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Bully Hunter

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"As a spy, it doesn't matter if you're helping rebel forces fight off a dictator, or giving combat tips to a third-grader. There's nothing like helping the little guy kick some bully's ass."
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A character who seems particularly adept and eager to take down bully-type characters with extreme prejudice, or at least show he has this streak in him. The Bully Hunter may do it by accident or while passing through the area, or he may actively seek out those who make others' lives miserable as a pastime and inject some hell into their lives in retaliation.

The high-school version of the Vigilante Man, these kids prefer to take matters into their own hands rather than wait for a teacher to sort the problem out. They may believe that teachers are useless when it comes to dispensing justice, or that while the teachers are competent, the school system isn't.

Such characters must be wary of running afoul of He Who Fights Monsters. At times, the line between bully, bully hunter, and victim are thin indeed. Often saves the world occasionally on top of his playground-peacekeeping activities. Sometimes from the bully. These are also the characters most likely to make the life of a Sadist Teacher hell. Other members of the faculty will either see him in action, misunderstand the situation and punish him alone, or if that person does know what is going on, will pull him aside to advise him on a more constructive means to deal with school bullying.

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Can be a result of Bullying a Dragon or Mugging the Monster when the bully's victims themselves are the ones who fight back. Can overlap with Big Brother Instinct if it's a specific person the bully hunter is protecting. Sometimes results when a Bully Magnet tries to fight back.

There is an adult example if the person is standing up to bullies in the workforce. If you punch out the guy at work who is tormenting his underlings, that comes under the grown-up version of this trope. If you're out fighting muggers, however, you're looking at a Vigilante Man. And if you take this to the extreme, you can end up as a Serial-Killer Killer.

The appeal of this trope is obvious; everyone who has been bullied at some point in their lives will instantly sympathize with the urge to give a fictional tormentor a comeuppance. As such, this can be a good way to introduce a heroic character as a guy or gal you can trust. Bully Hunters can become a Knight Templar in very extreme circumstances.

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Note: Keep in mind this trope applies only when the abuse was perpetrated by kids or teenagers. If the offender is an adult, then the crime is no longer school bullying and our Bully Hunter has been upgraded to a Vigilante Man. In the case of spousal abusers, then we have a Wife-Basher Basher. See also The Dulcinea Effect.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Even Steven was a short-lived comic strip, from the late '90s, in the British Anthology Comic The Beano. The strip involved a boy called Steven getting even with bullies.
  • Ironically, in Bully Wars this role is held by Hock, the biggest bully in town, who is perfectly fine with coming after bullies who didn't ask his permission first.
  • In one arc of Gotham Central, the detectives re-open the unsolved cold case of the bloody bombing of the Gotham High School Hawks baseball team. One of the theories of the detective who had been investigating the crime when it was fresh was that two nerds who had been bullied by the popular jocks had thrown a pipe bomb into the locker room as vengeance, supported by the fact that the two of them had actually stood up and cheered at the memorial service. However, the two nerds, who by now have grown up to become wealthy software tycoons, emphasize that they would never have done such a thing, especially since some of the boys on the team had been nice to them. One of the jocks had actually been an unofficial member of their computer club. They recognize the man suspected of being behind the bombing and are able to point the current detectives on the right path.
  • One issue of Iron Man focused on a group of schoolkids who dressed as their heroes, the Avengers, and who saved other kids from being picked on.
  • Jesse Custer from Preacher. It doesn't matter if you're a dirty cop, a rich pedophile, or even the head of a secret organization that has pulled society's strings from behind the scenes since biblical times; abuse the defenseless and he WILL put some serious pain on you.
  • Supergirl: In Adventure Comics #397, villain Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor begins a campaign of bullying students, hoping to lure Supergirl out. Supergirl gives her and her bully friends a very wild, very fast aerial ride before dumping them into a fountain and warning them that if she ever hears of them terrorizing anyone again... she will get mean.
    Supergirl: Now hear this! If I ever hear of you terrorizing anyone again — you'll find out you haven't seen anything yet!
  • Grant Morrison's version of Superman in their run of Action Comics, complete with falling afoul of He Who Fights Monsters. Among other things in the early issues, he dangles people out of buildings, throws them from those buildings into rivers, and chokeslams Batman, who was only attacking Superman at the time and demonstrably wasn't a threat to him.
    Grant Morrison: If anyone in the world's been bullied, then Superman exists to take out the bully, no matter how big or smart or armed that bully might be.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Gwen's Establishing Character Moment involves pulling a knife on one of Peter's bullies.
  • The titular girls of W.I.T.C.H. have a tendency to keep at bay their school's bullies. Particularly notable are Cornelia, who can occasionally scare them away with a couple words, and Will, who once managed to scare them away with words too (and turned violent when it appeared they had returned. It was Matt) and talked the other three into doing it themselves.
    • It appears that one of the requisites for Guardianship is to be a bully hunter: Orube, who has the potential and actually served as Taranee's temporary replacement during her 10-Minute Retirement, turned into a rather effective one when she arrived on Earth and started going to college as part of her cover. The fact she's really strong, like all Basiliadians, has warrior and hand-to-hand training (and received even more on Kandrakar), and was dealing with normal humans helped putting the bullies in place.
    • Outside of the Guardians, Nigel entered this briefly when Martin saves him from a Frame-Up by Uriah, sneaking into the park and taking Uriah on when he tries to punish Martin for his heroic actions. Interestingly, Nigel ends up needing to be saved by Martin when Uriah manages to turn the tables on him and stops being this trope after the situation with Martin is over.

