Top 6 School Bullies Shawn loves to Hate!

It’s funny, Bullies seem to be such a hot button topic these days, but I can’t help but love the bullies of the cinematic universe.  Whether it’s a dumb ass jock doing table lifts in the lunchroom spilling everyone’s food (probably because he was a messy baby) or a couple of fashionable goobers who have nothing better to do than rain Slurpees down on geeks from the second floor of the mall, I can’t help but fall the douchebags.  Call me a masochist, but I enjoy seeing the hero beat down for the first half of a film as it makes their inevitable victory all the more fulfilling when the odds are really stacked against them with a formidable foe.  So here are my personal top six school bullies in order from most harmless to just downright through douchbagery…

#6 -Max and Ian from Weird Science (1985)

Honestly, the two Roberts (Russler and Downey Jr.) as Max and Ian aren’t all that bad.  Sure, they’d cheat on their girlfriends in a microsecond, but you have to admit that Kelly LeBrock was pretty darn irresistible in Weird Science.  Sure, they pantsed Gary and Wyatt in front of the entire gym class, but my wife totally did that to me once by mistake in a grocery store, so I learned first hand that you just pick up your trousers and pretend like it didn’t happen.  The Slurpee incident in the mall sucked, but we all know Lisa could just whip them up some new duds.  All in all, they’re pretty harmless, but I love Russler’s vacant Looney Tunes chuckling and Downey Jr’s gap-toothed, batty eyed smile.  You could certainly get stuck with worse bullies…

#5 -Scott Farkus & Grover Dill from A Christmas Story (1983)

Now we’re getting closer to that root of evil that hides deep within the soul of a bully.  Scott Farkus.  What a rotten name! Scott Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes.  He had yellow eyes!  So, help me, God!  Yellow eyes!  And Grover Dill!  Farkus’ crummy little toadie.  Mean!  Rotten!  His lips curled over his green teeth.  Zach Ward was inspired casting for the part of Farkus and he played him with evil abandon.  There’s nothing quite so satisfying as watching Ralphie beat the bloddy snot out of Farkus towards the end of the film…

#4 -The Alpha Beta Jocks from Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

nerds.  Nerds!  NERDS!!!  Seriously, Ted McGinley is the ultimate slimy douchebag.  But he does have a great smile.  And who doesn’t love Donald Gibb’s Orge?  No one, that’s who.

#3 – The Heathers from Heathers (1988)

Never have I enjoyed watching the faux suicide by the unforeseen ingestion of blue household cleaners more than when Heather Chandler buys it in Heathers.  I’ve also always disliked Shannon Doherty (even on that one episode of Airwolf), so even though she isn’t done-in by Veronica and J.D. in the flick, I still enjoy seeing her stripped of her popularity and power at the end of the flick.

#2 – The Brotherhood of Justice from, well, The Brotherhood of Justice (1986)

I hadn’t even heard of this film until this past year when I stumbled upon it on Netflix instant.  After scoping the cast list (Keanu Reeves, Kiefer Southerland, Lori Loughlin, Billy Zane, Darren Dalton – the traitor from Red Dawn, Gary Riley – from Summer School, and Evan Mirand – from My Best Friend is a Vampire) how could I not watch it?  The plot?  A school is being overrun by pranksters and hooligans and a select group of football jocks decide to form a vigilante group called the Brotherhood of Justice to straighten out the school.  Pretty soon the power goes to their heads and they find themselves dishing out “justice” in the form of extreme bulling and even potential murder.  As a side note, the end of the flick is a series of high contrast black and white stills set to some goofy jazz that is note for note what the eventual opening credits sequence of Law & Order looked like.  What a weird way for this film to make an impact on pop culture (it sure wasn’t for the performances of any of the leads…)

#1 – Billy Zabka in the holy bully trilogy of The Karate Kid, Just One of the Guys, & Back To School (84-86)

Who didn’t see this one coming?  I challenge anyone to find douchier dirt bags than Johnny Lawrence, Greg Tolan or Chas.  I still hear Zabka’s Johnny in my nightmares sometimes…

So who would make your list of the top school bullies from film?

  • Jason G

    The only other one that comes to mind is Biff Tannen from Back To The Future… the 1955 version that is. Hard to top the Butthead put downs, the incorrect punchlines on his jokes, and as you put it, the overall douchebaggery.

