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The only time this bear is bad news is when his jokes are flat.

Perhaps it's because of the proliferation of the Teddy Bear as a child's toy, but bears are often portrayed as Boisterous Bruisers or sometimes just Big Fun, and aren't really looking to eat people so much as just looking to eat. (Truth in Television; most bears are omnivorous and will gladly eat nuts and berries; also, while grizzlies are aggressive, their favorite food is salmon.) Seems most common in Western Animation, although circus bears are common in Real Life.

Ursine Aliens can invoke this trope. Contrast Bears Are Bad News. Compare Beary Friendly, which examples here can also be.


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  • Coca-Cola's famous commercials featuring polar bears that they bring out every year around the holidays. In late 2011, they even released special-edition red-on-white cans (instead of the traditional white-on-red) as part of a "Save the Polar Bears" campaign.
  • Rival Pepsi has used bears for a Super Bowl commercial on a couple of occasions.
  • FedEx studied recent Super Bowl commercials to come up with the ten factors needed for the best commercial ever. It involved Burt Reynolds getting kicked in the nuts by a talking, dancing bear (product message optional).
  • Charmin toilet paper ads, featuring a family of bears who live in the woods—with a house and bathroom, and therefore also need good quality toilet paper.
  • The Sugar Bear (originally three Sugar Bears), the mascot from the Sugar Golden Crisp cereal boxes, though most ads tried to play him as a cool, jazzy-style character.
  • For many years, Hamm's Beer had a bear to hawk the beer. One early example of these commercials can be found here.
  • Hofmeister had the Hofmeister bear, a light hearted, sweet-natured, cockney wide boy
  • Canadian beer company Labbatt's used a talking black bear in several commercials during the early 00's.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Shirokuma Cafe has Panda and Polar Bear as two of its core characters. Polar Bear is the owner of the titular cafe and is a Pungeon Master. Panda is a rather lazy Cloudcuckoolander who is a regular patron. Though Grizzly, while a serious character, many of the running gags involve Polar Bear annoying Grizzly and waking him up from hibernation just to ask pointless questions.

    Comic Books 
  • Pyrénée: The Wild Child title character is a girl raised by a bear in the mountains. The bear is mostly seen as a big furry dope, but there's one scene where they get into a serious argument and he only just manages to hold back from killing her.
  • Tom Poes: Olivier B. Bommel is a bear who lives in a castle. Despite always calling himself brave, cunning and strong he always chickens out whenever danger is about and it's always his Sidekick Tom Poes who has to save him.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side depicted bears sympathetically, even (or especially) when they go after humans.

    Eastern Animation 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The bears in the movie based on the Country Bear Jamboree, The Country Bears.
  • In Sadko, The Big Guy proves his strength by wrestling a bear. When the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew riffed on the film, they turned this scene into the bear staging an intervention and giving the guy a hug.
  • In The Love Bug, during the big race, Thorndyke's car bogs down in a lake. While his partner, Havershaw, struggles to push the car out of the water, a bear somehow gets into the car in Havershaw's place.
  • The title character of Ted is a living teddy bear who's a foul-mouthed wisecracker.
  • The Great Race: While Leslie, Maggie, Professor Fate, and Max are trapped in the middle of an arctic blizzard, a polar bear manages to sneak into the back seat of Fate's and scare him and Max into Leslie's car until the bear decides to leave just as casually as it came.
  • In Adventures Of The Wilderness Family the bear cubs the family adopts get into all kinds of mischief and chase Boomer's mule around as a Running Gag. The massive black bear, Samson is also Beary Friendly but has a comically huge appetite. His introduction includes him keeping the family up all night eating their cookies, finally leaving when he empties their shelves.
  • Paddington (2014) squeezes in as many bear-related puns as possible.
  • Song of the South: Br'er Bear is a Laughably Evil bear.
  • Combined with Bears Are Bad News in The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra in a very funny scene where the characters discuss a farmer being "horribly mutilated", possibly by a bear.
    Paul: But can a bear do that? Horribly mutilate someone, I mean?
    Ranger Brad: Dr. Armstrong, in my time as a park ranger I guess I've seen bears do some things that even a bear wouldn't do.
  • Gooby: The titular character is portrayed as a goofy, clumsy yet well-meaning bear buddy that seems to get himself into trouble a lot.

