A bugbear is a fairy creature comparable to the bogeyman, bogey, bugaboo, hobgoblin and other creatures of folklore. According to Webster's Dictionary, a bugbear is "an imaginary goblin or spectre used to excite fear", "an object or source of dread" or "a continuing source of irritation". "Bugbear" is also another term for scarecrow.
In a modern context, the term serves as a metaphor for something which is annoying or irritating.
- In the role-playing game Kingdom of Loathing, bugbears are bipedal creatures that resemble small bears. Confusingly, actual bears are known as 'bars' (mimicking the speech of rednecks) and one used to be able to encounter a bugbar, which was 'meant' to be a bar but supposedly turned into a bugbar due to a software bug (breaking the fourth wall in the process).
- Bugbear is also the name of a monster in the Nintendo DS]game Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. In the game it is portrayed as a levitating eyeball with a long tail and a pair of spikes coming out of either end of the eyeball. The spikes and the tail both generate electricity.
- In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, a bugbear is a massive humanoid distantly related to goblins and hobgoblins. Named for the bugbear of legend, the bugbears of Dungeons & Dragons are goblinoid creatures, larger and stronger than hobgoblins. They speak Goblin. For a bugbear character, give plus 4 to strength, a plus 2 to dexterity, a plus 2 to constitution, and a minus 2 to charisma.