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Bullying a Dragon
aka: Bullying The Dragon

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Tony: Let's do a head count here: your brother, the demi-god; super-soldier, a living legend who kinda lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues; couple of master assassins — and you, big fella, you've managed to piss off every single one of them.
Loki: That was the plan.
Tony: Not a great plan.

See that guy over there? The one that can make Your Head A-Splode with his Psychic Powers? What a weirdo. Let's throw rocks at him!

This is the fate-tempting and suicidal tendency of characters to bully, persecute or otherwise provoke people or things they really shouldn't be messing with. That weird loner who sits in a corner reading? Fine, douchebag. That "antagonist" who's really just trying to live his life and doesn't want much to do with you? Go on then, you bastard. That beautiful lady who can heal people? If you're that low, go for it (but keep in mind that you may find yourself in a position later where you need her to heal you). The blind kid that somehow knows what you're about to do and is powerless to stop you? Go for it, you donkey. Whatever floats your boat.

But the kid who can warp the fabric of reality and just wants to be left alone?

Bad idea.

Sub-Trope of Too Dumb to Live. Also a sub-trope of All of the Other Reindeer, where the character is surrounded by tormentors even though they are known to have some incredible power conducive to being a Person of Mass Destruction, and most of the time because of this. This frequently crops up in Kids Are Cruel (in which case it would be "Kids Are Cruel and Also Too Stupid to Deserve to Exist"). It's usually a way of getting us to sympathize with the main character, but, really, bullies should be smart enough not to mock the "freak" Cursed with Awesome and Super-Strength. Even when logically — or at least using the basest level of human decency and the smallest inkling of self-preservation — these bullies should find a weaker target or cut the poor kid some slack. So, in a sense, Straw Bullies. Then again, Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb and the Prideful.

The Smug Snake has a tendency to do this, since their overconfidence causes them to forsake their common sense.

The Fettered especially have it bad because they choose not to fight back and often protect their tormentors from the Forces of Evil. Sometimes the bully in question knows this, and we're back to them being cowards who pick on those who can't/won't retaliate.

If the victim snaps, they will turn the tables (if not turn the table into a buzzsaw, set it spinning at hurricane-level speeds, and shove their tormentors' intestines into the spinning bladesliteral tables need not be involved). Also, don't lie. It is very cathartically awesome when the bullies are finally killed off or subjected to a Fate Worse than Death as Revenge. (And, if they have not done anything remotely objectionable up to this point, this could well be taken as a case of Dark Is Not Evil.) Unfortunately, many of the times a bully attempts to go after someone of this ilk is because they are trying to elicit a response, which, in turn, would prove everyone's point about how much of a freak they truly are. Then again, in many cases, this makes them even stupider, as they don't seem to consider anything particularly awful happening to themselves as a result of their actions.

Please note: the trope need not require actual bullying (though it is a popular method). As long as the provoker or provokers intentionally and excessively antagonize someone much more powerful than they are, knowing full well beforehand just what they are screwing with, then it's Bullying a Dragon. Also, if the Dragon is a massive jerk and suffers abuse because of that, then we may be dealing with a case of Cape Busters instead. If this trope is done with the likely outcome as the goal, it's Suicide by Cop or maybe Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!.

Also, see Fantastic Racism. A popular Freudian Excuse and backstory for a Start of Darkness. This trope doesn't usually have anything to do with The Dragon who's the Big Bad's second-in-command. Video Game examples where the AI keeps trying to bully you despite the power difference because it's not programmed to back down has a special trope, Suicidal Overconfidence. The Cornered Rattlesnake is weaker than a 'Dragon' and may not appear powerful or willing to fight back but can be dangerous if pushed too far. If the bullying takes the form of sexually predatory acts, then it is also a case of Lust Makes You Dumb.