  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fall of Númenor: Both species of Númenorean bears -black and brown- like dancing, meeting once a year to hold the autumnal Great Bear-dance. Many people attend the gathering because they find the sight of several dozens of bears performing together hilarious; notheless, the public refrain themselves from laughing out loud because bears do not like -at all- the sound of human laughter.
  • Winnie the Pooh, being based upon a teddy bear, is lovably dim and goodhearted, and is often thinking about honey.
  • The Berenstain Bears: Punny Name aside, if one isn't the type to find anthropomorphic bears inherently funny there is the occasional laugh in the siutations the characters get into.
  • Paddington Bear Poor Paddington tries to be a proper gentleman, but a combination of misunderstandings and bad luck keep landing him in strange situations.
  • While the Hoka can be bad for the mental health of those dealing with them, they're very well-meaning, kind-hearted beings.
  • Gahan Wilson's Harry, the Fat Bear Spy, who'd much rather go to the beach and eat macaroons than do espionage work.
  • The Boogie Woogie Bears: The Boogie Woogie Bears are a family of bears who get into various situations with comical results.
  • Who Wet My Pants: Reuben is a bear, and his pants-wetting and subsequent obliviousness and accusations are Played for Laughs.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A running gag on The Andy Williams Show would involve the Cookie Bear (actually a man in a bear costume) coming up and asking Andy for a cookie, and Andy would chase Cookie Bear away, saying "No you can't have a cookie, not now, not ever!" In one Christmas special episode, Andy finally decides to give him a cookie, and then when a poor boy shows up lamenting that he never gets anything for Christmas, the Cookie Bear decides to give his cookie to the young boy.
  • The bear at the zoo in Grey's Anatomy was a running joke. Mostly because it was so boring
  • Kintaros of Kamen Rider Den-O is partially based on a bear; for the most part he Does Not Know His Own Strength, a bit clumsy, and a Gentle Giant all in one package.
  • Brutus the Bear on the nature show America the Wild. He was raised in captivity, has absolutely no sense for survival in the wild and is just a cuddly klutz whose human likes to take out to the wilderness to try to demonstrate both the natural power of bears and the complete ineptitude of Brutus (who can't even fish properly!)
  • Saturday Night Live: According to Dana Carvey, Christopher Walken likes sketches with bear suits because "Bear suits are funny. And bears as well."
  • Black Mirror episode "The Waldo Moment" has the eponymous character; an animated bear that was used in a topical comedy show. The episode focuses on Waldo entering a real-life election and things soon turn darker.
  • A sabotage on Cutthroat Kitchen during their "Camp Cutthroat" outdoors special Invoked a cross of this and Bears Are Bad News. The sabotaged chef could not touch any of the food themselves, but had to relay all prep and cooking instructions to "Bob the Bear" (a stagehand in a bear costume). The sabotage itself was "bears are bad news," but the way the sabotaged chef and "Bob the Bear" handled it (treating the bear like an oversized, clumsy kid with a short attention span) turned it into this quickly.

    Puppet Shows 

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • The Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland and Disney World. Bears playing musical instruments! And singing! Want to know why the Country Bear Jamboree is preserved when Disney could easily have replaced it with a more modern updated version? It's widely believed that Walt himself walked into the office of the Imagineer working on the designs and was in hysterics from the pictures of some of the proposed characters and the general idea himself. He then told the man to keep working on the funny bears and said "good-bye." Walt passed away that weekend. Legend has it that the Country Bears were the last happy moment in the life of a man who brought so many happy moments to so many people.
    • Also, in the original circus segment of the Main Street Electrical Parade, one of the floats was a bear balancing on one foot on a set of barrels while having hoops looping around its arms and legs and balancing a honey pot on its head.

