Many lessons for children about bullying come from how bullying is depicted in bullying cartoons. For the most part, bullying cartoons rarely show the bully getting away with the bad actions without suffering consequences. Usually a bullying cartoon shows the bully getting away with bad behavior for a while but then, the bully either is stopped by a stronger force or transforms to less bullying behavior.
Popeye – Overcoming the Bully to Win the Girl
A famous cartoon bully from a long time ago is Bluto from the “Popeye, the Sailorman” cartoons. Bluto, also called Brutus, was one of the original cartoon bullying characters that had prominence in a major cartoon franchise. Bluto was the main rival for Popeye in getting the attention of the love interest in the series named Olive Oyl.
Bluto was loud, obnoxious, and used his towering might over Popeye to bully him into submission so he could grab Olive Oyl and run off with her. Popeye eats his spinach in order to gain super strength to save Olive Oyl when Bluto kidnaps her.
Bobby Hill from “King of the Hill” – Cartoon Characters That Fight Back
More recent bullying cartoon pictures come from animated series found on television. In the “King of the Hill” cartoon, the character of Clark Peters is the school bully. Clark has a blond Mohawk haircut that tapers down the back of his head to a blond ponytail. He frequently forces the smaller lead character of Bobby Hill to do his homework for him and gets away with it. This worked until one time when Bobby wrote an assignment for Clark saying his favorite hobby was knitting.
In one episode, called “Bobby Goes Nuts,” Bobby has taken all the abuse he can stand from Clark. Bobby uses a technique he learns from a women’s defense class to get other school bullies to leave him alone by kicking them in the groin. Bobby gets up the nerve to kick his nemesis Clark in his private parts, while Bobby screams, “Let go of my purse!” It is hilarious and effective.
Roger Klotz from “Doug” – Bully Character Gets Bullied
Another example of a cartoon bully is the cartoon character of Roger Klotz from the cartoon series that appears on Nickelodeon called “Doug.” The Roger character constantly harasses the main character of Doug Funnie in this series. Roger seems to want to bully Doug every chance he gets, even by dropping by Doug’s house uninvited.
There is one episode called, “Doug Saves Roger” where the tables are turned and Roger is the subject of bullying by a much larger guy. Doug helps him deal with the bully during this bullying cartoon in ways that help Roger understand more about how it feels.
Nelson Muntz of “The Simpsons” – Bully Comes from Dysfunctional Family
Nelson Muntz thinks that anything that is bad happening to someone else is funny. He has a signature laugh of “Ha Haw.” In the cartoon series every student at the local elementary school has been terrorized by Nelson especially the weaker or nerdy students.
The home life of Nelson is shown as being miserable, so there is some insight given as to why he acts like a bully. His father either went insane or to prison and his mother is a sex worker. On occasion, he shows compassion and the lead character of the series, Bart Simpson, eventually becomes his friend. On an interesting trivia note, the talented voiceover actress Nancy Cartwright performs both the voices of the boy Bart Simpson and the boy Nelson Muntz.
Team Rocket in Pokémon – Bullies as a Criminal Gang
Team Rocket in the Pokémon series are villains who exists only to bully, exploit, capture, and sell Pokémon. There are three main members of Team Rocket. They are James, Jessie, and the Meowth. They show up to cause trouble for the Pokémon. There are also many other members of this criminal gang. The main three are incompetent and not even respected by their leader Giovanni. Part of the object of the Pokémon video game and featured in the Pokémon anime cartoon series are the efforts of Pokémon to defeat Team Rocket.
Cartoon Network Anti Bullying Campaign
The Cartoon Network is wisely using its platform and the attention it gets from kids to promote the Stop Bullying Speak Up Cartoon Network initiative. There are promos and videos as part of the Cartoon Network Stop Bullying Speak Up program to help children and young adults learn that the best policy for bullying is a zero-tolerance policy. Many students who complain of bullying also complain that other students stand around, watch what is happening, and do nothing about the bullying. By educating and encouraging kids to speak up against bullying, the power of the bully is greatly diminished.
The Cartoon Network Stop Bullying campaign is effective for this reason. The messages are not necessarily directed at the bullies themselves or the kids being bullied, but instead at the kids who are bystanders and do nothing when they see bullying happen.
There is a superb Stop Bullying Cartoon Network animation will over one million participants who have viewed it and a cyber bullying cartoon for Speak Up Week. These efforts encourage peer pressure of the best kind by telling kids to speak up against bullying wherever they see it occurring.
Bullies have always been present in some form of popular cartoons, because they are prevalent in the lives of most students. In cartoons, bullies try to get away with the bad activities, yet they are eventually defeated or changed, which is a good lesson learned by all.