up looking silly when you remove all the hair. Bears, on the other hand, look like something that belongs in a D&D monster manual, which is sorely lacking such a creature with a punning name, called a "Grisly Bare".
  • An old hunter's joke: How do you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear? Climb a tree. If the bear climbs up after you and kills you, it's a black bear. If it knocks the tree down and kills you, it's a grizzly bear. And if there's no tree in sight, it's a polar bear.
  • Not even a Goddamn Gummy Bear can avoid this trope, if these Amazon reviews of Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears are to be believed.
  • Les Stroud, aka the Survivorman, gets dropped into environments all over the world armed with nothing bigger than a small knife and spends the week by himself demonstrating how to survive in that situation, and has made a point of never having a firearm with him despite being in environments with the potential for hostile wildlife (plus, hunting for food would be easier). The exception was when he filmed an episode on Baffin Island, and authorities required him to carry a rifle, specifically because of the danger of polar bears.
  • British National Treasure and Best Human BRIAN BLESSED is an exception to the rule. While camping at the North Pole, a polar bear entered his tent — and the Loudest Man on Earth, in his own words, "punched it straight in its fucking face."
  • Even bear cubs can be just as vicious as adults in spite of their cute appearance. Cubs have sharp claws and can scratch with plenty of force. They also have sharp teeth for biting.
  • There are T-shirts and signs with this spin on the "makes you stronger" moral slogan:
    "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except for bears. Bears will kill you."
  • Ilya Bryzgalov may have been a Cloud Cuckoolander, but he was quite honest about the fact that the only thing he feared was a bear.
    "...but bear in the forest."

Statler: A bit late to tell us; we're well aware!
Waldorf: We better exit, before we're pursued by ours!
Both: Doh-ho-ho-ho-hoh!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Everything Is Worse With Bears, Everythings Worse With Bears


King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!

Near the beginning of the game, Cedric warns Graham about a bear, and coming close it results in a deadly punch.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BearsAreBadNews

Media sources:

Main / BearsAreBadNews