When attempting to bust a character, authority figures initiate a grapple with whomever they're trying to bust. If Jimmy's Trouble Meter is below red level, when he's grappled he has about 10 seconds to try and escape. The player must rapidly press a button to try and break free. If he successfully breaks free, the authority figure attempting the bust is stunned for a few seconds and the Trouble Meter increases slightly. If the Trouble Meter is red, Jimmy is busted automatically.
Other characters can be busted as well. Although they don't have a trouble meter, the game keeps track of the severity of their rule violations, and if an NPC commits a rule violation that would get Jimmy a red trouble meter, the authorities will bust them automatically. If the authority figures attempt to bust a character who is immune to grapples, for example Bif Taylor, that character will break free instantly from minor bust attempts. However, the severe trouble automatic bust overrides the character's immunity to grapples. The busted character is then considered Knocked Out and will say one of his/her knocked-out dialogues.
Prefects, Male Teachers, Female Teachers, Police, Male Townsfolk and Orderlies are the possible authority figures. The prefects, male teachers and police bust characters by grabbing them by the collar and tripping them backwards to the ground then pinning them. Edna also uses this technique, possibly due to her size and equal health to Male Faculty. Male townsfolk tackle a character to the ground and then raise their hand to flag down a policeman. If Jimmy's trouble meter is empty this is considered an assault by nearby authority figures, and they will attempt to bust the townsman once Jimmy escapes. Female teachers twist a character's ear and haul them up on their tiptoes before flinging them to the ground, and Orderlies inject the character with a sedative.
Depending on the authority figure or Jimmy's current location, he will be sent to different locations after being busted. If he is busted on school grounds during class hours, he will be sent to that class. If he is busted on campus during school hours but not during class, he'll be sent to the principal's office. If he's busted after school hours (7 p.m.) and after curfew (11 p.m.), he'll be sent directly to his room in the dorm.
If he is busted off-campus during class hours or after curfew, he'll be sent to the front gate of Bullworth Academy, otherwise he'll be sent to the nearest police station. This is the case even if he's busted by a prefect or teacher he's lured off campus.
Jimmy will also have all of his weapons asides from his slingshot and his rubber band ball confiscated.
If Jimmy is busted by any authority figure or an adult during a mission, the mission is automatically failed.