Spoiler: a couple of thoughts I agree Bakugo's mom is abusive, and honestly, I hate that people seem to think hitting him and all that is WELL-DESERVED. like, no, hitting your kid is never deserved or acceptable, that's abuse, and it remains abuse no matter what your kid is doing in other areas of their life. also, even if she wasn't clearly physically abusing him, the things she said are still, imo, definitely emotional and verbal abuse. but I don't think he would have that defensive posture around her that we saw in like MOST of the scenes between her and Bakugo if she wasn't smacking him a fair amount of the time. I also highly doubt all of it is even in RESPONSE to something Bakugo does--but again, even when it is, hitting your kid isn't a justifiable thing to me. ever. and she is slapping him. that's not spanking. this is not remotely close to the spanking debate. that is h i t t i n g, and it is not okay. and I also agree that what she said was very....pointed. like, she lives with him. whether Bakugo tries to hide everything he feels from her or not, she has to have picked up on some of it, and that comment was....very on the mark to try and hurt him, if you ask me. and this is clearly not a NEW thing, not with the way Bakugo behaved around her, imo. yelling back doesn't mean that it's a new thing he's not used to her doing--it probably means that he's used to her doing this and because it's Bakugo, he's disinclined to be quiet and cowering, but you can yell and be afraid at the same time. not that I think Bakugo would ever admit to being afraid, or probably even admit it if his mother makes him anxious and he thinks she herself is scary, but the way he acted suggests to me that he's yelling back out of a combination of fear and anger, among probably other feelings. and being able to yell at your abuser doesn't mean they're not abusing you. I used to yell at my parents too. while they screamed right back at me. it doesn't mean the things they were doing weren't still having a very lasting impact. it also doesn't mean that their yelling didn't feel threatening or scary just because I was yelling too. and also, like tinyhydra said, I doubt she's unaware of how he treated Izuku. I also do think she's probably the type to believe ripping someone apart and bullying them 'builds strength'--she's not exactly nice to her husband when he interrupts the two of them, but you know what else I noticed? Bakugo wasn't nice to his dad either in that moment, and she didn't do anything about that as far as we know. which to me, reads as "my husband needs to be able to hold his own against our kid", which imo is another facet of 'bullying builds character'. I don't think that she's really inclined to stop Bakugo hurting kids who aren't 'strong enough' to stop Bakugo themselves--I just think she's also got this idea that Bakugo needs to be stronger, so she's going to keep bringing him down until it stops hurting him or something, but that's not how that works. I also think she might actually believe she's trying to teach him respect for his BETTERS with what she's doing--to her, his teachers and herself are probably his betters and he should just listen to them without yelling or backtalk--but if she manages to teach him ANYTHING with what she's doing, it's going to be fear. obey the people who you are scared of because otherwise they will hurt you. and that is not good. I DO think Bakugo abused Izuku, though. you can be abused and an abuser! there are plenty of examples of that in the world and again, one does not cancel out the other. I am sort of hoping that at the dorms now, Bakugo will learn that his behavior wasn't acceptable, was abusive, and will start trying to unlearn a lot of the shitty things his mom has probably taught him--but I agree that I am not sure where Hori is putting Bakugo and his mom's relationship. I hope he realizes it's abusive, but I also can't tell what he thinks of most relationships beyond...Todoroki and his dad, which I feel has been explicitly expressed as abusive. so I'm like....I'm warily waiting to see where this will go and if it will be handled well. ....honestly there's a FEW things I'm nervous about seeing handled well. the jury is out on several things right now, for me.