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Bug: My father? Very strict. It didn't matter that I was the youngest, when I would act up, he gave me his belt.
Li'l Jimmy's done it now. His dad is angry, and this is a crime worthy of far more than a Time Out. And Daddy's getting out the belt. This ain't gonna be pretty.
Truth in Television. Corporal Punishment has been around since practically the beginning of time. More and more parents are considering it barbaric these days, but it still goes on. Anyone from an old-school Black, Hispanic or Asian family can tell you what's up. Values Dissonance tends not to be called out, (like other forms of punishment/abuse) because of how common an occurrence this trope was in Real Life for anyone born before the last couple of decades, and how common it is in certain cultures and cultures.
Asians are often targets of this as well. While the belt is usually the symbol of male parental pain potential, the cane (or rattan/rotan) and sometimes the meter-long ruler is the symbol of teacher pain potential, and standard equipment in state-funded schools until fairly recently. The humble feather-duster (or a wooden spoon) is used by mothers and it doesn't tickle.
Of course, in the comedic version, the father takes his belt off, raises his arm to apply some pain, and his pants immediately fall down for want of a belt to hold them up.
Related in spirit to Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!, but different in application.
A Sister Trope for Spank the Cutie, but usually used on boys rather then girls, almost never for erotic purposes and is often treated like an explicit child abuse. Can be coupled with (and the result of) Calling the Old Man Out.
Anime and Manga
Granddad: Riley, your granddad is from a very small town. Do you know what the name of the town is?
- Although he also uses his belt as a bonus weapon against pimps and hustlers.
- Nick Fury does this to a corrupt military general in an issue of Punisher Max.
- To explain why, the general had put together a cell of middle eastern terrorists and sent them on a plane, which they were to hijack. The plane was then blown up by the Russians, killing the US funded terrorists and the innocent people aboard. Don't worry, he and his associates get a better punishment for it later.
- Any issue of The Beano in days gone by would have included at least two instances of this.
- Donald Duck in the comics doesn't have a belt, but he'd often chase his nephews with a stick.
- Used to, anyway. This is practically nonexistent in the modern strips, and these days the boys aren't in need of this kind of treatment anyway, being usually more competent and mature than their uncle.
- The comic Love and Rockets have several kinky references to Hot Wheel tracks.
Films — Live-Action
- Pootie Tang has a magic +5 belt of whoopass which is the Source Of His Power.
- In one Tyler Perry film, Madea turns a young hooligan girl into a proper young lady... by repeatedly beating her with a belt. Violence makes right, folks!
- In Curse of the Golden Flower the Emperor beats one of his sons to death with a huge gem-encrusted belt.
- Possibly justified, as the kid had just killed one of his brothers and attempted a coup. Pretty much every person in that movie pulls something like that on a family member.
- This is Antwone Fisher's mother's favorite form of punishment in Antwone Fisher. Unfortunately, she goes way too far.
- In Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, a young J.B. gets the belt for singing a rock song about fucking the devil at the dinner table.
- In Good Will Hunting, Will describes how his father would add a layer of psychological torment by making him choose what he would be beaten with. He always chose a wrench, the worst of the three options, "Because fuck him, that's why."
- Spoofed in Troll 2, where the dad fumbles with his belt while yelling at his son for ruining their food... and tightens it to deal with the hunger pains.
- In The Godfather Carlo threatening and attacking Connie with a belt after she confronts him about his affairs is the thing that drives Sonny over the edge.
- In Get On The Bus, Flip tells a story about the time he tried out for his school's track team against his mother's wishes. She showed up at the tryouts with a belt so thick nobody could actually wear it, and, well... let's just say Flip hates wearing belts to this day.
- In Rock N Rolla, in a flashback, we briefly see Lenny Cole getting ready to take his belt to his rebellious son, the future rock'n'rolla Johnny Quid.
- The Headmaster, form masters and prefects of the school attended by Billy Bunter can all dispense corporal punishment and do with (to a modern reader, at least) incredible frequency and little regret. A poor or obnoxious student, like the titular Bunter, can expect 'six' for offences as minor as 'lounging'. "Yaroooooh!", indeed.
- In Richard Wright's Black Boy, Richard offends his visiting uncle without understanding why. If I remember the scene correctly (it's been over ten years), the uncle declares that he'll give Richard (who is around 11) the beating of a lifetime. The uncle makes a big show of ripping a branch off a hickory tree in the yard to whip him. Only to discover that Richard, in the meantime, has snatched up the kitchen knife. After a standoff, the uncle looks very weary, and gives up while sighing. Then the uncle tells everybody in Richard's life that the boy is a menace and is not to be given any help whatsoever in anything...including school.
- It wasn't the kitchen knife. He actually held two razor blades between his fingers, one on each fist, and told his uncle that he'd fight him off. He had offended his uncle when, after being woken up in the middle of the night because his uncle wanted to know what time it was, his perfectly civil response is somehow perceived as insolent.
