The List: Top 10 bullies
Rising Nashville rockers Bully visit Rumba Café this week, so to celebrate we’re taking a look at 10 of our favorite bullies taken from film (Francis Buxton of “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”), the comic pages (“Calvin and Hobbes’” mop-topped muscle Moe) and even nature (Siamese fighting fish). As “Back to the Future’s” Biff might say, read on, buttheads.
10. Fred O’Bannion, “Dazed and Confused”
For some reason a high school-aged Ben Affleck threatening to wallop underclassmen with a wooden paddle doesn’t feel like much of a character stretch.
9. Sid Phillips, “Toy Story”
The cackling kid-next-door comes across like a burgeoning sadist, taking immense pleasure in strapping toys to explosives, ripping them to pieces and lighting them on fire. Small aside: Sid Phillips would make for an excellent safe word.
8. Francis Buxton, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”
Less an adult than a sweaty, overgrown toddler, Francis (ugh, even that name makes him sound like a giant weenie) is the epitome of the rich, spoiled brat. When he learns money can’t buy everything — namely Pee-wee’s bike — he responds as any man-child would: by throwing a tantrum. Also, “I know you are but what am I?”
7. Moe, “Calvin and Hobbes”
The schoolyard menace is rightly described by Calvin as “a 6-year-old who shaves.” In an interview, artist Bill Watterson said Moe’s a composite of “every jerk I’ve ever known,” and the lunk spends a bulk of his time in the strip either hitting Calvin up for money (“Hey Twinky, gimme a quarter”) or antagonizing him on the playground.
6. Chet Donnelly, “Weird Science”
Wyatt’s camo-clad older brother hurls insults (“You’re stewed, buttwad!”), threatens violence and extorts his sibling for money (at one point Wyatt promises to hand over everything from his college fund to his social security checks). He eventually gets his comeuppance when the computer-generated Lisa turns him into a gaseous pile of feces for being such a constant turd.
5. Siamese fighting fish
If two males are placed in a tank together, they will fight to the death. Indeed, this popular aquarium species is so prone to violence that it’ll even respond to its own reflection with aggression, kind of like Ed Norton repeatedly beating himself to a pulp in “Fight Club.”
4. Biff Tannen, “Back to the Future”
Over the course of three films, Tannen’s bullying stretches from the Old West to the distant future (where, Trump-like, he heads up Biff Tannen’s Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel, of course). He had a way of making the word “butthead” hit like an uppercut, but you’d think over time he would have learned better than to label any McFly “chicken.”
3. Regina George, “Mean Girls”
The head “Mean Girl” is a conniving, back-stabbing, two-faced monster who utilizes high school’s natural hierarchy to maintain a queen-like hold on her power. She’s like Cersei Lannister minus the incest and near-constant wine consumption.
2. The O’Doyle Family, “Billy Madison”
Bonus points for breeding a large enough clan to torment five graduating classes. Who rules? O’Doyle rules!
1. Nelson Muntz, “The Simpsons”
The resident bully on “The Simpsons” occasionally flashes a softer side (remember his brief flirtation with Lisa Simpson?), and it’s hard to hold too much of a grudge against someone who just wants to enjoy a heartfelt laugh. Ha-ha!