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"H-he's like a bear! He's like a big, shaved bear that hates people!"
The Scout on the Heavy, Team Fortress 2
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Someone has to be the powerhouse of the Five-Bad Band; this is 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.

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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.

This character type often shows up as part of the Five-Bad Band dynamic (in fact, his presence is often what defines it). He can also show up as a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad, but (like all the other members) will lose most of his threat level by virtue of his quirkiness.

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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.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Slayers: Gaav, one of the five Mazoku Lords of Lina Inverse's world, played this to Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo, the local Eldritch Abomination, until he turned The Starscream.
  • A female example is Smeddy from Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, a gruff, muscular swordswoman with a sadistic streak who fought the heroes as one of Ashram's Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Major Metallitron, the Red Ribbon Android enforcer from Muscle Tower, fills this role well in the early series; he's even based on The Terminator. Dragon Ball: The Path to Power turns him into a Big Scary Black Man.
    • Android 8# was supposed to be this, but revealed himself as a Gentle Giant.
    • Drum, the second-to-last son of King Piccolo, is an interesting version of this, as his stoutness makes Tien underestimate him and is surprised when Drum turns out to be a Lightning Bruiser and decimates him.
    • Nappa, the Older Sidekick to Vegeta, is one of the more notable examples. The first thing he did after landing on Earth was blow up an entire city, and he proved himself to be a nearly indestructible Hero Killer before Goku arrived.
    • Dodoria showcases himself as The Brute when he brutally massacres numerous peaceful Namekians and Neck Snaps the village elder's neck in front of his sons. Dodoria's brutality is further shown in the Bardock episode where he's the one who kills Bardock's squad and gloats about it when he meets the team's leader. Ironically he is a Dirty Coward when facing his own death at the hands of Vegeta.
    • Recoome is the nigh-invulnerable brute of the Five-Bad Band of the Ginyu Special Force. He is actually quite smart, but very sadistic and cruel without an ounce of sympathy, ending his "fight" with Gohan by breaking the kid's neck.
    • Android 19# serves as this for Dr Gero/Android 20#, aside from needlessly killings civilians, 19# despite being a machine takes pleasure in his opponent's suffering such as when Goku was weakened by his Heart Virus brutalized him. Like Dodoria he proves to be cowardly as he runs away before Vegeta annihilates him.
    • In the Buu Saga, Spopovich is very much this for Babidi and he is completely sadistic as he beats the life out of poor Videl to the point where his partner Yama has to demand he stop before he kills her.
      • Also from Babidi's goons, Yakon can also be considered this being a outright monster.
    • The Dragon Ball Movies had Brutes galore:
      • Bongo in Curse of the Blood Rubies.
      • Ghastel in Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle
      • Sanscho in Dead Zone.
      • Misokatsun in The World Strongest.
      • Almond in Tree of Might.
      • Wings in Lord slug.
      • Dore in Cooler's Revenge,
      • Android 14# in Super Android 13#
      • Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan can be considered The Brute of his own movies
      • Bido in Bojack Unbound.
      • Shisami in Resurrection of F
  • Prince Dozle Zabi from Mobile Suit Gundam. Noticeably, he was a 7 ft tall Genius Bruiser (meaning, he was no dumbass) made of pure badass who led his troops heroically in the Battle of Solomon.
  • Digimon Xros Wars has Blastmon, a huge blue guy made of diamonds that works for Bagramon
  • Although there aren't as many of them compared to The Dragon, One Piece has had quite a few:
  • This fits the depiction of Thymilph from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pretty well. A gorilla that is Large and in Charge and the first of the four generals that Simon and crew encounter, this guy has the distinction of being the first villain to kill one of the heroes, namely, Decoy Protagonist and Big Brother Mentor Kamina.
  • Viede from the Sinners in Chrono Crusade fills this role, although in the manga he's actually something of a Gentle Giant and a Genius Bruiser. The anime, however, plays him completely straight — most of what he does involves punching his hand into his fist and laughing evilly when he's about to smash things.
  • During the Nazi arc in Black Lagoon, Revy, having just come down from a bout of Whitman Fever, faces off against Fritz Stanford (or in the manga, Blitz Stanford), the biggest member of the Neo-Nazi Aryan Socialist Union. He carries a big-ass golden Luger Hand Cannon whose destructive power he shoots his mouth off about. This shooting off at the mouth gets him killed, as Revy spends the rant reloading her gun and then gunning him down mid-sentence.
    • Normally she's The Dragon to Mr. Chang, but Shenhua arguably fills this role in the Bounty Hunter gang that Russel hires to go after Rock, Revy, and Eda in the Greenback Jane arc. She's tough, persistent, and a physical match for Revy (though not nearly as bright), and is a secondary threat when compared with Russel's lunatic Dragon, Claude Weaver.
  • Vita of the Wolkenritter from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's ties this trope in a knot. Yes we are looking at a hot tempered, rude, and arrogant warhammer-wielding berserker. However, not only are the Wolkenritter in general the platonic ideal of anti-villains but Vita herself is an (apparently) eight-year old redhead in a poofy dress and matching hat.
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers, there are several brutes among the Numbers. Dieci has the strongest firepower, Deed is the best in armed close-combat, Nove has a very hot temper whose very strong in close-combat, Sette has a heavily combat-orientated personality, and Cinque is one of the strongest, but isn't one of the Co-Dragons.
    • In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha FORCE, Deville of Hückebein is probably the best example in his family, having the largest build, An Axe to Grind and the most drastic change when Reacting so far. Arnage also fits, thanks to her reckless Macross Missile Massacre/More Dakka fighting style, and if they aren't enough, she switches immediately to a Wave Motion Gun. On the other hand, she could also be a Dark Chick.
      • Quinn Garland is the special attacker of the Grendel Family, and has some anger issues in contrast to the more level-headed dragon, Mariya Ranevskaya.
