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Iron Butt-Monkey

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Not flames nor falls nor phinicky fysics shall stay Wile E. Coyote from his chosen hunt.

"Since I started working at ISIS, I've been shot, stabbed, set on fire, poisoned, shot, sexually assaulted, partially chewed, shot, and declared legally dead. Twice on the same day!"
Sterling Archer, Archer

So, you've got a funny character in a Slapstick, just lining up a wave of truly incredibly bad and unlucky physical traumas for the character to wade through for your audience's twisted amusement. Just one problem. The things your character is about to go through would kill any normal being. Enter the Iron Butt-Monkey, who can render lethal trauma into mere Amusing Injuries... at least when it's funny.

A type of Acceptable Breaks from Reality, the Iron Butt Monkey is, simply put, practically immune to harm... purely for the purpose of having hilarious injuries happen to him. Drop an anvil on him? He simply gets a nasty looking lump or is Squashed Flat only to reform once the weight is removed. Throw him off a cliff and watch him bounce down in a brutal manner? He'll be fine by the next scene. Incinerate him? He'll reform from the ashes or even simply be back next episode. One wonders how many lives this guy could save in the military.

Primarily an animation trope, Western Animation is particularly fond of this one. Bonus points if the Iron Butt Monkey is merely annoyed or embarrassed by his injuries when he should be screaming in pain.

Related to Butt-Monkey, Made of Iron, Slapstick. When this is used on characters who in-canon have explicit super-healing, see Good Thing You Can Heal and Immortality Hurts. Unrelated to the Iron Woobie, although they can overlap at times.

