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Bully Bulldog

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Stewie Griffin: Ooh, I wonder if I'll have one of those pug-nosed British dogs that licks its own snot all day. [sees a bulldog doing just that] Ew, that's gross.
Bulldog: Piss off, you little wanker! I'm not gonna be the dog to some poof baby!

This trope is prevalent in (but not exclusive to) old cartoons from the 1940s as both Warner Bros. and MGM had a surfeit of bulldog characters. Generally they were vicious guard dogs or bullies, especially toward cats and smaller dogs.

Since a lot of the examples are in cartoons and because of the stubby snout and large jowls, the bulldog was probably used where they wanted what Preston Blair called the "Heavy Pugnacious Character". In many cases, the breed's characteristic features are exaggerated—for example, the lower teeth that protrude slightly from the mouth in many bulldogs may be depicted as full-on tusks like those of a pig.

Bulldogs being vicious and short-tempered is a Dead Horse Trope now since bulldogs were vicious many years ago when they were still bred to fight Brutish Bulls for sport, hence the name. When this sport was outlawed, bulldogs had their viciousness bred out of them so they could be kept as pets. It's reflected in fiction, too: Modern "mean dogs" are almost always Rottweilers, Pit Bull breeds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Chihuahuas.

Almost Always Male. Subtrope of Dog Stereotype.

Compare Psycho Poodle, another breed-specific trope. Contrast Big Friendly Dog.


    open/close all folders 

  • Front Row Joe: A scary-looking bulldog appears as an usher in one trailer, but all he does is punish the bad guy, Clyde, with Amusing Injuries.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The main villain of the Doraemon movie "Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil" is a humanoid bulldog named Dafranda. Subverted, however, with Furususu, a much stronger bulldog who is one of the heroes.
  • In the fourth episode of Sally the Witch, Cub transforms himself into an angry-looking Bulldog... with a cat's body. This causes the triplets to tease him and beat him up, until he turns into a full English Bulldog. They end up confusing him until he runs away.
  • In SPY×FAMILY, the Forgers visit a dog park and Anya encounters a bulldog who takes her gloves and growls at her when she tries to get them back. Fortunately, it cowers in fear when it spots Anya's new dog (later named Bond) looming over it.

    Comic Books 
  • Zig-Zagged with Terror from The Boys. On the one hand, he's a fairly decent dog if you're a friend of the protagonists. On the other hand. . . well, let's just say there aren't many dogs who have been trained to rape on command.
  • Donald Duck comics have this in almost every issue. Normally it's someone climbing a fence just to notice he's landed on the bulldog territory. This is a stock scene, and is sometimes parodied. It might not be a bulldog, but an equally vicious poodle for instance, or even if the dog is just a sleeping puppy, the character is terrified.

    Fan Works 
  • Jowls Kazkani from the Steven Universe fanfic We Can Be Heroes is a goblin-like alien built like a bulldog thanks to her stocky build and saggy, droopy face, and is a high-ranking mobster who spends all her pagetime being an abusive, unpleasant brute to anyone who earns her ire.

    Film — Animation 
  • Carface from All Dogs Go to Heaven is a bull terrier rather than a bulldog, but shares many traits with this trope, including a top-heavy physique and a vicious, violent personality.
  • Subverted in the third act of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, when Rabbit, Duck and Pig accidentally land in a dog pound and are confronted by a gang of dogs led by a bulldog and his daughter, who are interested in eating the three main characters, but change their minds when they learn they're on a mission to deliver Santa's presents.
  • In A Christmas Carol (1997) Scrooge keeps a bulldog named Debit around to chase off people he doesn't like, and tries to sic him on Marley.
  • At one point during Gay Purr-ee, as Meowrice and his goons chase after Mewsette, they run into a bulldog who attacks them for disturbing his sleep.
    Meowrice: (calling out to his goons) Get rid of that dog, you bumbling idiots!
    Bulldog: Your whiskers tickle cats, and since I can't stand to be tickled by no cats, I'm going to tear your tails off and have 'em for breakfast.
    Meowrice: (pleading) We understand your feelings, sir, nothing like cats' tails for breakfast, but (spots Mewsette) back there among those barrels is—
    (The bulldog at Meowrice and his goons and attacks them)
    Meowrice: Please, let's talk this over!
  • Lady and the Tramp has a bulldog on the pound where Lady is taken who averts it. He's not vicious, just a little rough around the edges.
  • Francis from Oliver & Company is a little haughty, but otherwise rather nice. Just don't call him Frankie.
  • Rudolf the Black Cat: Devil the English Bulldog is the closest thing to an antagonist. He taunts Gottalot for having been abandoned by his owner and almost kills him when he comes asking for a favor. He ends up reforming and befriending the protagonists after admitting he was envious of Gottalot for not being confined to a backyard.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Subverted in the Halloween sequence in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis. When Tootie has to "Kill the Braukoffs," another child protests, "The Braukoffs have a fierce bulldog! She'll be torn to pieces!" After Tootie throws flour into Mr. Braukoff's face to "kill" him, the bulldog is seen quietly and unconcernedly snuffling up the flour rather than noticing Tootie at all.
  • Meet the Feebles has Barry the Bulldog. To the Feebles troupe, he is a talented opera-singer. However, when he's not performing onstage, he's working as Bletch the Walrus's bodyguard and thug enforcer. He is also shown to be quite skilled in melee combat, as seen during the Mob War near the film's end.