  • Anji the Destroyer of Rurouni Kenshin serves as Shishio's brute. He's physically the strongest of Shishio's men, is the first one to be defeated (and the only member of the inner circle, other than The Starscream, to be defeated by someone other than Kenshin, specifically Sano who's halfway between The Lancer and The Big Guy). Interestingly, he's also the most moral of Shishio's henchmen, and is neither a pushover nor an idiot, being a seven foot tall, Badass Preacher, ex-Buddhist monk, with some serious culture and brainpower, as well as a genuinely sympathetic backstory. Still very much The Brute though, especially in combat. Inui Banjin (Thuggish, brutal, and stupid.) and Kujirinami Hyogo (See previous description, but add a legitimate grievance against Kenshin, berserker tendencies and an inability to fall down or give up) are Enishi's Brutes during the final arc of the manga.
  • Maro, the sumo-wrestler-esque, gravity controlling Taoist from Black Cat is definitely Creed's Brute. He's big, none-too bright, a purely physical fighter, and intensely loyal. He's also the highest ranking member outside of Creed's inner circle, and often relays Shiki's orders to the other grunts.
  • In the Band of 7 arc in Inuyasha Ginkotsu is The Brute to Bankotsu, the temporary Big Bad and leader of the Band of 7. He's big, stupid, very loyal, and relies on Brute force to win, while being the lowest ranking member of the group and subordinate to Evil Genius Renkotsu.
  • Gluttony and Sloth in Fullmetal Alchemist are both Dumb Muscle giants who rely on overpowering their opponents. They're also clearly at the bottom of the homunculus totem pole.
  • In Naruto Jiroubou of the Sound Five definitely qualifies. One could argue that Hidan, Kakuzu, or Kisame fulfills this role for the Akatsuki, and that Jugo (his bloodthirsty side, at least) is Sasuke's in Hebi / Taka.
    • Sasuke in Tobi's post-pain Akatsuki; Zetsu and Kisame are Tobi's Co-Dragons, with Zetsu being more of the right-hand man and Kisame being more of the strong right arm, but both have Tobi's absolute trust and display Undying Loyalty to him. Sasuke, on the other hand, is well-known for his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, so while he sees himself as an Aloof Ally or Dragon with an Agenda, Tobi tends to throw him and his followers at difficult problems, like softening up a priority target such as a jinchuuriki and a kage. The assignments he gave Zetsu and Kisame and their roles in his plans compared to how Sasuke is used makes it abundantly clear that Sasuke's quest for revenge has put him under the power of a guy who sees him as expendable muscle. The revived Madara Uchiha is this for Tobi and Kabuto's alliance (alongside Sasuke), due to him having both the Mangekyo Sharingan and Rinnegan. Then Kabuto gets taken out of the picture and Madara takes his spot in the Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Bleach: Yammy Llargo is an unskilled mass of raw temper and rage, who lives for destroying and consuming souls and never develops the spiritual skills that make other Espada and even Fracciónes so dangerous. He is the lowest-ranking member of the Espada until his rage-fuelled Resureccion is released, which powers him up to become the strongest, angriest, most violent and most thoughtless of all Espada. As a result, he is viewed as an embarrassment by the Espada and an unworthy opponent by the Shinigami. He has average intelligence, which makes him on the bottom of the Espada in terms of brains yet again.
  • Berserk:
    • Zondark for the Count, being one of the few humans bigger than Guts and twice as arrogant. After losing to the Anti-Hero he becomes a Pseudo-Apostle devolving into a mass of tentacles.
    • In the Golden Age, Adon Coborlwitz is supposed to be this for the Tudor army but his brother Samson fills the role better as a mindless brute.
    • In the Bakiraka the massive Spearman is clearly this, ironically he is killed by Judeah one of the shorter members of the Band of Hawk.
    • Wyald appears to be this for Zodd being a brutish Killer Gorilla who loves to Rape, Pillage, and Burn. Despite his strength he is the first Apostle Guts defeats.
    • Conrad, the huge, apparently mute member of the Godhand from He's almost psychopathically destructive (what with the whole, unleashing a plague thing) and seems to be lowest on the totem pole.
    • The massive Apostle-beetle man who serves Rosine in the Lost Children arc counts as this, given he nearly chopped off Guts’s head with his pincers.
    • The Angel Face to Mozgus, being literal Dumb Muscle with the face and IQ of a child, strong enough to give Guts a spectacular beating.
    • In the New Band of Hawk, Grunbeld has this position as a huge Blood Knight, though his back story shows he is a Tragic Villain. Zodd probably fits the bill better as holds the same position that Guts did for Griffith.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Varon/Valon from the Dartz arc in favours an Armour deck, attacks his opponents himself, and is extremely violent.
    • Ota/Nezbitt uses a Machine deck based on brute firepower. He takes three people at once and his main schtick is inflicting as much damage as possible without planning ahead. During the duel against Yugi and Jonouchi, Ota is the only member of the Big Five to fall for Yugi's bluff while the other four members don't.
    • In the Duelist Kingdom arc, Player Killer of Darkness/PaniK is The Brute to the rest of Pegasus' eliminators. A gigantic man with a sadistic streak, the Player Killer of Darkness gets a real kick out of tormenting opposing players, but is really a coward at heart. He uses flamethrowers (or, in the manga, a spring-loaded garrote built into the dueling platform) to disorient his opponents, and after losing to Yami Yugi, actually tries to kill him. It's implied rather strongly that he's actually a very bad Duelist, and relies on psyching his opponents into making mistakes to stand a chance against foes above his weight class like Mai Kujaku. When he realizes this won't work on Yugi, he has a Villainous Breakdown.
    • Bandit Keith Howard is essentially a Brute who got away, having the personality, but being loyal to no one but himself. Among his henchmen, Dumb Muscle Satake/Zygor could also be seen as a Brute-ish type.
  • Ryudou "The Undead" Hishiki, in Get Backers. He's actually the only villain the titular heroes go to great lenghts avoiding to fight.
  • Fairy Tail has several examples: Toby Horhorta from Galuna Island, Aria from Phantom Lord, and Bickslow from Fighting Festival.
  • While Gamagoori is the largest member of Kill la Kill's Elite Four, Athletics Committee Chairman Uzu Sanageyama is the actual Brute, being the challenge-seeking Blood Knight and offensive powerhouse of the team.
  • Stinch is this to the Engineers of Hollow Fields. Designed to be "the perfect watchdog" by Miss Weaver, he serves as a hall monitor, intimidating and bullying the students into following his command. Unfortunately for him, because this is a setting full of Evil Geniuses, he gets taken advantage of because of his dimness, causing him to have a Villainous Breakdown in the climax.
  • Tessai from Ninja Scroll. He is a giant who can turn his skin to stone at will and wields a BFS that doubles as a boomerang. How he's able to move with the grace and agility of a ninja is up for debate.