Compare:

  • Angel Unaware: Sometimes, the person whom you're threatening genuinely seems harmless, until the angel/god/wizard drops their disguise.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Showing defiance to something you know is about to kill you.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: When the entity you've been picking on retaliates by murdering you.
  • Mugging the Monster: If you thought you were the badass and they were an easy victim. Can evolve into Bullying a Dragon if you find out the hard way that you're outclassed but still persist in provoking further attacks. It can also exist simultaneously when the obviously intimidating and dangerous person is hiding something that makes them even more intimidating and dangerous.
  • Paper Tiger: An inversion in which the target looks powerful but is only putting up a façade.
  • Shooting Superman: Launching an attack against a target you know is tough enough to just shrug it off.
  • Underestimating Badassery: You know your opponent is tough. You think you're tougher. You were wrong.
  • Villain Ball: Doing something stupid in the name of the Evulz.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The Messin' with Sasquatch commercials for Jack Links beef jerky has the Sasquatch going ballistic and inflicting harm upon people who decide to provoke him for cheap laughs. Though sometimes they get away with it, so maybe that's why people keep screwing with him.
  • An insurance commercial shows a bunch of rabbits laughing themselves sick at a rattlesnake with a pink and white baby-rattle in place of a normal one. Did the writers not know that it's the other end of a rattlesnake that's venomous?
  • A couple Stacker 2 commercials had a man make fun of Kane, a sadistic monster heel from the WWE. Ends about as well as you'd expect...
  • A Spike TV commercial has a pair of convention-goers mock Boba Fett for his unusual name and appearance. It ends badly for them.
  • A Mountain Dew commercial features two teens making fun of Chuck Norris with an animated video on the web. Chuck is not pleased.
  • One of the "Cheetos Break" commercials has the Cheetah and a bank teller acting flippant in the face of a pair of armed bank robbers. The Cheetah even hits one with a rubber band.
  • A commercial for a college of gaming has an animation of an absolutely massive rock golem stepping in the path of a boulder as big as he is from flattening a town at the foot of the mountain. The giant succeeds in stopping it, but his heel just barely taps the town's church, which destroys it. The town immediately brings out their weapons, and the giant (who doesn't look much more than annoyed by the catapults) just steps out of the way and lets the boulder flatten the town.
  • Perhaps a literal example in a commercial for Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, which is done in the style of Davey and Goliath. In the commercial, a boy named Mikey pulls Spyro's tail despite his dog telling him not to. Eventually, Spyro gets so annoyed with Mikey that he head-butts him.
  • A CN City bumper has Edward bully Eduardo (a big purple Gentle Giant) by kicking him in the face, poking him in the eye and punching him in the gut. Eduardo throws Edward into a wall.

    Animation 
  • Noonbory and the Super 7: In "Coldy's Snow Gurys", Lukybory decides to steal Coldygury's scarf as retribution for him stealing the bory's produce, even know Coldygury is much larger and stronger than him and can easily take him out with a barrage of snowballs.
  • Running Man: Charming Gold of the Pikok Tribe has his own episode which revealed the truth of his past. Thousands of years ago, Charming Gold was bullied by the other Pikok Tribe residents for looking ugly enough as to be called a 'Monster' by them. Even his parents thought that he was cursed by the Gods, and questioned his existence while he was standing within earshot of their room. When the bully tried to mock him in the forest, Charming Gold snapped and indirectly discovered his powers by sucking the bully's life force until he turned into dust. His powers grant him youth, which enables him to become near immortal. The look on his face probably shows that he knew about his powers and he has enough of the bullying. The shocking part is when he absorbed his fellow tribe's life forces, which possibly caused a genocide of his own species until he's the only one left from his tribe. This became one of the reasons why he wants to rebuild a new race — because he killed them.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield on more than one occasion has made the mistake of picking fights with dogs who are much bigger than him, resulting in him getting severely beaten. The August 23, 1981 strip even went so far as to imply that the dog that was picked on ate Garfield. In another strip he insults and slaps a dog thinking he's safe because said dog is leashed...and then the dog casually snaps their collar with a Slasher Smile.
  • In Peanuts, Snoopy constantly teases and insults World War III the cat next door, even though the end result is usually having his doghouse torn to pieces by the angry cat, and any physical confrontation between them results in Snoopy (and anyone else caught in the middle) almost killed.
  • In Scary Gary, a lot of people think it’s a good idea to pick on the resident vampire and his demonic-looking henchman. Their survival depends on who they go after.
    • Gary is more than powerful enough to kill every human he meets with ease, but doesn’t because he has changed his ways. That being said, he isn’t afraid to remind people of what he is and what he could do if he was really pushed to his limits.
    • Leopold just kills and/or eats them.
  • A literal example happens in SnarfQuest when an explosion restores Willie's memory and he reverts to his true identity of the evil dragon Kizarvexius. Unaware of this, Suthaze believes he is still dealing with Willie the duck and starts pushing him around the way he always does. This proves... unwise.
  • Thimble Theater: During one strip of the "Plunder Island" story arc, Popeye and company briefly make camp on a jungle island. Wimpy goes off looking for an animal to grind into hamburger meat and tries his luck against a full-grown gorilla. The strip ends with the severely beaten-up Wimpy rejoining the others for cheese sandwiches.

