Brooklyn Rage

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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"Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."
Rick Blaine, Casablanca

Since the 19th century, the boroughs of New York City, or the No Communities Were Harmed versions, have been characterized as having some of the toughest, angriest people you ever met. Perhaps it was all the immigrants clashing against each other. Perhaps it was all the gangs that sprouted in the poorer neighborhoods. Whatever the reason, anyone from the Big Applesauce is someone you don't want to mess with.

The type of character can vary, often a Badass with a Hair-Trigger Temper. Will sometimes be part of The Mafia.

Compare Violent Glaswegian and Southies. (Place your bets now!) Contrast Minnesota Nice.

Examples of Brooklyn Rage include:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books

  • The Captain from Nextwave was a random drunken thug from Brooklyn until Sufficiently Advanced Aliens decided he was The Chosen One and gave him superpowers. He's your hero!
  • Comic Book legend Jack Kirby (who himself exemplified this trope in real life) created a lot of characters in this mold, including Benjamin J. Grimm, Dan "Terrible" Turpin, who in Superman: The Animated Series responds to Darkseid's planet-wide Hannibal Lecture by insulting Darkseid to his face and proceeding to free Superman.
  • The phenomenon apparently crosses species barriers, because Dex-Starr the Red Lantern is from Brooklyn. He's a cat.
  • The Avengers have the villain Taskmaster and he even speaks in a Brooklyn accent.
  • Captain America (comics) is from Brooklyn. He doesn't seem to have the "rage" (usually) because he's very disciplined. However, he definitely has the determination and adamant refusal to back down from fighting the bad guys that comes with this trope.
  • In G.I. Joe, Cobra Alley Vipers, urban commandos, are confident in their ability to quickly take over any city without incident. Except maybe parts of New York.
  • The Punisher. While some men might seek vengeance on those who killed their family, Frank Castle doesn't settle that low. He wants to kill every criminal. Every single one.


J.T.: Hey there little Yankee wuss! Look here, 'got your $200. You gonna kick the shit out of me now?
[He does]

  • For some historical roots to this trope, Scorsese's Gangs of New York explores the violent gang culture of lower-class mid 19th century New York. Ok, that sounds like a documentary: also has visceral brawls, sex scenes and Daniel Day-Lewis being scary as all get out.
  • Spot Conlon from Newsies. He's the one in charge of every newspaper boy in Brooklyn, so you could almost call it Justified. Almost.
  • The Warriors takes this Up to Eleven, with street gangs everywhere.
  • John McClane of Die Hard is from New York, so even when he's not there, he's a tough mother*bang*. And from the third film, "shove a lightning bolt up your ass!" Zeus.
  • The entire plot of Ghostbusters 2 is about an evil spirit channeling New Yorkers' negative emotions, rage obviously being one of them. Futhermore, the Mayor claims that: "Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right." The film then plays on this trope when the Ghostbusters manage to weaponize New Yorker goodwill and patriotism by turning Lady Liberty into a Humongous Mecha.
  • Buggin' Out from Do the Right Thing.
  • Knockaround Guys gives us Taylor Reese, played by Vin Diesel. Witness his World of Cardboard Speech before beating the everliving shit out of the toughest man in a small Midwest town:

"500 fights. That's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are. You learn a lot of things on the way to 500. None more important than this." [headbutt]

"I wonder when the violence starts. You always get murdered when you come to New York. I've seen it on television."

  • The Blaxploitation classic Shaft focuses on a New York private eye who initiates a one-man battle against Da Mob in Harlem. The remake dials it Up to Eleven by casting Samuel L. Motherfu(shut your mouth!) Jackson as the detective.
  • The wiseguy Irish private in Saving Private Ryan is from Brooklyn.
  • Bruce Willis's character, Korben Dallas, who helps save the world in The Fifth Element, is a Brooklyn cab-driver in the 23rd century.
  • In The French Connection, the French heroin ring is running all smooth and flawless, until a couple of NYPD narcs decide to wreck their shit.
  • In Crocodile Dundee, the female leads assures her editor that she's tough enough to handle the Australian Outback because she's a New Yorker. It's subverted in that she's pretty helpless without Mick, while in comparison, Mick is a lot tougher than the local New York riff-raff.
  • In the Spider-Man films, there are scenes of simple New Yorkers standing up to the supervillains when Spiderman is in trouble. This has a lot of subtext, especially in the first film, regarding the 9/11 attacks, showing New Yorkers as resilient and sticking together.