    Comic Books 
  • Blob is usually portrayed this way in X-Men media and adaptations.
  • Rhino, in Spider-Man, 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.
    • In The Sinister 6, Sandman and Kraven fufill this trope.
    • Though Venom becomes this for the Sinister 6 when he joined the 6. Vemon is also The Brute for the Thunderbolts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Abomination to Hulk's The Big Guy.
  • Blockade, from the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Titania from the Marvel Universe is a somewhat rare female example.
  • Patch from Scourge's Suppression Squad in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog
  • 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 of Krypton 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.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Shows up fairly often in the James Bond series.
  • Bane in Batman & Robin. While film!Bane is an incoherent muscle-bound moron, comic!Bane is dangerously intelligent.
    • The Dark Knight Rises corrected this. He's a Genius Bruiser now, but still fits the role - whether or not you believe that he's serving directly under Talia, he is still part of an evil team with her and serves as her muscle.
    • In Tim Burton's Batman, the Joker had Lawrence, who also carried around a boombox to provide the background music.
      • Jack Napier himself was the Brute for Carl Grissom's gang, being the most physical of the hoodlums. Of course, it's not all that hard to bully a Fat Bastard like Eckhardt.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • In the second film, Grindor acts as this during the 3-on-1 battle in the forest while in the final battle, the role clearly belongs to Devastator.
    • Shockwave's Driller in the third film.