    Music 

    Music Videos 
  • "This Moment" by Disturbed "You're the one who kept pushing / till I made you bleed."
  • In the music video for Delta Rae's Bottom of the River, a mob breaks into a woman's house and seems like they're going to lynch her, presumably for witchcraft. While she's dragged off in chains, she does not seem to despair for long; her bindings eventually disappear, and while we do not see what happens to her captors, when the camera returns to them they've been either struck down or have disappeared completely, leaving only their masks.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • A group of young men make funnote  of Elisha, one of God's prophets. God sends a pair of she-bears after them that mauled them to death.
    • Earlier parts of the Bible have quite a few incidents where the Hebrews get tired of their God, with the most famous being the incident with the golden calf, only for Him to retract His protections and cause the Israelites to come running back.
    • Harassing Old Testament prophets frequently qualified for this trope. Elisha's mentor Elijah had a habit of calling down fire from heaven when disrespected, disbelieved, or threatened.
    • Jesus himself was almost stoned on several occasions, but he just walked through the crowd unharmed each time. His disciples wanted him to call down fire on one occasion, but he told them he wasn't into that sort of thing. Even when he was being arrested just prior to his resurrection, he very calmly points out that he has all of Heaven's angels on speed dial if he wanted a Big Damn Heroes moment. And while hanging on the cross, he was mocked: "If you really are the Son of God, then come down from there!" The Book of Revelation lays out the future comeuppance that those who reject(ed) him can look forward to.
    • See also The Wandering Jew, cursed by Jesus for mocking him on the cross.
  • Classical Mythology: Hercules fits this trope. Hercules was normally a nice guy and more than willing to help you out. However, there are several stories of kings cheating him out of payment, only for Hercules to sometimes come back years later and kill them for having dared wrong him. The worst offender being King Laomedon of Troy, who refused to pay Hercules AFTER he had witnessed the hero killing a sea monster sent by Poseidon. Hercules eventually killed Laomedon and nearly his entire family after sacking the city. What makes Laomedon even dumber? The monster was sent by Poseidon due to Laomedon refusing to pay him for building Troy's walls, meaning he made the exact same mistake twice in a row. The only guy that had any justification was Eurystheus, the guy who gave him his Labours. Because he had Hera on his side/back.
  • We also have Jason. His protector was the goddess of marriage Hera, and he had seen his wife Medea (who had been given to him by Hera herself) cutting her own brother into pieces to protect him and killing an unkillable bronze giant with a look (depending on the version, she either hypnotized it into killing itself or tortured him into suicide). Then Jason decided to dump her for the daughter of the king of Corinth. Cue Hera withdrawing her protection and letting Medea destroy Jason so much that killing him would have been merciful, including: burning alive the king and his daughter (she was actually aiming for the daughter, the king just tried to save her and died in the process), destroying Corinth, and killing (most of) her own children by Jason (in some versions one of his children, Thessalus, survived and later became king).