Civilian: You mess wid' one of us, you mess wid' all of us! *continues tossing trash at the Green Goblin*

  • Bruce Willis (again) as Hudson Hawk. Let's see: accent, check; wise-ass, especially in the wrong situation, check; good in a fist fight, check; good in a GUN fight, check; simply won't stay down (without a goodly sized tranq dart in the neck anyway), check; just wants to be done with all this crazy crap and have a damn cup of coffee, double-check.
  • Sergeant Siegle in the 1955 film Conquest of Space, produced by George Pal.
  • In Spike Lee/Denzel Washington film Inside Man, a young boy is one of many hostages in a bank robbery. When the detectives talk to him afterward and ask if the multiple robbers waving AK-47s scared him, the boy responds that he wasn't scared, he's from Brooklyn.
  • Saturday Night Fever, with Tony's friends from the Bay Ridge area versus "The Barracudas," from a primarily Puerto Rican neighborhood.


  • In the novel The Fall of a Nation by Thomas Dixon (author of The Klansman, aka The Birth of a Nation), the combined European armies (save neutral Britain) invade America. New York City turns out to be somewhat more difficult to take than anticipated, not just because the NYPD fights to the last man, but all the immigrant neighborhoods are adamantly opposed to the invaders. They left Europe for a reason.
  • In Percy Jackson and The Olympians, the last book: "You don't mess with New Yorkers."
  • In Harry Harrison's The Technicolor Time Machine, Tex and Dallas, two very heavily stereotyped Italian-American (despite their names) assistants of the main hero the director, are your typical New Yorkers (again, despite their names) and generally on par with the angriest Horny Vikings available—when they aren't proverbial Italian momma's boys, that is.

Live-Action TV

  • Oscar the Grouch is probably the closest anyone on Sesame Street comes to this. Other than that, one could assume that this is the most peaceful neighborhood in all of Brooklyn.
  • Referenced in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 short in which an angel and a devil argue over a bread delivery guy. Said deliveryman tells of his wayward days of being a bad deliveryman, where it is riffed "I had a Brooklyn accent and a different poissenality!"
  • The Teutels of American Chopper.
  • In Star Trek: Enterprise, when Archer finds himself in an alternate past wherein the Nazis have invaded the East Coast of the United States, he finds that several Mafia members have joined forces with the locals in... Brooklyn (no, really) to fend them off.
    • Makes sense when you think about it. The Mafia is basically a premade Resistance organization, and they hated the Nazis historically, to the point they, allegedly, offered the US governments informants in Italy during World War II.
  • Given that the 8th season of 24 is set in New York, its to be expected. Most notably Brain Hastings and few dodgy police officers.
  • Also to be expected from time to time on CSI: NY, which is set in New York. As far as main characters, Danny Messer can fit this at times. He's settled a little since becoming a family man, but he still has his short temper and liability explode from time to time. He tries to restrain it at work, but not always successfully. And he'll take it Up to Eleven if you go after Lindsay and Lucy. Stella fell into it from time to time as well, and so did Aiden Burn. Another character who comes to mind is Sonny Sassone, who was a villain in two episodes.
  • On Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Robert Goren, who is from Brooklyn (as is his actor), generally averts this trope. When he plays the bad cop, however, he turns his Brooklyn accent Up to Eleven, just to play into it.
  • Many different characters on Boardwalk Empire, particularly Al Capone.
  • Heroes: Sylar. Although his home is based in Queens, his clock shop where his Start of Darkness began is located in Brooklyn. Chandra and Mohinder's apartment is also located in Brooklyn and is the location of Peter and Sylar's first real altercation.

Newspaper Comics

  • One Dilbert strip involved the regular cast talking about a new employee—they're terrified of him because he's from New York. They all scatter upon hearing that he's walking their way. The final panel is the New Yorker, standing alone, saying "Well, I suppose I could hunt them down and kill them one by one."
    • In the anniversary edition, Scott Adams explained that people from Los Angeles fear New Yorkers.

