Bum is a minor character featured in both Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. He first appears in Hotline Miami as an antagonist and enemy, and returns as in a cameo appearance in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.
He gets the first lines of dialogue in the series during Hotline Miami's tutorial. He teaches the player the combat mechanics of the game, and is very rude and hasty with Jacket. Given that he was one of Jacket's first murder victims and how he vomits after killing Bum, it is possible that this is a manifestation of Jacket's guilt from killing the Bum in his conscience during his coma dream in the first half of the game, where Jacket relives the events of his life, up until Richter's murder of his girlfriend and attempted murder of Jacket.
He is encountered first as the narrator for the game's tutorial and then as an enemy at the end of Metro. Once Jacket has dropped off the briefcase in the dumpster, Bum will stand at the entrance of the alleyway with a baseball bat. Jacket must bash Bum's head in to advance, prompting him to remove his mask and vomit.
Bum reappears as a posthumous cameo appearance in the Bar of Broken Heroes in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, where he is seen rummaging through dumpster outside the bar. He cannot be interacted with by Evan.
It has been speculated and is likely that the Bum is one of the only murders Jacket has committed that he regrets. This is supported by the fact that Jacket vomits shortly after killing the bum, most likely due to the sight and smell as well as his emotions, and the nature of the crime itself. Unlike Jacket's other murders, his killing of the hobo was not premeditated, as he was ambushed by him in an alleyway. Jacket therefore killed the Bum in self defense and given that he is unaffiliated with the Russian Mafia and 50 Blessings, it is very likely Jacket did not actually want to kill the Bum but felt he was given no other option upon being attacked by him for entering the alleyway he occupied.
It is also worth mentioning that Jacket's murder of the Bum occurred shortly after his first murders at the subway station in The Metro, which means that Jacket was likely not yet used to committing killings outside of an active war zone, such as when he was in the Soviet-American war in Hawaii.
- Bum is referred to as "Burn" on the Steam Trading Card Game because of a mistake made by the creators of the card misreading "Bum" as "Burn."
- Despite being a minor side character, he still gets a Steam Trading Card, Emoticon and Profile Background named after him.
- The Hotline Miami game assets refer to him as 'Hobo.'
- He, along with the Police Chief, is a Hotline Miami pseudo-boss that gets an effectively nearly identical replacement in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Hobo), differing only in skin tone, hair, and facial hair.
- The player can miss or avoid vomiting by executing Bum near the car and quickly entering it.
- If you throw the baseball bat into the garbage pile in the corner, Bum can walk off the map.
- Bum has to be killed with an execution. Hitting him with the bat only knocks him down.
- Unlike in the first game, where he speaks the very first line of dialogue in the series, Bum has no lines in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.