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File:NickFuryBadass 1905.jpg

The splinters and shrapnel would not touch him, due to Pure Awesomeness.

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"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. ...Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken."
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Rule of Cool personified.

Badass is an adjective used to describe a character who gets away with outright insane stunts (defusing a bomb with their teeth, conning a mob boss, getting into a firefight with the entire army, etc.) that would be very hard to pull off in Real Life, or would get the person trying it killed several times over. A badass is a fantasy figure whom the audience roots for precisely because of how prone they are to awesome moments, to the point where they stretch or break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Of course, Willing Suspension of Disbelief may still be maintained depending on the mechanics of the universe.

It's notable that fans are more likely to tolerate a violent monster of a "hero" than a befuddled, cowardly Classical Anti-Hero.

Most attempts to parody or deconstruct the badass have turned into Misaimed Fandom—no matter how nutty the character gets (like Rorschach from Watchmen), the fans just cheer on how badass the character is. This has led to a new Trope: the Sociopathic Hero. Writers beware: Take it too far and either God Mode Sue or Jerk Sue will stride Out of the Inferno of your work.

For a child-friendly version of the badass whose badassery is somewhat diminished by the limitations of the work, see Badbutt.

For a not so complete list of badasses, see Badass of the Week.

This Trope is not what you say to a Stubborn Mule. Characters that are Badass are often said to have Brass Balls.


Below are the tropes that are definite signs of a true badass. For Sub Tropes when the character who you do not expect to be like this becomes a badass anyway, see this index.

Plural forms:

If an example can be placed in these previous tropes, please put them there.

For many outstanding examples of badassness, see Moment of Awesome.

Considering almost every hero of ancient myth was Badass Incarnate, this trope is Older Than Dirt.


Examples of Badass are listed on these subpages:


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