Scary Black Man

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Mr. T: Sucka, you have a choice: You can face prison or you can face me.
Crook: Prison! Prison!

In many series, there will be a character who is much larger and more intimidating than most everyone else, very strong, often quite quiet, and very often they will be black.

Sometimes they can be the Token Minority, sometimes they're a Proud Warrior Race Guy, and sometimes they're a Gentle Giant. But the fact remains that when you get right down to it, they're a scary black man. Not necessarily evil, just... scary.

Authors will often claim this is not actually done in a racist way (not intentionally, anyway), as most anybody who is so much larger than the other characters will usually be equally scary (unless they're also outgoing or jolly). However, perhaps because of a lack of very large Asians who aren't sumo or very large white people who aren't professional wrestlers in a cameo role, they are often black. (This is the same reason that a Huge Schoolgirl usually isn't mean, either.) However, western media depictions cannot escape the legacy of the Big Black Buck (as featured in such influential films as D. W. Griffith's pro-Klan propaganda film Birth of a Nation), the savage (noble or not), or modern thug culture. Amongst other reasons, when much of the creating population and the consuming population is not of African descent, then the Black Guy becomes other, and as such, easier to position as an imposing, scary force.

The few black characters in Anime are usually some variation on this.

See also Scary Minority Suspect. Often Crosses over with Gentle Giant, Genius Bruiser, Proud Warrior Race Guy, and Token Minority, as noted both above and in the examples below. Compare Angry Black Man.

Note that the character doesn't necessarily have to be of African descent, just large, imposing, brown/dark-skinned, and have a tendency to make people wet themselves with a single glare.

Examples of Scary Black Man include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Dutch from Black Lagoon—though despite his somewhat menacing appearance he's not very scary once you get to know him, being one of the most cool-headed and easygoing people in the show. He certainly has nothing on Revy.
    • Well, like just about everyone else in this series, he's also an unflinching killer. So his scariness/lack thereof is relative. He's also the only one who can keep Revy's more sociopathic tendencies in check, as seen in the Nazi arc.
  • Swamp Gordon from Coyote Ragtime Show
  • Briareos from Appleseed is a rather hidden example. Although he's almost entirely machine, pictures drawn by creator Shirow Masamune have shown that he was black before becoming a cyborg, and he fits otherwise.
    • It's also worth noting that, based on evidence from the movie Appleseed Ex Machina, the artificial skin under Briareos's armor is literally black—as in, the color of a car tire.
      • In that movie Briareos is more Asiatic than black, though - the artists wanted him to be a traditional pretty-boy, apparently.
  • Slightly different version - Chad from Bleach is a scary Gentle Giant Mexican.
    • Zommari Rureaux is a tall, soft-spoken, and very cruel Arrancar with African features and very dark skin. Unfortunately, he grabs the Idiot Ball to an infamous extent during his fight with Byakuya.
    • Yammy Llargo isn't actually black, but he's dark skinned, as well as bigger than any two major characters put together.
    • The series' second character guide shows that the previous Eleventh Division captain, whose role Kenpachi usurped after killing him, appeared in this light.
    • Also Love Aikawa, in a heroic example.
    • Major villain Kaname Tosen is more of a "creepy" black man than scary That is, until his hollowfication
  • Bob from Tenjho Tenge. His physique's not the only thing that's scarily large.
  • Gray from the Gunsmith Cats manga. Though it should be noted that he's not the biggest (that would be Bean Bandit) or even the scariest (Goldie oh God, Goldie) character in the manga.
  • Blaster Knuckle. The Entire premise is about having an intimidating black protagonist kick vampire/demon KKK ass.
  • Killer Bee and Kidoumaru from Naruto are both this, but approached from opposite ends with some subversions thrown in for fun. Killer Bee not only looks the big and scary part right down to sporting shades and rapping, he also beats the living tar out of Sasuke; then he turns around, fools the Akatsuki, and fakes his death * all so he can go on vacation* . Kidoumaru, on the other hand, looks no scarier than the other members of his Five-Bad Band, the Sound Four...right up until the retrieval squad members from Konoha have to face him alone and realize he's an amoral, easily-bored sadist gamer who thinks Knife-A-Naruto is a great pastime; he's also able to reason his way around the powerful Hyuuga clan's Achilles' Heel and start nailing the clan's prize genius, whom nobody but the Kyuubi vessel has been able to put the hit on in the manga up 'til now, with arrow nukes.
    • The Raikage—Killer Bee's older brother—is more of a straight example: he's huge, intimidating, and seems to be angry most of the time, which is manifested in his tendency to break furniture and walls (granted his anger is shown to be fairly justified, and he did shed some Manly Tears when trying to get a team of his to focus on saving his younger brother).
  • The main (possibly only) black character in Death Note was hulking Mafia leader Rodd Los, Mello's ally.
    • In the anime, he's white. One of the lesser mafia members, though, is black.
  • Subverted in Hajime no Ippo, where rookie boxer Jason Ozma has the perfect Scary Black Man looks... but a cheery and sweet Gentle Giant outside the ring. Hilariously lampshaded when they meet face to face: Ippo, Humble Hero that he is, is terrified at the prospect... and Ozma smiles widely before cheerfully speaking to him, leaving Ippo all dumbfounded.
  • This shows up in Getter Robo, of all places. This trope shows up at /least/ in Neo Getter vs. Shin Getter Robo, Getter Robo Armageddon, and New Getter Robo, though it could've appeared in many different mangas. The funny thing is that the gigantic hulking black man is invariably beaten by the main character in the episode they appear in, then never shows up again. They mostly go without a name, too.
  • Played for Laughs in Kaleido Star, when Jerry the Policeman (actually a Gentle Giant) has to go to Japan with Ken to visit Sora. People actually ran away from him in the streets of Tokyo, which got Jerry completely confused as he didn't even understand why they were so scared.
  • Simon from Durarara!! is a huge, black Russian man living in Japan that tends scare off people simply by existing. Damn shame, too, because he really just wants to sell sushi.
  • Jadakings from Tokyo Tribe 2.
  • Takenori Akagi isn't ethnically black (though he's based off of Patrick Ewing), but has many traits of this archetype. They're either played seriously or for laughs, depending on the moment.
    • Similarly, there's also his rival Uozumi, though he's much friendlier then his appearance suggests.
  • Sailor Pluto has dark skin, which was initially meant to make her look scary in the manga, although she is very kind and friendly.
  • Bob & Michael from Seto no Hanayome, well they try to be.
  • Banba of Eyeshield 21 looks and acts the part, despite being ethnically Japanese. It goes along with his team's "Egyptian" theme.
    • His appearance also makes the occasions when he actually acts like a normal teenager all the more hilarious, such as when he challenges Sena...to a pillow fight.
  • Pippin of Berserk is the biggest member of the Band of the Hawk apart from Guts himself, and is a Gentle Giant. Donovan, Guts's rapist from his days as a child mercenary, qualifies as an evil example.
  • James Ironside from Blood Plus. Scary enough when human, but gets a whole lot scarier when he transform into his chiropteran form.
  • Averted by Cameroon of Axis Powers Hetalia. He has the (very good) looks and the height as well as a scar on the back of his head and Stoic Spectacles... but he's actually a very kind and sweet Gentle Giant who likes playing soccer with the children of his land and has a pet lion cub.
  • In the fifth season of Detective Conan, an old man named Yoshifusa Yamauchi comes back from Brazil to claim his share of his deceased brother's huge inheritance and brings a SBM named Carlos as his bodyguard. It's surprisingly averted: Yoshifusa is actually Dickson Tanaka, a Badass Grandpa who is impersonating the deceased Yoshifusa and is Carlos's bodyguard, since the supposed Scary Black Man was a harmless Gentle Giant - and Yoshifusa's son, whom Dickson swore to protect from his friend's Big Screwed-Up Family.
  • Parodied hard by the Show Within a Show in Gundam 00 a Wakening of The Trailblazer, where the pilot of the BFG-throwing Gundam Seravee, Tieria Erde, is not the same slender white man wearing glasses but instead a muscular Scary Black Man outright, parodying the common racial stereotype of black men as big muscles in the entertainment media.