    Video Games 
  • Teddie in Persona 4. Though he's not exactly a bear, he's actually a Shadow that takes form of a stuffed bear plush to endear himself with humans, and through interaction with party members, he grew a human body and thus his bear form is just his 'suit'. Otherwise, he fits the trope like a tee, with additions of tons of bear puns. Shadow Teddie, on the other hand... This is Lampshaded in the fighting game.
    Mitsuru: Really, the only thing you have in common with bears is just the ears...
  • Banjo from Banjo-Kazooie definitely counts. Unlike his pal Kazooie, he's incredibly friendly and kindhearted.
  • Ōkami features a sleepy bear who is usually napping, Snot Bubble and all, while standing on some object. Though Susano mistakes him for a "foul beast" and attacks him at one point, all it does is wake the bear (briefly) up.
  • The Brothers Bear from Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!.
  • Claire the Bear of The Sims has a flower by her ear, digs through trash cans, interacts with certain appropriate objects (such as teddy bears, bear-skin rugs, and beehives) in silly ways, walks on tiptoes, and does not interact directly with Sims at all.
  • Tekken features Kuma, a tamed, intelligent bear who practices karate. While he can be vicious when motivated, he's typically a silly character who haplessly chases his unrequited love, a female panda. Notably, his most powerful attack is a deadly fart.
  • Danganronpa has Monokuma, in a Laughably Evil combination of this and Bears Are Bad News.

    Web Animation 
  • In episode 11 of Teen Girl Squad, What's-Her-Face and the Ugly One sing a "warbly campfire song" about a "chumbly wumbly bear".
  • DSBT InsaniT: Bear is a little teddy bear in a comedy series, its a given.
  • In the "Medimoji" series of web animations by ZDoggMD, the lab tech is the teddy bear emoji. (At the time, there was no rat or mouse emoji for the iPhone.) He is a friendly bear, although often stressed out by the challenges of working in a hospital lab: nurses who fail to label specimens correctly, or blame the lab for when they're too hemolyzed to use, doctors who order tests without understanding what's required for them (or even whether they're really necessary), and people (emojis?) who don't understand what the clinical lab does or why it's important.

  • Sore Thumbs has a blue midget bear named Coleman as its Animal Mascot. While Coleman still can be vicious, he's also a constant source of comic relief, talks in half-growls, and is small enough to pass for a teddy bear when standing still.
  • When some bar-bear-ian Were-bears turned up in Exiern they unleashed a Hurricane of Puns, utterly un-bear-able in the watching crowd.
  • Milk And Mocha are an Official Couple that get into amusing Slice of Life scenarios. They're also bears.

    Web Original 
  • Beary, Benzaie's son/brother who also happens to be a plush polar bear, and usually winds up as The Woobie thanks to the way Benzaie treats him.

    Western Animation 
  • Tim, Arianna, and their son from The Cleveland Show, the only anthropomorphic cartoon animals on an otherwise completely straightforward Dom Com, and at least part of the joke is that nobody seems to notice that they're, well, bears.
  • In The Simpsons, Homer Simpson thinks the ballet is a bear wearing a fez and riding around a tiny car.

    Real Life 
  • Trained bears are common performers at circuses, enough so that they named a trope.
  • And, of course, pandas have often been portrayed as humorous in fiction, even though they're really just as dangerous as other bears are.
  • Wrestler vs. bear matches were a common gimmick match in Professional Wrestling up until the late 70's, when the practice was ended for the sake of the safety of both the bear and the wrestler. Stu Hart, patron of the famous Hart family, wrestled a bear on several occasionsnote .
  • Behold: Bears racing monkeys on bicycles. Is it not awesome?
  • The Polite Bears!
  • The rescued bears at the Montana Grizzly Encounter sanctuary don't need to hibernate in winter because the staff feeds them all year round, so they have plenty of opportunities to play in the snow. Some of them have learned to make snowballs and even managed to hit visitors with them!