In Drillbit Taylor (which opens tomorrow), three kids hire a low-budget bodyguard (Owen Wilson) to help protect them from the school's bully. This got us thinking: What are some of the great on-screen bullies? Those kids you just love to root against because they're written extremely well, offer up top-notch performances and/or remind you of someone from your past. A bully is different from your average movie villain -- they don't tend to carry lethal weapons, or run with a group of deadly terrorists. These are just regular kids with a little too much power thrown their way. Your run-of-the-mill Hollywood bully usually hangs with a group of about two of three of the same sex; guys or girls who don't have many lines, and serve only to make the main bully appear tougher.
Ideally, a great movie bully should have one or more of the following: 1) At least three classic lines. 2) A memorable downfall. 3) Hottie girlfriend or boyfriend. 4.) A name that just says it all.
We put our heads together and came up with seven of the greatest bullies on film. Check them out after the jump ...
1. Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) in Back to the Future, Back to the Future Park II and Back to the Future Part III
The ultimate jerk, Biff Tannen is everything you'd ever want in an on-screen bully all wrapped up into one tall, dumb-looking knucklehead. Be it in the present, the future or the past, Marty McFly (our hero) always winds up running into a member of the idiotic Tannen family. However, Biff is a gem -- he forces nerdy kids like George McFly to do his homework, attempts to force cute girls like Lorraine to be his girlfriend and, surprisingly, rolls with the weakest crew imaginable. That said, I tend to think Biff's demise will always go down as the best for any movie bully: Dude gets trapped under a pile of sh*t. (Best Line: Manure! I ... hate Manure.)
2. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) in The Karate Kid
Poor Daniel. The kid is like 90 pounds soaking wet, and he's forced to move from New Jersey to Los Angeles only to wind up being chased around by a clan of Californian karate champions. The friends he makes early on abandon him almost immediately (yeah, thanks for inviting me to your beach party, ass!), and the one girl he likes used to date Johnny Lawrence -- king of the Cobra Kai -- and the one dude you do not want to mess with. Unlike some other bullies, Johnny's a tough dude. And the friends he hangs with are pretty tough too. Luckily, Daniel slowly plots his revenge ... with help from an aging Asian man and a job painting the fence. (Best Line: Yeah! Okay, here's your first lesson: how to take a FALL! )
3. Fred O'Bannion (Ben Affleck) in Dazed and Confused
Ben Affleck's had two great roles in his lifetime: 1) The dick from Boiler Room and 2) The dick from Dazed and Confused. Anyone spot a pattern? For some reason, Affleck shines in the role of bully -- and in Dazed and Confused, his O'Bannion character is the type of guy you just want to see something really embarrassing happen to. Thankfully, that "something" is provided later on, but prior to that classic scene, this guy spends his last day of school hunting down poor Freshman in order to slam them with a paddle. He gets off on it. It's like, you think -- where is this guy going to be in 10 years? Whose ass will he be kissing? Probably his own. (Best Line: What are you looking at? Huh? I'll kick your f**king ass, right now! What are you smiling at? Freshman faggot!)
4. John Bender (Judd Nelson) in The Breakfast Club
Of course, the one trait all of our bullies share is insecurity. And no other on-screen bully displays such massive amounts of insecurity like John Bender in The Breakfast Club. What a jackass this guy is early on. Even after he bags Claire, I still think he's a jackass. Here, the fate of the bully is different from our first three in that throughout the course of the movie, he has a change of heart. He becomes a better person. He falls in love. Awww. But early on, this guy is just too cool for his own skin. Yeah, you go right along and destroy something ... you bad boy. Hurt them with your ... nasty words! (Best Line: "Don't you ever talk about my friends. You don't know any of my friends. You don't look at any of my friends. And you certainly wouldn't condescend to speak to any of my friends. So you just stick to the things you know: shopping, nail polish, your father's BMW, and your poor, rich drunk mother in the Caribbean.")
5. Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) in A Christmas Story
So help me God, he had yellow eyes! Yellow eyes! If there was an award for greatest bully name, then Scut Farkus would have to win by a mile. C'mon -- Scut Farkus. Scut! Who the hell names their kid Skut? This bully from A Christmas Story came with a tiny henchman and liked to target the same three boys for some reason. He didn't take their money, he didn't make them do his homework -- nope, he made them bend over while he shoved their arm up in a very odd, somewhat homoerotic position. Whatever gets you off, I guess. (Best Line: "Say Uncle! Say it!")
6. Regina George (Rachel McAdams) in Mean Girls
What -- did you think we'd leave the ladies out? Hell no! She may be hot, she may be tall, blonde and skinny, but you definitely don't want to get on her bad side. Regina's entourage rolls two (make that three, kinda) deep, and if you invade her space, she'll ruin you ... as only a hot, popular girl could. (Best Line: "Do you know what people say about you? They say you are a home-schooled jungle freak who's a less hot version of me. So don't try to act all innocent. You can take that fake apology and shove it straight up your hairy little a--")
Okay, so I went a tad beyond the seven with this last spot, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to include all three of these bullies, but none of them are prominent enough in their respective films -- kind of like cameo bullies -- and so I figured I'd stick them all in one. Troy is your typical jock bully, with the letter jacket and convertible. Such an ass, but he gets his when a little message is sent UP a well. (Best Line: Andy ... You Goonie!*.) Francis is in no way your typical bully. His power is money, not strength, and he attacks when you're not looking. Sneaky punk. (Best Line: "You'll be sorry, Pee-wee Herman!") And, finally, O'Doyle. Here's a kid who strikes, then pumps his arms in the air and goes, "O'Doyle rules!" Yeah. That's his best line. And his only line.
So, which bullies did I miss?
*Thanks to Mike for helping out with the Troy line.