Character Actors[edit | hide]

  • Any character ever played by Michael Clarke Duncan. He notably played Kingpin (who is actually Caucasian in the comics) in the Daredevil movie, partially due to being the largest qualified actor casting could find.
  • Any character ever played by Samuel L. Jackson, amongst other things.
    • Though Black Snake Moan subverts this somewhat, as he's trying to rehabilitate Christina Ricci's character.
    • And not so much in Jurassic Park... or Loaded Weapon.
    • Then there's Mace Windu, who while very badass, isn't quite as scary due to the character being a lot more calm and collected unless provoked.
      • Although, if you think about it, that makes him even scarier because you see the iron control he has and just how Badass He is WITH it, and you start to wonder what happens when he REALLLY gets angry...
      • An interesting note about his character bios, he practices the seventh form of jedi lightsaber fighting, Juyo/Vaapad, which was restricted by the jedi order because they were afraid that this art would lead padawans to the dark side. Mace Windu still uses it, with great precision.
    • Kind of a subversion: While most Scary Black Men tend to be large and hulking, and/or have deep voices, Jackson has a high-pitched voice and looks like he weighs about 80 pounds, and yet still manages to come off as badass.
  • Similarly, many characters played by Laurence Fishburne. Jackson and Fishburne are, in fact, frequently mistaken for one another.
    • Even Cowboy Curtis?
    • Fishburne as Ike Turner. 'Nuff said.
    • Even his nerdy and restrained character on CSI has had his share of Scary Black Man moments, especially (though understandably) when he was dealing with White Supremacists who had just killed a cop.
  • Many characters played by Keith David.
  • Mr. T, although he is rather more outgoing than most Scary Black Men.
  • Vin Diesel is mixed-race, but he often fits the mould.
  • So does Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
  • B-movie actor Tom "Tiny" Lister. 6'5", ripped, cross-eyed, and very shouty. Even his IMDB headshot is scary.
  • Ving Rhames:
  • Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Lester Speight, better known as Augustus Cole and "Terrible" Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. WOOO!!
  • Terry Crews, though his manic personality often means he plays goofy or over-the-top parodies of scary black men
    • Damon in Friday After Next. I've got seven words for you: "I like my fish wet and squirming."
    • President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho in Idiocracy
    • Gamer had Hackman, a Psycho for Hire who introduces himself to Gerard Butler's character by walking up to him in a dark locker room to show him the blood on his hands from the random person he just killed and sing a creepy rendition of "I've Got No Strings".
  • Kevin Grevioux was one of these in his role as Raze, the scary black werewolf, in Underworld. Most of his Scary Black Man-yness was due to his awesome voice, though.
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays one in every role, and has yet to subvert his typecasting.
  • Chico Roland, who starred in several Japanese films and shows in the 50s, 60s, and 70s (His most notable role was Pagora the kaizo-ningen(Reconstructed Human) in Warrior of Love Rainbowman), usually as villains or musclemen.
  • Tony Todd has made a decent career out of this trope.
    • The eponymous Candyman
    • He's the only guy who can order Megatron around in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    • This fact is nicely subverted when he guest stars in Psych and Shawn immediately assumes he's the bad guy. He actually turns out to be a cop.
  • The late, lamented, Julius "Shogun of Harlem" Carry.
  • Charlie Murphy.
  • Ken Page, the actor behind the voices of the Big Lipped Alligator and Oogie Boogie.
  • Kevin Clash, famous for voicing Elmo from Sesame Street.
  • Bill Duke. Less prominent nowadays than in the 80s and 90s, but he's still got it.
  • Ice T, not only in his roles, but (for quite some time) in Real Life—he's a reformed pimp.
  • Djimon Hounsou.
  • Delroy Lindo. When he tells you to stop eating his sesame cake, you damn well better stop.
  • Although not a man, Grace Jones deliberately invoked elements of this trope with her on-stage look (square-cut padded masculine suits, flat-top hair, nearly 6 feet tall and muscular) early in her career.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The second Tattooed Man, a Green Lantern villain, is a huge black ex-Marine (and a member of the Geoff Johns Awesomely Revamped Villains Club). Unlike the previous bearer of the powers, this Tattooed Man knows how to use his powers to maximum effect.
  • Killer Croc's pre-croc form is typically black.
    • In Joker, he still is mostly just a Scary Black Man with a skin condition and sharp teeth.
  • Thunderball of Marvel's Wrecking Crew. He's also the smartest of the group.
  • Tombstone is a bizarre example, as, despite being technically black, he's an albino, meaning his skin is chalk white.
  • Barracuda from Garth Ennis' The Punisher series. Run while your legs are still attached.
    • This trope is played with in the one-shot, "The Cell" (also written by Ennis). Frank has just entered prison when the corrupt guard points "Squeak" out to him (named so because he doesn't use lubricant), a SBM and "the toughest guy in Rykers" and mentions how he'll soon be "paying Frank a visit". Cue Frank just grabbing the guard's baton and breaking it over Squeak's skull, killing him.

Frank: Tell them to send the second toughest guy.

  • Uriel in Lucifer is the only black angel (the only non-white angel actually) and sufficiently scary that he spends most of the series in charge of Heaven. Whether he's a good guy or not is a matter of interpretation.
  • Marvel's Luke Cage is the heroic iteration of this trope.

Spider-Man: Damn, Cage! You took that guy out with a look.
Luke Cage: That's my trademark.
Spider-Man: I gotta get a look.