Examples Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Yakumo Fujii from 3×3 Eyes. It's really A Good Thing He Can Heal.
  • Eita Touga from 12 Beast cannot catch a break whenever he's not fighting Gigas.
  • In Angel Beats!, due to the fact that everyone is already dead and in the afterlife, everyone will fully recover from any injuries, no matter how fatal or violent. This leads to several scenes where characters are killed for humor.
  • Dallas (immortal) of Baccano! when his deaths are being Played for Laughs.
  • Keigo Asano from Bleach is beaten and walked all over in pretty much every one of his appearances, but he never seems to get tired of it, keeps trying to get the girls that smack him around, and at one point actually blocked a kick from Rangiku, Shinigami who tend to be at least slightly stronger than normal humans.
  • Played with in Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan. Most of Dokuro's antics actually kill Sakura, but she always resurrects him good as new on the spot, so there's never actually any lasting harm done. Except to the wallpaper.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo has Jelly Jiggler/Tokoro Tennosuke, who has a jelly body which Bo-bobo uses for attacks and physical abuse. Also Don Patch.
  • In Chibi☆Devi!, the principal of the daycare center is constantly set on fire, electrocuted, and frozen, but he always recovers after a bit of bed rest.
  • Youhei Sunohara in CLANNAD. Not only did he survive being a punching bag or beaten up with a baseball bat, but once he was dropped from a garbage chute SEVERAL FLOORS DOWN and walked away. Tomoyo was briefly worried if he'd be okay, but Tomoya assured her he was impossible to kill. Probably.
    • Pretty much every time Sunohara shows up, you can be guaranteed that someone is going to deliver him a Megaton Punch or kick him across the room by the end of the scene. Not only that, but he pretty much just gets up like nothing happened and walks away, when any other cast member would likely need a stretcher to leave.
    • Lampshaded by Tomoyo at one point in the Visual Novel.
    Tomoyo: You exist solely for gags.
  • Mamoru Onodera of Deadline Summoner frequently suffers for the sake of his girls. While he does end up in the hospital, most of his injuries should have killed him outright. It doesn't help that his most powerful ability is a Desperation Attack.
  • Mr. Satan from Dragon Ball gets smacked by Perfect Cell and goes flying into a mountain, survives getting smacked around by Kid Buu, is hilariously drowned in a bathtub by Fat Buu, obliterated in a public fight against Kid Trunks, dropped by Dende from 100-something feet and crushes his crotch against a rock, and more. Although he is hopelessly outpowered by the main cast, it is agreed that he is very skilled for a human that cannot use ki.
  • Excel in Excel♡Saga, but also Hyatt and Elgala in the manga, as well as Ropponmatsu and Iwata on the opposite side. Of these Ropponmatsu and Iwata are justified by their artificial bodies, and Hyatt by her explicit Healing Factor, but Excel and Elgala just seem to be that tough; once both got stuck in a massive explosion in the top floor of a building that collapsed on them, and they got out "just" practically covered in bandages.
    • There was also an incident where Hyatt received severe burns in a fire, but was shown peeling off her bandages to reveal her usual unburnt self the following day. Much to Elgala's shock.
    • Matsuya has started to notice though that the technology the Department of City Security uses (which may come from a lost civlization) simply does not work on Excel.
  • Yokoshima from Ghost Sweeper Mikami. He always gets injured, and has spent some time in a hospital from some of his nastier injuries, and has even died on a few occasions, but always gets right back up at the mention of booty. He has also survived getting struck by lightning and falling from orbit with just Easy Amnesia as a side effect in the last one.
  • Girls Bravo
    • Yukinari is actually somewhat of a subversion as he has been shown to still have cuts and bruises hours after Kirie or another girl beats him.
    • Fukuyama, on the other hand, just bounces back from similar abuse but he is Too Kinky to Torture and just brushes it off.
  • Hayate is the focus of physical and emotional torment that would kill a lesser man a thousand times over. He has been compared to a Gundam in show for his ability to survive things such as getting run over or attacked by a tiger repeatedly.
  • Tomoki from Heaven's Lost Property. Not only does he get hit by megaton karate chops (one time being held up against an electrical fence), but also beam weapons to the crotch, being launched through roofs, crushed by several face-palms of doom, squashed by giant fly-swatters, dragged into the open air at Mach 17, and his most notable achievement, getting hit point-blank with a beam cannon that's able to annihilate planets and having his heart pierced. There is nothing that can kill this guy.
  • Keitaro Urashima of Love Hina is a paragon of this trope, largely to make his parade of unlucky injuries stay amusing. Eventually lampshaded when Su claims he is "practically immortal" and when everyone is surprised that his leg has been broken by having part of a building fall on him and it stays that way for a few chapters. Oddly, being in a cast in no way stops him from fighting Motoko's sister who sends him flying, crashing head first into streets, or getting possessed. The original injury was a bit of Tempting Fate where Mutsumi says he has used up all his luck (which is usually low) just to pass the Tokyo U entrance exam. Then Hilarity Ensues.
  • Yako of Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro takes constant physical abuse from Neuro, but is almost never actually hurt by it.
  • Kumagawa Misogi of Medaka Box is defined by his being perpetually defeated, and of course this entails him getting as greviously injured as possible whenever appropriate. But no matter how badly he's beaten up, he either maintains his unshaken false smile or expresses pain in his similarly insincere fashion. One would think he can do this so well because of his ability "All Fiction", with which he can make all such injuries like they "never happened"... but they'd be gravely mistaken. As the Successor Candidates found out after soundly wrecking him once, he was like that since long before he ever got "All Fiction", as he demonstrates by reconfronting the five of them after having been stabbed, electrocuted, burned with acid, sniped, sent falling down stairs, and tortured in an unseen manner all in one go. His continued attitude is remarking that he's used to stuff like that.