  • In Euripides The Bacchae, Dionysus is bullied by the local king Pentheus. Dionysus has just come back from a long trip to Asia Minor and is excited to return to the city that his mother was from and to have all the people in the city join in the festivities that have been established to worship the new god Dionysus. Pentheus is having none of that, so he outlaws the festival, kills a few of Dionysus' followers, and declares (loudly and openly) that Dionysus' mother did not, in fact, sleep with Zeus to produce Dionysus, but was just a common whore and Dionysus is a bastard with delusions of grandeur and has him locked up in jail. This does not go over well with Dionysus. He causes the women of the city to go insane and go out to the forests to rave and dance and kill the soldiers in the surrounding towns, drives Pentheus crazy (and makes him cross-dress?), then lures Pentheus out into the woods, where his mother and aunt (along with the other women of the city) tear him into pieces and stick his head on a spear to parade it back into the city. Then he takes the madness off of them, letting them see exactly what they've done to their king.
  • A special mention goes to Peirithous, who somehow decided it was a good idea to sneak into the Underworld along with Theseus (who knew it was a terrible idea, but was bound to come by an oath) in an attempt to abduct Persephone, the spouse of Hades (the God of the Dead, and one of the three oldest and most powerful Gods) in order to take her as his wife. This didn't end well for him.
  • Quite a few damned souls in Tartarus are there because they tried to deceive, steal from, or otherwise abuse the gods themselves.
    • Tantalus was invited to dine with them, but he misbehaved and stole ambrosia and nectar to bring it back to his people, then (if that weren't enough) invited them in return, serving them a meal made from the body of his murdered son Pelos simply to prove he could trick them. (He did not.)
    • Ixion was also invited to dine with them and lusted after Hera (doing this to the wife of your host is bad enough, but this was Zeus's wife). Then when the gods baited a trap with a fake Hera, Ixion tried to rape her.
    • Sisyphus was trusted with secrets by Zeus, and progressively: betrayed those secrets, held Thanatos hostage and tricked Persephone into letting him go after purposely telling his wife not to give him funeral rites. Of course, Hades figured out Sisyphus's treachery and came to collect.
  • In Norse Mythology, Loki does this to all of the Gods, but especially to Skadi, by gleefully telling her that he is the one who bears the responsibility for the death of her father Thjazi. He is able to do this due to the Sacred Hospitality law the Gods enforce and that he is Odin's blood-brother, making him untouchable. Then it backfires horribly when the Gods bind him for tricking Hödr into killing Baldr: Skadi places a snake above Loki that will drop poison into his eyes until Ragnarök comes.
  • A literal case in Eastern Asian mythology in general that also overlaps with Berserk Button, Beware the Nice Ones, Turns Red, and Disproportionate Retribution. From the records of the Han Feizi, it was stated that the term nilin/gekirin (lit. inverted scale) was basically a situation where a benevolent Eastern dragon no matter how lax or chill it was, would technically be rip-shit pissed to the point where it will destroy the one responsible for inverting its most sensitive scale on its chin in the most painful way possible (hence the literal translation of the term). This was used as a comparison of putting Chinese rulers and those said dragons on the same boat, where pressing that kind of ruler's berserk button would spell complete hell and wrath for the one who did it. There exist other similar Eastern Asian creatures of high spiritual divinity with their own similar sensitivities to instant rage as well, such as the qilin/kirin. In the case of video games, there's a reason why the Japanese name for the Pokémon series' Outrage move to have its Japanese name literally be written as "Gekirin"...