  • Apocalypse the world's first mutant, is originally from Africa (Specifically Egypt, thousands of years ago. The Arabs didn't overrun Egypt until the Middle Ages.)
    • His mutation, however, had as its first visible effect abnormally pale skin. So, Scary Albino Black Man?
  • Black Manta. This isn't known until he takes his helmet off, but his cunning, utter ruthlessness, and the sheer intimidation he is capable of more than qualify him for this trope.
  • Black Lightning. He is normally a fairly easygoing guy and the top educator in the US, so you'd think that this would be a subverted trope. Yeah, just wait till you piss him off. He's one of the most powerful metahumans in the entire DCU, being a living dynamo and a very gifted martial artist to boot.
  • Bronze Tiger. One of the top five martial artists in the DCU, outdone maybe only by Lady Shiva and Cassandra Cain. When someone manages to beat the goddamn Batman fair and square in a pure hand-to-hand battle, they ain't nothin' to fuck with.
  • Double Subverted in Quantum and Woody by Eric Henderson (Quantum); while he is a tall, muscular, and physically intimidating black man, his full-body costume and articulate speaking patterns means he's inevitably assumed to be Caucasian. People don't really freak out until they find out he's black underneath.

"You're black? S-word!"

  • Dr. Sartorus from Steelgrip Starkey And The All-Purpose Power Tool is a broad-shouldered towering black man with dreadlocks. He's actually an eloquent Gentle Giant, but has been shown (off-panel) easily fighting off four attackers.
  • Subverted in The Walking Dead with Dexter; while he certainly looks the part, he's actually pretty friendly until he's falsely accused of murdering two children, locked up without trial and when the killer turns out to be someone else, he's simply let out without any kind of apology. He's not so friendly after that.
  • War Machine becomes this whenever he's angered.


Film[edit | hide]

  • The Serpent and the Rainbow
  • Pictured above, Jules Winfield of Pulp Fiction. In fact, if a movie (without Star Wars in the title) has Samuel L. Jackson in it, chances are he will be playing one of these.
  • The Blind Side: But despite his intimidating size, Michael is actually a Gentle Giant. He's plenty scary if you're lined up against him on the football field, though.
  • Revenge of the Nerds pulls out a whole squad of 'em, when the Tri-Lamb head gives Gilbert the support to speak out in front of the Alpha Betas.
  • In the film Cube, Quentin - a police officer - starts out as the potential hero and leader of the victimized group. However, by the end of the film, he slowly turns into an evil scary black man. He ends up becoming the film's Big Bad, besides the dangerous Cube itself.
  • The film CB 4, parodies the scary black man stereotype by having suburban young black men - born and raised - to fake like they're gangsters from the hood in order to sell rap records. MC. Gusto even steals his rap name from the Big Bad in the film.
  • In the film, Fly By Night, The rap duo, King and Eye, try to make it on the local rap scene. Problem is, while King is a decent all-around good fellow, Eye is a scary black man who gets off on control and starting trouble. Needless to say, he's the film's Big Bad.
  • Kynette of Cliffhanger is an evil martial-artist who dispassionately guns down a helpless teenage boy for just having seen his face. Of course, this allows us to cheer when Sylvester Stallone shoves his evil heart LITERALLY into a stalagmite.
  • Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movies seems to belong to this trope, but ONLY in appearance.
    • He does get in a good scary look in at times, such as his first appearance. (lining up for first day at recruit school, the recruits are ordered to stand each with his right hand on the next person's left shoulder. We're looking at a white supremacist who finds himself surrounded by blacks, and who can't help but make a racist remark. A giant black hand falls upon his left shoulder. The racist looks left and up...and up...and up...)
    • Directly referenced in a Discworld context by a scary troll, Detritus, who appears in an exact rip-off parody of the "Your uniform doesn't scare me!" gag.
  • The Duke, portrayed by Isaac Hayes, in Escape from New York, is a villainous Scary Black Man. He's the Duke of New York! He's A-number one!
  • Idi Amin, as portrayed in The Last King of Scotland (by Forest Whitaker) and in Real Life itself - especially when threatening his frightened Scottish Doctor.
    • Really? Nothing of Masanga, his security chief?
    • In Raid on Entebbe Idi Amin comes across more as a pompous jackass who thinks he is more of a Scary Black Man then he is. He was probably scary enough to people who were kind of, well, someone besides Yoni Natanayu though.
  • In Mississippi Burning, the FBI brings in a professional Scary Black Man to intimidate the corrupt mayor into revealing who committed a hate crime.
  • From the movie The Last Dragon, we have a subversion! Sho'Nuff! Shogun of Harlem! He kicks ass because no one fears him.
  • John Coffey from The Green Mile can be considered an example of this due to his massive size, spooky healing powers and the fact that he is a convicted child murderer, though he turns out to be innocent as the film progresses.. He is also a Gentle Giant. Played by Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • Manute from Sin City. Also played by Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • Kidulthood has Uncle Curtis, a cruel and terrifying Jamaican crime boss.
  • Kingsley Shacklebolt came out kind of like this in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie. Appropriate casting, as Shacklebolt was established in the novels as black and as a certified Badass.
  • A minor subversion of this character appeared briefly in The Dark Knight. Towards the end of the film, the Joker sets up a prisoner's-dilemma-type situation: two ferries, stalled in Gotham Harbor, both loaded with explosives. One ferry is carrying prisoners, the other is filled with civilians. The captains of the ferries have the detonators—to each other's boat. If one boat blows up the other, then it will go free. If neither boat destroys the other, they'll both be blown up in a few minutes. The captain of the prisoner's ferry is struggling with the decision, when a very large, very scary black man (Played by Tiny Lister) in prisoner's orange and chains comes over to him. He states that the captain knows what he needs to do, but doesn't have the guts for it—but he does. He convinces the captain to hand him the detonator, then immediately throws it out the window and into the water, then says they should've done that hours ago.
    • Played straight by Gambol, the black gangster, at least until Joker crashes his party.
    • Played straight in the '89 film. Joker employs one of these guys. He's the only henchman to give Batman trouble.
  • James Bond has met two in Live and Let Die, Baron Samedi (especially scary as it is implied that he cannot be killed, even by Bond - he's the voodoo god of the dead, after all) and Tee Hee (fella with the metal arm).
  • Serrano from the Major League movies starts off as an example, then subverts it all to hell after becoming a Buddhist in the second film.
  • If an interracial porno has a black man in it, he's guaranteed to be Scary, often with some sort of gangsta gimmick even if that just means wearing a bandana and/or a pair of Timberland boots while otherwise nude.
  • A rare female example would be Mayday in the James Bond flick A View to a Kill. Despite not being male, Grace Jones fit this trope to a T and her character was far more memorable than the Bond Girl in that movie.
    • Same goes for her role in Conan the Destroyer. Grace Jones is a scary lady.
    • She is alternately depicted as both a Hot Amazon and a Scary Black Woman in the film Boomerang.
  • The Black Panther cell in Forrest Gump has a handful of Scary Black Men, and one Malcolm Xerox ranting about The Man.
  • Another rare female example is Mabel King's rendition of Evilene, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the 1970s film version of The Wiz.
  • Diary of the Dead. The teenaged protagonists are captured by what appear to be black gang members led by a softly-spoken Badass who is the embodiment of this trope. The group are visibly nervous, with the Ms. Fanservice of the group pulling her coat across her cleavage for the only time in the entire movie. It turns out they're ex-National Guard who end up (after some aggressive negotiating) giving them the supplies they need—which ironically enough are stolen by a group of white National Guardsmen.
    • Romero's previous outing, Land of the Dead, had Eugene Clark as a scary black dead man.
  • In The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T has the bare-chested elevator operator in the executioner's hood. Those EYES! And the song was freaky, too, as he talked about the "assorted simple tortures" awaiting the prisoners in the dungeon. Even the normally unflappable Mr. Zabladowski was visibly unnerved by him.
  • In the 2009 version of The Taking of Pelham 123, the trope is subverted when a female hostage consults an black male on if he has a plan to fight their abductors. The annoyed man asks if she is asking because he's black, but she explains that she saw he was wearing a ring that marks him as a veteran of the elite US Airborne paratroopers.
  • District 9 has the Nigerian gangsters, especially the leader Obesandjo who is confined to a wheelchair but is still scary as hell.
  • Who's that guy? The world may never know.
  • Officer Earl Devereaux from the animated Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Extra points for being voiced by Mr T.
  • Lieutenant Mailer, the blood-puking crazy Infected soldier in 28 Days Later.
  • Basically the entire oeuvre of Ving Rhames. Oftentimes, this will be subverted, as in the Mission: Impossible movies, where he turns out to be a Genius Bruiser and a very nice guy. But just as often, it's played straight. Fully half of his film roles seem to be as violent criminals with names like "Animal" and "Diamond Dog."
  • Sgt. Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.) from An Officer and a Gentleman. Justified as it's his role as Drill Sergeant Nasty.
  • Mac from Predator.
  • Forest Whitaker in Battlefield Earth. Actually, just Forest Whitaker (see Idi Amin above).
  • Blade.
  • Terry, the stuntwoman in Angels Revenge is a Scary Black Woman (especially when she's helping con Jim Backus' militia group).
  • Parodied in Pineapple Express by Matheson. He is strangely effeminate and in touch with his feelings. He is still a stonecold killer, however.
  • The Zulus in Zulu.
  • Played with in Raising Arizona:

Prison Counselor: Why do you say you feel "trapped" in a man's body?
Scary Black Convict: Well, sometimes I get them menstrual cramps real hard.

  • The stewardess in Anger Management has one to back her up, and he has a taser.
  • Lorenzo, portrayed by Gbenga Akinnagbe, in the movie Lottery Ticket.
  • Quinton (Rampage) Jackson playing B.A. Baracus in The a Team.
  • Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder acted like this but he's really a white Australian who was playing a black Vietnam Soldier.
  • The original Star Wars trilogy has the black-suited Darth Vader voiced by a black man - James Earl Jones, to be exact.
  • Chocolate Mousse in Top Secret is a parody of a Scary Black Man, doing such "classically" Badass things as eating a cigar, drinking gasoline, and wielding a front-loader cannon as a sidearm. He's also an impossibly good shot with a machine gun.
  • Agent Carver in Push. Don't look him in the eye unless you want to eat your gun.
  • Malibus Most Wanted contains a faked version: Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson play a couple of straight-laced Harvard-educated black actors hired to play scary ghetto gangsters to knock some sense into a Pretty Fly for a White Guy senator's son.
  • Subverted in The Sandlot: Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones) is the owner of a ferocious dog known as "The Beast" and, as one kid tells it, will sic him on any kid who dares to climb into his backyard, which is why they have to go through such wacky hijinx to get their baseball back. When they tell Mr. Mertle about it, he's flabbergasted, since he would have retrieved the baseball himself if they'd just asked him.
  • Kick-Ass has a really built and imposing black guy playing Frank D'Amico's dragon. As if that weren't scary enough, he grabs a bazooka during the final battle.
  • Heimdall, full stop.
    • The big SHIELD agent that confronts Thor.

Thor: " You're big. I've fought bigger."