  • Mitsuba from Mitsudomoe, once she lampshades it in the first couple episodes.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Patrick Colasour is a decent but not ace-level pilot who gets shot down in just about every battle he's in, yet is somehow always unharmed afterward. This is acknowledged in the show, with him being labelled "The Immortal Colasour" as a disparaging nickname. Even when he appears to pull a Heroic Sacrifice in the final battle, he's right back there in the epilogue.
  • Kimihito Kurusu of Monster Musume is a regular guy, stuck in the same house as a very strong Lamia, a Centaur, a dippy Harpy, an enthusiastic Slime, an... eccentric... Mermaid, and a jaded Arachne. He takes a hell of a lot of abuse, but he's always up a few pages later. Noteably, Kimihito is confirmed to actually die on a regular basis. He just keeps coming back through sheer willpower. Also, people actually notice and comment on the injuries he takes — at one point he went to a hospital and the doctors were outright alarmed that the injuries that sent him there had spontaneously disappeared when by all rights he should have needed weeks to heal from them.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid treats both Saru and Nagasumi like this. In Nagasumi's case, it's actually a minor plot point; he has to continually avoid/survive his mermaid bride's mafia family's various attacks against him whenever they just feel like offing him, from certain family members that already hate him and are also very easily provoked (most notably the bride's father/mafia boss), if it's not just an assassin hired by the aforementioned mafia boss who is just trying to outright kill him. Despite how serious this might sound, it's really just meant as a means for hilarity to ensure. In praticular, he's subjected so often to the Mermaid Voice over the course of the series, that he eventually builds up an immunity to it.
  • The titular character of Naruto, thanks to his Healing Factor, gets this treatment every now and then. A single punch from Sakura or Tsunade would kill most men, but Naruto just gets some lumps and bruises.
  • In One Piece, we have Usopp, who, despite being practically useless, survived a Gastanet attack from Caesar Clown, an attack that destroyed a good bit of AN ISLAND, and nearly killed the rest of the crew and the marines at Punk Hazard. Note that he not only has the second lowest (No, not counting Chopper because that's an error made by the marines) bounty, he is also shown to have the least fighting power of them all. That said, Gastanets are similar to to Nuclear bombs in power, but not in range.
    • In the 10th movie, he is also the only of the crew to remain conscious after being encased in a pillar of solid rock.
  • Chuck from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt dies in some grotesque manner at least Once per Episode.
  • Tatewaki Kuno from Ranma ½. If it's painfully hilarious it will happen to him, usually without leaving a dent in his stoic expression.
  • Tsubasa Jumonji of RIN-NE. To list a few of the things that have happened to him: fallen out a two-story window, got his head chewed on by a lion at the zoo, has gotten run over by a team of sumo wrestlers, had bowling balls fall on his head, and has fallen into multiple kinds of holes. Those are only some of the things he's suffered, in two chapters alone — and he came out fine. (Albeit, he did have multiple casts on, but only for a week. At the end, he had a single bandage around his head.)
  • Takara from Rising × Rydeen constantly gets electrocuted by Mikan for doing something perverted, usually by accident. Mikan's lightning blasts leave most people unconscious and smoldering but thanks to Takara's powers, one of which makes his body highly insulative, he gets by with a few bruises.
  • Mitsurugi Hanagata in Saber Marionette J tends towards this. Particularly notable in a few scenes where he only takes Clothing Damage from attacks explicitly stated to be fearsomely deadly to Otaru and even the Marionettes.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has Nozomu Itoshiki. Although most of the injuries are self-inflicted, he has survived: drowning in wine, getting run over by a trolley, many many hanging attempts (including one in which he was yanked so hard the rope broke), his name written in the Death Note, surgery to get turned into a monster, and attempted murder by his students in a dream because they didn't want it to end. Nozomu has even been murdered a couple of times by Chiri and/or most of the class, and he turns up fine at the end of the episode/next segment.
  • This was forever happening to Zelgadis on Slayers. He's been used as an anchor and shot in the face with a cannonball and come out of it fine every time due to his part-golem nature.
    • He does bleed and gets injuries, from time to time. What does it mean? The story's gonna take a turn for the worse.
  • Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo!. More justified in the OVA continuity, where she's capable of regenerating from just about anything. Interestingly, she tends more to be the one inflicting the pain in said continuity.
  • From To Love Ru, the extremely perverted, morbidly obese principal of Sainan High School. Is the only explanation he's still alive after all the beating Yami delivers to him on a regular basis.
  • Ataru from Urusei Yatsura. He is basically the very incarnation of this trope. It's even lampshaded in one book, where he gets a broken arm, and everyone can't believe it.
  • Souta Takanashi of Wagnaria!!, who regularly takes punches from a co-worker who can put holes in walls and damage utility poles with little more damage than a bloody nose and bruises that last no more than a few hours. Actively analyzed multiple times — two fellow co-workers want to keep him around (to keep the aforementioned co-worker from attacking them instead), plus it's shown how Souta got to be so resilient (regular training from one of his older sisters, a professional self-defense instructor).

