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5 biggest movie bullies of the '80s

By Robert Elsenpeter, Contributing writer
Published On: Aug 14 2011 10:46:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 19 2013 09:55:32 AM CDT
Ogre screaming in Revenge of the Nerds

20th Century Fox

Movie bad guys come in all shapes and sizes. "Star Wars" famously gave us Darth Vader. In "Silence of the Lambs," it was Hannibal Lecter. But no movie villain is more dreaded; more feared than the '80s Movie Bully.

These were the guys who popped their collars, finger-combed their perfectly coiffed hair, and sped around in the Porsches, all while plotting the demise of the movie's plucky protagonist.

The bully mostly tended to wind up on top. Sure, he might get liquid heat sprayed onto his jock strap before football practice, but that would only serve to enrage the bully, causing more harm to our heroes.

And in the end, when the movie was over, Daniel-san might have won the girl, but Johnny Lawrence won our hearts.

Here are the best of the best, starting with one bully brave enough to tussle with a werewolf ...

Mick the bully from Teen Wolf

No.5: Mick McAllister from "Teen Wolf"

Mick McAllister wasn't the first bully to light up the silver screen in the 80s, but he was certainly cut from the same cloth as the rest.

Like so many things that were popular, then ignored, then seemingly make a comeback (like Betty White); we may yet see the return of McAllister. Allow us to explain.

Mick, played by actor Mark Arnold in his first -- and pretty much only -- big movie role, took his bullying to the next level when he took on a werewolf. Not many others on our list have the stones to do that. But for the sake of making himself feel like a big man; scoring the hot chick; and making the little people feel, well, little, Mick was willing to push the bullying envelope.

And why might he come back into style, 25 years later? Simple -- those "Twilight" weirdos. They're dorky, they're vampires or werewolves, or whatever. They're perfect for bullying, and Mick is the man for the job.

Next, we see why revenge is a dish best served nerdy ...

Stan Gable from Revenge of the Nerds

No. 4: Stan Gable from "Revenge of the Nerds"

Ted McGinley ("Happy Days," "The Love Boat" and "Married ... With Children") is to faltering TV series what Jack Kevorkian was to the terminally ill. He just gets in there and puts them out of their misery.

And that's a shame, because Ted missed his true calling -- being an '80s movie jerk.

He had it all -- the Mr. Perfect looks; the smug attitude; the disdain for the small people. Unfortunately, he decided to focus on joining failing sitcoms than hone his craft full time as a movie bully.

Stan was a little different than the other bullies on this list. He wasn't a high school bully. Stan decided his bullyish ways needn't have ended with high school. He opted to keep his craft alive after arriving at Adams College.

Stan was a renaissance bully. He was an athlete (captain of the football team), thespian (sang in drag at a rally), and aspired to oppress the nerds.

Up next, a bully who spanned generations ...

Biff from Back to the Future

No. 3: Biff Tannen from "Back to the Future"

Biff Tannen is sort of a conundrum. Should he be included on this list? "Back to the Future" was a movie from 1985, but the movie took place largely in 1955.

He was also a bully in 1985 -- and then again in 2015. We feel a rift in the space-time continuum just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, the role of Biff Tannen was a double-edged sword. It both made and broke Thomas Wilson's acting career. Well, maybe "broke" isn't totally accurate.

He's worked consistently since then, but he will forever be known as Biff. Any show he appears in, he is instantly recognized as Biff. In fact, he was in an episode of "House" a couple years ago, and the whole time we were waiting for him to call one of the doctors "Butthead."

Happily, he's had a rich voiceover career to help pay the bills.

Our next bully never knew the meaning of brotherly love ...

Bill Paxton as Chet in Weird Science

No. 2: Chet Donnelly from "Weird Science"

After seeing "Weird Science" we knew three things to be true -- Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, and Ilan Mitchell-Smith were poised to be superstars! Well, two out of three ain't bad.

We may not have heard anything out of Mitchell-Smith after he and Hall crafted Kelly LeBrock with their computer, but one star was able to ride his role all the way to successive big screen hits.

Bill Pullman ... er ... Bill Paxton (pardon us -- easy mistake) was able to leverage the role of Chet -- the cigar chomping, older brother who was home on a break from military school (interestingly, Paxton was 30 at the time) into success.

Throughout the movie he torments Hall and Smith. Not even his charms could keep LeBrock from turning him into one really disgusting, slimy creature we still can't shake the image of.

Last Up? Three words: sweep ... the ... leg ...

William Zabka, Martin Kove, Karate Kid

No. 1: Johnny Lawrence from "The Karate Kid"

This guy did it all -- he terrorized our doe-eyed protagonist; had mad karate skills; and wooed the hot chick.

And, like every movie bully, he makes himself feel better by demoralizing our hero, hooking up with said chick, but then loses it all in an over-the-top show of hubris when he gets smacked back down to Earth.

But while Johnny Lawrence from "Karate Kid" is notable in this list, it's the actor who played (nay, channeled) Lawrence who was the archetype for all '80s bullies.

William Zabka played, basically, the same role in a number of well-known '80s flicks. In addition to "Karate Kid" one and two, he also enriched "Back to School" and "Just One of the Guys." Every '80s movie bully owes a debt of gratitude to him, and so do we.

No word yet on when he'll be on "Dancing with the Stars."

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