Owlbears...whaddaya think? -- Mike Monaco
I think that Owlbears are some of the most under utilized monsters in the book. They're these huge predators the exemplify the worst possible after effects of having a wizard experimenting near your home and people throw them out like they were a punchline to some stupid joke.
I've seen groups that treat them like they were goblins, barely worth fighting, let alone worth worrying about and I always want to run that encounter. I want to remind them why an Owlbear isn't a joke. I want them to have nightmares about that one time they ran into an Owlbear ten years back. I want them to get quite when the subject is brought up at the table and I want it to kill the conversation. I want grown men to walk away from the table and refuse to talk about them for fear that they might bring one about just by mentioning them too loudly.
There are monsters in this hobby that we should be ashamed of and shake our heads at the very mention of their names; but not the god damned owlbear. That one should be a triumph for this hobby and a warning sign for all new players: Here be owlbears, run in fear.