Have You Ever Stopped a Bully?

I never thought I’d say this, but one of the most heartwarming things I’ve seen in a long time was a Burger King commercial.

It’s a “hidden camera” commercial that poses the following scenario: “We bullied a high school junior and a Whopper Jr. to see which one received more complaints.”

You can watch the 3-minute video to see what happens, but you can probably guess the results. Way more people (95%) reported a problem with their semi-destroyed Whopper Jr. than people (12%) who stood up for the the kid being bullied (a child actor).

Despite that low number, the commercial does show a few people who stand up for the kid. They don’t do it with violence or aggression–they just make their presence known, and they start a dialogue. I’ve watched the video several times now, and I tear up every time at that part of the video.

The video made me think of a time in middle school when I was bullied for a while by a much bigger kid my same age, usually in gym class at times when few other people were around. It wasn’t big stuff (tripping, pushing, etc), but it made me feel small.

I remember one time when I was a little too slow at putting on my gym uniform, and the bully shoved past me and dumped my backpack on the locker room floor. I backed into a corner, and I don’t know what would have happened next if another kid hadn’t started picking up my stuff, saying, “Come on, man. Stop picking on him.” The bully shrugged and walked out of the locker room.

I still remember the bully’s name, but I wish I instead remembered the name of the kid who stood up for me. It meant a lot. As odd as it is to say, I really appreciate this Burger King commercial, as it’s a great reminder to me that a small gesture can make a big impact on a kid who’s being bullied.

4 thoughts on “Have You Ever Stopped a Bully?”

  1. I’m actually struggling to write a response to this… this is my 3rd try. I will make it short and sweet. Yes, I have stood up to bullies. I was the one being bullied. I like to think I took it better than most, but even now, at 37, I still have vivid memories come up a few times a week of some of the instances. A few guys bullied me for a long time, but at some point I stood up to them and they backed off (thankfully I never had to throw a punch). Once I realized that, nobody ever bullied me for long. If I ever saw someone else being bullied I would definitely stop it.

  2. When i was young, i was a tall guy but reserved, emotive and with a little sharp voice of girl (up to 16 year old) and i was an alien (geeky stuff was so weirdo) i was always been bullied, but, i reply and fight all time… i was fight a lot 🙁 , and one time i was fired while i was the target…

    Nobody never help me, neither my parents although I came back sometimes covered with wounds.

    I was often target isolated from adult

    now, i don’t see bullying, perhaps because, i’m in the capital city, and far from school system, i will hope my daughter will not live this, neither apply it when she grow up
    But i have the feeling, the form of bullying change a little, it seem to be more by Social media, it’s the worst thing, it’s totally invisible to adult and a worldwide broadcast for children.
    I thing, if i was bullied the same, but online, i don’t know what I could have done…

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’m sorry to hear that you, like Ben and I, were bullied. I agree that online bullying is a big thing now, and I hope I will be able to recognize it and stand up for those who are oppressed.


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