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool:
    • Deadpool himself often enters this territory due to effectively being immortal, meaning that at various points he's been shot through the head with an arrow, eaten alive by parasites, dropped out of a plane with no parachute, etc., all with no lasting effects. Handwaved in that all of this, healing factor aside, is due to a curse from Thanos to keep him away from Death — with whom both men fell in love.
    • Deadpool's evil(er) counterpart Madcap has also been on the receiving end of horrific injuries ever since he first appeared. There's a twist, though: he's an Ax-Crazy loon who doesn't feel pain and is not above provoking some of the aforementioned injuries.
  • Mr. Immortal of the Great Lakes Avengers is regularly killed in gruesome ways, much to Deadpool's chagrin, but his powers ensure that he'll resurrect shortly thereafter.
  • Filemón from Mortadelo y Filemón is the god of this trope, he constantly receives horrible beatings, explosions and even gets burned and frozen several times, only for him to recover one panel later. The rest of the cast qualifies, but Filemón overshadows everyone.
  • Nodwick:
    • The titular character is been beaten, decapitated (Ten times on the same page in one issue), burned, frozen, digested, crushed, skewered, turned into a goldfish, disintegrated... If it's painful and/or lethal, it's probably happened to him, and every time he's always duct-taped back together by the team's cleric, Piffany. Plus, it's explicitly stated that (to the irritation of his guardian angel, who has no idea what to do with him) he's actually not allowed to stay dead, due to the rules of the Henchmen's Union (and the fact that his absence would completely screw up the universe).
    • Henchmen in general in Nodwick. They get tied to catapult payloads as messengers to make sure the message arrived, and get to drag the giant stone back with them afterward. Their health plan comes in monthly flavors including "hemlock." Or the Hench Games, which... let's put it this way, people with heart conditions are advised to avoid the javelin toss because the henchmen compete to see how many they can catch. Nodwick just gets it the worst, which is really saying something.
  • Exploited in Sonic the Comic. The Sky pirates black cat Simpson is an iron buttmonkey, so when they need to get past some booby trapped stairs, Captain Plunder just kicks Simpson straight down the stairs to set them all off.

    Eastern Animation 
  • Wolffy from Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. He's been blasted into the sky, bitten by piranhas, hit with frying pans, blown up, beaten up, sliced, stabbed, and stomped on (to name a few things he goes through).
  • Agent 00X from Adventures of Captain Vrungel spends the series in hot pursuit of two mobsters named Banditto and Gangsteritto, and it doesn't go well for him as the criminals beat him up, try drowning him, crush him under heavy objects, electrocute him, set him on fire, and more to get him off their backs. However, 00X always manages to either survive the attacks or is able to get out of situations with his cunning, and the whole time the smile on his face almost never goes away.
  • Bobby from Adventurer Carly has had plenty of blunt force trauma and other injuries come his way, but also has a peculiar knack for injuries to his butt.

