Follow TV Tropes


The Brute

Go To

"H-he's like a bear! He's like a big, shaved bear that hates people!"
The Scout on the Heavy, Team Fortress 2

Someone has to be the powerhouse of the villains; this would be Evil's answer to The Big Guy. A Giant Mook with personality, the Brute is huge, all muscle, loves to fight and is very good at it. However, while he may at first appear to be The Hero's equal or even superior in combat, subsequent battles will in all likelihood establish the Brute as being a constant jobber to the Hero.

He is usually a bully with a hot temper, and more often than not, also very stupid, though there are exceptions. Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability are common among powered varieties. Female brutes are rare outside of all-women groups, although not unheard of.

If The Dragon isn't the one that gets sent out to antagonize the heroes on a regular basis, it's this guy. He is usually the lowest-ranking member of the inner circle's hierarchy, and his abrasive personality means he generally gets little respect from them, though he may exercise authority over the mooks.


He is often the first opponent the heroes face after their successes require that someone more capable be sent to take care of them. He tends to be either blindly loyal or just too thickheaded and incompetent to ever stand a chance of overthrowing the leaders. Despite his role as the primary brute force of The Evil Army, he is rarely ever as strong as The Dragon.

One thing to keep in mind with this character type is that it's the role and rank as opposed to just the personality that defines it. Pete from the Disney canon is a classic example of the Brute personality type: a big dumb bully that just loves to throw his own weight around. However, he's generally used as a Big Bad (or, in works like Kingdom Hearts II, The Dragon). As such, in most appearances, he is not technically a Brute.

Considering his aforementioned general role as the mean, stupid, and disrespected meat shield for his team, the Brute tends to be especially susceptible to Humiliation Conga and The Worf Effect. A Brute whose demeanor becomes implacable will quickly ascend to the status of Juggernaut, while the more emotionally volatile risk becoming The Berserker. Be wary too, recruiters, of a Brute who pets the dog, lest he prove to be a closet Gentle Giant and, if you mistreat him once too often, may very well eventually pull a Heel–Face Turn (if not a Humiliation Conga of his own) on you. The Dog Bites Back, in other words.


