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Bump into Confrontation

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"You bumped into me on purpose, didn't you?!"
A minor bump leads to overreaction from the bumped person.

John Doe bumps into Richard Roe on the street and turns to apologise, but Richard is a delinquent or street thug, or general grump of some sort who is having none of it. Richard may demand an apology or compensation, or just start berating or attacking John. This may lead to a Knight in Shining Armor-type intervention by a third party, a Mugging the Monster moment where the challenged party is able to hold his own unexpectedly...or the bumper having to kowtow to the aggrieved person even if the bumper wasn't actually responsible.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Happens twice to Minako Aino and her friend Hikaru in Codename: Sailor V allowing Saito, the head of a different gang of juvenile delinquents and former attendee of the same middle school as Minako to rescue them. Minako gets a crush on him but he's in love with his old / her current Home Ec teacher.
  • This is how Makoto Kino alias Sailor Jupiter is introduced in Sailor Moon, by saving Usagi from one of these scenarios.
  • Happens in Pokémon: The Original Series episode "The Song of Jigglypuff". Jessie and James bump into two random people (a large, fat woman and a thug, respectively}. Because the entire town is unable to sleep, everyone is cranky and irritable, so Team Rocket gets the crap beat out of them. (The fat woman actually spanks Jessie). To add salt to the wound, the people beating on James and Jessie were the ones who bumped into them. Ash also bumps into someone, but avoids getting into a fight. Later in the episode (after Jigglypuff's forced everyone to sleep), the now less grumpy guy apologises.
  • At the beginning of the Marineford arc of One Piece, a waiter bumps into a pirate and stains his shirt. The pirate wants to kill him for it, but his fatalist captain talks him out of it—apparently, it was his shirt's destiny to be ruined that day.
  • Ninja Scroll: The Series. The wife of a samurai spends years tracking down Jubei after he killed her husband. As she's about to kill him she demands to know why her husband died, and is shocked to find it was over just such a petty argument.

    Comic Books 
  • Done very seriously in X-Men. The team has just saved Colossus' big brother Mikhail from another dimension. Mikhail is still traumatized by the experience (after his tampering with a dimensional anomaly killed his wife and brothers in arms) but seems like he will recover in time. Then, as he is left alone in the street, he suffers a brief Heroic BSoD and just then a teenager on a bicycle bumps into him. A couple of seconds later, Colossus returns to pick up his brother, unaware that the nearest tree now has a pattern of stumps shaped like a face screaming in terror...

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This nearly occurs in The Protector between Tony Jaa and Jackie Chan in a cameo at an airport. They bump into each other, turn and quickly strike fighting poses until they realize that it was a mistake and politely apologize to each other.
  • Do the Right Thing has a scene with this, though nothing actually comes of the threats and the guy doing the bumping doesn't seem to be intimidated.
  • In Trainspotting, Begbie beats a man senseless at a pub for bumping into him and making him spill his pint.

  • In The Three Musketeers, this is how d'Artagnan meets Athos and Porthos. He crashes into both of them (separately) and handles the result badly, leading to two duel challenges. (Minutes later, after resolving to mend his ways and be more polite, d'Artagnan tries to behave friendly to Aramis and only ends up embarrassing him, earning himself a third duel challenge.)
  • In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry the heroine, Cassie, a black girl, bumps into Lillian Jean, a white girl who is the daughter of a very influential bigot. Cassie barely pays attention to what Lillian Jean is saying until L.J. orders her to apologize. Cassie's little brother, who is a courageous boy, tells her to let Cassie alone. Lillian Jean doesn't listen, of course, and tells her to get down in the street. Cassie protests and tells her she isn't going anywhere, and that if she's so scared of being bumped, Lillian Jean should go down there herself. Then, Lillian Jean's father shows up and pushes Cassie down in the street and scolds her for being such an impudent brat. Cassie runs away from the curious crowd and runs into her grandmother, who makes her apologize, and humiliates the poor girl. Lillian Jean later gets what she deserves.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion such an event features in the backstory; a nobleman and notorious duelist (and very skilled swordsman) claims the "only son of a provincial wool merchant" jostled him in the street and demands satisfaction, with predictable results. The young man's father later resorts to a form of magical assassination ("death magic") against the duelist in order to avenge his son's death, which turns out to have important ramifications for the main plot. Later, another high-born bravo attempts to stage such a confrontation against the novel's protagonist, Cazaril, with the clear intent of "accidentally" killing Cazaril in a simple duel "to first blood". Since Cazaril is both a pretty skilled swordsman himself and an experienced soldier with no patience for such games, this ends in the would-be duelist-assassin's painful (though not fatal) humiliation right then and there.
    Dy Joal: Clumsy oaf! How dare you crowd me from the door?....I say I will have three drops of your blood, to clear this slight.
  • Millennium Series: Lizbeth gets into a rather nasty fight with street hooligans in a subway after she bumps into them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Skins, Cook takes out his rage over seeing Effy and Freddie kissing by pounding the first guy to accidentally bump into him.
  • One of the first inhabitants seen in Sweetwater, the "Level 1" town in Westworld, is a burly gun-fighter who purposely bumps into one of the people coming off the morning train. If it is a Host, a gun-fight usually happens, but if it is a Newcomer, he can choose to shoot-it out or walk away.
  • Supernatural: A businessman bumps into and mouths off at The Grim Reaper in his human manifestation. Death nonchalantly brushes off his coat and the man drops dead on the spot.
  • In Once Upon a Time, a flashback to right after Regina cast the Curse and sent everyone to Storybrooke shows that she initially scripted the curse much more tightly, including having Mary Margaret (Snow White) bump into her and have to apologize profusely every day. She only gave the villagers more leeway in their daily routines once she was bored of this; it would be years before she actually had a change of heart.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In the myth of Oedipus, the titular character unknowingly killed his biological father in an argument over which party had the right of way when they cross paths while on the road.

    Video Games 
  • Generally, crossing into any Pokémon Trainer's line of sight is enough to provoke a Pokémon battle.
  • Mass Effect 2 brings us the assignment "Crime in Progress", where a volus accuses a young quarian of picking his pocket, solely because she bumped into him, and he left his credit chit in a store. The kicker? He doesn't apologize, and the cop brought in on the matter throws in a threat to arrest her for vagrancy. A quarian on Pilgrimage is a vagrant by definition.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Lyn and company are travelling toward Caelin when Lyn notices her old friend Florina being menaced by some bandits after accidentally landing her Pegasus on them, and come to her rescue.
  • An extremely common way to end up in a fight in Yakuza throughout the series.
  • Any time Luke and Jamie meet each other in Street Fighter 6, this would normally happen.
  • This is pretty much how Ragna and Naoto in BlazBlue Central Fiction met each other.
  • In Radiata Stories, you can literally do this by kicking on an NPC twice. This initiates a solo battle with the person you kicked in a 1v1 duel (Justified that the other members don't join in because you're the one who started it).

    Western Animation 
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode 5 (season 1), Gilda berates Fluttershy for bumping into her.
  • The Boondocks uses this as an example of Nigga Moments. Two black guys bump into each other and start a shootout. Nobody is injured and they realize how ignorant they were being and work out their differences... and then the cops come and kill them both.
  • Kabuto from Tokyo Mater is actually introduced this way.

    Real Life 
  • Samurai in feudal Japan were rather notorious for this. They had to keep the scabbards for their katanas tied securely to them and pointed away from those who passed them on the road. If your scabbard knocked against another samurai while you were passing him on the road, it was often enough to provoke a sword duel.
  • In June 1987, 16-year old Kari Lynn Nixon disappeared within the two blocks between her home and the local grocery store. 7 years later, a bank robbery suspect confessed that he had abducted the girl as she walked home and taken her to his cabin where he raped and murdered her. His motive? That she had bumped into him while in the store and not apologized sufficiently. The cops scoffed at his explanation and speculated that he had simply been out prowling for a victim when he came upon the unfortunate girl.