  • Batman Returns: Catwoman. She's pushed out a window to the street below, burned on the arm by a vial of acid and sent plummeting down into a truck full of sand, nearly strangled by one of the Penguin's umbrellas and sent crashing through the roof of a glass greenhouse (which rips her costume to shreds), and finally shot four consecutive times in the stomach. But all this just makes her angrier and crazier than before.
  • The Blues Brothers survive a whole mess of stuff at the hands of Carrie Fisher's character that Jake abandoned at the altar. Drive by with a rocket launcher, demolishing the entrance of the building they were standing in front of? They just stroll through the rubble, and go inside. Apartment building blown up? Stand up, brush themselves off, and go to work. Propane tank explodes, launching their phone booth into the air? Hey, there's at least seven dollars in change in the wreckage of the payphone!
    • The cops are probably this to a certain extent as well — they chase the Brothers through a mall, end up either submerged in a pile of cereal boxes or with their car upturned; the apartment building explodes, and they stand up, brush themselves off, continue as normal; finally catch up with the brothers, only to end up crashing into a speeding winnebago. In the final chase, they get into a pile up (and in one case, end up landing in the side of a truck). All completely unharmed (and in Mercer's case, highly amused).
    • The movie even (subtly) offers an explanation for all this: the brothers are on a Mission from God, and so He's keeping anyone from getting hurt while they're doing it.
  • Evil Dead: Badass he may be, but Ash is still this quite often.
  • The titular character from the Italian film series Fantozzi is Born Unlucky and thus the target of every kind of humiliation, abuse and disasters, akin to a live-action cartoon. He literally can't even die, since he has been kicked out of Heaven, reincarnated against his will, and cloned in a near future.
  • Out of the plethora of horror villains, Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th series gets the most abused. which says something.
  • Professor Fate in The Great Race, who survives being crushed by a falling hot air balloon, run over by a train, blasted into the ground by a rocket, blown up by a primitive grenade launcher (twice), and falling down a manhole. And that was just in the first half-hour.
  • The villains from Home Alone should have died several times over from Kevin's traps. A movie for kids manages to go further than a Sam Peckinpah film when it comes to makeshift household protection.
    • The second movie features even deadlier traps, including several bricks to the face thrown from the roof of a building and an explosion that destroys an entire floor of the house yet somehow leaves the bad guys largely unscathed.
  • Hot Rod has stuntman Rod Kimble. Though he may shrug off injuries and accidents that would otherwise kill or permanently cripple people and still be determined to save his step dad...very little actually goes right for him throughout the whole movie. You could probably count on one hand the number of times something does go right for him without a hitch on one hand.
  • James Bond
    • Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker goes through many things that would normally kill a person: he survived falling from a cliff while trapped inside a car, attacked by a shark (which he got out of by biting the shark), stabbed and thrown from a building, etc. Each time he experiences one of these he just gets up and dusts himself off.
    • Count the number of times Alec Trevelyan from GoldenEye lives through something that should kill him. Before the opening credits, he's already been supposedly shot in the head (which was likely staged) and caught in an explosion. The last one at least left him scarred on half his face. He later survives a great fall (albeit badly-likely mortally-injured), and only dies because a satellite system drops on him.
  • Iron Bar's name fits him, because he gets whacked a lot in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
  • Jeebs, from Men in Black. But only if you shoot him in the face. There are other parts of him that don't grow back.
    • By the sequel, his face is misshapen from multiple shots. When Jay shoots him to keep him from talking about Kay, he complains that nothing's going to taste right since it was "right in the piehole".
  • The Brothers in MouseHunt take similar abuse to the wet bandits in Home Alone, and likewise are never seriously harmed and recover very quickly.
  • O.J. Simpson's character in the The Naked Gun movies gets injured regularly and severely, especially when compared to the other cops.
  • Pain & Gain: Kershaw is essentially immortal.
  • Rogue One: Orson Callan Krennic. He gets shot in the shoulder in his very first scene. After the Time Skip, he has apparently completely recovered from this, but then gets bombed and knocked unconscious (in the novelisation the bombing also leads to him coughing up black stuff from smoke inhalation, and in the same scene of the book he punches the screen of his datapad in anger, cutting his hand as a result) In the rest of the film, he gets Force-Choked and shot in the other shoulder, along with a lot of humiliation by Tarkin and Darth Vader. He is eventually killed by a direct hit from the Death Star, which would have completely vaporised him.
    • And all this (except the first scene) takes place over the course of a few days. Any normal person would be dead, unconscious, or at the very least curled up on the floor begging for mercy. Yet Krennic somehow manages to remain smug.
  • The Three Stooges have suffered plenty of injuries that would maim or even kill a normal human being, like having bricks fall on their heads, being shot several times in the buttocks, falling from great heights, having a stick of dynamite go off in their pants, and that's only scratching the surface.
    • Although if you've got to be shot, the buttocks are pretty much the healthiest place to do it. No organs, very few major blood vessels, lots of force-absorbing muscle.
      • Except if you get hit with shrapnel in one of the iliac arteries and bleed out within minutes. It may be the healthiest spot, but still not healthy enough.
    • Curly seemed the most resilient — a common gag was to have Moe pound him over the head with a hammer or run a saw over his scalp, and the tool would be irreparably damaged.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit lampshades this. Roger Rabbit is the Iron Buttmonkey both as character and actor in the Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman cartoons. After repeatedly "blowing his lines," Roger begs the director to drop the refrigerator on him one more time, saying he can take it. The director says he's more concerned about the refrigerator.