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Hawk in Robert B. Parker's Spenser series is this, though it is partly an intentionally cultivated image.
  • Pagan from David Gemmell's King beyond the gate. When Pagan is cornered by Joinings (Werebeasts) He single handedly kills nine before being brought down. Added to this the nearest kill count by one person is three
  • Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird is accused of this. Of course, it's wrong.
  • In the Alamut Hassan, leader of the Ismailis, had a personal regiment of African eunuchs of massive stature bearing maces. They stood within the fortress never saying a word just glaring at people. One thinks Hassan deliberately put them at the top of his extremely tall stairway just to give people a scare.
  • Subverted in Richard Wright's short story Big Black Good Man, which turns out to be Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Played closer to straight in Native Son by the same author.
  • Literally with Nyarlathotep, though for rather unusual reasons.
  • The Wheel of Time plays with this. Most dark-skinned characters (Juilin, Siuan, Leane, and many, many others) aren't villains, with the exception of the sadist Forsaken Semirhage, the resident Scary Black Woman.
  • Antar, The Hero of the Arabian epic The Epic of Antar is a descendant of African slaves who becomes a great desert warrior in Arabia.
  • Sagramore in The Warlord Chronicles is a Scary Black Man... In 5th Century Britain. He's actually a friendly, if taciturn, man and a good friend—but he's also a terrifyingly effective warrior, and because of his dark skin his Saxon enemies believe him to be a demon.
  • Detective Arthur Brown plays on this image in the 87th Precinct novels; using it to his advantage. In one of the movies based on the books, he was played by Ving Rhames.
  • One of them wants to mug Ephraim Kishon when he's in NYC. Kishon manages to confuse him by speaking Hebrew and acting clueless about the mugger's intention. When he tells his relative how he was not-mugged and what he did she is shocked.
  • The Dresden Files: Sanya is a Twofer Token Minority of this and Husky Russkie. He stops being scary when you get to know him, particularly because he's a modern day Paladin. The real deal, with a holy sword and everything.
  • Thresh from The Hunger Games. Katniss believes that he would be a nice guy if left to his own devices. Under the circumstances, however, he's not above smashing people's heads in with rocks.
  • Daib in Who Fears Death.
  • Axum in Belisarius Series is a whole nation of Scary Black Men. Naturally as it is a major Medieval Power and of course and of course the normal method then(or indeed in most of history)to achieve such status is well known.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Teal'c, from Stargate SG-1. Lampshaded when SG-1 gets sent to a prison planet, where O'Neill tells him to, "Look scary and take point."
  • Worf, from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; beneath the fairly dark makeup is black Michael Dorn.
  • In the live action You're Under Arrest, American football player turned pro kickboxer Bob Sapp played a villain. At 6'5" and 375 lbs of muscle, the fact that he was black was a relatively minor component of his scariness. The fact that he was in a Japanese show made him look like a bleeding kaiju in comparison.
  • Tyr, from Andromeda.
  • Charles Gunn on Angel. The leader of a Vampire-killing street gang, who turns into someone even his Vampire boss considers "The Big Guy".
  • Toberman, one of the few black characters in the classic Doctor Who (in the episode "Tomb of the Cybermen").
  • The Haitian on Heroes.
    • May be a subversion given that he is actually a fairly decent guy... it's just that he has the bad tendency of taking orders from all the wrong people. Though as ALL said people have been white and he's been shown as being a good man when NOT following orders from them... well, it opens up a whole bunch of OTHER Unfortunate Implications.
    • In Volume 3, a black villain named Knox inadvertently takes advantage of this trope seeing as how fear powers his Super Strength. Unfortunate Implications, away!
    • Later, we are introduced to the Haitian's brother, who is quite possibly the scariest black guy yet to be seen on the show. Although his power is invulnerability, it is off for most of his appearance. Just to give you an idea of how scary he is.
    • Before the writers got lazy and started playing the Unfortunate Implications completely straight, they brilliantly subverted this trope with DL Hawkins. His white, blonde wife Niki first describes him to the police as a terrifying, unstoppable felon who's committed a string of brutal murders. When DL actually shows up, he turns out to be a devoted, cuddly father who was actually framed for the killings - by his frail-looking white wife, no less, whose psychopathic, super-strong alter ego actually committed them.
    • We also have a scary black man in the GN's in the shape of Marcus. He may not LOOK scary but he's a warped as hell serial killer who takes great joy in bending and breaking peoples bodies
  • Agent Cho, from The Mentalist
  • Hawk, from Spencer For Hire.
  • Vaughan Rice, from Ultraviolet.
  • The Knights Of Prosperity lampshades this, as Rockefeller is explicitly referred to at one point as "our big scary black dude", a label he has no problem with.
  • Bounty hunter Jubal Early from Firefly.
    • He's actually quite slightly built, but makes up for it with the scary.
    • There's also the Operative, who is a very chilling and calm kind of scary; and Shepherd Book, whom Zoe refers to as "the scary preacher" in Better Days when he beheads a killer attack robot with a single swing of a sword.
  • Zoe herself is a Scary Black Woman.
  • Scrubs, besides being the Trope Namer, has played with this trope several times:
    • Turk and JD frequently play "World's Tallest Doctor" by having JD stand on Turk's shoulders. They once did it the other way round. People ran.
    • Hooch is a bit of a subversion, since he is not physically imposing at all: short and kind of skinny. He only fits the trope because, well, Hooch is crazy.
    • Leonard the security guard is a more typical example, especially since he has a hook for a hand.
    • One episode featured an old friend of Dr. Cox, who used this trope to put a quick end to unwanted conversations.
  • Mr. Eko on Lost , played by the aforementioned Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Especially in his first few appearances, where he spends most of his time not talking, looking mean and beating people with what Charlie sarcastically calls his "Jesus stick".
    • Abaddon from the same show. Not much physically imposing yet he remained a tall, scary The Men in Black.
  • Simon Adebisi from Oz, another role played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. For most of the show's run, Adebisi is the official "toughest guy in Oz," which is impressive given that most of prisoners on the show are Axe Crazy and have an average life expectancy of about three episodes.
  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent= lampshades this in one episode where the Captain comments that they can't arrest a suspect for being a "large, scary black man".
  • Chris's father from Everybody Hates Chris (played by the aforementioned Terry Crews) is a Scary Black Man. Chris's mother is even scarier.
  • Wyatt, the new executive agent in Prison Break.
  • B. A. Baracus from The A-Team. He's played by Mr. T. Most goons seem suitably cowed when he gets in their face.
  • Chuck has several:
    • Big Mike, the Buy More manager, is rarely seen actually being scary (his usual laziness is punctuated with occasional angry yelling) but all the employees are terrified of him.
    • Michael Strahan had a cameo as an employee from a rival store who terrorizes Morgan until Anna beats Michael Strahan's character up. ("Chuck vs. the Break-Up")
    • Michael Clarke Duncan appeared as a villain and even said to Chuck, "I assume you find me imposing. I was going for imposing." ("Chuck vs. the First Date")
    • Subverted when Jerome "The Bus" Bettis guest-starred and played an imposing and muscular ex-con friend and football teammate of Big Mike's who needed a job and briefly worked at the Buy More. The crew assumed he was a former gangster or other violent criminal. Turns out he was actually convicted of bank fraud.
  • Uriel on Supernatural is a scary, black, evil angel. He does not like humanity and he has threatened to go against his orders and destroy the Winchesters as well as an innocent town. He has also decided to side with Lucifer and was subverting his garrison one angel at a time, and killing the ones who said no.