Compare: Smash Mook.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men
    • Blob is usually portrayed this way in most media and adaptations.
    • Quicksilver boils down to role for his father Magneto a lot of the time as well like in Ultimate X-Men. Though he pulled off a Heel–Face Turn in the main universe.
    • The Juggernaut is defined by this role for his partner in crime Black Tom.
    • The Sentinels for Bolivar Trask.
    • Avalanche, Pyro and formerly Rogue were this for Mystique’s Brotherhood of Mutants.
    • Sabretooth to Magneto or Weapon X.
    • Omega Red to The Don Matsu'o Tsurayaba.
    • Donald Pierce for the Hellfire Club.
    • Though he outstrips most of them in terms of power, Gladiator is often this to the Shi'ar Empire e.g The Dark Phoenix Saga.
  • Spider-Man
    • Rhino in has generally been portrayed this way. His Dumb Muscle personality was even used in a Homage to Flowers for Algernon where he briefly became smarter. Subverted in the Ultimate Spiderman game, where Rhino is a geeky genius in a robotic Suit who only speaks Latin until he's defeated.
    • Among The Sinister Six, Sandman and Kraven also fulfill this trope.
    • Scorpion frequently serves as The Brute for the Sinister Six and later the Dark Avengers.
    • Venom becomes this for the Sinister Six, as well as for the Revengers as Anti-Venom.
  • Titania is a fairly rare female example. Fittingly she married the equally brutish Absorbing Man whose often The Brute for villain teams himself.
  • Validus of the Fatal Five from Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Bambi Baker from Strangers in Paradise is a female example, but then most of the SiP cast is female.
  • Green Lantern: Parallax, despite being an Anthropomorphic Personification of fear itself, acts like a bully and is the first of the Sinestro Corps' five leaders to be defeated in Sinestro Corps War. For more Corps-specific examples, the Sinestro Corps have Arkillo, and the Red Lanterns have Skallox.
  • Batman:
    • Most incarnations of Killer Croc. When he was introduced in 1983, he was actually portrayed as a dangerously cunning Genius Bruiser with a chip on his shoulder, but as time went by, Flanderization set in as writers focused more and more exclusively on his brute strength at the expense of his other traits, and at his worst (around Batman: Hush), he was written as little more than a hungry animal. The introduction of Bane, another Genius Bruiser, rendered the original characterization of Croc redundant - few people remember that running Batman ragged and breaking his back was how Croc was introduced. The current in-universe explanation/retcon is that his mutation is degenerative, slowly making his brain more reptilian as well as his body.
    • On the other hand, the Man-Bat, is usually just a near-mindless beast.
  • Though he often depicted as The Dragon Crossbones is more often than not The Brute for Hydra.
  • Darth Nihl and Darth Stryfe from Legacy are the least cunning of the main Sith characters but are their two strongest warriors. Stryfe in particular is single-minded about killing anything that his boss, Darth Krayt, doesn't like.
  • The Wrecking Crew from The Defenders serve as Brutes in all villainous ensembles, like in Secret Wars.
  • Abomination to Hulk's The Big Guy.
  • Blockade, from the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Black Dwarf for Thanos being the powerhouse of the Mad Titan's army. At one point Black Dwarf withstood attacks from Ronan, Super-Skrull, and Annihilus at the same time and did not even flinch. Though his head is the weak point.
  • Solomon Grundy is typically The Brute The League of Doom uses against the Justice League of America.
    • Interestingly Cheetah is often a rare female example.
    • Though they both are quite intelligent, Black Adam and Gorilla Grodd fall into this trope when The Joker and Lex Luthor are in command.
  • Patch from Scourge's Suppression Squad in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics).
  • If a Sin City mafioso needs a big guy to smack the hero around, they will call Manute everytime. Subverted in that he is quite intelligent and rarely loses his cool.
  • Due to Superman's powers, several of his "normal" foes (especially Lex Luthor) often resort to a super-powered brute to do the physical work against Superman. Examples include Bizarro, Metallo and the Parasite, all of whom Luthor used as brutes in the Last Son storyline. When Luthor is dealing with a normal human being he instead resorts to bodyguards like Hope and Mercy.
  • Most of the enemies that Werewolf by Night fought were big dumb monsters out to smash stuff and hurt people.
  • The Astro City villain Slamburger looks like a half-ton of sulfurous ground beef and has the personality to match.
  • Ulik the Rock Troll from The Mighty Thor shows up nine times out of ten as muscle for the main bad guy of the story.
  • Requiem Vampire Knight features a textbook example and the other not-so-much:
    • Attila the Hun serves Dracula his fleet admiral and is exceptionally large for an vampire. He is also not very bright either and tries to have the main protagonist killed for being a degenerate that displays honor and chivalry - which are taboo in the world they live in.
    • Thurim is a very unconventional example compared to Attila, since he has a rather lean-build instead of looking like a brutish fiend. With that said, he fits the trope nicely, acting as muscle powerhouse for the conspirators that seeking to overthrow Dracula and he certainly has a fitting personality to match. For bonus points, he wields a magic warhammer in combat.
  • Wonder Woman: Prior to Wonder Woman (Rebirth) where his attempts to reform into a modern style hero panned out a bit better than in previous incarnations Hercules Unbound had incredible strength that he would turn on people with little notice, and obscure reasoning. He was also incredibly misogynistic by today's terms and his father can set him on people quite easily since he rarely thinks things through before acting.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bluto from Elsie Segar's Thimble Theatre first introduced himself in 1932 by saying he would kill Popeye come the morning. Since then in both print and on film, Bluto, whose bruteness has been lampshaded many times by Olive Oyl, has been a pain in Popeye's side.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast has Tom, Dick and Stanley. All three are local bullies who assist Gaston and Lefou's schemes throughout the film out of pettiness and For the Evulz; Stanley in particular is of a size comparable to Gaston.
  • A Bug's Life gives us Thumper. He's so vicious the other grasshoppers have to keep him on a leash much of the time.
  • Banzai from The Lion King is a large, aggressive hyena who thinks with his muscles.
  • Robin Hood has Captain Crocodile, the captain of Prince John's guards. He serves as backup muscle to the Sheriff of Nottingham and is shown to be the most physically capable of the villains, holding his own against Robin Hood and is only taken down (temporarily) by a horde of stampeding rhinos.
  • The Green Goblin, Tombstone and Scorpion for Kingpin in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Green Goblin is hulking, angry muscle, Scorpion is the Psycho for Hire type, and Tombstone is just Kingpin's bodyguard... not that he needs it.
  • The Cymbal-Banging Monkey from Toy Story 3. He is Lotso's nighttime guard and he makes sure no toy leaves Sunnyside Daycare. He is so strong that he easily overpowers Woody before being defeated by him and Slinky. He doesn't speak, but he does make screeching monkey noises.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The View Askewniverse:
    • Mallrats: Mr. LaFours is a massive mall security guard who can take a swing from a bat to the head and get up, working for Jared Svenning to stop T.S. and Brodie from either ruining his game show or dating his daughter.
    • Dogma: The Golgothan is Hell's top assassin, a hulking monster who's composed of the poop of every criminal who died at Golgotha. He is defeated quite comically.
  • White House Down:
    • Carl Killick is a massive, muscled bully who is brought in to take hostages and intimidate them.
    • Vadim also qualifies seeing as he is one of the most aggressive terrorists and gives Cale one of the hardest fights in the film.
  • Wolf Warrior II: "Great Bear" is one of the evil Private Military Contractors. He isn't the boss' deputy, he's just a large, powerful man who can fire an FN Minimi machine gun (or near equivalent) single handed. Probably the boyfriend of Dark Action Girl Athena.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Sabretooth to Magneto in X-Men, as he's the largest of the Brotherhood and uses brute force in his fights in contrast with his teammates Mystique and Toad who employ ambushes and acrobatics.
    • Staff Sergeant Lyman to Stryker in X2: X-Men United and Brainwashed and Crazy Cyclops effectively becomes this.
    • The Juggernaut from X-Men: The Last Stand is big and strong and expresses pleasure at being given an order to kill children.
    • Riptide in X-Men: First Class, though he’s not as physical as Azazel.
    • The younger William Stryker serves this role to Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past though the Sentinels are more fitting of this trope.
    • Angel plays this role in the Four Horsemen of the titular villain in X-Men: Apocalypse, especially since apart from Metallic Feather Projectiles, Flight and general brute strength he has absolutely no special powers and pales in comparison to other horsemen.
  • Yojimbo: Kannuki the Giant is a hulking (6'8") henchman for Ushitora who sometimes wields a giant mallet in combat. Probably an inspiration for Mario Brega's character Chico in A Fistful of Dollars (see above).