    • It's actually a plot point that Toons are indestructible/unkillable... almost.
    • When Eddie visits Toon Town, he becomes the Iron Buttmonkey, surviving abuse pretty much like a Toon.
  • The Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail may be one of the most notorious (and incorrigible) examples in all of film history. Even when all four of his limbs are missing and he's a hapless torso in the dirt, he still wants to go another round.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Felix can fix anything, including injuries from a flurry of punches to his face.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The title character from Captain Scarlet is blessed (or cursed) with a Wolverine-type Healing Factor, and has been "killed" and resurrected more times that Kenny from South Park. He has become something of a cultural icon; Simon Cowell once told a particularly dire stand-up comedian auditioning for The X Factor, "You just died more times than Captain Scarlet".
  • In Season 2 of Chuck, a Fulcrum agent named Vincent Smith suffers extremely Amusing Injuries such as getting blown up, shot, poisoned, shot again, run over by Chuck, knocked out by Sarah and finally blown up again for good during an Air Strike.
  • Sid on CSI: NY went into anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction to something he ate, got radiation poisoning from a victim he was performing an autopsy on, has to autopsy an ex-colleague's wife and in the same episode, finds out that said ex-colleague stole organs from victims who were junkies when working at the ME's office and used them to make drugs, got almost blinded by an exploding bullet when trying to remove it from a victim's head, and in the final season not too long after becoming a millionaire, gets diagnosed with cancer. And he still carries on working at the ME's office.
  • In Father Ted, every time Ted calls Father Larry Duff's mobile phone, the distraction always causes Larry to suffer a horrible misfortune, often taking the form of an accident that would kill a normal person. He always turns up alive somehow, ready for the next misfortune.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has Charlie, especially when Mac and Dennis attempt to train him to box by breaking things (chairs, bottles) over his head.
  • Nathan from Misfits is a pretty literal example of this, considering he's immortal. Plus, in more mundane terms, he's virtually impossible to insult or embarrass.
  • Adam Young of Mr. Young has been struck by lightning, fought an alligator, had multiple weights dropped on him, fallen out of a building, and many other things, and never even breaks a bone.
  • The Muppets: Beaker recently died. Still doesn't get any respect.
    • Gonzo's career as stuntman thrives off the fact that constantly failing his stunts never seems to seriously hurt him. In fact, sometimes he enjoys it.
  • Mythbusters:
    • Given the accidents Tory Belleci has suffered over the course of the series (especially that bike accident), it's a wonder he's so rarely had to be treated for serious injury.
    • Every Mythbuster has taken a knock or two. Considering the extreme danger they create, it's a credit to their safety protocols that it wasn't more. But one member of the team stands out as a shining paragon of this trope: Buster. He's been exploded, dropped from great heights, and struck with great force countless times. In fact, there's very little that Wile E. Coyote has been subjected to that Buster hasn't, and Buster went through it for real in a live-action show without the benefit of special effects. You just have to overlook the fact that he's a crash test dummy; the rest of the cast do.
  • Bill on The Red Green Show is Canada's standout example. Red himself is a lesser example, considering how often Bill injures him by accident during the Adventure segments.
  • Poor, poor Super Dave Osborne. Whether it's jumping off the CN Tower without a parachute, being crushed by a giant tanker truck, being pulverized by a massive piledriver, getting hit in the crotch with a golf club or a baseball, falling out a window to fall two stories and crash-land on the pavement, being eaten by Mr. T, or having a piano dropped on him, Super Dave was made of this trope.
  • Richard Hammond on Top Gear, especially in the earlier series, always seems to get the physically unpleasant challenges (sitting in a car filling with water, running to the North Pole with a dogsled, etc.) When he actually did bounce back from a No One Could Survive That! accident, his co-presenters were courteously solemn about it for at least half a series — but now it's open joke fodder.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Colin Delaney, who repeatedly got squashed by wrestlers a great deal bigger than he was, only to be back to wrestle the next week with increasingly more bandages covering his body.
  • Perhaps the most notorious example is former United States Women's Champion Mae Young, especially at the start of her WWE career in the late 1990s. Already well into her seventies by that point, Mae's initial gimmick was that she was an Iron Buttmonkey senior citizen who constantly took "bumps" on behalf of her best friend, The Fabulous Moolah. (She once even was smashed through a conference table by The Dudley Boys!) As if that weren't demeaning enough, Mae was also made into an Abhorrent Admirer stereotype who (among other exploits) almost gave birth to Mark Henry's baby, French-kissed Vince McMahon, and was revealed as the object of Jerry Springer's (reluctant) lust on an unforgettable episode of Monday Night Raw. The sad thing, really, is that Mae was actually an accomplished wrestler back in the day (starting her career during World War II when many male wrestlers went off to Europe or Japan, besides, the WWE Mae Young Classic wasn't named after her for nothing), but that younger viewers watching WWE programming are likely to think she's just some repellent old lady that's kept around backstage purely for comedy purposes.
  • Oh gosh, ECW's Francine absolutely belongs here. After her heel turn at ECW HeatWave 96, she took so much verbal abuse from the crowds and drew so much mockery from announcer Joey Styles. Then there was all the physical abuse she took as well.
  • Los Ben Dejos, two small brightly clothed guys who became mainstays of Vintage Wrestling, Premier Wrestling Xperience, FIP and NWA FUW and Ring Warriors, best known for being thrown off high places and being beaten up bigger/more vindictive wrestlers for little reason. After three years of constant abuse they actually started winning a lot but never really stopped being go to targets.
  • Lince Dorado, who was beaten so much he ended up blind in one eye, but he just won't give up. Appropriately, after being kicked out of Chikara FIP paired him up with Los Ben Dejos as The Full Impact Puerto Ricans Power Trio.


