Bullying is a serious subject so we are going to trivialize it at Ruthless Reviews.
And I can’t even come up with an original fucking subject because of all those stupid clickbait lists all over the internet that cover every single conceivable topic on Earth.
Top 10 Most Hated Athletes
Top 10 Breakup Songs
Top 10 Photos of Shit
So, yeah, if you look around enough you’re probably gonna find other lists of eighties bullies, even with some of the same selections. Hopefully though those links give you malware or something. Ruthless hasn’t sold out to Eastern European spammers. Yet.
The 80’s was a pivotal time for pop culture in America. Those sprawling, epic films from the decade previous gave way to a dessert first approach to movie watching and ruined our appetite for character studies or like four-part three and a half hour movements. Quick cut editing, product placement, bubblegum tunes – even Scorcese’s song selections were too saturnine for 80’s crowds. But more than anything, in all mediums, kids were all of a sudden important. Just out of nowhere, everything was dominated by young people. Nobody gave a shit about kids before. I was a kid in the 70’s for a while and nobody fucking paid any attention to me.
With this media saturation of kids for kids (scram pedo-bear!), came youth’s most adversative element: the eighties bully. He (usually) was a singular hindrance to our young 80’s protagonist” aspirations; usually involving getting into college or making out with the schools’ head cheerleader. We won’t concentrate here only on movie teen bullies, though they were indeed the most visible of the times.
Thus, let’s begin with a sports dick
10. Bill Romanowski/NFL Linebacker
Wayyyyy more dickish than Richie Incognito and while Incognito may have tossed an N-bomb at an African American nerd, the NFL’s first Romo, a white boy from Connecticut actually routinely tormented black guys. Black guys! He was a one-man German Shephard, attacking, biting, spitting on his opponents, almost invariably members of another race. It’s telling that Romanowski was inducted into the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. I’m sure that trophy case looks like a fucking Bennetton catalog.
In a final act of on-field animal racial animus, Romo busted fellow teammate Marcus Williams in the face, breaking his eye socket and ending his career. The quick-tempered linebacker later admitted to years of steroid use, a revelation about as surprising as the Redskins victory over Denver in Super Bowl XXII.
**Yea I realize his most notorious exploits occurred in the 90’s but he started his career in ’87 and what the fuck do I care?! Huh? This is just more clickbait anyway.
Here’s one for the laaaadies! I guess, or something.
There were actually three Heathers and while we’ve all heard what a bitch Shannon Doherty was off-screen, I still think Heather #1, the blonde who drank that Drano, was the most sinister. First off, from what I remember of the movie, the young woman playing her out-acted everyone on screen except Winona Ryder. Mmm Winona. The first fanboy nerd stalker obsession of all time.
Anyhow, while the movie hardly pioneered real life mean girls, Heather #1 was probably the first most starkly drawn on-screen school bitch and she delivered the goods. Even during her very brief life. From humiliating Martha Dump truck in the first scenes to trying to get Ryder’s Veronica to let a guy about to rape her at a party, Heather #1 owned her little slice of suburban California like a girl pimp. Until, yea, she drank that Liquid Plumber shit on a dare without even smelling it because she’s fucking herd and then fell through a glass coffee table.
8. Gangsters from Different Strokes/Different Strokes
Ok, pretty lazy, I know. I suppose I could get their names somehow but all I know is when I was 7 me, my brother Joe and my cousin Jamey watched “Crime Story parts 1 and 2” of Different Strokes and two 80’s style gangbangers decked out in colorful clothes, mismatched shoes, jean jackets, and a lot of bandanas were taking Arnolds’ lunch money and Willis went to get in the ass and got jumped on the playground and put in the hospital. Now, I realize many would ask how, if I’m talking tormenting predators and Different Strokes, can I pick anybody over the bicycle shop owner? Well, in that situation, I kind of think Dudley wanted it.
Dammit. That was not funny, I took it too far. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.
Nonetheless, Willis’ brutal beating resulted in Arnold wearing a wire for the feds and my brother and cousin and me were literally jumping up and down cheering when Arnold Barry Sandersed the thugs to get out of their clutches and back to the government pigs not even helping him.
We played Different Strokes that night. Jamey was Arnold, because he’s Native American and was cooler than us, Joe got to be Willis and I had to be fucking Dudley because I was two years younger than those guys.
7. Rip/Less Than Zero
In a movie with quite a bit of duplicitous behavior, Rip’s nefariousness really stood out. The thing about James Spader’s Rip is his viciousness unfolded in slow burn. He kept presciently extending Julian more and more credit, more and more crackrock, each time adding to our impending sense of doom. Any halfway intelligent movie audience knew the cows were gonna come home to roost eventually and, rather than take Julian’s dad’s Maserati or something or even smash in his fucking kneecaps, Rip and his crew (his number one henchman was Jack from Breaking Bad by the way) ultimately forced Julian to start sucking L.A. businessmen’s dicks!
I mean, this guy was a preternatural drug dealer, doing some crime syndicate shit while he was like, 17 or something. Smug, stylish, charming…Rip’s greatest villainous attribute was his patience. His ability to restrain from instant gratification, be it sex, retribution, or his own product, he was a young, suave kingpin with the threat of menace following him wherever he went.
All until he got punched in the face by the tiny Andrew McCarthy and didn’t even do anything about it. Wtf!?
6. Ace Merrill/Stand By Me
Family Guy once joked about the open ended, unresolved dilemma Gordie was going to find himself in once they got back to town after the climactic showdown in Stand By Me and I didn’t laugh. Not a wit. Because I knew it was true. Kiefer Sutherland’s Ace was a straight up psychopath. A racist and anti-Semite, Ace was the type of character to burn cats with cigarettes, something he almost demonstrated on one of the younger protagonists. Ace was a total Stephen King creation – a fifties era greaser super delinquent who carried a switchblade and a future ticket to Sing-Sing. He threatened his “friends” with things like death if they crossed him or didn’t get in his car when he said to.
Richard Dreyfuss’ ridiculous post-childhood voiceover assures us that Gordie indeed lived, despite Ace’s grave threats but I think that’s only because Ace was arrested for dismembering the pushed around grandmother he mocks earlier in the film once he got home.
5. Wayne Arnold/The Wonder Years
The quintessential flyover country older brother. For many of us with brothers born 2-3 years earlier than us, we identified with Kevin Arnold, in more ways than just that funny feeling Winnie gave us all.
Wayne was such an asshat. I’m sure he wasn’t the first televised sitcom sibling to physically assault another but he was the first one I saw, and undoubtedly the first racking up on-screen felony charges with each episode. Wally never beat up on the Beaver, Greg never whipped Peter and Bobby and Richie Cunningham’s 2-minute half-life older brother didn’t lay a hand on him. Not only did Wayne chokehold, clothesline, punch Kevin square in the face, on multiple occasions, he did the malevolently creative shit only big brothers have a lifetime to think up. Rigging up torture devices, throwing darts at his head, humiliating Kevin publicly in the cafeteria in front of girls, naming him “Scrote”, pulling knives, killing hamsters. Wayne’s torment wasn’t reserved only for his brother but also his nerdy friend Paul. In fact, it’s little wonder Kevins long suffering pal grew up to become Marilyn Manson.
4. Mick Mcallister/Teen Wolf
There wasn’t a whole helluva lot of focus put on this guy, heck I had to look up his character name but damn, he hated the Teen Wolf. He even re-bullied the Teen Wolf. You figured once a young man grew dog-like hair all over his body, exhibited superhuman strength, and his eyes turned red, while he may still have some social problems, getting picked on would no longer be one of them. It was therefore shocking to see, sometime in the second act of the film, Mick put aside his fears of an bona fide monster and start fucking with Teen Wolf again. Even while he was shapeshifted!
His wolf powers marginalized, Michael J. Foxes Scott then decides to just be human for the rest of the movie and for the final basketball game, even though he couldn’t control his metamorphosing prior to this. Mick keeps flagrantly fouling him and the refs don’t call shit but Scott makes the game-winning shots as a regular man and then somebody pulls out his cock in the bleachers.
