"You Don't Mess Around with Jim" is a 1972 single by Jim Croce from his album of the same name. The song was also Croce's debut single when it was released in July 1972. It reached a peak of 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The lyrics tell story of "Big Jim Walker", a pool hustler who is not too bright but is very strong and respected because of his tough reputation and his skill at pool. The regulars at the pool hall have this advice:
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Jim
A man named William L McCoy Jr. (also known as Willie) who is also a pool player comes to the pool hall to get his money back from Big Jim after being hustled out of it the previous week. Willie McCoy is known as "Slim" back in his hometown in south Alabama. Big Jim comes into the pool room then is cut numerous times by a switchblade and also shot and killed by Willie McCoy. McCoy gets his money back and the regulars at the pool hall now have different advice as Willie McCoy now has all of the respect: "You don't mess around with Slim".
Croce tells a nearly identical story (tough guy whom everybody fears is brutally beaten when he meets an even tougher guy) in his hit single Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.