    Religion and Mythology 

    Tabletop Games 
  • A Henchman class for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition was published in the aforementioned Nodwick comic, based on playing one of these. They had no useful offensive options, so all class abilities were based on improving their carrying capacity, or more importantly make them take hits for others and even take advantage of death (such as spying around as a ghost until resurrected, plus being easier to resurrect). They got a d12 for hit points (matched only by the Barbarian class) to put the "Iron" in the Buttmonkey.

    Video Games 
  • Phoenix in the Ace Attorney series has been whipped into unconsciousness, been hit in the face by scalding hot coffee mugs, and had birds peck at his face, and yet none of this ever leaves so much as a mark on him. At one point, he's even hit by a car and gets out of it with nothing more serious than a sprained ankle. He also once ran across a burning bridge, and fell off halfway across because the bridge fell apart, into a raging river noted that anything that falls in there goes missing forever in the middle of an enormous storm. He caught a cold.
  • Fritz from Brain Dead 13. During his big hunt (which lasts literally the entire game) he's often hurt and damaged in several ways, including being stomped, locked in an iron maiden, having bits of a Frankenstein monster fall on him, getting shot in the face by his own cannon and so on. And let's not mention the stairs.... Yet no matter how big a beating he gets, he's right behind you at almost all times.
  • Crash Twinsanity has this as a play-style. Dr. Neo Cortex takes a lot of punishment in this game, and in some levels Crash is outright using him as a blunt weapon or as a Body Sled. Since Cortex is Crash's arch-nemesis and spent several past games (Including the beginning of this one) trying to kill Crash, you already know he deserves it.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, the Orcs have long suffered as a Butt-Monkey race. Their bestial appearance and "barbaric" culture (as it is perceived by the other races of Tamriel) make them frequent victims of Fantastic Racism. Several times the Orcs have tried to unite and create their own city-state known as Orsinium, but each time, their neighboring nations (the Bretons of High Rock and Redguards of Hammerfell) have forced them to abandon it. By the 4th Era, the Orcs were forced at swordpoint by the Bretons to officially renounce the kingdom of Orsinium and assimilate into High Rock as slaves in all but name. Only a few Orc tribes still live independently in destitute, scattered "strongholds", scorned by all. Notably, their patron deity, the Daedric Prince Malacath, teaches them to take these trials in stride, as he preaches "strength through adversity."
  • Fate/Grand Order: The Protagonist (You) end up becoming this. Due to being the Master of Mash Kyrielight makes them significantly hardier to physical and mystical injury than most mages. Buuutt... this mindset encourages their other Servants to drag them into all sorts of dangerous scenarios or shenanigans without paying any sort of attention to their safety (emphasis on all). So as long as they remember to shanghai Mash, they can cut loose without fear. ...or pain.
  • Hildibrand Manderville from Final Fantasy XIV gets subjected to a lot of physical abuse over the course of his quests, such as getting blown up by his assistant's homemade bombs (twice, even!), suplexed into the ground with enough force to create a shockwave, or hurled through a stone roof. The only harm he suffers from any of this is Clothing Damage.
  • Elliot from Jagged Alliance 2 certainly qualifies. Over the course of the game, he sustains cumulative wounds from Deidrenna's abuse, culminating in getting shot in the head by her when the player enters the last city- this is, as always, played for laughs when Elliot gets back up and apologizes for not being able to even die properly.
  • Daxter, of Jak and Daxter, has this status sometimes. The example that comes to mind is the cutscene where Daxter narrowly avoids getting blown up after Riding the Bomb. He gets up and walks away unscathed... only to be flattened underneath a piece of debris.
  • The Black Baron in Madworld always demonstrates the various level's death getting thrown into them by his assistant. It's either this tropes, or he has a loooot of stunt doubles.
  • Ratbag the Coward from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is characterized by his lack of friends, stupidity, and sheer ineptitude. His last scene in the game involves him getting Blown Across the Room, courtesy of a blow from Sauron's own mace (albeit not wielded by Sauron himself, but one of his underlings). In the sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, it's revealed that not only did Ratbag survive, but the mace did nothing more than knock him senseless for a while (he had a headache upon waking up, but that's hardly complaint-worthy). In the meantime, he's taken up the job of Overlord for the first fortress that Talion and co. encounter.
  • Vice Admiral Arthur Norbank in Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has a really hard time dying, despite his numerous failures as a commander and despite the players' sincerest wishes. His ships have been blown up so many times (due to his own incompetence), it's always an unpleasant surprise whenever he shows up safe and sound. In a later mission, the player has a chance to leave Norbank to die.
  • Red Dead Redemption has the stranger in the black hat viewing the scenery between the ranch and Armadillo. Normally you are prompted to talk him, but instead of doing so, you can push him off the cliff. Since this counts as a failure in completing a Stranger mission, you can come back to the same spot and push him over every single time; on rare occasions will he survive the fall and run all the way up the trail to where you are, seeking revenge.
  • Tails in the 2D Sonic The Hedgehog games. When you play the Sonic/Tails co-op, whether AI controlled or by a 2nd player, Tails is completely immortal and cannot die (well he can die, he just comes back right away). This of course leads to a huge potential for abuse...
  • This is how the Mummy's powers work in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. He's dead, so being set on fire/electrocuted/smashed flat/cut into three different copies doesn't affect him at all. Granted, he's still not a fan of it...
  • Bowser from Super Mario Bros. , at least in the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series. If there's any otherwise likely death inducing humiliation in those series, it's probably going to happen to him, and he keeps on going. Castle about to explode? Bowser wakes up just in time for it to come crashing down on him. Volcano erupts? He flies straight out the top of it. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is basically this: the game, with Bowser having to do every stupid thing possible to progress and getting flattened by every castle, robot and train in the kingdom.
  • Sandbag from the Super Smash Bros. games feels no pain at all, and apparently likes to see how far it can get hit.
  • Tales Series
    • During the course of Tales of the Abyss, Dist survives near-drowning, almost freezing to death, falling from an extremely tall tower while also being caught in an explosion (!), and a blast to the face from the most powerful magic user in the game, and is also hinted to have suffered years of abuse at Jade's hands in his childhood. Yet he never seems the worse for the wear; not only does he not die (and in fact is the only one of the Six God Generals still alive at the end), he has no scars and we never even see him injured. No wonder Jade says he's as tenacious as a cockroach.
    • Ivar from Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2, among other things, gets trampled by an oversized boar, accidentally lodges his own sword in his forehead, and faceplants into the ground from dozens of feet in the air, but barely is fazed by any of it. He also gets beaten up by the party on multiple occasions, but always seems more annoyed then anything else in the aftermath.
  • Hong Meiling is perhaps the best known Iron Butt Monkey of the Touhou Project series, as she is often caught by Sakuya slacking off during her job of guarding Scarlet Devil Mansion's gate. Fanon depicts that Meiling becomes a cushion for Sakuya's knives on a daily basis, but since Meiling is youkai, she doesn't die.
    • She's also fanonly depicted as a chew toy for Flandre.
  • Wario is outright invincible in the Wario Land games (after the first one); any enemies encountered there either serve as obstacles that make him drop his precious coins or as a means of transforming him in some way to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Such transformations involve his getting set aflame, frozen solid or Squashed Flat, and becoming a Human Snowball, an Accordion Man or a zombie, among other things. In any event, he's able to shrug off anything that happens to him.
  • Weaponized in Whiplash. Redmond the rabbit is rendered indestructible due to the experiments of Genron. As such, he serves as the game's weapon, functioning like a Flail due to being chained to Spanx. He can also be "powered up" by sticking him into machines that either set him on fire, electrocute him, irradiate him or inflate him like a balloon and can break machines by being tossed into the mechanisms and jamming them.
  • Mooks or thugs that you faced in Yakuza are considered this trope as in if you use a Heat Action on them they somehow limp away from the fight despite most of the Heat Actions being extraordinarily lethal.