  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Ser Gregor Clegane (AKA "The Mountain that Rides") is this to a T. He's not on any inner circle, in part because he's too psychotic for that, and because Lord Tywin Lannister doesn't really keep an inner circle, (he has one or two people he genuinely consults with such as his brother Kevan, the rest are dupes that he manipulates) however he is Tywin's choice for virtually all of the dirty and bloody work that needs to be done, and shows real taste for and skill at it. He's also the World's Strongest Man and the physically largest human seen so far (almost 8’0” tall), and will gleefully show it off.
    • Similarly, Victarion Greyjoy is this for House Greyjoy. They also make an interesting comparison, as they are two very different characters who fall under the same trope type; while Clegane is a vicious and amoral sadist, Victarion is The Fettered, believing wholeheartedly in the grim, Even Evil Has Standards code of honor that the Iron Men share.
    • Shagga son of Dolf serves as a Boisterous Bruiser style Brute to Tyrion, doing most of his dirty work, while Tyrion and Bronn keep their hands relatively clean. Timmett son of Timmett is somewhere between this and a second Dragon.
    • Ser Amory Lorch is a far less impressive Brute for the Lannisters - he's essentially nothing more than an idiotic thug, lacking Gregor Clegane's Super Strength and fear factor. His only conceivably useful quality is his utter ruthlessness.
  • David Eddings:
    • Adus in The Elenium trilogy. "Just put armor on a gorilla and you've got him." He's a mentally-handicapped thug who serves Martel as his best enforcer and killer. Martel considers Adus to be little more than a weapon ("I use him for killing people") and everyone who meets him looks down on him due to his stupidity and lack of hygiene. He has all the hallmarks of the personality type too, being dumb, but a savante when it comes to small unit tactics, willing to cut through his own men just to get to the heroes, and lacking the ability to so much as read.
    • Taur Urgas, the King of Cthol Murgos, in The Belgariad. He's got all the hallmarks of the personality: no empathy, Ax-Crazy, a Berserker in combat, and he also seems to fit in terms of his position and role in the villainous hierarchy: he's the ruler of one of the largest countries subject to Torak, and provides manpower and muscle for the Angarak armies, while still being subject to Ctuchik, Torak's Dragon.
    • In The Redemption of Althalus Pekhal and Gelta are the ones that Ghend calls in when he and Daeva have a situation that requires straight up brute force, as opposed to cunning or subtlety (which Evil Genius Argan and Dark Chick Koman deal with). Both are relics from the Stone Age, and are vicious, cruel, more than a little stupid, and in Gelta's case prone to fits of psychotic rage. They don't get much more brutish.
  • Lu Bu in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Initially, he is able to handily intimidate all dissenters from taking down Dong Zhou, drive away Cao Cao when Cao Cao comes to assassinate Dong Zhou, and take on Zhang Fei, Guan Yu, and Liu Bei at once. Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Liu Bei are held up as amazing warriors because three on one they didn't flee Lu Bu and forced him to retire. Lu murders his lord and adopted father for a horse, his next lord for a 16 year old dancer (not that kind), and dies an alcoholic wreck of a man.
  • Ronald Niedermann from The Millennium Trilogy is able to deal out a lot of pain, being able to break normal people's necks like sticks. Coupled with the fact that he is unable to feel pain due to a neuralgic defect, it makes him nearly unstoppable.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born," Khumbanigash.
  • In Malevil, Armand serves as the Sinister Minister's enforcer; big, dumb, and cruel, a man who only understands bullying people.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Crabbe and Goyle are this to school bully Draco Malfoy. They are described as being dimwitted (they didn't pass their exams in fifth year) and having gorilla-like arms. They are always seen accompanying Draco, being used by him to intimidate his victims.
    • Crabbe and Goyle's fathers were the two largest Death Eaters present at Voldemort's rebirth and seem just as dull-witted as their sons.
    • Thorfinn Rowle is this within Voldemort's Death Eaters. He is one of, if not the largest of the Death Eaters and usually duels in a very skilled and aggressive manner, killing one of his fellow Death Eaters with a stray shot.
    • Walden Macnair is a large, bloodthirsty and aggressive Death Eater. He spent the years between wars as an executioner for the Ministry, greatly appreciated Voldemort's promise of victims, and helped recruit the Giants by bonding over bloodshed. Hagrid refers to him as a maniac.
    • Another good example is the savage Werewolf Fenrir Greyback. He is an ally to the Death Eaters who revels in his bloodlust. Voldemort used him as a weapon to intimidate people into doing his bidding. If people refused, Fenrir would be sent to attack their children.
    • In the later books, it is revealed Voldemort acquired Giants for his army. In this universe, Giants are a sentient species slightly less intelligent compared to humans, but have the power to make up for it.
  • René St. Charles from Samhain Island is described as having "muscles that could rival a wrestler" and does most of the dirty work. If it wasn't for the intervention of Miss Vargas he would have ended up shooting a thirteen-year-old.
  • Tool in Ship Breaker is set up to be one to first Lucky Strike and then Richard Lopez. Subverted, as he's actually a Genius Bruiser & The Unfettered, and is thus works for no one. Regular Halfmen, who are The Fettered fulfill the stereotype better.
  • In the Black-and-Gray Morality world of The Godfather, Luca Brasi is a rare protagonist version of this, but man is he brutal! Read 'throwing a newborn baby in a furnace because he didn't want illegitimate children' brutal. It's little wonder he's the Corleones' most feared enforcer, and it's why, when he is the first of the protagonists' side to die in the story proper, Barzini's people do not give him an opportunity to fight back before making him sleep with the fishes.
  • In the late Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure Of The Mazarin Stone" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sam Merton fills the role of the brute.
  • Wild Rhona, the protagonist in A Harvest of War, almost seven feet tall and over 300lbs of solid muscle. She's fast and smart for this trope and on the good guys' side to boot, but her mean streak is so wide that, together with the even heavier and less vicious Baindur, it pushes her into this trope.
    • Baroness Shelby is a straighter example, if much smaller and also not lacking in brains, skill and agility.
  • Cato in The Hunger Games, and the aptly named Brutus in Catching Fire.
  • The Osthan from The First Dwarf King could be seen as this; however, unusually for this trope, they avert Dumb Muscle, instead being a group of Genius Bruisers.
  • In the Erebus Sequence, Golia, the most physically imposing of the Orfani, is also both the nastiest and stupidest. He's being prepared for a role as dumb muscle, but thinks he's being prepared to be the next king. (He doesn't genuinely care, and just wants to strike out at people who think they're better than him.)
  • Yerrininae, the leader of Xorlarrin's drider force in Companions Codex is the strongest drider seen in The Legend of Drizzt series. Entreri describes being indirectly hit by him as worse than being directly hit by a frost giant.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Barrier: Rai, the usual driver in the wealthy home in which Hugo and Julia work as house staff, is also the person called upon for tasks that require physical strength. Those tasks are usually an obstacle to whatever Hugo and Julia are trying to accomplish. Rai's personality is The Quiet One, with one of his few instances of breaking out of it being an attempt to become Hugo's workplace bully.
  • Buffyverse
    • Luke, The Three, and Absalom for The Master.
    • Kakistos comes more from the "Hulk Smash" school of approach.
    • Mr tick for The Mayor in Buffy Season 3.
    • Lindsey though he's very intelligent and both he along with Lilah are the Co-Dragons for Holland Manners, Lindsey is still the one most willingly to physically attack Angel (his nemesis) even running even him over with a truck and going to town on him with a sledgehammer. In Angel Season 5 he's more a villain in his own right.
    • Forrest for Adam in Buffy Season 4.
    • As shown in flashbacks, Spike was essentially this for Angelus, Darla and his lover Drusilla aka "The Whirlwind" being the most combat orientated out of the quartet. Best shown in one humorously dark moment when Darla in command is demanding that the gypsy leader remove Angelus's soul, Spikes then comes out of his caravan burping having eaten his whole family.
    • The Captain for the Covenant of Trombli in Pylea.
    • Weatherby for the Watchers Council Special Operations Team.
    • Skip is intentionally meant to invoke this, basically being the mercenary for the Powers That Be (however subverted as he's actually very crafty and manipulative and secretly serves Jasmine an Eldritch Abomination).
    • The Beast from Angel Season 4 makes most brutes look like a pushovers though like Skip, he's more intelligent than he looks. However Angelus recognizes the Beast is still essentially this trope for a greater evil i.e. Jasmine.
    • Caleb for the First Evil.
    • Hamilton for The Senior Partners.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Gregor and Sandor Clegane are simply muscle for their masters, exerting no political influence in Westeros except with the point of their swords. However, Sandor's Screw This, I'm Outta Here! at the Battle of Blackwater has put an end to this for him.
    • The Smalljon is described as "a massive bear of a man with a temper to match" and he serves as Ramsay's muscle in his forces.
    • Rorge within the Lannister army. He doesn't appear especially intelligent, and is prone to aggressive threats uttered in a vicious snarl.
  • Eliot Spencer, The Big Guy in Leverage sometimes acts more like this trope than is usual. The show also provides a number of straight examples, most of whom eventually fight Eliot at one point or another:
    • From "The Wedding Job", there's The Butcher of Kiev, who's probably the most archetypal Brute on the show. A hulking thug in the employ of the Russian Mafia, The Butcher is a Knife Nut who uses his massive size and fondness for meat cleavers to overpower his opponents, and is far too stupid to be anything more than a leg-breaker. He has a personal grudge against Eliot for scarring his face in an earlier confrontation.
    • Mr. Quinn, of "The First David Job" is a nondescript Badass in a Nice Suit retained by Nate's Evil Counterpart, Sterling, for the specific purpose of beating Eliot into submission. Not important enough to be The Dragon he displays enough personality to avoid being a simple Elite Mook, and his role as the muscle puts him firmly in this trope. He later reappears during "The Last Dam Job" to help Eliot when Eliot is recognized by the mark. He and Eliot seem to get along despite their previous conflict.
    • Finally we have Roper, a member of the kidnap gang in "The Carnival Job." He's a Psycho for Hire who seems to have a personal history with Eliot and is probably the best fighter the gang has available, as well as a ruthless Combat Pragmatist (seriously, he attacked Eliot in a funhouse, while he was injured, and still made sure to have a little girl as a hostage). However, he's not the Number Two, and seems to have been contracted for his skills at breaking heads and nothing else, not even appearing until the end of the episode.
  • Person of Interest: Martine Rousseau for Samaritan is a cross between this trope and Dark Chick. Out of all Samaritan's assets, she possesses the most aggressive tactics and is noticeably Trigger Happy, willing to shoot up a department store full of innocent people to take out a single opponent.
  • Super Sentai and its American adaptation Power Rangers have a fair share of brutes within their evil groups. Most of the time, at least one villain per group fits the role of brute. More often than not, these characters are portrayed by People in Rubber Suits, as opposed to more sophisticated villains, who are often more recognizable as humans.
    • Grifforzer from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger plays this trope straight at first, being portrayed as a monstrous beast, incapable of human language. Later on, he does get a voice, which sounds very sophisticated, subverting this trope.
    • Goldar, from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, does seem to fit this trope, being the muscle to Rita and later Zedd, but also has the capability of making plans that rely on psychological warfare, rather than brute force. Rito Revolto, introduced in the third season, actually comes closer, as he is really dimwitted and only used as a dumb muscle.
    • Branken from Mahou Sentai Magiranger. He's the most hot-headed of the villains, and the only character in a magic-themed series to rely on a BFS rather than spells. He'd also qualify for Disc-One Final Boss if N Ma hadn't been present, if trapped, from the beginning. This character is adapted, with very little differences, as Morticon in Power Rangers Mystic Force.
    • Power Rangers RPM has a strange example, as the Brute in this series, General Crunch is of a very lean build, while the more broadly build General Shifter is actually the Evil Genius.
  • Kamen Rider has had its fair share of Brutes over the years.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga has Go-Gadoru-Ba, who leads the strongest Gurongi group, the Go Group, and acts as enforcer for the Gurongi "judge" Ra-Baruba-De, who herself is The Dragon for Gurongi leader N-Daguva-Zeba.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja, a battle hungry Serial Killer with the highest kill count among the Riders in the Battle Fight. He's initially brought in thanks to Jun Shibaura/Kamen Rider Gai, but later ends up doing temp work for Shiro Kanzaki.
    • Kamen Rider 555 has Mr. J, the Crocodile Orphnoch, as this among the Lucky Clover and the one usually used by their employer for missions that require muscle. After J's exit, the role was left vacant in the Lucky Clover until they fill it in with Ax-Crazy mass murderer Aki Sawada.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze has Kou Tasugami/Leo Zodiarts, bodyguard to Mitsuaki Gamou and his go-to guy for missions that require muscle.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard has the Phoenix Phantom, a psychotic berserker and Greater Phantom whose method for creating more Phantoms usually involves assaulting a Gate until they give into despair. In fact, because of his sadistic and brutish tendencies (which in one case led to him beating a Gate to death before a Phantom could fully manifest), he's often kept on the sidelines by Wiseman while Medusa is the one who usually creates Phantoms.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim gives us a female example with Yoko Minato/New Generation Rider Marika. Despite her smaller stature, Yoko is a skilled fighter, even in her non-transformed state, and acts as the Bodyguard Babe of Ryoma Sengoku. Later on, Ryoma adds another Brute to Yggdrasill's ranks when he takes Kaito Kumon on as an additional enforcer. When the Overlord Inves make their introduction, the role gets taken by Demushu.
    • Kamen Rider Drive has Mashin Chaser as this for the Roidmude Executives, the "Grim Reaper" used by them to eliminate rogue Roidmudes or, more often, just as muscle to hold off Drive.
    • Kamen Rider Build has Fu and Rai Washio/Remocon and Engine Bro's, a pair of Tyke Bomb Supersoldiers raised by Juzaburo Namba, and typically used by him as muscle to hassle the heroes or back up his other fighters.
  • In the 2010 version of Nikita, Roan fills the role. A Cleaner who Nikita scarred by his own acid and silent badass, the universal reaction to encountering him is to wet your pants and run.
    • Roan may be so deadly that he qualifies as a Hero Killer. To date, Nikita is the only one who managed to get one-up on him, and she still runs if she has the chance when he shows up.
      • As of mid-Season 2, it can also be argued that Roan has elements of The Dragon — he's Percy's most loyal and deadliest remaining agent, and the one organized the Guardians into action when Amanda and Oversight locked Percy up.
  • Leo Johnson on Twin Peaks. Hired goon, abusive husband, profane loudmouth: the whole package.
  • The appropriately named Eartha Brute from Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?.
  • The Wire has at least one for each major organization. The Barksdale Organization has Roland "Wee-Bey" Bryce in Season 1, (and later Slim Charles after Wee-Bey gets life in prison) Husky Ukrainian Sergei Malatov for The Greeks, and the rare case of a female brute in Felicia "Snoop" Pearson for the Stanfield Organization.
  • Revenge: If you go by Alternative Character Interpretation, Jack Porter is this to Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke.
  • Justified:
    • Coover Bennett plays this role to his mother, Mags and brothers Dickie and Doyle. A hulking, dim-witted Mighty Glacier with a marijuana problem, and a penchant for descending into Unstoppable Rage, Coover's about as archetypal a Brute as you can get.
    • Boyd Crowder has the less obvious Jimmy Tolan, a quiet, loyal thug who plays back up to whoever Boyd's Dragon of the moment is, displays some Blood Knight tendencies and acts as his enforcer while being at the edge of the inner circle. In Season 5, with Boyd's other henchmen dead, Jimmy gets promoted to Dragon.
  • Criminal Minds normally features solo killers, but has occasionally featured groups large enough to include a Brute.
    • Vincent "Vinny" Perotta, UnSub of Season 1's "Natural Born Killer", is a six and a half foot tall mafia hitman, who moonlights as a Serial Killer, and has a thing for gruesomely dismembering his victims. Profiled with antisocial and paranoid personality disorders, Vinny's too unstable to take part in the day-to-day operations of Michael Russo's mob outfit and sits outside the regular chain of command, holding no official position or authority over their underlings, but taking orders from Russo and Russo alone.
    • Leon, from Season 6's "Supply & Demand" is a hulking giant strong enough to stomp Morgan in hand to hand combat, and large enough that one of his hands can wrap all the way around a victim's throat. Subordinate to human trafficking ring leader Lucy, and her Number Two, Max, Leon serves as the group's thug, transporting victims to and from cages, brutalizing them while the others (or paying customers) look on, and killing them when there's no further use for them, or an especially depraved customer wants to watch someone die.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: Goliath, is probably the most triumphant example of this trope. He's a giant Boisterous Bruiser who serves as the champion of the Philistines when they go to war with Israel.
  • Ajax and Diomedes serve this role for the Greeks in The Iliad. They are out ranked by Agamemnon and Menelaus, but are probably the two most dangerous Greeks in the Trojan war (other than Odysseus, who was a Guile Hero). Diomedes was known as The Dreaded by the Trojans for injuring gods when he got bored of murdering their forces! Sarpedon fills the role for the Trojans.
  • In the Nart Sagas, there is the cruel swineherd Argwana, who is strong but stupid. Because of a prophecy, he is recruited by Warzameg to help him in the abduction of Setenaya, but they soon become concerned he will try to take her for himself... Which he does.


    Pro Wrestling 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Meant as a type of classic retro-toon character in Cartoon Action Hour, but this came to mean "The Big Guy".
  • If an orc, ogre, or giant in a game of Dungeons & Dragons is given a name and role, chances are they'll be The Brute. (or for a rebellious player, The Big Guy... or sometimes The Brute again.)
  • One of the archetypes for slashers in Hunter: The Vigil is the Brute, a strong man (or woman) who kills just because it feels right. Their natural talent embodies the slasher trope of "the killer gets back up just when you think he's dead," and they eventually become the Mask, which is like Jason Voorhees on PCP.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Brute, a card which is a Status Buff that can be tossed onto a creature to make it more dangerous. Very slightly more dangerous. Even when first printed, the card was pretty weak; by modern standards it's downright laughable.
    • Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger plays the role for New Phyrexia.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Orks are an entire species devoted to this trope, being genetically engineered for nothing but war. They're also the comic relief.
    • Among followers of Chaos, Khornates are this, living only to get into close combat and chop heads (until they get theirs chopped).
    • Surprisingly enough, the setting's ogres (called Ogryn) are actually an aversion, having childlike personalities and devotion to the God-Emperor. Getting them to fight for Chaos doesn't require temptation or corruption like other humans, just telling them the Emperor is angry at the loyalists.

    Video Games 
  • Wyzen in Asura's Wrath. Big, fat, wielding a Power Fist as big as he is, he is the largest and dumbest of the Seven Deities.
  • Flak in Advance Wars 2. He also appears in Dual Strike, but has no role in the story. (His Limit Break is called "Brute Force".) His role as this is filled in the new Black Hole by Jugger, who has the exact same abilities as him.
    • Jugger (at least when the CPU is controlling him) switches from this to Genius Bruiser when he uses his Super CO Power, which gives him a huge AI boost as well as an attack power boost.
  • Heidegger in Final Fantasy VII doesn't do too much direct fighting himself, but fills this role in ShinRa's army.
    • Rude for the Turks though he's very calm and stoic.
  • Xord in Xenoblade appears to be this at first, but since it's later revealed he's just one of many Mass-Produced Faces, he's just an Elite Mook.
    • Metal Face plays this more straight, even though he considers himself to be the Big Bad, or if not that, at least The Dragon.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a few of these:
    • Lexaeus from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is at least head and shoulders of the rest of the members, and is the only one who can physically lift his weapon (an axesword). Here's a picture of the Org comparing their height. Despite being The Brute, though, he's not stupid; he manages to cut short the one argument we see around him, and apparently has a head for strategy, given that Zexion goes to him for advice to deal with Riku.
    • Xaldin in Kingdom Hearts II. Sadistic, imposing, and dangerous... but definitely NOT stupid.
    • Ursula served this role among the Disney Villains in Kingdom Hearts. She is one of the more formidable battlers, capable of subduing King Triton, and in her first boss fight, she is nearly invulnerable due to her never-ending spin attack that deflects any keyblade strike. Ursula's giant form really cements her role as the brute; she is the largest of the villains (one of the larger members initially), where she is relentlessly attacking you with powerful magic. Like the other Kingdom Hearts Brutes, she isn't dumb; she is capable of manipulating her enemies.
    • Terra-Xehanort and Saix share this position in Kingdom Hearts III. They were both shown to be the two most powerful members of the XIII Seekers of Darkness, both of them were also shown to overpower and tire their opponents with ease, however, they were both eventually defeated by the Guardians of Light.
  • An archetype in City of Villains is actually called The Brute, though thanks to the variety of powersets available (and the free-reign character creation), all player characters of this archetype don't necessarily fit the trope - at least the "big" and "all muscle" parts. You can just as easily make an incredibly agile rapier-wielding Brute. They do love to fight, though - the archetype's entire schtick is that they get stronger as a fight goes on.
    • Subverted even more with the past few updates of the game. Since Going Rogue in 2010, it's been possible to change your villainous Brute into a hero, and since City of Heroes Freedom in 2011, it's been possible to start as a heroic Brute.
    • On the other hand, NPCs that fall under this trope are generally of that archetype, including The Wretch. Captain Mako (a large muscle-bound shark man) is a subversion though, being a Stalker.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Giant Spider Phantom is this for Mundus being a big dumb fiery arachnid, who Dante heartily mocks before impaling him on a statue. Phantom typically for this trope dies pathetically realizing too late that Dante is the son of the legendary dark knight Sparda.
    • Nefasturris the giant building possessing demon in DMC2. Also the Secretary is a rare female example for Arius.
    • Beowulf from DMC3 definitely fits this mold being a massive brutish demon lacking the charm of most of the other bosses in the game due to having previously been beaten by Sparda. Naturally, Beowulf extends his hatred of Sparda to his two sons.
    • Bael and Dagon from DMC4 in contrast the other bosses are unintelligent being big smelly frogs who unsuccessfully try and lure and eat Nero and Dante.
    • Goliath (which is a fitting name) from DMC5 is a massive boisterous demon who has Suicidal Overconfidence thinking he can rule the Demon World with simple might. Nero notes that Goliath is simply Dumb Muscle and wrecks him.
    • Hunter from the Alternate Universe attempted Reboot game, DmC: Devil May Cry.
  • Several cutscenes in Street Fighter Alpha 3 show Balrog playing this role within Bison's Shadaloo organization. Although if you play as him, he will betray Bison in a power grab.
    • Balrog/"Boxer" is definitely The Brute of Shadaloo... anywhere but in Street Fighter Alpha 3. In that game, he's The Dragon (to Bison/"Dictator").
    • Interestingly The Dolls actually fit this better for Shadaloo being unthinking killing machines albeit unwilling ones.
    • Since Helen aka Kolin fits better as The Dragon for Gill, Urien fulfills this role for The Illuminati being a violent, sadistic, arrogant scheming Jerkass. As seen in Street Fighter III and SFV.
    • Charlie Nash played this role twice for The Illuminati and Shadaloo (Udon comics) when he Came Back Wrong, he got better though.
  • Berserker/Hercules from Fate/stay night. Actually, pretty much any "Berserker" class Servant. The class drives them completely insane so they really can't do anything other than Attack! Attack! Attack!, but to make up for it, their physical strength, speed, toughness, etc all get a massive boost (and Servants are almost always very, very strong to begin with).
  • Largo the Black Lion from Tales of the Abyss fits the role but also subverts it: A giant man over six feet tall and wielding a Sinister Scythe, he is a Well-Intentioned Extremist Warrior Poet who is usually very calm and collected, and views battle as a means to an end and not as an end in itself. He is also something of a Worthy Opponent. Although he is the first God-General defeated he returns to plague you several times, and in each of his appearances he's usually strong enough to be a match for a full party.
    • Arietta actually plays this more straight in personality and actions while being the Token Mini-Moe of the God-Generals. Despite her Leeroy Jenkins tendencies and not being particularly clever (she spends the majority of the game being manipulated by others) she doesn't need to be when she can just Zerg Rush enemies with her monsters. Whenever something calls for pure force, the God-Generals rely on Arietta and her beastmaster skills.
  • The Tyrants from Resident Evil, in particular, T-00 aka "Mr X" of RE2 is this for Umbrella, an Implacable Man sent to retrieve the G-Virus and when possible brutalize the heroes.
    • It appears that everyone’s favorite Umbrella Special Forces Operative HUNK is The Brute for the evil pharmaceutical company.
    • Mendez for Saddler in RE4, and in the same game Jack Krauser is The Brute for Wesker.
    • Brainwashed and Crazy Jill Valentine is this for Wesker in RE5 being used as an unthinking killing machine as well used as emotional torment for Chris, Jill’s partner. Interestingly thanks to some Bio-Augmentation Jill is nearly as superhuman as Wesker himself.
    • Ustanak for Simmons in RE6.
    • In RE7 since Lucas fits better as The Dragon for Eveline, Jack fulfills this role being the first boss you face and the most relentless one.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Raven from Metal Gear Solid fits this in terms of appearance and group role: a huge man, all muscles, who goes into battle carrying a Gatling gun, and eschews the schemes of the rest of the group. In personality he's a major subversion, being an intelligent Warrior Poet shaman, and possibly an Anti-Villain going by how he says he doesn't actually want to live in the sort of world being created by Liquid and The Patriots, and how he welcomes death, rejoicing in returning to "Mother Earth".
    • Vamp from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for Dead Cell, unlike other Metal Gear antagonists, has no greater ambition beyond creating chaos for the mad men he serves loyally, and being a Death Seeker he revels in all bloodshed having a whale of time fighting his Worthy Opponent Raiden. Like Raven, Vamp is also honorable, being disgusted with his fellow Dead Cell members disloyalty and he also questioned orders of Solidus Snake and Ocelot.
    • The Pain in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, at over two meters tall he's the most imposing of the Cobra Unit and his Pest Controller powers is gonna give anyone a rough time.
    • Fat Bastard Cyborg Sundowner from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance invokes this being by far the most brutish and unlikable of Desperado even though he's supposed to be The Dragon (a role Monsoon fits into better). You could make the argument Jetstream Sam (Raiden's Worthy Opponent) is more like The Brute despite being an Anti-Villain.
    • Volgin aka Man on Fire for Skull Face in Metal Gear Solid V.
  • Dapang from John Woo's Stranglehold, who also has the distinction of being Wong's Dragon. On the Golden Kane side, we have Ty Lok, who Tequila fights in the third major mission, who isn't as big and powerful as Dapang, but does pack a big whacking machine gun.
  • Roach from Heavenly Sword. A rather pitiable Anti-Villain in a game that has some truly hateable villains, including Flying Fox.
  • The Heavy in the page quote from Team Fortress 2 fills this archetype as a playable character, being a Mighty Glacier wielding a big freakin Gatling gun named "Sasha".
    • And he can get another one, its named Natasha.
    • Thing is, while he mostly qualifies for simply The Big Guy of the second variety while on your team, he definitely qualifies as this while on the other team, since while he is generally one of the nicest members of the cast to his other team members, he is taunting and berating to his enemies.
  • Halo:
  • In Wild ARMs, Belselk, the first member of the Quarter Knights, is definitely The Brute of the squad. He's a rare case that's actually stronger than The Dragon, and Zeikfried admits this in the remake, calling him the strongest fighter of the Quarter Knights. The heroes were only able to beat him because a trap backfired and left him weaker. The remake had Alhazad revive him after his death at the hands of Boomerang, and he returns near the end of the game to pay Boomerang back then goes on to face the heroes one last time just before the Big Bad.
  • Lenny in Shadow Hearts 2.
  • Third level boss The Giant from Kung Fu Master.
  • Crash Bandicoot (1996) gives us Koala Kong, while most subsequent Crash games have this position filled by Tiny Tiger.
  • Gades the Sinistral of Destruction from the Lufia series.
  • So far, it seems that every set of Robot Masters in the Classic continuity of the Mega Man series contains at least one Master that fits this trope.
  • Bolo and his Palette Swap Abobo in Double Dragon, and Burnov and Abore in the sequel.
  • The Witcher, has Savolla. It is very unusual for The Brute to be an Evil Sorcerer, but he is still this. He is the first opponent that The Hero faces and he also, aside from being a sorcerer, is also quite large physically.
  • God of War;
    • Even though, Hades is usually portrayed as a Big Bad in fiction, God of War III portrays him as The Brute. He relies more on hitting Kratos with his chain blade things than anything else, and his second form relies on NASTY physical attacks.
    • Hercules in the same game also qualifies, since he uses exclusively brute strength in combat with his Nemean Cestus and later his bare hands after his weapons are taken from him. In Olympus' chain of command, he ranks as Hera's champion below Poseidon, Hades and Helios.
    • Magni and Modi in God of War (PS4) are a pair of Aesir brothers that confront Kratos and Atreus. Despite being sons of Thor, they are minor deities that serves as muscle to Odin and of the two, Magni fits the trope better being extremely tall, bulky and wielding a BFS. He also gets on hell of an Establishing Character Moment when he drops in front of the heroes struggling with an ogre, only to snap its neck and casually throw its carcass with one hand.
  • Agatio from Golden Sun: The Lost Age is an unusually clever example, despite Alex and the official strategy guide writing him off as mere Dumb Muscle. He's sharp enough to fight dirty, hits like a truck... oh, and did we mention he's a Fire Adept with a huge variety of unique and powerful spells at his disposal? The good news is that he defers to authority. The bad news? He thinks Prox plans to Take Over the World, and is quite determined to make it happen...
  • Super Paper Mario: O'Chunks is a classic example.
  • Balrog from Cave Story is a large soap-bar shaped robot (or something) who also serves as the Doctor's right-hand man, trying to kill the main character on several occasions.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade has Wyvern General Narcien. He's the most destructive and ruthless of the three Wyvern Generals, but in last place among the three with regards to sanity, loyalty, courage, tactical aptitude, and fighting skills. Makes you wonder how he even got hired.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade features Denning. He doesn't actually seem to be part of the inner circle of villains (as he has no scenes with the Big Bad or any other prominent enemies) and he's a one-chapter wonder, but he fits in that he's dumber than a post and exists solely to sic legions of even stupider Mooks at you and rant "This is a message from Lord Nergal. 'I await you on the Dread Isle.'" He's also the only physical attacker among the Morphs.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has General Bertram, one of the Four Riders of Daien, a Brainwashed and Crazy Death Seeker who only speaks in broken Sssssnake Talk. Theoretically Co-Dragons with The Black Knight and Generals Bryce and Petrine, Bertram is too insane to actually lead his troops, and holds his position based solely on his combat skills.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has Hans, one of Garon's Co-Dragons. He serves as the main ground-level enforcer of Garon's will and takes great joy in slaughtering anyone who crosses him, and he's a massive Leeroy Jenkins.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Boisterous Bruiser Magnius fills this role for the Desian Grand Cardinals.
  • The Metroid series has Kraid.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has El Tiburon who throughout the entire game exists as a physical threat and a bodyguard to Torres. He does not say a word throughout the entire game including in his dying moments.
    • And in most of the other titles there is simply the brute class of enemy, no matter the time period is either walking around in hulking great armour and carrying large weapons or just a really big guy.
    • Thomas Hickey from Assassin's Creed III merits a mention too. While not as classic as El Tiburon, he is bigger and more muscular than other templars from the game, and he is not so devoted to the order. He is just a Psycho for Hire who is only in it for money. He is certainly not stupid though.
  • Sinjid has the Bandit Brute. He's bloodthirsty, stupid, and relies on Good Old Fisticuffs to get the job done.
  • Neptunia:
  • This is the niche of the Infernal Behemoth from Nexus Clash - they're gigantic armored hunks of Determinator that are all too happy to rampage, destroy, and incidentally draw fire away from the subtler demons.
  • Wilhelm in Borderlands 2. In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, he started out as the Enforcer for Jack's group of Vault Hunters, a hulking, very durable mercenary with a selection of durability and damage enhancements (he has an entire skill tree called Dreadnought). By the time of 2, he's Handsome Jack's most feared minion, a terrifying murder machine who threw the original Vault Hunters out of New Haven by taking them all on solo and winning. While not stupid, exactly, he's not shown to be particularly deep or thoughtful (his idea of a deep personal confession is "I like steak and robots").
  • Fergal Bansha in Vampyr is a tall, bulky, dark grey-skinned vampire that serves as Lord Redgrave's muscle and strongest enforcer. While he is seen fighting barehanded against multiple opponents like most examples of this trope, he displays the unusual ability to summon a Living Shadow to fight alongside him. And in the true spirit of this trope, he is deemed completely expendable by his boss, who doesn't feel bad about his death at the The Hero's hands.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Swine King (or Prince/God depending on level) is a Brute boss. The result of botched summoning rituals that bound an entity from Beyond into a boar, the Swine King is a giant, seemingly blind killing machine that the Ancestor describes as "brutish and stupid". It needs another pig, a small but smart creature called Wilbur, to direct its attacks; if Wilbur dies, the King loses all restraint and starts just trying to crush the entire party at once with his giant butcher's cleaver. Notably, Wilbur is the only gimmick to the entire fight; the King is otherwise just a slab of ill-tempered, demon-possessed meat.
  • Dragon Quest III: King Hydra doesn't speak a word, but he certainly has the physical power to exert Zoma's will upon the world, even to the extent of killing the Hero's father Ortega.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner has its resident brute in the form of Strong Bad's brother, Strong Mad.
  • Agent Maine, better known as The Meta in Red vs. Blue definitely qualifies. Since he is incapable of speech (at least in any form the main characters can understand), this seems to be one of his only personality traits.
  • RWBY: Physically, Hazel's the tallest character in the series at eight feet zero, which combines with his muscular build to make even tall characters look frail by comparison. Although Hazel appears calm, rational and pacifistic on the surface, it hides a darker truth. He descends into a violent, unstoppable rage when in the presence of Ozpin, due to his undying hatred for the man he holds responsible for the death of his sister. Unlike most fighters in the setting, Hazel does not appear to use any weapons. Instead, thanks to a Semblance that allows him to Feel No Pain, he stabs Dust crystals into his arms which powers him up even beyond his physical limits. He then fights with his fists, empowered by the Dust crystals which give his fists elemental attacks, such as fire or lightning.

    Web Comics 
  • MAG-ISA: — Kyle. He just wanna go UUUAAARRRGGGH!!!!
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The Monster in the Darkness fits into this role for Xykon's organization. He's the closet Gentle Giant, but the others don't seem to notice.
    • As does Thog, for Nale's group. He's later replaced by Tarquin, who as well as being a skilled fighter is also highly intelligent.
  • Wrecking Paul from Everyday Heroes.
  • The Midnight Crew's Hearts Boxcar from Homestuck. As a Dersite agent, he's appropriately referred as the Hegemonic Brute. Oddly enough he's also a Shipper on Deck, though he's still quite brutish about it.
  • Paranatural has Ollie Oop in Johnny's gang. Though the bio says that he's also the heart and the brain of the gang.
  • In El Goonish Shive, of the Abberations that attack Adrian Raven, the Abberation known as Gullet is shown to be big, strong and dumb.

    Web Original 
  • One persona of Two Worlds, protagonist of the Arielverse is known as "The Brute".

    Web Videos 
  • Warduke from France Five is very much the physical fighter, and gives a good run for their money to all five heroes when he gets serious. His role in the story is closer to The Dragon, though, as he commands each Monster of the Week. It's only after his demise that we're introduced to the proper Dragon Zakaral.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):



Muggshot is the team muscle of the Fiendish Five.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheBrute

Media sources:

Main / TheBrute