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Cruel Elephant

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Not a pleasant elephant. Or vendor, for that matter.

Look, you probably can't read, fox, but the sign says: 'We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone'. So beat it!
Jerry Jumbeaux Jr to Nick, from Zootopia
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Elephants, and their prehistoric counterparts of the mammoth, are usually seen being wise and honorable. They're herbivorous, intelligent and come off as the gentle giants of the savanna. Not all elephants in fiction are characterized like this, though. With their size, their formidable looking tusks, and their ability to overpower just about any other animal they encounter, elephants can just as easily been seen as intimidating, and they are often portrayed as such in fiction. Consequently, there are numerous portrayals in fiction of elephants that are aggressive, hostile, and at least morally ambiguous. These elephants like to throw their weight around, usually depicted as bullies or The Brute, though they're just as capable of being intelligent.

Antagonistic elephants in fiction are rarely portrayed as outright evil, but they will often be unstoppably aggressive and ready to charge at anything that so much as looks at them funny. If they get sufficiently agitated, they'll go berserk and try to trample and crush the unfortunate protagonists, while also possibly trying to spear them with their tusks. The intelligence and wisdom common to most sympathetic portrayals of elephants is usually nowhere to be found in these cases, unless the writer is playing up the It Can Think angle. War Elephants are especially prone to this sort of portrayal. Either way, if the characters in a story encounter an angry elephant, it's a sure sign that something really bad is about to go down. And heaven help them if they manage to piss off an entire herd. While violent and aggressive elephants in fiction aren't Always Male, they're more likely to be on average than fictional elephants as a whole, presumably because it's the males who have big, scary-looking tusks.

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There is some Truth in Television, as adolescent elephants are known to bully and kill rhinos and other animals for their amusement. Male elephants also go into a state called musth, which makes them extremely rage-prone, violent, and aggressive towards both people and other animals.

The Evil Counterpart to Honorable Elephant. For when rhinoceroses get a similar treatment, see Rhino Rampage.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
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    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Dumbo: Most of the circus elephants except Dumbo's mother are rude, shallow, and snobby. Their leader prides herself on being a Honorable Elephant, despite her cruelty to Dumbo.
  • Ice Age: Subverted with Manny. He initially comes off as a Jerkass mammoth who doesn't care what happens to Sid and is anti-social, however proves himself to be a good person at heart and hates the rhinos who try to kill Sid for fun. Through his Character Development over the film he proves himself to be an Honorable Elephant instead.
  • Leo the Lion has Maximus, the Big Bad elephant who wants to take over the jungle.
  • Zootopia has an elephant called Jerry Jumbeaux Jr. who owns an ice cream store which provides the Jumbo-pop for Nick's pawpsicle hustle. He's rude, prejudiced against foxes and refuses to serve them, and not particularly concerned about health code violations in his store.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In the Discworld novel Soul Music, the roadie to the Band with Rocks In is a strangely shaped troll called Asphalt, who is extremely short and wide in shape. He explains this is down to his previous career as a zookeeper tending to elephants, who derived amusement from sitting on him. Repeatedly.
  • Heffalumps in Winnie-the-Pooh are scary elephant-like creatures who are believed to enjoy stealing honey. Fortunately for Pooh and his friends, they are imaginary (at least in the original book - at least two adaptations make them Real After All).

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • Dwarf Fortress has the famous tale of Boatmurdered, a Succession Game that spiraled into by far one of the absolute hilariously worst disasters imaginable in the history of the game, even by Dwarf Fortress standards. Right from the very beginning of the game, a pack of murderous elephants rampaged against the dwarves, and the players found it impossible to permanently get rid of them until they found a way to funnel molten magma into the surrounding lands around the city of Boatmurdered itself. After that, the landscape quickly turned to a sea of elephant, goblin, and dwarf skeletons being rampaged by more murderous elephants!
  • The elephant demons in Jade Empire are some of the nastier enemies in the game, between their massive hit points and deceptively fast wide-arc attacks.
  • Mega Man has some pachyderm Reploids as enemies.
    • Mega Man X: Flame Mammoth is one of the eight Maverick generals to originally defect with Sigma in his war on humanity. He's characterized as an arrogant and cocky Reploid who looks down on those smaller and weaker than them. He's one of the least sympathetic Maverick bosses in the game.
    • One of the enemies in the first Mega Man Zero game is Maha Ganeshariff, who's based off the Hindu god Ganesha. While serving humanity's interests, he is an enforcer for a regime that actively suppresses Reploids and is at odds with the Resistance Zero is part of.
  • Rivals of Aether features Loxodont, a minor character who takes over the throne to the Fire Empire after the assassination of Emperor Renburn and the disappearance of his sons, Zetterburn and Forsburn, and turns it into a dystopian dictatorship. He uses technology to render himself seemingly immortal, earning him the title of Endless Emperor. He is important to Clairen's back story, as she tries to overthrow him alone, but is defeated and saved by an unknown individual who then allows her to go back in time to when the game takes place, before the princes' disappearance, so she can try and save the empire from Loxodont.
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, small mammoths are enemies in Frozen Altars. They return in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, in Monkey Monastery.
  • Spyro: A Hero's Tail has Spyro getting captured by a woolly mammoth henchman of Red's.

    Visual Novels 

    Western Animation 
  • Eugene from Animal Crackers is The Bully who always hogs the watering hole, beats up anyone who stands up to him, and stomps on petunias in his free time.
  • In the The Legend of Tarzan episode, "Tarzan and the Rogue Elephant", an elephant herd are chased out of their home by Mabaya, an elephant who has gone rogue, going into a blind rage and trampling everything in his path. This also leads Tantor to believe that he might become a rogue elephant himself.
  • The Simpsons: In "Bart Gets An Elephant", Bart ends up getting an elephant called Stampy, who's surly and destructive with a habit of shoving people up his mouth. The family believes this is because he's unhappy so they send him to a sanctuary to be with his kind. Despite this Stampy ends up headbutting the elephants there. The representative says that he is happy, but much like humans some elephants are just jerks. Afterwards Homer starts headbutting the representative.
  • Timon & Pumbaa:
    • Ned the Elephant, a recurring antagonist, plays the image of an Honorable Elephant being influential and well respected, but is really an arrogant, snobbish, belligerent jerk who delights in bullying and humiliating the duo.
    • In one Rafiki's Fables episode a mouse has the same problem with another group of elephants. So he wants to be respected by becoming other species.
  • Sappy Stanley from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny?" is an elephant who serves as the episode's antagonist. Stanley was once a famous American cartoon star, whose cartoons consisted of him being hit on the head by coconut-throwing chimpanzees. One of which, "Which Way to the Arctic?" was nominated for a Shloskar award in 1958. When Stanley lost the award to Bugs Bunny's "Knighty Knight Bugs", he left American cinema for France and became a big star there, spending decades plotting his revenge on Bugs. During Bugs Bunny's Zherry award ceremony, Stanley kidnaps Bugs, steals his Shloskar, and frames Daffy Duck for the crime, leaving Buster and Babs to find the real culprit and prove Daffy's innocence. Stanley himself is a parody of Terrytoons cartoon character Sidney the Elephant, a.k.a. Silly Sidney. A cartoon featuring this character (called "Sidney's Family Tree") was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1958, but lost to, yep, you guessed it, "Knighty Knight Bugs".
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo?: The Monster of the Week of "Safari, So Good!" are shape-shifting demons, one of which takes the form of an aggressive elephant that unsuccessfully tries to capture Daphne. Although it turns out to be just a normal elephant covered in glowing make-up and hypnotized into acting vicious, just like the rest of the "demons".

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