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Gang of Bullies

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Be careful. You may not know what you're getting yourself into.

"Strength of numbers is the delight of the timid."
Mahatma Gandhi

It’s so much easier to get your way with one, two, or four chums who got your back and don’t mind joining in a little intimidation. Bullies seem to be a bit of a pack species when encountered in media. Oh sure, there’s always a leader, but somehow he or she has often convinced or intimidated a few other characters to follow him or her around in his or her never-ending quest to be a douche-bag to the main characters. These side characters are considered of minor importance at best, and may not even serve any purpose other than to make the group look that much more intimidating, or to simply laugh at the leader's every insult and say "Good one". (As a rule, take down the leader and the rest will melt away, for A Friend in Need they are not; also, they tend to end up abandoning their leader whenever a tougher bully comes around (and join him/her instead) and/or disappear completely if the leader undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and joins the protagonist's circle of friends).


Often related to Kids Are Cruel, though the occasional adult can have a small gang of followers. Often, for no apparent reason other than the head honcho seems to be crueler and more sadistic than the rest.

See also the Girl Posse, usually led by the Alpha Bitch, for the female equivalent. However, in recent years, actual all-female gangs have appeared that are involved in violent crime and drug dealing, which often are just as bad as all-male gangs.

All too often Truth in Television.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Jonathan Joestar of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure deals with a gang of thugs who harass Erina.
    • And, just over a century later, Josuke Higashikata (Jonathan's great-grandson and the "Jojo" of Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable) is tormented by a trio of older high-school students. Until, of course, the ringleader makes the mistake of mocking his pompadour.
  • Motoko Minagawa of Fruits Basket leads a small Groupie Brigade who routinely make life a little more difficult for the main character, who's genuinely friends with the student they have a petty crush on.
  • Probably the most timid character of the series (Kotonoha) gets harassed by no fewer than five girls in School Days.
  • In Naruto Sakura is picked on by Ami and two other girls during her ninja academy days until Ino defends her.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Mokuba is introduced with a group of classmates like this. After his first appearance, they are never mentioned again.
  • Kyoko plays the leader of the gang of bullies in Skip Beat!. Interesting as she used to be the bullied.
  • While only two in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo, they still gang up on Sayaka. One of them just seems to follow the other, who has other motivations.
  • An extremely large part of the cast of Kyou Kara Ore wa!! is part of one, usually linked to their respective schools. Bonus point for the ones of Akehisa High and Hokunei High: Akehisa's gang is composed of every single student, and Hokunei's is not only also composed of every single student but burned down their school.
  • ViVid Strike! had a trio of girls who started bullying Rinne after she turned down their offer to join their school's fighting club. This did not end well for them.
  • Towa Higurashi from Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon has been beating bullies since she was a child. That got her into trouble with a really criminal gang of bullies. But after she showed them what power she really has as a half-demon, they fled in fear.

  • Morty's gang in Minimonsters. They're dedicated to bullying Frank's gang, calling them "losers". Ironically, they're much more losers than them.
  • Richard Dragon had to deal with a gang of older bullies back when he was a kid and before he had any training. It's darkly amusing that even though they regularly beat a much smaller kid to a pulp by ganging up on him he still made them work for it.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live Action 
  • Biff and all his ancestors/descendants from Back to the Future films lead a small group of thugs.
  • In The Forbidden Kingdom, the protagonist gets harassed and almost killed by a bully with a gun. Even the bully’s cronies are a bit apprehensive about this.
  • The Cobras from The Karate Kid.
    • Similarly, the posse of kung-fu students from the 2010 remake, who were members of the Fighting Dragons. Both Mr. Han (Jackie Chan's character) and Mr. Miyagi in both versions specifically comment to the sensei that fighting someone one-on-one is at least fair, bully or not, but being ganged up on is "too much to ask of anyone."
  • The bully in 3 Ninjas was followed around by lackeys.
  • Mean Girls: Though the titular clique is lead by Alpha Bitch Regina, as the movie shows, she would not be able to terrorize the student population without her faithful "army of skanks".
  • The guys that tied up Nick from 30 Minutes or Less.
  • The Golf Course Kids from 50 First Dates.
  • In the film I Was Born, But... two young brothers move to a town and end up bullied by a local gang of boys. After they get an older teenaged boy to beat up the head bully, the two brothers become bosses of the gang.
  • Short film The House I Live In has a group of bullies about to beat up a Jewish kid when Frank Sinatra intervenes and teaches the kids a lesson about tolerance.
  • The World of Kanako:
    • The Matsunaga Gang. They bully Ogata until he commits suicide.
    • Afterwards another gang of bullies torture the nameless narrator who only survives their treatment because he is manipulated by Kanako, who also lets the Matsunaga Gang beat up those bullies.
  • Let Me In features some bullies led by a boy named Kenny. They bully and beat up Owen throughout the film. Eventually they even try to murder him by drowning him. Fortunately, Owens vampire lover Abby arrives just in time to give them what they deserve.
  • In Massacre at Central High, Bruce, Paul, Craig, and Mark terrorize the other kids, who are too scared to stand up to them. Mark's girlfriend calls them the "Little League gestapo."

  • Harry Potter books:
    • Dudley is Large and in Charge of his gang and beats people up personally, and at least one of his friends that we know of is a scrawny little kid who presumably hangs around him for protection — it's mentioned that he holds people while Dudley hits them. Their favourite victim is Harry himself.
    • Meanwhile, Draco is a not-particularly-physically-imposing male Alpha Bitch and Crabbe and Goyle are the big, stupid thugs who cling to him for status.
    • Tom Riddle's own school-years gang would seem to follow this pattern except for the fact that Tom gets away with appearing like the model student—he lets his minions do much of the dirty work, just as he does as Lord Voldemort.
    • James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter, in regards to Snape. The first two did the actual bullying—Remus was so lonely he couldn't bring himself to argue against it, while Peter just enjoyed watching.
      • Of note, Rowling draws a connection between Dudley's gang and the Marauders. In Dudley's gang, there's a rat-faced member named Piers (a variant of Peter).
    • Snape himself was part of a gang of future Death Eaters (including the notorious sadist Bellatrix Lestrange), and tended to dismiss what they got up to as "a laugh".
  • The antagonist/villain of One Fat Summer is local tough Willy Rumson, who leads a group of these to terrorize summer vacationers in general, and the main character Bobby Marks in particular.
  • Let the Right One In features a group of bullies who pick on the main character.
  • Discworld's Lord Downey is mentioned in Night Watch as having one of these during his student days, although they themselves are also embarrassed by the immaturity of his bullying tactics.
    • Also the immaturity of his brain, which he only ever engaged long enough to remember how to pronounce "scag". I think he was meant to be a parody of people who get into prestigious colleges solely on the merit of being legacy.
    • Hilariously, their favourite target is the young Havelock Vetinari, who would later go on to rule the city and was so powerful and trope-namingly effective that the Guild of Assassins refuses to take contracts on him. One doubts he has ever allowed Downey to forget the quiet, scholarly kid he used to rough up and call unimaginative rude names now outranks him in power and influence by several orders of magnitude.
    • Unseen Academicals features another one, led by Andy Shank, a nasty young man whose followers are basically in it because they're afraid of him. But after the big football match, in which he's perceived to have gone too far in attacking the opposing team, his bullies abandon him and Pepe teaches him a lesson.
  • Kalarus Brencis Minoris from Codex Alera bears a striking resemblance to Draco Malfoy: a rich Smug Snake from a prestigious family who wanders the local Extranormal Institute with his pair of big, dumb thugs, looking for easy victims.
  • Henry Bowers from Stephen King's It had a group of lackeys (six total), two being seen with him the most, though even they were occasionally frightened by how sociopathic Bowers was.
  • Greg Simpson, the antagonist of The Bailey Game, leads a gang called the Bridge Boys, which is known for picking on others.
  • In Jodie Picoult's Nineteen Minutes, Peter is the favorite target of Bully Matt, who is often aided by Drew, Courtney, and the rest of his popular friends.
  • The packs of Career tributes in The Hunger Games.
  • According to Word of God, this is the dynamic that powers the large crews of vermin in the Redwall series: "A bully needs a gang."
  • The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, a prequel book in the The Mysterious Benedict Society series, has "The Spiders," a group of three boy bullies who terrorize Child's End, the book's Orphanage of Fear. When the title character, Nicholas Benedict, comes to the orphanage, they target him for an "initiation" and when he refuses to play along make him an outcast at the orphanage by threatening the other children with their wrath if they become friends with him because he rarely allows them to attack him directly, being too clever for them.
  • Many housecats view the Clans of Warrior Cats this way. They're dangerous ferals who attack any cat that crosses their territory. Usually this is to protect their borders, but there have been times when Clan cats attack kittypet unprovoked. One leader even sent his warriors to invade cats in their own yards and scare them so much they wouldn't think of entering the forest.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffyverse: Buffy used to be routinely bullied by Alpha Bitch Cordelia, and her trio of friends until Cordelia ended up becoming something of a friend to Buffy. Then Cordelia would be the one to suffer at the hands of her former friends. Angel would later liken them to the KGB, but with nicer shoes.
  • Joss Whedon seems to like this trope, as Kaylee of Firefly experiences some harassment at an upper-class party from a trio of female attendees.
  • Harley, Frankie and Joey on Boy Meets World. After Harley gets sent off to reform school Frankie and Joey get a new leader named Griff, although Griff was more of a High-School Hustler than The Bully so the group's purpose changes. The group later disbands.
  • Reina/Reika from Deep Love gets bullied by a gang of three girls who write on her textbooks and threw her desk out of the window in the second episode, telling her there was no place for her.
  • In The Worst Year of My Life, Again, Parker and his friends.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "A Nice Place to Visit", it is mentioned that Rocky Valentine started a street gang called the Angels when he was eight years old.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "The Shadow Man", several boys, led by Eric, ambush Danny Hayes on his way home. They frighten him by wearing monster costumes and carrying plastic chainsaw toys as he has the reputation of being the biggest chicken in Willow Creek.
    • In "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", the young Gus Rosenthal is chased by a gang of bullies led by Jack Wheeldon, but he runs into his future self and the bullies immediately leave as they think that the older Gus might be a G-man. Later, the bullies attack the young Gus when he is on the swings and begin to beat him up until the present day Gus intervenes.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In Ring of Honor, Sweet And Sour Inc were this to Bobby Dempsey. Larry Sweeney, Chris Hero and Talk Toland in particular were dedicated to teasing him.
  • What Valifornia usually acted as in SHINE and WWN group shows, especially after their only serious title contender, Nevaeh, got fed up with them and especially towards Solo Darling.

    Video Games 
  • Butch of Fallout 3 bullies you with his friends throughout your childhood, though one quest can be solved making one of Butch’s cronies indignant from being told that he “does whatever Butch tells him to”. Later on, you can save his mother, and eventually you can even make him one of your companions.
  • As to be expected in Bully, the first clique you deal with designated as the Bullies. Unlike the other cliques, they have no specific beef with another gang and simply harass whoever, wherever, making them the most satisfying gang to kick the crap out of.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Link in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker comes across a group of boys who tease him upon meeting him, despite Link being older and bigger than them. A sidequest involves getting them to go to school
    • Link has to deal with Groose and his gang of bullies in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword where they constantly harass him and at one point, kidnap his loftwing to prevent him from winning a school competition. Groose also dislikes Link because Zelda prefers to be his friend over Groose. Groose does get better over time thanks to his Character Development and his lackeys pretty much go on their own and aren't mean to Link once Groose matures.

    Web Animation 

  • Ariel of Drowtales is very nearly murdered by a group of her fellow students after they discovered she is a girl pretending to be male to attend their school. The nature of drow society causes there to be extreme friction between females, who want to control all of drow society as the stronger gender, and the men, who desperately cling to whatever hold they can keep. She spends the rest of her time at the school suffering abuse at their hands when they fail and don't have a chance to kill her again.
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl has the gang from Confrontation, who are very likely to reappear as major antagonists sometime in the future.
  • In Sinfest, Li'l E was attacked by one when small.
  • In UC, Nicodemus is beaten up by a gang of three bullies, after one falsely accuses Nicodemus of flirting with his girlfriend.
  • Nishkose and Kezaua from Anecdote of Error spend most of their time as Shimei’s subordinates, bullying Atshi.

    Web Original 
  • The Weather: A trio of storm-clouds come to harass the shy, socially anxious mountain and the mountain's caller, also a cloud. They laugh at him and claim they're at the "loser convention", call him "the king of losers", and generally act like jerks. The caller-cloud joins in, too.
  • Since Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe is a high school, there are bullies. While some are solitary, Gold Stallion and his gang fit this trope precisely, as do the three jerkass bullies who call themselves TNT.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: A gang of unruly detention students from Elmore Junior High School are sometimes featured which is led by of a bomb guy (named Julius) and the rest consists of a rotten cupcake, a rat (named Scythe), a big pink bear (named Mowdown), and a hand named Reaper.
  • Carmen Got Expelled! starts with Carmen getting expelled because she stood up against (and beat up) bullies asking for lunch money.
  • Roger of Doug is rarely seen without a couple of his lackeys in tow.
  • The Kanker SistersLee, Marie, and May – in Ed, Edd n Eddy. They're the Distaff and Evil Counterparts to the Eds.
  • Portia, Gwen and Penny from The Mighty B!. They also count as a sadist version of this.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The episode "Dragon Quest" has a group of teenage dragons who bully and haze Spike in a rather disturbingly realistic manner. The alpha bully seems to be a red dragon who is the most physically strong of them.
    • Rainbow Dash has to deal with a trio of male pegasi who gave her a hard time in the past at flight school during the events of "Sonic Rainboom".
  • Dee Dee, Marky and Joey from Oggy and the Cockroaches.
  • Mooch in 101 Dalmatians: The Series is usually seen with his gang: Wizzer, who despite having the least speaking roles, seems to be Mooch's right hand, Dipstick, the dim pup, and Two-Tone, who once was Mooch's girlfriend, but left the gang later due to her relationship with Lucky.
  • The Bronto Bunch from The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • The Rowdyruff Boys are essentially this. They're the Spear and Evil Counterparts to the Powerpuff Girls.
    • The Gangreen Gang are a gang of troublemaking teenage boys.
  • The Gross Sisters – Nubia, Olei, and Gina – in The Proud Family.
  • Recess:
    • Lawson was often seen with a gang of fellow fifth-graders: Cheay, Jocko, Buster, Chucko Kowalski, and Koreo.
    • Before Lawson was introduced, the same gang was led by Chucko Kowalski, but his role ended up being replaced by Lawson. Though he still appears with the gang, he no longer leads and also rarely speaks anymore.
    • Conrad Mundy, Greg Skeens, Sue Bob Murphy, Kurst the Worst, and Lazy Kid also count, though they only rarely take an aggressive role towards the main characters.
  • Rocket Power has Twister's brother Lars with his three lackeys Pi, Sputz, and Animal, the latter of the three was introduced in the second season.
  • In The Simpsons: Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney are always seen together and often pick on Bart. Nelson ("Haw haw!"), the series' most recognizable bully, is the gang leader who hangs out with them sometimes. He's more sympathetic than the others, having been granted many Pet the Dog moments over the years.
    • Jimbo takes over as the leader in Nelson's absence, which is quite often. Nelson himself was introduced in the first season with a pair of color-swapped but otherwise identical lackeys, who were phased out eventually.
  • The Chopper Bunch from Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch.
  • The Troublesome Trucks from Thomas the Tank Engine regularly torment the engines and enjoy making things difficult for them.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): An Obnoxious Of Bullies


The Hatzgang

The Hatzgang are a trio of teenagers that pick on Skid and Pump, Roy being the leader while Ross and Robert just follow along.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / GangOfBullies

Media sources:

Main / GangOfBullies