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Grumpy Bear

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"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 at least has a chance of getting 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, his grumpiness being mainly used for comedy. He is known for being Good Is Not Nice and The Killjoy.


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 or Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. Particularly extreme types have a tendency to be blinded by their 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.

No relation to the various tropes dealing with actual bears, mothers as protective as bears, or gay men compared to bears, although it certainly is possible for one of those to double as this trope.


Example Subpages:

Other Examples

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    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.
  • The Pokémon Squad:
    • June is a good example, constantly acting grouchy and rude when she isn't about to tear someone's head off.
    • RM, the protagonist, especially as the series went on. He usually acts pretty dismissive, and one episode indicates he sees stormy weather as the perfect day.
    • Barney Frank, the Aloof Big Brother of Barney. However, it's for good reason: Barney Frank landed a job on Barney and the Backyard Gang, but suffered an injury and Barney ended up replacing him. Barney was highly successful as an entertainer, which lead to Barney Frank (who became president) trying to imitate him while visiting Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden kicked him out and he also got impeached, which made him hate Barney.
  • Bon Bon in TheInvertedShadow's Lyrish series is depicted as this. Throughout the series, the times when she's smiling compared to her roommates are few and far between, and she has a frown, scowl, or glare on her face almost constantly. This is part and parcel of not just dealing with the optimism of said roommates, but the murderous animatronics and corrupted Equestrians that cross their path.
  • Bossa Nova, the proprietor of The Big and Taur Shop in Manehattan's Lone Guardian. As good as she is at her job, she only runs the shop as a means of supporting herself. The minotaur is much more proud of her immense strength than she is of her ability to give customers what they want, and because she isn't able to use it as much as she would like, her dealings with others are dour and to the point with little to no enthusiasm.

  • Of the main characters in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Simon is easily one of the most dour. He refuses to get involved with the antics of others, makes snide remarks about them in his head, and would rather be left alone than take up any offer of companionship or adventure.

    Web Animation 
  • The Annoying Orange: Pear has become one in later seasons due to Flanderization, in which he is constantly irritated by the antics of both Orange and the other foods in the kitchen.
  • 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...
  • Kiazuki from Hanazuki: Full of Treasures. In a world of trees with faces and colorful emotion-based beings, she is cynical, harsh and often annoyed by the far cheerier Hanazuki. However, her cynicism is somewhat justified, as her home moon was completely destroyed by the Big Bad, and a lot of her rough exterior comes from jealousy towards Hanazuki for being able to defend against it, and the inner sadness of being unable to protect her moon. In Season 2, post-Heel–Face Turn, she’s somewhat friendlier towards Hanazuki, but still on-edge, grumpy and paranoid at times.

    Web Original 


Video Example(s):


Mr. Grumpy

Mr. Grumpy is far less happy than anyone else in Misterland.

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