    Podcasts 
  • Inhuman eXperience: The "genius" plan to control Tamar? Manipulate her into hating herself throughout her childhood and then set her up with a handler who "handles" her to control her further note . To paraphrase the smoldering pile of ash that used to be federal agent, they were playing with fire in a paper house.
  • In Sequinox, this is what you should expect from a bunch of teen magical girls. They tend to mock and insult the stars they fight against, even if it's not the best idea and the stars have already stated they're here to kill them.

    Radio 
  • The Dr. Demento show had "Tae Kwon Leap (Boot To The Head)" skit by The Frantics wherein an idiot threatens a martial arts master:
    Ed Gruberman: Listen, shrimp! Now are you gonna show me some fancy moves, or am I gonna start wipin' the walls with you?
    Martial Arts Master: Ed Gruberman, you fail to grasp Tae Kwon Leap. Approach me that you might see.
    Ed Gruberman: All right! Finally some action!
    Martial Arts Master: Observe closely, class. Boot to the Head! [TH-WHUMP!]
    Ed Gruberman: Owww! You booted me in the head!

    Roleplay 
  • Darwin's Soldiers:
    • Alfred in the 3rd RP. He is a hulking bison with hands bigger than most people's heads and is strong enough to bend rebar with his bare hands
    • Gustave is an even more extreme example. There have been cases where people have tried to pick fights with him, despite being a massive scarred-up Nile crocodile with a major anger management problem. Not to mention, he has several convictions for assault and he dismembered someone with his bare hands.
  • Felis the Liepard in We Are All Pokémon Trainers has enough bad judgment so as to annoy and outright insult even legendaries. And quite some orders of magnitude below that, when bullying Nadia (Salamence, i.e.: a literal dragon), he has got himself almost killed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Although Aberrant pushes the inevitable apocalyptic nova vs. baseline war as something inherent in the novas' nature, in the actual metaplot, the war doesn't start until novas learn that Project Utopia, the Mutant Draft Board that ostensibly works to promote nova/human peace, has been sterilizing every nova it can get its hands on. The Reveal of this panics every non-affiliated nova, gives the Nova Supremacists Teragen a huge boost in credibility, and outrages every formerly loyal nova, making the Aberrant War directly the humans' fault.
  • Deconstructed and Reconstructed in Demon: The Descent. Any action you take against the God-Machine automatically defaults into this, considering its scale of power. Provoking and angering such a powerful entity is, needless to say, suicidal. The reconstruction comes from the fact that there's a level of bullying that only amounts to 'annoyance' to it, and as long you don't become a threat, it would gladly concede just to get you off its hair.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • This is also true of sorcerers, who have innate magical talents. Even standard wizards tend to do it, even though sorcerers can cast more spells per day than them. It's to be noted that while Wizards look down on Sorcerers for being generally considered weaker (a Sorcerer has more spells a day, but is locked to specific spells, while a Wizard has slightly fewer spells per day, but has full access to a staggering number of choices), they also despise Sorcerers for, essentially, being born winners. A Sorcerer is born with their power, while a Wizard has to study for decades to cast the most basic cantrips.
    • Warlocks suffer an even worse treatment (due to their powers often but not always having a demonic origin), and Complete Arcane (the book introducing the class) points out how it should be standard for most settings to scorn, resent, and persecute warlocks. Given that warlocks are casters who have an unlimited store of spells (unlike the sorcerer, who will eventually run dry), and probably made a Deal with the Devil to get their powers (which, by the way, are far more focused on killing people than those of Wizards or Sorcerers), this really makes no sense.
    • There are also half-dragons, who are almost always treated badly by humans in Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, they think it's a good idea to pick on the person with claws and sharp teeth who can breathe dangerous substances and who has a parent that can level the town, and often will do so to protect or avenge his/her child. Eberron averts this by making the half-dragons considered abominations by the dragons. Furthermore, even in the core game, a lot of dragons are lax parents even with their pureblood children and are even worse towards their half-breed spawn, making this not as dangerous as it sounds at first — there's no guarantee that their dragon parent will care — but still playing with fire. The half-dragons can still do plenty of damage themselves. The Dragonblooded supplement has a short story at the beginning of the chapter on Spellscales in which the main character encounters a young spellscale girl being bullied by a mob of normal kids, and managing to cast a high-enough-level Sleep spell to knock out eight or ten at once.
  • Hunter: The Vigil – Dark and Light includes the Magisters, a conspiracy of Hunters who kidnap Princesses and mortals so they can trap the former in a Lotus-Eater Machine to use their lifeless body as power sources and brainwash the latter as their personal slaves. It's mentionned some of them have been stupid enough to try using this ritual on Changelings (faerie beings with the ability to travel in and reshape dreams) and Beasts (creatures who are literal nightmares made flesh). Predictably, these Magisters ended up comatose after their "captives" easily escaped to strike back by plaguing them with horrible nightmares.