- Subverted in the short story The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea from The Stories Julian Tells. Julian's father warns him and his little brother to not, under any circumstances, eat the pudding he's just made for her mother when she gets home. Of course, Julian dares his brother into eating it. The father snarls, "There's going to be some beating and some whipping!" What happens next? You guessed it. Their punishment is to make a new pudding, and they have to beat the eggs and whip the cream.
- Happens to Menolly in the Dragonriders of Pern. When she starts improvising, her sexist father, who is ashamed that a mere daughter has the skills of a Harper, ominously dismisses the class she's teaching and signals to her to lift up her tunic (not what it sounds like, but unpleasant in a totally different way) before belting her savagely. Even Menolly's mother, who's not a great help to the girl at the best of times, is shocked by the injuries inflicted on her unfavourite daughter.
- The Bible has a verse or two about physical punishment, the most prominent in this troper's mind is Proverbs 23:13-14: "Withhold not discipline from the child, for if you strike and punish him with the rod, he will not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
- This is the same book that warns fathers not to drive their children to anger, as well.
- What about driving them to fear?
- Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to expensive therapy sessions as an adult.
- This is the same book that warns fathers not to drive their children to anger, as well.
- This is used as punishment by Liza's father in Bones of Faerie.
- Verence II of Lancre was beaten by his grandfather with a belt often when a child. Since said grandfather was a retired court jester, it was a belt with bells on, which made it more painful.
- Nimbalo The Slayer's father in the Redwall book Taggerung frequently did this, until he finally stood up to the scumbag and ran off. Despite this, Nimbalo's still heartbroken when he discovers that his father was murdered by the vermin they're chasing with his own battle axe.
- In Me and My Little Brain, part of The Great Brain series, John finally gets fed up with his adopted brother attacking him in mute silence, so he takes his little brother behind the woodshed and delivers an intense spanking. He expects to be whipped even worse by his parents for it, but the discipline breaks through the trauma his little brother had earlier experienced and caused him to open up to humanity again.
- Purple Hibiscus: Kambili (a girl) pushes her deranged father over the edge and this happens. She nearly dies.
Live Action TV
- Don Ramon threatened to do this to La Chilindrina in El Chavo Del Ocho. It was usually followed with a snarky comment from her. For example, there was one occasion where he asked her if she knew what'd happen if he took off his belt and she told him his pants would fall down. He unwittingly prove her right.
- Nikki from The Parkers
- Rochelle from Everybody Hates Chris
- Arnold in Diff'rent Strokes gets spanked by Willis.
- Bernie from The Bernie Mac Show
- Pops from The Wayans Bros
- Alf Stewart in Home and Away when Duncan pushed him too far in a 2001 episode.
- Parodied in Blackadder the Third. Edmund tells Mr. Hardcastle that the Prince wants his daughter for his wife. Hardcastle, misunderstanding, responds:
"Well his wife can't have her! Mind, sir, or I shall take off me belt, and by thunder, me trousers shall fall down!"
- Logan from Veronica Mars even has to get the belt himself, at his age! Just shows how much his father is a Complete Monster.
- James from Good Times, usually to youngest son Michael (to get him off his soapbox).
- Played with in one episode where Michael would rather take the belt than apologize for what he said to his teacher. James was reluctant to hit him too.
- Done between adults in The Sopranos when Tony uses his belt to hit his corrupt congressman lackey for sleeping with his mistress. Even though he had (apparently) okayed it earlier.
- In at least one episode of The Andy Griffith Show, specifically, "Mr. Mc Beevee." Opie is accused of stealing a quarter, and refuses to concede that Mr. Mc Beevee (a telephone lineman, who gave the coin to Opie) is imaginary, and Andy makes an implied threat that if Opie doesn't bend, he could face a whipping. The incident is averted when Andy decides he needs to believe his son.
- Little House On the Prairie: Set in an era where whippings as parental punishment were common. Although a few episodes featured abusive parents mercilessly whipping their children (including one where orphans James and Cassandra Cooper ultimately come to live with the Ingalls), two episodes included incidences where whippings are depicted as proper fatherly discipline. When Nels Olesen grabs a belt to punish his spoiled daughter, Nellie (usually, after Nellie committed a particularly humiliating prank on Laura), the whippings are not depicted onscreen, but Nellie's screaming can be heard off-screen as she is being lashed .
- A common match type is a "whipping" match, or a "(whip/belt/other weapon of the promoter's choice) on a pole," where the objective is for one wrestler to whip his opponent into bloody and bruised submission. Various adjustments to the rules apply.
- In 1987, when Ken Patera was released from prison (he had served time on a vandalism charge), he turned against former ally Bobby "the Brain" Heenan and renounced his former rule-breaking ways, sealing the deal when Patera whipped Heenan before tying the belt around his neck and whipping him across the screen. A week later, Heenan's minions got revenge by ganging up on Patera and whipping him until he lost consciousness.
- Cited by many Black stand-up comedians. Sinbad even had a routine wherein his mother turned into a superhero for the express purpose of catching him and giving him a whupping. It was for talking back to her (which you did not do with your parents back in the day) during lawn cutting day, and then turning around while she was reprimanding him. She beat him so bad, it was Monday when he woke up.