    Literature 
  • 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, 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 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 and having gorilla-like arms. They are always seen accompanying Draco, being used by him to intimidate his victims.
    • 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.
    • 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 fullfill 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.
  • 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 The Legend of Drizzt series. Entreri describes being indiredly hit by him as worse than being directly hit by a frost giant.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Kakistos comes more from the "Hulk Smash" school of approach.
  • 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.
  • 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, this is character is portrayed by a Man in a Rubber Suit, as opposed to more sophisticated villains, who are often more recognizable as humans.
    • Grifforzer from Kyoryu 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.

    Pinballs 

    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.
    • Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger plays the role for New Phyrexia. Green and red tend to overlap as The Big Guy/The Brute and The Face/The Dark Chick a lot.
  • 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.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has Loz, one of the three Sephiroth brothers, alongside Kadaj and Yazoo. A Dumb Muscle Lightning Bruiser and Psychopathic Manchild possessing both Super Strength and Super Speed, Loz is the least intelligent and lowest ranking of the three brothers, and spends most of the film beating up anyone that Kadaj or Yazoo tell him to.
  • 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.
  • 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 the original Kingdom Hearts I. 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.
  • 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 doesn'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.
  • Several cut scenes 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").
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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 Series;
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Blazing Sword, a previous installment of the series, 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. He's also the only physical attacker among the Morphs.
    • Binding Blade, Blazing Sword's sequel, has Wyvern General Nacien. 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • Hazel in RWBY serves as the most powerful and imposing of Salem's henchmen, though he doesn't behave like a usual brute, being something of an Anti-Villain who deplores unnecessary violence and has no personal beef against the heroes except for Ozpin, who just the mere mention of causes Hazel to fly into a screaming berserker rage - Hazel blames Ozpin for the death of his sister who was killed during her initiation at Beacon. He doesn't fight with a weapon, relying on his bare hands and forearms to grab and deliver powerful blows; if that wasn't enough, his Semblance grants him Feel No Pain and he injects Dust crystals directly into his arms, giving him incredible power.

    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.

    Web Original 
  • One persona of Two Worlds, protagonist of the Arielverse is known as "The Brute".
  • Sockbaby: Chub Chub.
  • Darwin's Soldiers: Piotr Kozlov is a hulking Russian anthropomorphic Grizzly Bear. He is not hesitant use his fists in a fight. He did however, develop the flare shotgun.
  • 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 

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