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • The Elder Land Wurm's flavor text: "Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dragons lie."
    • Played with via the card Slumbering Dragon, which can't attack or block until it's had several counters put onto it. It gets counters whenever something tries to attack its controller.
  • In Pathfinder, this mentality is actually something that hags seek in villages to foster their changeling offspring. See, changelings are essentially Cute Monster Girls who more or less fit the anime Cute Witch look. Hags need to perform a magical ritual in order to transform them into the hideously ugly and more powerful hag forms — but they can only do so if the changeling accepts the ritual. As a result, the hags strive to ensure that the families or villages they foster their spawn to will be sufficiently hostile to someone who isn't "normal" that, when the hag makes the offer to her daughter, the embittered changeling will gladly accept in hopes of using that power for revenge. Needless to say, when the new hag has been reborn, she usually pays back her tormentors in spades.
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution:
    • Being pushed around one too many times is listed as an example of common ways for espers to initially manifest their talents.
    • This is how Ian first manifested his telekinesis. Chad assaulted Ian at school and ended up getting hit with a TK Push strong enough to hospitalize him.
    • Lucky, who can start fires with his mind, is threatened by a liquor store clerk and chased by an entire angry mob.
    • Harry in Broken Things spends the bulk of the story being experimented on and tortured by Shop members who know that he's a powerful psychokinetic. See the page's Asshole Victim example to see how that works out for them.
  • Shadowrun
    • Magic users are looked upon with distrust and fear by a large segment of the population, and many actively discriminate against them, often on religious grounds.
    • Metahumans are sometimes discriminated against by humans for being "freaks." Metahumans include trolls, who stand 7 to 10 feet tall, are extremely strong, and have armor-plated skin.
    • With the existence of actual Dragons in the setting, this trope becomes a literal case for anybody who even dares to antagonize or even strike a deal with one.
  • Wizards and Psykers of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 respectively. The Wizards normally don't give a damn about what peasants think, but soldiers love them, and psykers, well, their powers come from Chaos... Considering that psykers are incredibly vulnerable to Power Incontinence, Demonic Possession, and in more than a few occasions having their skull turned into a portal to allow The Legions of Hell to overrun the planet, this trope becomes even more ridiculous if treatment of them within the Imperium wasn't less "ostracism" and more "immediate execution."
    • In the Deathwatch supplement Honour the Chapter, The Black Templars' history in the Jericho Reach began with a Prelate-Imperialis named Nadab Saul trying to convince the Black Templars to join the nascent Achilus Crusade in the worst ways possible. He tried to browbeat and intimidate the Marshals instead of appealing to their sense of duty. Even as Battle-Brothers hauled him away, never to be seen again, he continued to spit invectives, condemning the entire Chapter as traitors.
    • After the First War for Armageddon against literal Legions of Hell was won, the Grey Knights and the Inquisition decided that to avoid corruption, all population and military at the planet must be sterilized and worked to death in the labor camps. That didn't sit well with the Chaotic Good Space Wolves chapter. The result is the Months of Shame, a minor civil war that cost the Grey Knights and Inquisition a battle fleet worth of ships, the head of the inquisitor who ordered the death of Armageddon's population, (who went completely ballistic and Exterminatus'd several planets in a failed attempt to eliminate them) a whole brotherhood worth of Grey Knights (this squabble cost them as much as the entire war for Armageddon... yep, one brotherhood lost almost all its members twice in a matter of months), and from now on, any and all inquisitional ships over Fenris are shot on sight.
    • Inquisitors might believe that they have the right to be bossy around Space Marine Chapter Masters. Then their bodies happen to be found in the Chapter Monastery, supposedly killed by an ork sniper. note 
    • Eldar tend to be guided by false prophecies and will attack vastly superior forces, while being very arrogant about it.
    • That the Tau don't do this as a rule is the only reason they're still around. The Imperium is larger and more populous than the Tau Empire by several orders of magnitude, but also has to fight Forever Wars on multiple fronts, and their local forces alone can at best keep the Tau contained. In other words, the Imperium knows they don't have the reserves to wipe out the Tau without suffering significant setbacks elsewhere in the galaxy, but the Tau know that they can't antagonize the Imperium too much or else the humans might just take that risk. Realpolitik does the rest, keeping the conflict between the two nations to low-level border battles and allowing them to ally against common enemies.
    • When Roboute Guilliman is revived, the battle around his shrine comes to a sudden halt as all the combatants are reduced to a Stunned Silence at the sight of a living, breathing Primarch. The silence is abruptly broken when a single Khorne Berzerker charges at Guilliman whom the Primarch bisects without hesitation. The battle thus resumes, only now the tables have turned as Guilliman's revival has given the Imperium the upper hand.

