Television shows us that behind the front, bullies are mostly insecure poseurs, desperately in search of love and their peers’ approval.
Lucy Van Pelt
The Doctor is in since 1952
The Peanuts’ resident psychiatrist is the meanest holder in football history. She sells fake field goals so well that even the kicker, invariably Charlie Brown, thinks the play is to get the ball through the uprights. Lucy’s disdain for
beagle slobber is outweighed only by her loathing for the Great Pumpkin.
Weakness: Lucy’s tough façade melts faster than an ice cube in a volcano when she’s around strapping piano man Schroeder.
Rocking tracksuits since 2009
Whether she’s conspiring to take down the glee club by having
one of her henchman exchange their plane tickets to New York for a flight to Libya, or simply mocking the latest addition to
Will Schuester’s vast vest collection, Sue’s acerbic wit and deadpan delivery are the bane of McKinley High.
Weakness: Sue is prone to bouts of kindness triggered by memories of her late sister Jean, who was born with Down syndrome.
Haw-hawing since 1990
Springfield Elementary’s crown prince of doling out wedgies and playground poundings, Muntz and his goons often make Millhouse, Martin and even Bart cower in his presence. Muntz doesn’t constrict his acts of intimidation to the student body, often turning his wrath toward adults and authority figures like Principal Skinner.
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Weakness: Nelson’s crush on Lisa and his desire for acceptance can overpower his bullying compulsion.
Crushing aspiring singers’ dreams since 2001
From the U.K.’s Pop Idol to
American Idol to The X-Factor, the smug talent spotter is at his best in the early rounds of singing competition shows, when he gets to eviscerate hapless tone-deaf contestants. Giving the other judges grief for their misguided appraisals is a Cowell trademark, and he’s got picking on Paula Abdul down to a science.
Weakness: While Cowell’s
incisive critiques are often spot on, the man in the black
V-neck can often fall under the spell of a beautiful woman
for whom his ears will temporarily become more forgiving.