  • Discussed in Doglands. Kinnear, a soft and lazy English bulldog, talks about how bulldogs were once vicious bull-fighters, but the aggression has been bred out of them to make them placid and "perfect" pets. Furgul (a lurcher) finds this more pitiful than anything; he loves being a wild and free dog.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry's mean aunt, Marge, breeds bulldogs. She brings one of them named Ripper, which has some nasty implications, when she visits the Dursleys, who used to chase Harry around when he was ten. In that case of course, its more the owner who is the bully and the dog is a product of its upbringing.
  • Jack from Little House on the Prairie is the pet English Bulldog in the 1800s. He is an aggressive guard dog towards wild animals and is wary of strangers, but is friendly and protective towards his family.
  • Terror from Survivor Dogs is a pit bull-mastiff mix who is a Bad Boss to his subordinates. He gets Killed Off for Real in the first book, however.
  • Underworlds: Mad Dog, from the Babylonian Underworld, is basically a giant bulldog.
  • In the novel White Fang, the wolf fights a bulldog in a dogfight. Cherokee the bulldog subverts this trope because he is described as neither vicious or bullying: "Cherokee did not seem anxious to fight. He turned his head and blinked at the men who shouted, at the same time wagging his stump of a tail good-naturedly. He was not afraid, but merely lazy." He's more an instance of Killer Rabbit with a side Implacable Man, calmly wearing White Fang down to the strangling point.

     Live Action TV 
  • In Power Rangers S.P.D., Drill Sergeant Nasty Sgt. Silverback owns a robot bulldog, similar to the team's own robot dog Team Pet. Averted in that the team's Cloud Cuckoolander, Bridge, also mentioned owning a bulldog as a kid; and that both of these came from the fact that the writer/director was a dog lover who owned bulldogs as a kid himself.

    Video Games 
  • In Bonkers Capcom, bulldogs serve as enemies in the Mansion stage. The game's cover art depicts one chasing Bonkers.
  • One of the minor villains in Conker's Bad Fur Day is a "bull-shark"—a cross between a bulldog and a shark.
  • One of the enemies in Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures is an angry bulldog that attacks the Eds. Sometimes it's a chained up guard dog that you must either sneak by or throw a cat at to distract it.
  • The Moblins in The Legend of Zelda are humanoid bulldogs that are occasional Mooks fought in the game.
  • In the Pokémon games, Snubbull and Granbull are basically bipedal bulldogs. Both tend to be callous bullies (although in Snubbull's case, they are actually affectionate, much like real bulldogs, and act mean to hide their cowardice), with their most common ability being Intimidate. Funnily enough, Snubbulls are also popular pets among fashion conscious young women — and as of Gen VI, they're both pure Fairy types.
  • Muggshot from Sly Cooper series is a super-tough Nigh-Invulnerable Jerkass with two gigantic Tommy guns — definitely not a nice guy. Ironically, his Freudian Excuse is that he was bullied as a child.
  • Jim from Toonstruck is a narcissistic bulldog who can be found in his gym punching a punchbag (next to machine that does nothing but stomp a cat who just sits there for no reason), barking (figuratively) at anyone daring to touch his exercising equipment. He will also show his athletic skills to anyone who asks, without even double-checking his equipment.

    Western Animation 
  • In Around the World with Willy Fog, one character is a bulldog named Bully, but he's actually the harmless Butt-Monkey of the show.
  • Binky Barnes from Arthur is an anthropomorphic bulldog and is The Bully early in the series. He is later shown to have Hidden Depths such as liking ballet and having a secret soft side. Over the course of the series he becomes less and less of a bully. Subverted with his mother, who is a very nice woman, and in fact works as a nurse.
  • Heckle and Jeckle frequently squared off against a bulldog who was unnamed in the cartoons but was named Chesty in the comic books.
  • Bandit from Jonny Quest appears to be a bulldog, though he's actually a bit of a scaredy cat.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The unnamed bulldog in "Chow Hound" repeatedly bullies a cat and mouse into getting him food, and beats them up when they don’t, claiming they forgot the gravy. He gets what he deserves at the end of the short when he overeats and winds up in a hospital, and the cat and mouse force feed him gravy.
    • Spike, in all of his appearances looked and acted like a tough guy, even down to wearing a bowler hat. He also acted very rudely and aggressively even towards his fawning toady Chester, shouting at him and hitting him to shut him up. Nonetheless, he did care about his opinion saving face in front of him, when against apparently Sylvester (who in truth was either an escaped panther or the Mister Hyde version of Sylvester). He wasn't so tough with them.
    • Hector. Most of the time his role consisted of presenting a physical protection of Tweety from Sylvester whom he effortlessly beat up. Many times though this seemed to be an excuse rather than the reason, making him more of a Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
    • Subverted with Marc Anthony from Feed the Kitty, who turns out to be a completely nice and kind dog, though not unless he has to deal with Claude.
  • Kevin from Mr. Bogus will very often chase Bogus around the house, but he will sometimes assist him when there's any kind of problem.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: A set of one-off villains called The Diamond Dogs are drawn to look like bulldogs. They try to kidnap Rarity to force her to use her magic to get gems for them.
  • Earl from Rocko's Modern Life is a mean bulldog who escaped from a science lab who often tries to eat Rocko, Spunky, and Mr. Bighead. In "Frog's Best Friend", he becomes the Bigheads' pet, as Mrs. Bighead protected him when she found out that he was used for animal testing.


Video Example(s):


Bad Luck Blackie

The cartoon's opening scene establishes the bulldog as a mischievous bully who delights in making the kitten's life hell.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BullyBulldog

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