    Theatre 
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: The people in this list know the guy who they are bullying is dangerous, but they did not care. Christian ends well, but the others...
    • Act I Scene II, Ligniere brags about his song, where he exposes the persecution of Roxane by De Guiche. Ligniere himself admits De Guiche is a powerful noble who is wedded to the niece of Richelieu.
      Ligniere: Ho! he must rage at me! The end hit home... Listen!
    • Act I, Scene IV. A bore bluntly mentions Cyrano that he cannot pretend to humiliate Montfleury, an actor protected by the Duke of Candale, and not to have himself a protector.
    • Act I, Scene IV. After seeing Cyrano deal with the bore, De Valvert mentions Cyrano's nose.
    • Act II Scene IX. After some comments about Cyrano's murdering ways by the cadets, Christian makes a Hurricane of Puns about Cyrano's nose.
  • The Phantom of the Opera: Although the Phantom has the previous day dropped a heavy backcloth on the Opera House's Prima Donna, the managers still think it's be a really great idea to completely ignore his demands that Christine is cast, and instead choose a singer who is much inferior to her. The Phantom promises that "if these demands are not met, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur." Let's just say these aren't empty words... They do wise up by the second act, however, when the Phantom crashes the Masquerade Ball and says, in effect, "Hey, here's the score for this opera I just wrote; I think you guys will know what to do with it. Oh yeah, that Falling Chandelier of Doom a few months back? That was me being nice." The managers, albeit very reluctantly, realize open defiance is not the safest of options.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: In 'Untamed and Uncut', Dave breaks into a Windear exhibit to fight them. It does NOT go well for him.
  • Dreamscape: In episode 6, Melissa chastises Keedran for always acting so sarcastic and silly, in comparison to her fellow guardians Kai, Eleenin, and Drake. The thing is, Keedran is an actual deity who is a Knight in Sour Armor about protecting humanity, and when Melissa's lashing ends up pressing her Berserk Button, Keedran reminds her exactly who she is dealing with in a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Etra chan saw it!: Hiiragi ends up insulting the freaking Yakuza. The leader Katsura initially makes his men leave Hiiragi alone as the latter is a civilian with a honest paying job. Because of the stunt he pulled, Hiiragi gets fired, which he doesn't take well. A few days later, he returns to his old workplace and tries to attack one of his former co-workers. Coincidentally, the Yakuza also go back to the bar to repay the tab they left the last time they were there. Seeing that Hiiragi has basically reduced himself to a violent thug, Katsura allows Tachibana and Akamatsu to beat him up.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged:
    • When Cait Sith says that everyone would have to insult Vincent instead of Cloud if he left, Cid says, "F*** that, that dude eats people!"
    • In Episode 27, Scarlet slaps Tifa around, punches her in the gut, and leaves her to die in a gas chamber. And yet, when Tifa gets away thanks to Sapphire WEAPON's attack, Scarlet declares that she will conduct Tifa's punishment herself. Tifa flips the scenario on its head and describes, in graphic detail, how badly she's going to fuck Scarlet up if she doesn't tell her where Cloud is. Scarlet does not comply... and gets knocked off the Junon cannon for her trouble.
      Tifa: I'm going to beat the f*ck out of you so badly, your face is going to be the new bowl I eat my Tankceratops cereal out of. And yes, your blood will be the milk.
  • Manga-Waido: Maina was mistreated by Sano who was on a power-trip since she is his subordinate. When he poured beer on her, she revealed that she was a former delinquent and gave him such a scare that slipped Sano out of his bravado.
  • Nightfall Nod from Midnight Mares who is essentially an Expy of Nightmare Moon as a teenager pony sums this trope up nicely:
    Nightfall Nod: I get to be the bully now.
  • Minilife TV: In "Poking the Pilot", after Chris and Ian prank their own god, Goshua, he pranks them back by sending them through alternate timelines.
  • RWBY: Cinder Fall is a deadly combatant and manipulator with an ability that makes her one of the most powerful people on Remnant. This doesn't stop one character from trying to blackmail her by threatening to get her into trouble with her even more dangerous boss. Neo steals the Relic of Knowledge from Salem and then taunts Cinder with it because Cinder has failed to give Neo her promised chance of revenge against Ruby. Cinder apologizes just enough to convince Neo to hand over the Relic, devises a plan to obtain the second Relic and then throws Neo into The Void Between The Worlds as soon as Neo has served her purpose.
  • Shrapnel: After the Ugandan Knuckles are freed, one of them claims that Reznya, who their leader had been referring to as their/a queen, is no real queen to him, and starts insulting and spitting on her. He doesn’t live long.

