Welcome Back, Bully Maguire: An Iconic Meme in the Spiderverse

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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” did more than break Box Office charts on its premiere last December 2021; it drowned fans in a nostalgia overload with the appearance of classic Spider-Man villains from alternate universes, as well as the iconic appearances of previous Spider-Men, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

With the resurrection of the old Spider-Man universes comes the resurrection of other things related to the old trilogies. One of the most iconic pieces to make the biggest comeback is — watch out world, he’s going to put some dirt in your eye — Bully Maguire.

Who is Bully Maguire?

Bully Maguire danced his way to our hearts (Photo from The Next Web)

Bully Maguire (also known as ‘Emo Peter Parker’ or ‘Emo Spider-Man’) is an iconic Tobey Maguire meme that features Peter Parker after he’s infected with Venom “Spider-Man 3.”

In the movie, the symbiote assimilates Spider-Man’s suit as the latter waits for his Uncle Ben’s killer, Marco. Upon waking up, Peter discovers that the symbiote has colored his suit black and enhanced his powers. Unfortunately, it also emphasizes the darker side of his personality, which resulted in great Tobey Maguire meme material.

The internet has dubbed Bully Maguire as the edgier and darker version of Peter Parker. While infected by the symbiote, Parker becomes arrogant and hot-headed, causing him to treat others poorly. Physically, he also started wearing black and his bangs were pushed to one side, giving him the iconic Emo Peter Parker look.

Of course, no Bully Maguire discussion is complete without THAT scene in “Spider-Man 3.” In a montage, we see Peter walking down the street arrogantly while scenes of people encountering his darker personality entertain us (who could forget the cookie scene? There should always be milk!). Maguire acts the scene to perfection — pointing awkwardly at strangers, sliding down the streets and shaking his hips in his new black suit.

In the meme universe, Bully Maguire is a video remix of scenes of Maguire’s Venom-infected Spider-Man bullying other characters, typically heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Where Did Bully Maguire Come From?

In February 2018, Aldo Jones, a YouTuber, uploaded a parody of the “Avengers: Infinity War.” At the 1:48 mark of the video “AVENGERS INFINITY WAR Weird Trailer,” Maguire’s Emo Peter Parker attacks Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and tosses him, which was followed by a bold on-screen text that reads “BULLY MAGUIRE.” Bully Maguire makes a comeback a few minutes later by flicking Tony Stark.

As of writing, the YouTube video has more than 10 million views and 316,000 likes.

In March 2018, another YouTuber named lurilottaspt re-uploaded the Bully Maguire scene from Jones’ original video. Titling it “Bully Maguire,” the video gained more than 40,000 views. It also sparked the trend for more Bully Maguire memes.

The Emo Spider-Man meme train continued to run as more people uploaded their versions of Bully Maguire. In 2019, Aldo Jones celebrated the meme by posting another Bully Maguire compilation, which featured all of Emo Peter Parker’s appearances in his trailers. His video gained more than a million views in less than 20 months. Many YouTubers started reacting to his compilation and eventually, made their own remixes with Bully Maguire.

Matan Animation Studio uploaded a bunch of Bully Maguire remixes. Some of its most popular Emo Peter Parker videos are “Bully Maguire Lifts Thor’s Hammer” and “Bully Maguire Bullies Peter Parker,” with each video garnering more than four million views.

For a while, there were a few Bully Maguire videos here and there, but the Emo Spider-Man meme flourished once more in2020 as Twitter users started sharing more Bully Maguire videos on the platform. Once rumors of Maguire’s appearance in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” spread online, people started making more of the Bully Maguire memes, which flourished by the time the film was released and Maguire’s appearance was confirmed.

Just check TikTok! Even Tom Holland, the latest Spider-Man actor, reposted a Bullying Maguire meme on his Instagram stories.

Tobey Maguire Has Thoughts About Bully Maguire

With something so iconic concerning his portrayal of Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire was bound to comment on Bully Maguire.

