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The standardised, FDA-approved display of affection for The Big Guy (especially if s/he is a Gentle Giant and/or a Boisterous Bruiser), this consists of the hugger grabbing someone -- or multiple people, if necessary -- from behind (usually) with a big, sweeping motion and pulling them close (sometimes lifting them off the ground entirely), with the hugger's arm(s) wrapped tightly around the huggee's neck and/or shoulders. Being The Big Guy is not actually required, but having a large "stage presence" (whether it stems from size or sheer charisma) helps make this more convincing.

Note that this is as much a means of displaying the character's dominance/strength as it is of showing that they're just a big ol' teddy bear, and like its cousin The Glomp, is oftentimes far from consensual; the huggee often doesn't appreciate being manhandled by somebody twice their size, and you can tell a lot about a character based on whether they give in to the hugger's crushing embrace or struggle helplessly to escape. If the hug goes on for too long, expect cries of "can't... breathe..." or something similar. Despite all this, there is often little-to-no risk of actual physical injury unless the hugger Does Not Know His Own Strength on top of being overly affectionate, in which case the odds of Amusing Injuries being inflicted vastly increase.

This is Truth in Television, as any real life Gentle Giant (or a close friend of one) will tell you.

Similar to The Glomp, but with less full-body tackling and a far higher risk of asphyxiation. Unrelated to bears in general as a trope, though they can coexist in very specific circumstances. Like many tropes, can be Deconstructed to horrifying effect.

Examples of Bear Hug include:


Anime & Manga

  • Goku's father-in-law Ox-King from Dragon Ball could give a pretty good bear hug when the situation called for it.
  • In The Twelve Kingdoms, Youko's reuniting with Rakushun. When Youko arrives in En only to find that Rakushun had made it there on his own and had been coming to the docks every morning when the ships bearing immigrants from Kei arrived, hoping that Youko would be among their number. Youko then proceeds to give him a "d'awww" inducing bear hug in gratitude.
  • Gendo Ikari expressed his desire to bear hug Shinji from behind in Ikari Shinji Raising Project, among, er... other things.
  • Gentle Giant Kurita in Eyeshield 21 is prone to bear-hugging his teammates when he's happy. When Musashi returned to the team, Kurita went to Bear Hug Musashi who dodged and Kurita ended up crushing the truck Musashi was driving.

Comic Books:

  • In The Boys former Soviet superhero Love Sausage bearhugs Billy Butcher (in a friendly fashion) when they first meet.
  • In Marvel Comics, former Soviet Super Soldier Ursa Major (who turns into a bear) uses this as his main attack move.


  • Chewbacca from Star Wars is something of a bear, and he is as fond of hugs as he is of ripping out arms from their sockets.

Live Action TV

  • On Lost, when Hurley sees Sawyer again after three years, he hugs him and pulls him off the ground. Fans have dubbed it (and other hugs given by Hurley) the "Hurley Hug".
  • In Drake and Josh, Josh often hugs Drake like this, much to Drake's consternation.
  • Katie the Yellow Ranger from Power Rangers Time Force was fond of giving these.
  • The Almighty Janitor from Scrubs to Carla when she included him in the group photo. She was less than pleased, probably because she doesn't like being manhandled, but mostly because The Janitor is crazy.

 Carla: I thought you were going to kill me.

Janitor: I fought the urge.


 And with that, the Doctor bounded over and gave Fitz a huge, rib-cracking hug, lifting him clear off the ground.

They're both fairly slim and unremarkable to look at, although, in another book, the Doctor lifts Fitz up in a rather effortless Bridal Carry, so he's kind of got that Muscles Are Meaningless/Waif Fu thing going on.
  • Hagrid does this to Harry, Ron, and Hermione a lot in Harry Potter, sometimes more than one of them at the same time.
  • Bear Olefsky from Star of the Guardians is very fond of this.

Video Games

  • Debilitas from the Survival Horror game Haunting Ground, the Psychopathic Manchild gardener who chases Fiona around the castle because he's mistaken her for one of his dolls and just wants to play with her. Unfortunately, his over-excitement means he'll violently beat her to death in glee if you let him get close, or pick the poor girl up and squeeze her to death in a Bear Hug while giggling manically.
  • Sumo wrestler E. Honda from the fighting game Street Fighter II has this in his arsenal of attacks.
  • Bear Hugger is a huge Canadian lumberjack from Punch Out that would love to give his opponents Bear Hugs.
  • In the ending of the Dodongo's Cavern in Ocarina of Time Darunia decides that he and Link are now Sworn Brothers, and to celebrate this he gives him two gifts: the necessary Plot Coupon, the Goron's Ruby and a Goron group Bear Hug. Cue Link running off screaming.
  • In Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, the player's walking Pokémon with high happiness will sometimes hug the player. Cue the message "Whoa! (Pokémon's name) suddenly hugged you." and a heart speech bubble over the player's Pokémon's head.

Web Comic

  Harold: Friendly, isn't he.

  • In this Freefall strip, Florence finds herself unable to get her breath during an enthusiastic hug from the mayor, when she thought that Florence had killed Sam Starfall.

Web Original

  • Blue Team's original leader Captain Butch Flowers from Red vs. Blue:

 "Men, your delightful tomfoolery puts a spring in my step, and a bounce in my britches. If I weren't your commanding officer I'd pick you both up, give you a giant bear hug, and make you call me Daddy."

Western Animation

  • Genie in the end of the first Aladdin movie.

  Genie: Aww! Group hug, big group hug!"

 Exile: I give all my comrades big kiss!

Blitz: Stop with the kissing, or I'll start with the biting.

Exile: OK, I give you big bear hug instead!

Blitz: (straining) Go back to the kissing! Go back to the kissing! Kiss me! Kiss meeee...

Exile: Don't be a weird boy.

Real Life

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