    Web Animation 
  • Geo, the Author Avatar protagonist of Gwain Saga is prone to slapstick more than anyone in his series, a perfect demonstration is his ahem... entrance'' into Teora where he falls from the sky, crashes into multiple mountains, falls through a canopy of trees and gets tangled in vines before getting screamed at by Ami. The main reason Geo can take all this punishment is due to humans being Made of Iron superhumans in Teora.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Just about everyone, even 'Lumpy' and Flippy, even though the show is called Happy Tree friends!
  • Homestar Runner has Strong Sad. He is constantly getting beaten up or worse by other characters. He ends up doing all the dangerous stunts in the Dangeresque films. And in one email, The Cheat decides to curry favor with Strong Bad. We don't see what happens, but we hear what sounds like a power drill and Strong Sad shouting "Ow! Both my face and hands!"
  • Grif from Red vs. Blue. Seriously, this guy once took a punch to the groin hard enough to dent the metal floor beneath him. The fact that he was able to walk straight is nothing short of extraodinary. Oh, but not just punched. Hammered by a shotgun used as melee weapon, a gas tank, and a concrete roadblock (which partly cracked upon impact around the area), all to the groin. Tex is a VERY mean girl.
    • "Why won't you just kill me...?"
    • And this is all in one episode. This isn't getting into all the times he's taken shotguns to the back, fallen several feet, and taken a shot from a tank.
    • The entire Blood Gulch crew qualifies for this, actually — even Washington. Everyone there is a Butt-Monkey to somebody, has survived horrible injuries, and/or been victim to No One Should Survive That! at least once, Grif's just the one who survives the funniest ones.

  • Fighter and Black Mage in 8-Bit Theater: The former is repeatedly stabbed in the head, often with no ill effects (it made him smarter once), while Black Mage more or less always survives what's thrown at him (having Australia dropped on him comes to mind) and when he does die that one time, it comes as quite a surprise, but he still gets resurrected in fairly short order so as to continue suffering. It's even a Justified Trope in Black Mage's case. Both good and evil sides of the Powers That Be don't want him to die, because when he does he takes over Hell; the forces of Good don't want that because Black Mage without his meat body is the apocalypse given form, and the forces of Evil don't want that because he's the wrong apocalypse given form and that leads to an awful lot of paperwork.
  • This is basically Riku's entire purpose on Ansem Retort, as he can inexplicably take fatal injuries without missing a beat in his nonstop whining. Zexion and Axel actively exploit this for as much schadenfreude as possible, being trapped in a reality show specifically for their capacity for cruelty. It's eventually revealed that Riku is a Time Lord with a birth defect: he can regenerate indefinitely, but never changes his appearance.
  • Balder of Brat-Halla is immune to everything, as everything promised his mother, Frigg, they would not harm him. (Except mistletoe, of course.) Since Balder is immune to all damage, he makes an excellent club when wielded by his brother Thor. (Which is not to say he doesn't feel it...)
  • Gordon Frohman of Concerned has been shot multiple times, tossed around by exploding barrels, had his face eaten, was set on fire, attacked by zombies, sliced, knocked around by a giant antlion, held a live grenade while standing knee-deep in radioactive sludge and setting himself on fire, had an ornate axe stuck in his head, had his midsection pierced by a pipe, and went through many other ordeals... and survived. It's because he accidentally used a cheat code on himself before the beginning of the comic.
  • Tiff of both Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks is showing signs of this. Her first appearance in Cuties had her spend the day dead after accidentally impaling herself, and so far in her first arc in Chicks she's busted her nose and been knocked senseless by a miss aimed spell.
  • Sawbuck in Homestuck takes horrendous abuse in the comic, but still survives due to his corpulence. What makes him a Butt-Monkey to begin with, though, is that his time travel power only activates when he's hurt.
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND plays on Liquid Snake's Rasputinian Death in the source material by explicitly making him Nigh-Invulnerable (though he's still treated as the resident Badass Normal, which is Lampshaded). Combine with a dose of Adaptational Dumbass and Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and you get this trope. The Butt-Monkey part eventually starts to fall away as Character Development and Cerebus Syndrome kick in, but he remains Made of Iron till the bitter end.
  • Ensign Shirt (first name Red) of Legostar Galactica. It is eventually explained that he gets his superhuman resiliency from being the descendant of the Claire of a Heroes parody.
  • Largo in MegaTokyo — if we ignore the broken arm that occurred in the first dozen strips. Piro has even commented that for a long time it was Largo's job to get physically hurt and Piro's to get emotionally hurt, until their roles started blurring slightly.
  • Nip of Nip and Tuck has been dropped from immense heights, blown up, set on fire, rocketed across the countryside in a homemade rocket-sled, and shot from a giant slingshot. His aptitude for this sort of thing was so bad his parents were relieved to learn he'd taken up a career as a stunt man.
  • Therry from The Redacverse has been stabbed many times, got hit on the head with his own guitar, and Matt even sent him to an icy exoplanet without any kind of protection. He's always back for the next page, or even the next panel. Of course, it helps that the comic doesn't take over-the-top violence too seriously.
  • The Guy in Tellurion. He typically gets the rough end of things earlier in the comic, but it toughens him up noticeably later on.
  • Phil from Yosh! is initially this, but after the series Growing the Beard, this ability got expanded to include all forms of harm, especially magic.

    Web Original 


Video Example(s):


Bad Day

Gumball accidentally slips on a bar of soap in the shower and ends up flushing himself down the toilet.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / FunWithFlushing

Media sources: