Follow TV Tropes


Grumpy Bear

Go To

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."

The exact opposite of the Wide-Eyed Idealist. A Grumpy Bear is grim and gritty, ready to do the most unspeakable deeds to win. Yet he's living in a world of rainbows and fluffy bunnies! This character is a Wrong Genre Savvy cynic living in an ideal Happily Ever After setting; the Grumpy Bear lives in a rose-colored world, is constantly frowning and is wearing Jade-Colored Glasses. Those who are known for being grumpy are usually known for being either The Stoic or the Ice Queen at times.

Can be treated as a Butt-Monkey — and the audience is primed to laugh rather than worry about their misfortunes. Often an Ineffectual Loner to boot. Unlike his polar opposite (who will inevitably die or get its ideals smashed and be rendered a hollow shell of its former self), the Grumpy Bear will at least get through a cynical story in one piece. In (most) idealistic stories, he will either learn An Aesop about The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love and live — well, Happily Ever After, or at least be left alone, its grumpiness being mainly used for comedy. He is known for being Good Is Not Nice.


A Grumpy Bear who works with the other characters despite his skepticism is a Sour Supporter. This trope is a specific type of Anti-Hero and Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. Particularly extreme types have a tendency to be blinded by his cynicism in works in the middle of the scale, and to be downright wrong in idealistic ones.

Compare The Eeyore, who's pessimistic and depressed rather than grumpy.


Example Subpages:

Other Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Wobbly-Headed Bob, a character created by Jhonen Vasquez fits into this trope in a fairly extreme way. The character himself is something of an Insufferable Genius and/or Nietzsche Wannabe who lives in a world where dumb but cutesy creatures live in blissful ignorance. Bob himself condemns others for their ignorant nature and tries to expose others to the supposed horrors of reality, upon which they are usually Driven to Suicide. He does get called out for this, with a pig once telling him that it's ridiculous to tell happy people they're supposed to be miserable. The pig is eventually talked into killing himself.
  • Scott Pilgrim: Kim Pine in is this early on in the storyline; she later becomes far more agreeable.
    Hollie: Have you always been this way?
    Kim: What way?
    Hollie: Like, a totally hateful bitch.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Night Blade is pretty grouchy a lot of the time, and given his history, who can blame him? About the only time he's happy is when Page Turner is around him.

    Web Animation 
  • Charlie the Unicorn (here: Charlie seems to be the only character in his magical world who isn't relentlessly cheery. As for getting through the story in one piece...

    Web Original