    Will definitely agree with your number one.

    • Shawn Robare

      Oh man, I totally spaced on Biff!

  • Paxton Holley

    There could never be any other #1. But you threw me for a loop with #2. I would almost have included Kreese, the sensei of the Cobra Kai, as a separate entry. He was TEACHING Johnny Lawrence how to be a bully. And Johnny at least had his redemption at the end of Part 1. Kreese got his “come-uppance” at the beginnning of 2.

    • Shawn Robare

      Yeah, watching that flick was the inspiration for the list. I also put them as high as they are because they almost commit murder. Yikes!

  • Doug Frye

    Great call on the Heathers. I would have totally forgotten them.

    • Shawn Robare

      Yeah, I didn’t want to ignore the feminine bullies, and they’re the most repugnant, in an awesome way…

  • Ammon Livingston

    Bruno and Spike from Lucas were the kind of bullies I feared as a kid.

    • Shawn Robare

      Just don’t try and save any baby locusts in front of them!

  • Ammon Livingston

    Good list, Shawn.

    • Shawn Robare

      Thanks Ammon!

  • Guest

    Great list! Good call on “The Heathers” and you can’t ignore Zapka.

    My favorite bully in all of film has to be “Buddy Revell” (Richard Tyson) from 3 O’Clock High.

    • Shawn Robare

      Dude! Buddy. Now he deserves to be on this list for sure. Great suggestion!


    Tommy from Valley Girl was quite a douche of a character, he beat up Randy [ Nic Cage ] while 2 guys held him and he cheated on Julie with her best friend Loryn who I just realized was E G Daily, in a jumpsuit. Cue 80s boob scene.

    • Shawn Robare

      Oh man, I totally spaced on Valley Girl. I need to catch that one again (I forgot EG Daily was in that one too.)

    • Jesse Rothbeind

      ust watched Valley Girl again AWESOME movie!! And yes EG Dailly was a hot little mama in that, she also made an appearance in Devil’s Rejects as a prostitute!

      • Shawn Robare

        Yeah, her popping up in Devil’s Rejects freakedme out! Dotti, how hath thou fallen from grace…


        The Soundtrack is just as Awesome, there are a few scenes filmed at Del Amo Mall in LA, which I went to in `03. A lot of Jackie Brown is also filmed at Del Amo and also has Tommy [ Micheal Bowen ] in it and on the commentary DVD he said that Tarantino would ask him to do quotes from Valley. I have mentioned this before but did some research on Jackie Brown recently.

  • TIm L

    Teddy Beckersted from One Crazy Summer?

    • Shawn Robare

      Teddy is definitely in the same league as Max & Ian from Weird Science for sure! Crossbowing for lobsters!


        You touched my car!

  • Paxton Holley

    Teddy is good but he’s clealy the minion of his more menacing father. Plus, Teddy feels like a thinly veiled satire of Johnny Lawrence.

  • OldSchool80s

    Zabka is the undisputable choice to top the list. I did an issue a few years ago that listed my Top 10 >

    • Shawn Robare

      Nice list! Yeah, I considered adding Chet to the Ian and Max entry, but figured he was sort of separate (at least for my list.) Love that you included Ace. Homicidal douche to the extreme!

  • OldSchool80s

    Zabka is the undisputed choice for the top of the list. I did my own Top 10 a few years ago. I tried to leave a link so you could check it out, but whenever I do that, my comments seems to disappear. So if you go to my blog and in the search box type “bullies” it will come up.

  • Geek Chunks

    I was looking for Buddy Revvel too! Great list though and thanks for the heads up on The Brotherhood of Justice. How in the hell have I not heard of this film?!

    • Shawn Robare

      Yeah, don’t know how I spaced on him. As for Brotherhood of Justice, I think its TV movie status has kep it off a lot of radars…

  • ShezCrafti

    I stopped by to scold you for your egregious Buddy Revell oversight, but some other folks have beaten me to it. Good job, internet!

    • Shawn Robare

      Sigh, the internet community is my Buddy Revell! Where are those brass knuckles…

  • Pingback: Jaime’s Top 10 Movie Crushes of the 80s | Cult Film Club