    • Raphael, who knocked out the entire eastern seaboard just by touching down to Earth. Although in a later appearance he was wearing a black woman, instead. Presumably they were relatives.
    • Also before them there was Gordon Walker, the first hunter to turn on the boys. Big, strong, black guy in love with violence. He was creepy in his first appearance, insane in his second, and turned into an especially scary vampire in his third. Until then he was one of the best vampire hunters alive. He is also kind of psycho, and gets fixated on the idea that Sam is the Anti Christ.
      • His opposite number was introduced in season three, the FBI agent assigned to the Winchester case, Victor Hendriksen, a youngish black man with a bit of a Cowboy Cop attitude and a slight obsession with bagging Dean. He is the least scary of the four black recurring characters. The others were Black Dude Dies First or other one-offs.
    • There was also Rufus Turner, old semi-Retired Badass and Bobby's former partner. Fairly scary, but on 'is a hunter and 'is a hard-assed old man' lines, more than Scary Black Man ones.
  • Colonel Ike Dubaku of Sangala from 24.
    • Even more so, his boss, General Benjamin Juma, played by the above-mentioned Tony Todd.
  • Onyx Blackman in Strangers with Candy, played by Greg Hollimon. Also a Bald Black Leader Guy. Paul Dinello describes suddenly being nose to nose with Greg after a game where they all had their eyes shut.
  • In an episode of Salute Your Shorts, counselor Ug goes looking for his runaway campers at a movie theater. Since he does not plan to see a movie, he senses his presence to be awkward and tries talking friendly to the large black usher/bouncer. The usher remains silent and stone-faced. To be fair, the white woman at the refreshment stand treats Ug just the same, even helping the usher to throw Ug out the door when he crosses the line. But only when the camera's on the usher do we hear a beast growling in the movie.
  • Charlie Murphy!
  • Some Toku shows in the 70s and 80s such as Warrior of Love Rainbowman and Denshi Sentai Denziman had Scary Black Men as villains. In Rainbowman's case, the first Scary Black Man is drugged and made to fight the titular hero, he speaks perfect Japanese before he is drugged, then when he is drugged, he does nothing but grunt. The drug wears off and he is vaporized much to the horror of Takeshi Yamato/Rainbowman.
  • Kamen Rider Faiz has the Crocodile Orphnoch, aka Mr. J. Like above, he only grunts and like the former, had Unfortunate Implications.
  • Charlie and Alan in Two and A Half Men encountered one as a Bouncer.
  • In the world of Friends, it seems the entire reason for black men to exist is to stare at people threateningly. Most of the women are like that too.
  • Chi McBride as Corrupt Corporate Executive Vogler in the first season of House serves as this. Averted later in his main role on Pushing Daisies as a private detective who's more bluster than business. Also, he quite enjoys knitting.
  • The Wire has a number of scary black men - Wee Bey, Chris and Marlo are the first to spring to mind.
    • One character who witnesses a murder describes the man as big and black with a big gun. The cops then say BNBG which means "Big Negro, Big Gun."
      • He happens to be referring to Omar Little, who is so scary that some drug dealers throw their stash to him as he takes a smoke outside, while unarmed and wearing pajamas.
    • There are a multitude of other examples, but Brother Muzone, an intelligent, soft-spoken contract killer who invents his own bullets and calmly faces down multiple gangsters comes to mind.
  • James Doakes from Dexter. SURPRISE, MOTHERFUCKER.
  • The Ellison Terminator on The Sarah Connor Chronicles was one of these. For somewhere around ten seconds or so. Of course, being confronted by your exact double asking "Are you [you]?" as it is about Kill and Replace you is Nightmare Fuel alone.
    • Queeg, the terminator who commanded a submarine became pretty damn scary one he refused the humans' attempts to override his orders. His name was possibly derived from...
  • Queeg 500 on Red Dwarf, the back-up computer who seizes control of the ship. Just one look at him tells you that he's not going to put up with any of your crap.
  • Although he doesn't usually play the part, Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) was usually more inclined to talk issues out. He wouldn't hesitate to use intimidation to convince people that they would rather talk.
  • The show Martin had a recurring character called "Angry Man" who would always appear and tell people "Man sit-cho ass down!!"
  • In The Office, Stanley is grumpy and rude, but not very intimidating at all. This doesn't stop Michael and Ryan from being terrified of him.
    • Darryl is at least intimidating enough to shut Dwight up, no easy task.
  • Office rules can be enforced by Terry Tate, Office Linebacker! Sure, he jacks a few fools, but sometimes it's all about the intimidation. The mind games!
  • Maxtor, the Proud Warrior Race Guy against whom contestants have to compete in the Spanish show El Gran Juego de la Oca. Upon making his entrance, he immediately proceeds to beat the crap out of anyone standing within ten feet of him.
  • "Mad Dog" from one ep of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air managed to inspire three Oh Crap reactions from Will & Carlton while he was asleep. The first upon hearing his scary name, the second upon coming out of the closet half-naked and seeing his huge 300-lb frame, the third was when they tried to grab their clothes from under him and stirred him awake.
  • The Castle episode "Law and Murder" had a juror suspected of killing another juror specifically refer to a character as a big Scary Black Man.
    • Vulcan Simmons, a suspect in Beckett's mother's murder, is definitely one of these, being a sociopathically creepy black man.
  • Lamorena in the Queen of Swords episode "The Hanged Man".
  • You can't have a party without ICE!
  • The title character on Luther, a genius police detective, has a habit of smashing doors and windows to pieces when he gets upset and is occasionally shown picking people up bodily by their necks.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Professional Wrestling's best example: New Jack.: he's a former bounty hunter with four confirmed kills, oh and that isn't Kayfabe. In a Worked Shoot interview he says he's glad he wasn't victim to a botch, he tried pushing him off the thirty foot ledge. And that his favorite match was the Mass Transit incident where a 17 year old was almost killed. He also had a big scar on the top of his head, which invoked memories of a certain someone.
  • Bad News Brown a.k.a. Bad News Allen. Real name Allen Coage, Olympic medalist in judo, generally considered one of the most legitimate badasses in pro wreslting history...the best story about him involves the time his friend and fellow badass The Dynamite Kid got jumped by the Rougeau Brothers backstage at a WWF event in the 80's...after jumping Dynamite with brass knuckles, Bad News saw what was happening and came after them...with a 2-on-1 advantage and brass knuckles, they were terrified to mix it up with Bad News and ran away...
  • Former WWECW wrestler Big Daddy V is 500 pounds(!) of half-Scary Black Man, half-The Giant; of course, the one thing (well, two things... possibly three) that's even scarier than his power and his quietness are his gargantuan man-boobs. I tells ya, those things are just creepy... Nelson Frazier, the man behind V, has actually been in the WWE off and on for 16 years, first as the rapper Mabel, then as the aristocrat King Mabel, then the gothic Viscera, and then as the world's largest love machine. However, he has always been a scary black man, as anybody who saw him break The Undertaker's face in 95 can tell you. Though at least, in those incarnations, he had a shirt.
  • "The" Brian Kendrick had Ezekiel Jackson, a Scary Black Man, as his bodyguard. So far it has been played straight, although he was shown reading The Cat In The Hat for no apparent reason. He has also quoted Sun Tzu, so take that as it stands. Zeke made it to the ECW brand and eventually joined William Regal's "Ruthless Roundtable", where he was pushed to the point of becoming the last ECW Champion, then alternated between inactivity and mostly squashing lower-midcarders as a face, before really resurfacing on Smackdown as a member of the Corre who would routinely bodyslam and even once suplexTHE BIG SHOW.
  • Amazing Kong/Awesome Kong/Kharma is a Scary Black Woman.
    • Not to mention her mentor/inspiration Aja Kong, monster of Japanese women's wrestling in the 90s (as well as a brief run in the WWF, most notably Survivor Series 1995). Half-black, half-Japanese, all Badass. As her awesome theme song put it:

God made the devil just for fun,
When He wanted the real thing, He made Aja Kong.

    • Another Scary Black Woman of wrestling is Jazz, who wasn't much taller than most of the other wrestlers(as opposed to the last two examples), but was more muscular than and often came out of nowhere to attack people in no shape to defend themselves.
  • WWE wrestler Mark Henry is a few inches shorter and a 100 lbs lighter than Frazier, but, at 6'1", 380 lbs, he's still a whole lot of Scary Black Man. Not to mention he's the World's Strongest Man and is well aware of that fact. If he ever comes back from an injury, turns face, or turns heel, you better stay the hell out of his way for awhile. The latest and greatest example of this has been his "Hall of Pain" heel turn, where he has dominated several other big men, (kayfabe) broken their legs, tossed anyone of smaller status and stature around like rag dolls, effortlessly kicked out of Starship Pain, and even beaten Randy Orton clean TWICE for the World Heavyweight title. Some would say he's WWE's best booked heel in years.
    • How about Vengeance 2011, when this almost-40-year-old absolute mountain of a man became the second person ever, first in eight years, to superplex The Big Show and IMPLODE THE RING!?
  • Abdullah The Butcher, a professional wrestling pioneer. He had scars on his forehead from frequently being cut and since he hailed from Sudan, he doubled as an Evil Foreigner
  • Courtesy of The Nexus, Michael Tarver looks scary as hell, especially when he wears his facemask.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Played for Laughs in one early Bloom County comic, where a young black boy named Alphonzo goes looking for a good costume for a black boy only for the storekeeper to tell him there aren't any. Then she suddenly recalls that actually there is one: the "Mr. T Action Kit." Bringing one out, she reads from the blurb on the back of the box: "Now you too can stomp, talk badly, and scare the hell out of white people." The costume, however proves inadequate even to this function with his white friends, much to Alphonzo's disgust.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Warhammer 40,000 has a Space Marine chapter that's an entire army of Scary Black Man called the Salamanders. They have expertise with fire weapons, also making them an example of Kill It with Fire. All fire based weapons (flamers and meltas) and hammers are master-crafted because they're also trained as black smiths. That means that you're also better off running from their Assault Terminators (who's armor makes them even larger and scarier than a normal Space Marine) who wield Thunder Hammers. These guys are actually one of the nicer chapters around.
    • As of the most recent codex, they now have totally black, obsidian-coloured skin and red eyes as a result of genetic engineering to resist radiation burns rather than having anything to do with ethnicity.
  • Inquisitor Mordecai Toth from Dawn of War. A scary black man with a thunder hammer, a bolt pistol, and Psychic Powers.
  • "Warmachine" Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane, Doc Killingsworth.
  • Mutant Chronicles' Big Bob Watts.
  • Panther in Exalted is large, black, angry and is remarkably good at scaring the shit out of people.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Near the end of David Mamet's Edmond, the main character ends up being the victim of Prison Rape by one of these.
  • The titlular character in Othello is seen this way by his enemies, and (apart from the quiet part) can be played this way even.
    • By his friends too one would assume. Othello is a soldier and after all it is a soldier's job to be scary so one would assume his friends would like to think him good at his job even if Othello wasn't scary to them personally.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Mr. T must have been popular in Japan, because Final Fantasy VII's Barret is pretty much Mr. T with an Arm Cannon... which is very scary when you think about it.
  • On the other hand, Sazh from Final Fantasy XIII averts this by being sensitive and kind most of the time, although still able to kick ass.
  • Back Alley Brawler from City of Heroes... interestingly enough, he USED to be white, but was Retcon'd black when the designers realized that their NPC superhero lineup lacked a Token Minority.
  • Balrog (Mike Bison in Japan) and Birdie from Street Fighter play this straight. Dudley, on the other hand, is a subversion.
  • Atlas from God of War II (That would be Mr. Duncan again). Also Kratos to some degree; while he is white, his voice actor is black.
    • And his skin is gray, thus splitting the difference! Everybody wins!
  • Craig Marduk from Tekken 4/5 is a white example.
  • Kongol from Legend of Dragoon is an example, though he really doesn't have any specific ethnicity.
  • Dr John of Gabriel Knight seems to be a subversion at first - he has the build to be a Scary Black Man, but not the personality. Until you discover he's in fact a Psycho for Hire
  • Heavy D! and Seth from The King of Fighters.
  • Zasalamel from the most recent Soul Calibur games. The eye of solid gold and Sinister Scythe merely add to it.
  • Garcian Smith from Killer7.
  • Joker (no, not that one) in Mega Man Star Force - particularly notable since he seems to be the only character in the series to outright kill someone... albeit temporarily.
  • Dragon Age mixes it up a little with the Scary Large Grey Qunari Sten, who tends to speak very little and utilize a very big stick.
  • Potemkin from Guilty Gear is black (or at least very, very dark-skinned), enormous, and hugely strong—he sketches in his spare time, but needs special supplies, as he breaks ordinary pencils just by trying to use them, applying several tons of pressure. He's also one of nicest guys in the entire series.
  • Kung Fu's "fat black man".
  • The Demoman from Team Fortress 2. Although when he's not drunk off his head and blowing people up in armed combat, he's a very nice guy who dotes on his old blind mother.
  • Averted with Valve's zombie shooter, Left 4 Dead, in which the only black character is the least assuming of the lot, being a fairly whiny (ex-)office worker, while the others are a complete thug; an old man who is a Badass Grandpa on account of being a War vet, and a female student who has the advantage of being Genre Savvy at least...
      • Left 4 Dead 2 has the fat black guy with the chainsaw, though.
  • Emile from Halo: Reach. Although you never see his face and it's not directly stated that he's black, you can tell from his voice and concept art that he is black. He has difficulty properly dealing with people outside of the military, and was planned to be replaced on missions against insurrectionists because the way he treated them would scare civilians. He also has a shotgun.
    • And the big honkin' knife on his pauldron.
  • Kold from Tomb Raider: Anniversary. He's an extremely large, extremely strong black man (the chief henchman of the main villain), he speaks in a gravelly, threatening voice, and he likes to stab people with his extremely large knife.
  • Mr. Sandman from the Punch-Out!!!! series.
    • Especially in his Wii rendition, which has been compared to The Incredible Hulk.
      • He levels up in scariness in Title Defense mode where he gets pissed off at Little Mac for basking in the glory of his fans and the camera zooms in on Sandman's face. Also occurs in the in between round segments where he says something like "Did you brush your teeth, Little Mac? It's bed time!" and having a close up of his scary face.
    • And of course, Iron Mike Tyson himself.
  • Sgt. Bidwell from Quake IV.
  • Father Rodin from Bayonetta. He beats up demons with his bare fists, steals their souls, and converts them into Bayonetta's weapons. Also, when given the "Platinum Ticket", he goes from scary black man to scary black celestial deity!.
