Finally, I’m back! And by back, I mean I’m here to introduce someone else doing a much better job at my list than I do! We can all agree that there have been some miserable misers throughout the history of TV, literature & movies, but am I knowledgeable enough to handle such a list? No. Only the Grumpiest of Geeks will do…
When I think of the word “grumpy,” my immediate thought is…well, the pissed off dwarf following around Snow White and his 6 buddies. But AFTER that, I come to my good friend Pete Herr, known (very affectionately, I might add) as the Grumpy Geek. He’s about to lay a straight up, grumptastically geeky ranking right in your lap…do you hold your computer in your lap?…okay, then right on your computer table! Take it away Pete!
Thanks, Lou. Like anything, being Division 1 Grumpy takes work. Looking in the mirror and perfecting your scowl. Practicing how to growl back at puppies. Proper vocal warm ups so that the “Get Off My Lawn!” makes kids cower blocks away. You can read books to help you, but of way more importance is a good grumpy mentor. There’s no shortage of Jedi level grumps out there, but these guys (yep, all guys…I felt no need to make this list balanced. Women are generally less grumpy than men…and prettier…and smarter…) are the All-Star Team of brooding badass bastages. And who is better than I to judge grump factor?
Honorable Mentions –
Judge Dredd – The announcement of a coming small screen version of our favorite judge, jury, and executioner reminded me of what a crotchety cuss he is. No doubt he puts the Dredd in dreadful, but not enough to make the Top 10. And we’re selective here at the Geekiverse…..yeah, that. Sly Stallone and Karl Urban each played the Dreddful one.
Gandalf the Grey – When I bounced this one off my Geekiverse colleagues one of them (OK, it was Josiah) said “That’s a stretch”–he loves the things he loves, and LOTR is definitely on that list. I thought about it, and nawwww. He’s a miserable mage. I’m not saying it isn’t justified. Ring Wraiths can really ruin your day. Try getting dwarves and hobbits and elves to get along. On top of all that, he finds out his boss, who is a major jerk himself, is colluding with the enemy of the people of Middle Earth. That’s definitely a recipe for an honorable mention.
The Thing – Make no mistake, if anyone deserves a little grump in their trunk it’s Ben Grimm. Talk about the short end of the stick. Sue Richards gets invisible, Johnny gets to “Flame On”, Reed Richards gets to reach the top shelf…on the 18th floor…from street level. Ben gets butt ugly. Sure, he’s super strong and basically indestructible, but he still has to look in the mirror everyday. Grumpy, but not on the A Team.
Top 10 Grumpiest of Geeks
10. J. Jonah Jameson (Marvel)
If you are any kind of Marvel fan at all, you know the Editor In Chief of the Daily Bugle has been known to grump out from time to time in his quest to humiliate, invalidate, and desecrate our friendly neighborhood Spiderman. I’ll admit, I’m gonna miss the guy in the upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming. I’m assuming we won’t see him in the first installment, as Pete is busy popping zits, not stringing for the Bugle yet. Jameson is a big part of the Spiderman world.
9. Han Solo (Star Wars)
I actually did ask for suggestions from the peanut gallery at Geekiverse Digital HQ, and Josiah (you can’t stop that guy) suggested Han Solo from The Force Awakens. I, of course, LOLed. There is no one single Han that is grumpy. This is an all Hans on deck situation here. Actually, step back and look at this from 10,000 feet, in a small plane, descending to the wrong runway…has Harrison Ford ever really played a cheerful part? Um…nope. Han Solo is a grump. The most cheerful Han is carbonite Han. So, “get off his plane”.
8. Severus Snape (Harry Potter)
I’m guessing that if you’ve been teaching potions to nitwit first years, you’ve dabbled in the Dark Arts, and you’ve seen some shizzle, it has to affect you, right? The only thing Snape wields better than magic is sarcasm, and that was enough to land him on this list.
7. The CW’s Oliver Queen (DC on CW)
I was careful to choose my Oliver Queen here. I’ll be honest, I have read exactly zero Green Arrow, but I have seen all of the TV episodes. Oliver could suck the life out of a puppy’s birthday party. He looked happy for a minute or two when he and Felicity were….well, you know. Did anyone actually think it would last? His happiness, or Olicity? Two resounding “No”s. Anyone NOT want to punch him from time to time? Exactly. He broods when he is Oliver. He broods when he is Green Arrow. He broods when he is with whoever his current lover is. He broods when he is leading his team. Quick, somebody brood slap him….but then run.
6. Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street)
Scram! ‘Nuff said? I do love his hair and wish I could get mine to do that.
5. Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS)
If only you could do the DiNozzo head slap in real life to people in your workplace or school. Game changer. Seriously, Gibbs has his own set of rules and almost as many ex-wives as I’ve had cars in my life, and somehow everyone loves the guy. Isn’t that against one of his rules?
4. Grumpy (Disney)
I don’t suppose I could have had this list without including one of the earliest and most quintessential of grumps, as well as an almost titular character in this list. The shortest grump on this list made his way to the silver screen in February of 1938, and has served as a role model to everyone else involved with this list, including the author. He’s the grump Yoda.
3. Wolverine (Marvel)
What more can I say other than this clip? Regardless of the media… film, comic, graphic novel, Logan oozes grumpy.
2. Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Star Trek)
The beauty of including Bones McCoy on this list is that both actors that have played him (DeForest Kelley and Karl Urban) have embraced the grump. It is the defining characteristic of the man, and both did stellar jobs of bringing that to life. One of my favorite scenes in the history of the franchise is when Chekov falls on the navy ship in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and he charges in before the 20th Century doctors drill a hole in Chekov’s head and announces that they are all barbarians. (Non-grumpy aside: Star Trek IV was my first date with my wife in 1986, and she married me anyway) This is Karl Urban’s second appearance on this list as he starred as Judge Dredd too. Way to go, Karl. If I had Grumpy Geek tees, I’d be mailing you one.
1. Batman/Bruce Wayne (TV, Film, Books, Comics, Grumpy Everywhere)
I probably could have included any Batman clip at all (except for Adam West) and it would have been fitting. Batman and Bruce Wayne are seriously grumpy dudes. I get it. He’s had some crap cards in life. Watching your parents killed in front of you… a scarring experience. Watching it replay over and over in every reboot… horrifying. (Minor Spoiler: In a recent episode of Gotham, Bruce got to see it replayed 2 or 3 times. He’s not Batman yet, but David Mauzoz brings solid grump game) I’ll admit, however, that this level of consistent grump is a turn off. I don’t get excited for new Batman projects. I prefer grump on the level of Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader in Batman and Batman Returns to Christian Bale’s or Ben Affleck’s DEFCON 1 level of grumpy. I blame Frank Miller, the King of Darkness, for this.
Thanks for having me, Lou!
So, there you have it. The Grumpy Geek’s role models through the ages. Which Grumps should have made this list that maybe I ignored? Share in the comments below or “Get Off My Lawn”.
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Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.