    Comic Strips 
  • Liō will sometimes go after bullies, also hunters as well.
  • Sluggo in Nancy was introduced fighting another kid who beaned Nancy in the head with a snowball, and has occasionally shown similar tendencies since then.
  • An easy way to piss off Popeye is to pick on someone smaller or weaker, especially children or animals, and he won't hesitate to return it tenfold, or feed spinach to whoever is getting picked on so they can fight back.

    Eastern Animation 
  • Kim Chul, the titular "King of the Pigs" regularly beats up multiple bullies by himself.
  • In Rimba Racer, Meelo is of the opinion that "you don't run from bullies", and has an electrified jacket to back it up.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin:
    • Jasmine tells Razoul to let go of Aladdin. He calls her a street mouse before throwing her down so she reveals who she is and orders him to unhand Aladdin. Later she tells Jafar, "When I am queen, I will have the power to get rid of you."
    • Aladdin himself stops Prince Achmed from lashing a young child with a whip early in the movie.
  • This is one of the reasons Hanuman reincarnated into Maruti in The Return of Hanuman, especially for Minku. One time most of the students teased Maruti and Minku as they quickly become friends. Minku said that they cannot be friends because he's afraid that Maruti will also be teased if he befriended him. Maruti then got angry and lifted one of the teasing students' desk up on a ceiling fan.
  • The Simpsons Movie: Martin beats up three bullies by himself! (He thought he was going to die in a powerful explosion, so he figured he didn't have to be afraid anymore.)
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph scares the absolute crap out of a bunch of racers who are bullying Vanellope von Schweetz. They deserved it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • A typical bread-and-butter trope in the days of kayfabe, where the all-American babyface played the role of Bully Hunter, taking on the Monster Heel (the bully).
  • Stephanie La Maravillosa and Keta Rush, The Bully Busters of WOW Women of Wrestling. The brand was in fact revived partially for the purpose of promoting anti-bullying programs, Rush herself running one such non-profit.

    Roleplay 
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Josephine has a strong hatred for bullies after being victim to them in her childhood. However, she's hesitant to act on her feelings, since she believes that violence isn't the answer. This becomes ironic when the first person she befriends at Rogers High, Nadine, is a bully and leader of a girl gang.

    Theatre 

    Webcomics 
  • The unnamed title character of The Bully's Bully. She is a Martial Pacifist who tries her best to stop bullies from tormenting the helpless, and tries her best to settle things without violence, but is not afraid to kick ass when that fails. She also has a sixth sense in regards to people being bullied in general.
  • El Goonish Shive
    • Elliot admits that he used to have a bad habit of looking for bullies to fight. In fact, Tedd and Justin both met Elliot when he rescued them.
    • One of Nanase's former boyfriends was a dark subversion of this: he picked fights with other bullies because they were acceptable targets.
  • Adam Summers from Forestdale is a downplayed version of this. The rabbit doesn't actively seek out bullies to bring down, but if someone so much as touches one of his friends the wrong way he won't even hesitate to beat the snot out of them.
  • Antimony of Gunnerkrigg Court delivers a beautiful display of the trope when she takes down the class bully who was tormenting Kat. It cements their friendship.
    • Overlaps with Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? at one point. When Coyote starts insulting Ysengrin at a meeting he specifically asked for with Antimony, Antimony calls him out on it and starts to leave the forest.
  • Heroes of Homeroom C: On his first day at school, Albert spies Raymond assaulting Damien and comes to Damien's aid. It only gets him on Raymond's bad side, and Damien doesn't even thank him for it.
  • This is pretty much the profession of Shorty from The Infamous (not to be confused with the game Infamous).
  • Karate Bears are often bullies themselves but also hate bullies.
  • In Peter Parker: Foreign Exchange Student, Peter takes every opportunity he can to piss off Katsuki and pick a fight with him. He gets away with it thanks to his Spider-Sense. It's clear that this behavior is in no small part thanks to Peter's past as a Bully Magnet, and he can't understand why Izuku is so interested in remaining Katsuki's friend.

    Web Original 


 
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Ass-pen

The moment Velcoro finds out about Aspen, the boy who bullied his son, he goes to his house and promptly beats his father to threaten Aspen and warn him what he would do if he continues to bully.

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