In a commentary for Spider-Man 3, the cast talks about the Venom-version of Spider-Man. Speaking about the scene with Emo Peter Parker saying he’ll put dirt in Eddie Brock’s eye, Maguire said the line was Ivan Raimi’s idea. According to the actor, the line was Ivan and Sam Raimi’s idea to bring a jazzy, old-school feel to this darker version of Spider-Man.

Actor Topher Grace, who portrayed Eddie Rock/Venom, said his favorite part of the film is Maguire’s Emo Peter Parker montage. Maguire agreed with his co-actor. Talking about the scene where Parker ignores Doctor Connors’ warnings concerning the symbiote, he says Emo Peter Parker’s attitude of arrogant ignorance was a perfect mood for the character. It was perfect for Peter to just eat the cookies and not listen about the dangers.

Maguire adds that the Bully Maguire montage was a last-minute addition to the film. According to Sam Raimi, there was much to say about the darker version of Peter Parker, but they didn’t want to overload the audience. So, they created a montage that intersected all of Emo Peter Parker’s scenes.

Kirsten Dunst, the actress behind Mary Jane Watson, thought Maguire was an “angry, dorky rock star” in all of his Bully Maguire scenes. “He has this eyeliner, and his hair is all shagged out. He’s like very ’70s about it and doing weird dance moves,” she said in the commentary. While watching Maguire’s iconic slide and dance scene, Raimi expresses how much he liked that scene, with actor James Franco (who portrayed Harry Osborne) saying the scene had a “geek flair to it” but praised Maguire for his dance moves.

Speaking about the iconic dance scene, Maguire said that was the “toughest part of the whole thing.” But we have to thank him for that. Because without Maguire’s iconic Emo Peter Parker, Bully Maguire would have never seen the light of day.

What Are The Other Tobey Maguire Memes?

Tobey Maguire’s goofy portrayal of the first Spider-Man is loveable and cringe at the same time, which makes him the perfect Peter Parker (don’t worry Andrew fans. Garfield was the perfect Spider-Man). Due to his portrayal of Spider-Man, he ended up with plenty of memes apart from the iconic Bully Maguire.

Some of the Internet’s most favorite Tobey Maguire memes are the following:

The Train

This iconic train-stopping face has made the Internet a better place (Photo from Reddit)

The train scene in “Spider-Man 2” was meant to be a dramatic moment in the film since this is the first time Spider-Man is unmasked and uses all of his powers to protect the people. However, the scene became a meme due to the faces Maguire makes.

Fans use this meme in any situation that involves strenuous activities or when they want to playfully tease Maguire. Even if the scene is a little cringe, it is forever one of the best scenes in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” franchise.

My Back

Maguire’s back hurts because he has been carrying the Spider-Man franchise for years. (Photo by Reddit)

This is another memorable moment from the Raimi Spiderverse that was referenced in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” In “Spider-Man 2,” Peter physically hurts his back, which is a reference to Maguire’s initial hesitancy to return to the movie due to his back problems.

After falling onto some parked cars, Peter’s “My back!” exclamation sealed its fame into the Spider-Man meme universe. Fans use this moment to reference his success in the movies.

They Love Me

Everyone loves Tobey (Photo by Reddit)

Maguire’s Peter is the Patron Saint of Awkwardness and Dorkiness. When he gains his abilities as Spider-Man, his self-confidence levels rose. He delivers his iconic “They love me!” line as he watches a parade that honors him. The line was entirely out of character for Peter Parker, which made the scene funnier than anything else.

Even with his cool powers, Maguire’s Spider-Man is one of the most charismatic characters. He was pleasantly humble and awkward, which is why his “They love me” line came out so laughable.

Tobey Maguire made the superhero universe better with his portrayal of our favorite web-slinger. He also made the Internet universe better by gifting us with the meme that is Bully Maguire.

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