  • Mad Jack from Heavy Rain. He's so scary, he has a skull in his acid bath.
  • Ganondorf, from The Legend of Zelda, is a terrifying black man. Though he's more Ambiguously Brown than anything, he certainly counts, up until he goes One-Winged Angel.[1]
  • Gabriel Tosh from StarCraft 2. He's a big, scary, wields a mean knife, practices voodoo, and is an experimental improved Ghost who may or may not be a Psycho Prototype. The only reason he joins Raynor is because he really hates Mengsk and the Dominion -- his hatred of the Dominion is so strong it disturbs Matt Horner.
  • The James Bond game, NightFire, has Armitage Rook, one of the Big Bad's Dragons. You can meet him at one point in the first level, to which he replies 'Not. Now.' or 'I'm busy.' Later he flies a helicopter and tries to kill you, and then ends up with a Badass Scar on his face.
  • Averted with Vulcan Raven. Even if he is technically Inuit, he looks like one and does take many of the intimidating stances of one. And yet he probably turns out to be the least crazy of all of the members of FOXHOUND.
  • James Heller of Prototype 2. A growling voice, a perpetually scowling face, a master of converting his own flesh into a potpourri of weapons, he is possibly the most dangerous black man in Manhattan.
  • Torque from The Suffering and its sequel The Ties That Bind is the very epitome of this trope. He is most certainly African-American (with some white mixed in). He practically never talks...except to those that he is particularly close to. Both games show that he can use weapons just fine... not to mention turn into a Homage of the Incredible Hulk and tear apart anything with his bare hands! He also suffers from some form of dementia.
  • Abobo from Double Dragon, particularly the mohawked boss version from the arcade game.
  • Meyer from The Orion Conspiracy is very much this. He is the engineer of the space station, but do not be fooled! He will cuss and insult you most of the time. He has a problem respecting authority. He also tells Devlin that he was a soldier in the Corporation War, and even as an engineer, he can take care of himself and kick a lot of ass.
  • Deus from Asura's Wrath, in a world where most other characters are lighter skinned and or asian descent. He combines with Blond Guys Are Evil.
  • Barbatos Goetia from Tales Of Destiny 2. Brown skinned, large, and such a nasty guy that historians opted to remove him from recorded history; something he seeks to rectify when he gets revived. It's hard not to like him despite his evilness, though, largely thanks to who he's voiced by.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Michelle Clore's Shadow in Kate Modern.
  • Survival of the Fittest has a few examples from versions one and three, most notably Marcus Roddy, Darnell Butler, and Bobby Jacks. Marcus Roddy and Darnell Butler are made slightly less scary by the fact they're Gentle Giants, but Bobby Jacks is a professional boxer who has few qualms about playing the game to win, Marcus is one of the biggest students on the island during version one, and Darnell happens to be his school's most skilled fighter on top of being a star athlete, and strong enough that he is said to have once picked up a 6'11", 300 pound player on an opposing football team and slammed him to the ground.
  • There's a web meme that involves photoshopping the face of a black man into a dark area of an image where it's difficult to spot him, and captioning the image with "When you see it you'll shit bricks".
  • Deimos, one of the bouncers at the Mars club, in Broken Saints.
  • Phil from Avatar Adventures. Not actually a scary person (he is an angel after all), but he won't hesitate to kick some ass.
  • Marcus from Darwin's Soldiers fits this trope. Huge, black, muscular and can take ludicrous amounts of punishment.
  • Parodied in the Funny or Die video White Women's Workout.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Roadblock from G.I. Joe. Also a Jive Turkey.
  • Freight from G.I. Joe Extreme .
  • Heavy Duty from G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in the movie).
  • Lothar from Defenders of the Earth. His teenage son Lothar Jr. might grow up into one of these.
  • Mister T (again) from his self-titled cartoon.
  • Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames) from Liloand Stitch. Not only is he a social worker who threatens to separate Lilo from Nani, he's also a hardcore government agent who studies alien activity in the United States.
    • Also, Gantu from the same film is a scary black alien.
  • John Henry Irons/Steel from Superman the Animated Series. (Though he was quickly established as a Genius Bruiser, he's no less scary for it.)
  • First mate Kale (voiced by Dennis Haysbert, 24's Pres. Palmer) from Dreamworks Animation's "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas".
  • Dr. Joshua Strongbear Sweet from Disney's Atlantis the Lost Empire. He's more of a Gentle Giant and Badass Bookworm, as he is the only one who enthusiastically takes to the exotic Atlantian food and utensils.
  • As noted above, Commander Vachir from Kung Fu Panda.
  • Randy Robertson from The Spectacular Spider-Man mostly subverts the trope; he's huge, but kind and level-headed. When he's being serious, though, he's being serious.
    • A straighter example would be Tombstone. Not only is he a scary black man, but he's also an Evil Albino with shark teeth.
  • If Code Monkeys' Black Steve isn't scary, he's sure as hell insane...
  • Devil Ray from Justice League Unlimited could qualify; while he is never shown unmasked, he is voiced by Michael Beach, and he is a replacement for Black Manta, who couldn't be used due to a then-present Aquaman-related character embargo, and who also happens to be this trope in his own right. As for Devil Ray, he's actually WORSE than Black Manta, who is despicable in his own right. Easily one of the most disgusting characters on the show, he's a sadistic, bloodthirsty, remorseless mercenary who rarely kills his targets on the spot, instead preferring to let them suffer.
  • Mr. Fixx, of Batman Beyond's premiere episode. Voiced, interestingly, by George Takei, who has Japanese ancestry.
  • In The Boondocks episode "A Date With The Health Inspector," Tom DuBois has nightmares about being accosted in prison by The Health Inspector, a massively muscled and massively well-endowed inmate voiced by (and visually based on) Terry Crews.
    • Another deliberate example would include the male half of BET's evil Henchman, Big Nigga. Then again, his fellow henchwoman is Crazy Bitch.
  • Panthro, from Thundercats. "I'm gonna rearrange your bones for you, too!".
  • Chef Hatchet from Total Drama Island.
  • The Simpsons has Drederick Tatum, Springfield's answer to Mike Tyson.
  • Parodied with Mandalay in the episode "The Incredible Mr. Brisby" of The Venture Brothers. He is a tall silent scary guy with a turban. But when Brock faced off against him, he walked away because he wasn't getting paid enough to get into a fight to the death.
  • Roscoe from Oliver and Company even has an African - American accent. His partner DeSoto is voiced by a white man.
  • Kron, the tyrannical Iguanodon leader from Dinosaur. What gave this away was the fact that he was voiced by the same actor who played Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.
  • Inverted in The Lion King where the former Lion King Mufasa is a burly, golden-furred lion voiced by African-American actor James Earl Jones, while Big Bad Scar is a scrwany, dark-furred lion voiced by Caucasian (and British) Jeremy Irons.
  • Ebon from Static Shock is a Living Shadow with an uber-deep voice and a short temper, making him almost a literal version.
  1. As if to address any accusations of Unfortunate Implications, though, his fellow Gerudos aren't nearly as horrid as him. He's also kind of green, which mitigates it further.