    Websites 
  • It's extremely common for people who get their channels deleted on YouTube for breaking the rules to immediately make a new channel where they start threatening and insulting the people in charge of You Tube (Undead Chronic, to name just one example), apparently not realizing there's nothing stopping You Tube from just deleting their new channel as well (which usually ends up happening.)

    Web Videos 
  • D20 Live :
    • At the 2012 game played at ConBravo, Spoony literally did this to a dragon the DM intended the players to recruit an army to fight. Things did not go well for that dragon and after a series of Critical Failures, it actually wound up dying at their hands.
    • In an earlier story, his character Tandem the Spoony antagonized Zeus by sleeping with his daughter. Things did not go well for the spoony bard and he got his ass literally thrown off Olympus.
    • During Tandem's final mission, among a party playing Dungeonland: Tandem decides to fight the March Harenote  one-on-one when the Tea Party turns violent. After being crane-kicked across the table, Spoony learns that the March Hare is a twentieth-level monk. Tandem is an eighteenth-level bard. Somehow, Spoony wins.
    • A strange example of the trope being both played Straight and Inverted in his Final Fantasy Reviews. Spoony spends hours ranting and raving about the poor quality of the games' writing and animation, only for a Character from the game (including Special Ops soldiers, professional athletes and accomplished terrorists) to turn up in his bedroom and try to murder him with guns, gunblades, magic, blitzballs and brutal wrestling moves. Despite this, he has so far killed all of them in increasingly gory ways, but neither side seems to be taking the hint... He was defeated by The Black Knight. Though The Black Knight had no intention of killing Spoony. Just permanently annoying him.
  • Epic NPC Man: The pair of mugger NPCs don't seem capable of overriding their programming to mug people. Even though Charles is well aware of the dangers, he's consistently goaded by Bernard into attempting to mug dangerous marks like The Watcher (a high level dragon and hydra-slaying Player Character that has taken on whole armies), his own grandmother (who is a a better mugger than her grandson), and a literal dragon.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: Since the series frequently involves rap battles between supernatural beings, this comes up a lot.
    • Abraham Lincoln, knowing full well the kind of godly feats his opponent is capable of, calls Chuck Norris a washed-up has-been, threatens to squash him, and then dumps a bunch of pennies on his head.
    • Adolf Hitler relentlessly mocks Darth Vader, even after Vader first freezes him in carbonite and drops him into the Rancor pit.
    • Sherlock Holmes thinks it's a good idea to taunt Batman about his dead parents.
    • Stevie Wonder tells Wonder Woman that all her TV shows suck, her invisible jet looks stupid, and implies that she's a hypocrite and fake feminist.
    • Vlad the Impaler accuses Count Dracula of being weak and soft, and threatens to kill him with Olive Garden garlic breadsticks.
    • The Joker taunts Pennywise the Clown, a man-eating space demon whose true form drives people to madness just by the sight of it, over his previous defeats at the hands of "a herd of nerds who call themselves the Loser's Club" and "a turtle who wasn't even a ninja", and over the infamous child orgy scene from his book which even the Joker finds too tasteless. Justified, as Joker opens his rap by pointing out his own apparent inability to die, so Pennywise is no threat to him.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer mocks Thanos's bizarre appearance, speaking style, abusive childhood, rejection by Mistress Death, and defeats at the hands of Iron Man and Squirrel Girl.
  • While Hat Films are fairly competent Minecraft players, their two efforts to harass Lewis Brindley and Sjin at Sjin's Farm have ended in failure, after Lewis and Sjin decided to fight back. The first time ended with one of the Sirs falling to their death in a ravine, the second ended with a group of captive beasts hacking them to pieces.
  • CalebCity's How EVERY throwaway villain acts when the MC needs to be power scaled has the protagonist walking into a Bad Guy Bar and getting threatened by two thugs. The protagonist implores the two thugs to not attack him for their own safety, as he just singlehandedly fought off a gang of a hundred thugs. The two thugs attack him anyway, leading to the protagonist blowing one up just by looking at them, and the other one getting killed from the natural oils on the protagonist's face.
  • Mark Rober, whose amongst other things makes YouTube videos about the glitter bomb packages he leaves to get stolen by porch pirates, mailed several copies of his latest glitter bomb to volunteering viewers to leave in front of their doors. He noticed that one viewer didn't place their package, and the viewer in question admitted he had no intention to use it or send it back, and had used a fake address anyway. Mark wondered why someone familiar with his channel, who'd know he quit his job at NASA to design glitter bombs and make videos about it after someone stole a package worth a few dozen bucks from his porch, would think it a good idea to try and scam him for a joke. After easily finding his real address, Mark proceeded to order a few hundred dollars worth a material from Scientology to be delivered to him, so Scientology would consider him a good mark to pester with further proselytizing. He also send several cards, such as a pass for a furry convention or a thanks for his support from "Texans for Hillary", addressed to the viewer but with "accidentally" changed house numbers, to embarrass the guy to his neighbors.

Tony: And there's one other person you pissed off!note 

Alternative Title(s): Bullying The Dragon

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Skinner vs. Disney

Disney picks on the wrong principal.

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