- "LORD JESUS CHRIST! PLEASE DON'T LET ME KILL THIS CHILD!"
- "Hit me once - *pft!* - Butt fell right off."
- "Boy, don't you ruuuuuuuuuuuuuun from me!!"
- "LORD JESUS CHRIST! PLEASE DON'T LET ME KILL THIS CHILD!"
- Bill Cosby referred to this in many of his stand-up routines, including his mother's threat to "knock the black off of him".
- One routine he specifically cited it - "We had never seen 'The Belt'. But we had heard about it."
- Here's one from a comedian named Russell Peters. "Somebody's gonna get a hurt real bad," indeed.
- Somewhat subverted by comedian Katt Williams:
"Look, I know all comics come on stage and say you need to beat your kids, but as a father, let me just say publicly that maybe we should stop beating our kids... publicly."
- Pretty common with a lot of ethnic groups, especially Irish.
"Hey, my dad used to beat the shit out of me, and looking back I'm glad he did. And I'm looking forward to beating the shit out my kids. Aren't you?"
- Steve Geyer recalled how his mother would tell him to bring her something to spank him with. At first, he would bring "a belt with a buckle on it", but eventually wised up and started bringing her sheets of notebook paper (don't laugh, he still has paper cut scars back there). Then she moved on to Hot Wheels tracks.
Steve: And then, one day, I thought to myself, "Steve, get a clue, she's spanking you... with your own toys?!" Yeah, glad I never got that wood-burning set I wanted, though.
- One black comic (can't remember who) mentioned that her mom once spanked her with a wet towel for lack of anything better. "My ass said 'Motel 6' for a week."
- It also happens with redneck stand-up comics too. Jeff Foxworthy stated that getting a "time out" in his family meant that "our dad would take time out of his busy day to blister our butts!"
- An Indian comedian (his name escapes me) did a routine about the time he tried to avert this - he'd gone over to a friend's house and seen how he talked back to his parents. When asked, the boy told him that they couldn't touch him because of child services. The comedian then imitates the boy upon returning home (responding to being nagged about chores with "fuck you dad" IIRC). His father, naturally, is less than impressed, and demands he front up for punishment. The comedian then tells his father that if he touches him he'll call child services. His dad's response? "Let me get you the phone." The father points out that there's a 20 minute gap between the call being made and someone arriving at the house.
- Russell Peters.
- In Earthbound, after Pokey and his brother Picky arrive late at home, his father takes them both upstairs and a repeating smacking sound is heard. Afterward, when Ness talks to him, he says "I was really scolded by my father. Aa, my butt hurts." The American localization replaced the smacking sound with something more comical (though, from context, it's still obviously a hit) and Pokey replies with "My dad really got after me. He said I get no dessert for the rest of the decade..."
- In the old school learning adventure game Pepper's Adventures in Time, Pepper meets a young Ben Franklin and chats with him. However, at one point his father calls from upstairs for Ben to bring the candle wick that he'd (forgotten to) pick up at the general store. If you don't give him the bit of string you have in your inventory, Ben eventually goes upstairs to face the music and a smacking sound ensues.
- In Halo 3, Sgt. Johnson will occasionally yell out in the middle of combat "Don't make me take off my belt!"
- Princess Raeka has a moment of this to Itchyknee-san in Samurai Princess during their battle in the tower.
- "WHOOP YO KIDS!!"
- Lurking Dragon's Rejuve Universe is all about this trope and Spank the Cutie. To wit, humanity finds some alien technology that allows them to be immortal by "rejuvenating" their bodies.But because aliens were asexual beings, machines doing it can't handle human puberty, so the people have to be sent to childhood. Guess what happens to criminals? Yeah, that's right. They get turned into children and given to strict "spanko" parents that spank them on the slightest provocation, then again and again, for decades of punishment (because everybody is practically immortal, years mean nothing to them). You can find more explanations on this page as well as original stories here (Warning, NSFW link)
- In Suburban Knights, The Cinema Snob was unable to use a whip for his Indiana Jones costume, due to customs officers taking it off him on the way there. He ends up using a belt to compensate.
The Cinema Snob: I could whip a dozen schoolchildren's asses with this!
- In the Newgrounds unlockable game "The Last Piece of Cake", a father gets into a fight to the death with his son over the last piece of cake. One of his random taunts is "Don't make me take my belt off".
- Typically happens at the end of an episode of Moral Orel. This eventually developed into a Running Gag of Clay's pants falling down because he forgot to put his belt back on after the beating.
- Usually it's only suggested; at the end of Grounded, Clay visibly beats Orel's religious epiphany out of him because it threatened their Protestant beliefs.
- Just like in the comics version, Granddad of The Boondocks does/threatens this often...Seeing his Indiana Jones-esque skills with a belt, you can't blame Riley for freaking and running like hell.
- Grampa Simpson tries and fails this trope in an early episode:
Grampa: You want me to take off my belt?
- This elicits Nelson's first ever "ha-ha!"