Professional Wrestling

Stand-Up Comedy

  • Chris Rock says it best: "Everybody goes around telling me to be scared of Al Qaeda. I ain't scared of Al Qaeda. I'm from Brooklyn, I don't give a f*ck about Al Qaeda."

Video Games

If you were from, where I was from, you'd be f[bleep] dead!

  • In MapleStory, Hawkeye (the Pirate trainer of the Cygnus Knights) talks like this when he has audial dialogue. Oddly, he is from Lith Harbor, not Kenning City, the zone that is the most like Brooklyn itself.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Spooky the Ghost from the Casper the Friendly Ghost series. (Most obvious in his accent. "Poil is my goil.") He's certainly got the tough-guy attitude down.
  • One of Mel Blanc's stock voices on The Jack Benny Program was an angry man with a Brooklyn accent who thinks Jack has slighted in some way.
    • An even better example is Mel's Bugs Bunny voice, which he described as the voice of a tough, street-smart guy that was mixed together from Brooklyn and Bronx accents. Of course, Bugs only displays elements of this trope when somebody does something to earn his wrath.
  • The Mario Brothers, anyone? At least in the Super Mario Bros Super Show, anyway...
    • Gamespy wonders what the Mario Bros. would be like if they took their Brooklyn Rage from Grand Theft Auto and put in on Sunshine. One imagines him curb stomping poor Goombas for their coins and mushrooms.

"It's-a me! *WHAP* Mario! *WHAP*"

  • The Gashouse Gorillas from the Bugs Bunny short Baseball Bugs, even though they're a parody of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • The Simpsons: Homer met a lot of them in two different visits to New York in the episode: "Homer Simpson vs. The City of New York".
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the episode "Return of the Shredder". Shredder is sent to Earth from Dimension X and wonders aloud where on the Earth he has landed. Two thugs immediately approach him with knives and demand money. Shredder then answers, "Of course. The Big Apple."
    • Not to mention Raphael is usually this trope incarnate, aside from the 80's series.
    • Casey Jones too.
  • An episode of The Twisted Tales Of Felix the Cat featured a flood devastating New York. When the flood reaches Brooklyn, the residents beat it back.
  • Russel Hobbs, drummer for the Gorillaz, may be a Gentle Giant, but don't piss him off. It will end badly.
  • One-shot villain Mr. White from the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: B.R.I.E.F.S.". He's a living pair of underwear with a Brooklyn accent and a bad attitude.

Real Life

  • Meet Anthony Weiner, Democratic Congressman from New York City, Brooklyn born and raised. Just look at this. Long story short, New Yorker = Badass + Large Ham + Brooklyn Rage, or at least that is Weiner's formula.
  • Monica Keena, the cute and tiny blonde chick from Undeclared and Freddy vs. Jason, originally from Brooklyn, once almost got into a fist-fight with an L.A. stripper over a piece of birthday cake.
  • Inverted with this bawling Giants fan, played straight by everyone else, from the girl that stands behind him signaling that he's a pussy, to the girl arguing with him to calm down and accept it, and especially with his friend that pops in during the last ten seconds.
  • Al Capone, meet Brooklyn Rage. Brooklyn Rage, meet Al Capone. I think this is the start of a very scary friendship...
  • Averted in the section of Brooklyn known as Williamsburg which was gentrified by starving artists, making it friendly for trendy people who like to pretend to be starving artists but actually have a lot of cash and made it one of the nicer, more upscale sections of the entire city. If someone says boldly "I'm from Brooklyn!" and then asked which part, they will usually much more sheepishly and quietly remark "Williamsburg..." and be immediately marked as as a posing hipster attempting to be streetwise. Feel free to insult their choice of berets and show them a newer iPad then their's and send them into a deep, deep depression.
  • Larry Merchant, longtime sportswriter and boxing analyst. In 2011 at age 80 he did a postfight interview with Floyd Mayweather about the controversial ending to a Mayweather fight where Mayweather twice sucker punched an opponent. Mayweather began cursing at Merchant an calling him, in essence, a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, while Merchant merely responded by growling "I wish I was 50 years younger and I'd kick your ass."