3. Chet/Weird Science
Who’d of ever thought Bill Paxton could play, not only a bully, but a meathead, musclebound one? Like Wayne Arnold, Chet was a domestic bully, offering his tormented younger brother no relief from the daily miseries of high school. In fact, there were two whole other bullies in this film, totally independent of Chet. Of all 80’s teen movie oppressors though, I might argue that Chet’s comeuppance was the most satisfying for the viewer. He was turned into a giant wart-infested slimeball by 80Âs-hot Kelly LeBrock and was forced to apologize for his behavior.
2. William Zabka/Karate Kid, Just One of the Guys, Back to School
Well, you pretty much knew this one was coming. Some AP polls might put him in the number one slot but I have my reasons we’ll get to later for keeping him runner-up, albeit a nasty one. His most notable role was as Johnny Lawrence in the coming-of-age teen drama, The Karate Kid. In fact, our old buddy Wax gave you pukes a reverent soliloquy on young Lawrence a few years back but you didn’t appreciate him enough and now he’s gone 🙁
Anyway, you all know the story – Johnny and his fellow Cobra Kai kick the shit out of Daniel-san one too many times, inciting an old Chinaman to come out of retirement for ONE MORE FIGHT. Zabka pretty much plays the same character again in the two other aforementioned movies. In Just One of the Guys, William stars as Greg Tolan, a weightlifting suburban rich kid who unbeknownst to him, somehow, bullies a girl posing as a boy for some reason I can’t remember. Eventually, Greg gets his ass kicked by a 30-year-old sexually confused high schooler and we see the gender bender’s tits and they’re AWESOME!
By the time of Back to School , they had really milked poor Zabka for his last drop of teen poison. Here he was on the swim team, bullying other swimmers. And you want the truth, that ever annoying Keith Gordon pretty much deserved it.
Anyway, Zabka will forever be remembered as the premier 80’s teen movie dick but I’ll tell you why he doesn’t hit number one. I couldn’t really give Zabka as Johnny Lawrence top billing, both because of the singularly phenomenal existence of our next bully on the countdown and also for this:
Johnny and Daniel-san are in a one-step sparring tournament. It’s not like Muy Tai, or Mixed Martial Arts. A single strike and the fighters are separated for a period of time and compete for the first to earn 3 points. Daniel-san doesn’t even beat Johnny’s face into hamburger to avail for all the earlier poundings. He gives him a bloody nose. And that’s all it takes for Johnny to repent his bullying ways, hand Daniel-san his trophy, and join the Rainbow Coalition.
1. Biff Tannen/Back to the Future
Though technically a 1955 bully in relation to the original film, Biff transcended time to persecute McFly’s for generations. Biff LOOKS like a bully. Buzz-cutted and mean. In fact, Biff looks more like a bully than the previous nine bullies combined. Biff’s all-part-of-growing-up heckling soon graduates into full blown sexual violence. Like, when George McFly opens the door to that Packard Super Eight, you can literally see Tannen’s big bear hand pawing at Lorraina’s punani. PG movies were a lot different back then, kids.
BIff actually tries to kill Marty McFly. Ace Merrill is the only guy on this list who can sort of claim that and his were still ultimately just threats. If Marty had not pulled that gnarly skateboard maneuver at the front of Biff’s car, he’d have had his legs and probably his pelvis crushed against that manure truck, and then what kind of movie would it have been? Paralyzed young man from the future stuck in the 1950’s must endure archaic medical treatment.
A felonious teen rapist who commits frequent assault and battery on several characters in the film, Biff is truly a bully’s bully. Do you think Johnny Lawrences’ chop socky karate moves would have worked on big cornfed fucking Biff who would have simply grabbed him by the neck with one of his powerful meat hooks while molesting Judy Garland with the other?
Biff Tannen’s bullying spanned centuries from the 1880’s to the 2080’s (I think) and with such an impressive record of oppressive torment, this unequivocal beefshit takes the ultimate trophy.
And then dents your head in with it.