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File:Santa 878.png

The results of a steady diet of milk and cookies.


 Christmas needs saving; who's up to the task?

Why Santa, of course, No need to ask!

Well, kids, I hope you've been good this year, because it looks like Santa just took out the Pierson home! INCOMING!
Scott Calvin, The Santa Clause

If you stop and think about it, Santa Claus isn't that much different from Superman. Both have amazing powers that defy the laws of physics as we humans know them. Both can fly around the world with no problem. They both like the color red, they both have their headquarters hidden in the Arctic Circle, and they both starred in movies that involved producer Ilya Salkind.

So it is not surprising, really, that there are so many instances in fiction where Santa is a Big Damn Hero, defending the Spirit of Christmas from Humbugs. This kind of Santa Claus doesn't really need help Saving Christmas, though there may be trouble if an Evil Twin Bad Santa shows up.

Action Santa is a common variation: he's merely playing Nice Guy for the sake of the kids, but when it's time to fight, boy, does he know how! Action Santa usually reveals that his bag of toys holds whatever weapon he needs, his sled comes equipped with heat naughty-seeking missiles, and he himself is a Genius Bruiser underneath the red coat.

A Sub-Trope of An Asskicking Christmas. By necessity, comes with Badass Beard and Badass Grandpa, as well as Acrofatic if he pulls any kung fu stunts.

Not to be confused with, but similar in style to, Kung Fu Jesus. When they team up... run.

Examples of Badass Santa include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has a Santa with a six-pack that survived a direct hit from a missile and could shoot ki blasts.
  • In Haruhi-chan, we find that the eponymous character's mental image of Santa is of a secret clan of ninja who have near perfect stealth and are trying to shut down the SOS Brigade. That's not a good thing, considering she's a reality warping god of a fairly Lovecraftian bent.

Comic Books

  • In JLA, Plastic Man tells his kid a bedtime story where Santa Claus has heat vision for some reason.
  • This. Santa the Barbarian.
    • Also this. The story features the supervillain Rhino dressing up as Santa, implying a Bad Santa scenerio but as it turns out, Rhino was volunteering to hand out toys to kids.
  • One DC Comics Holiday Special features a strip in which Santa Claus breaks through the formidable defences of the Polluted Wasteland Apokalips in order to deliver to its ruler, the evil god Darkseid, a lump of coal for being naughty. It's implied he does this every year. And then he escapes to do it again next year. And what makes this especially badass is that the Santa who does this is just the traditionally jolly, friendly old man version.

 "He's made it past our atmospheric defenses! He's here..."

"On the planet's surface?"

"In the room!"

    • The British Sonic the Hedgehog comics continuity had a similar case happen to Dr Robotnik, combined with elements of A Christmas Carol.
      • Specifically, Santa leads Robotnik to realise on his own just how alone he is and how little he actually has despite ruling Mobius. On the other hand, Sonic the Comic's Father Christmas' badassery stems simply from his ultimate pacifism. He won't involve himself in the fighting, but by the same token it proves utterly impossible to even touch him in anything but good will. Swipes and weapons go straight through him and automated defences just quietly stop working while he's around.
    • The Dec. 2008 one begins with what seems like a retelling of Superman's origin story... only son, sent from a dying world, raised by good, honest people, goes off to decide how best to use his power, sets up a Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole... only the Fortress of Solitude is a workshop, and he decides to bring peace to the world by delivering presents to everyone, one day a year. X-Ray Vision explains how he knows if you've been bad or good... he's always watching...
  • Lobo's Paramilitary Christmas Special featured Lobo being hired by the Easter Bunny to whack Santa Claus, and a Badass Santa getting into a machete fight with the alien bounty hunter.
  • A Donald Duck comic So Many Santas has Santa (along with some elves) beat the crap out of The Beagle Boys using sports equipment, bare fists and badass one-liners.
  • Howard the Duck Holiday Special evoked high-tech combat elves with Santa as his leader, after a little talk with Howard first.
  • There have been several Christmas specials where The Punisher dresses up in a Santa costume to gun down mafiosi.
  • A Christmas Badger episode featuring a huge biker-like "Klaus" in his rocket sled. He delivers weapons to the Lebanese Christian militias and machie guns ivory poachers as well as his normal stuff. Oh and beats up a troll who tries to take over the workshop.
  • ...And then there's the Ultimate Warrior Christmas Special. It's ... really "special".
  • Optimus Prime has donned a Santa costume on occasion.
  • Last Christmas featured Santa Claus in a post apocalyptic world fighting zombies.

Fan Fiction


  • One of the best examples is a film by none other than the producers of the Superman films: Santa Claus — The Movie (1985). In it, Santa defends Christmas against a ruthless corporation that seeks to "cash in" on Christmas's commercial potential via the inventions of a defecting, clueless elf (who just wants to prove his worth to Santa after his ill-made toys put children's safety at stake the previous year).
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, despite the title, is NOT an example of this trope. Santa Claus merely gets kidnapped by Martians, and teaches the kidnappers how not to be emotionless Straw Vulcans. That said, Houdini would be proud of how easily Santa shrugs off, laughs at, and escapes deadly peril in this movie.
  • In the So Bad It's Good Mexican kids' movie Santa Claus, he defeats Satan with the help of his pal Merlin.
  • In Disney's The Santa Clause, trilogy, an aspect of this happens in each of the three films. The first The Santa Clause has Tim Allen locked in a You Kill It, You Bought It scenario when he accidentally causes Santa to fall off the roof; he spends the night in orientation at the North Pole and the next 364 days trying his hardest to shrug it all off as one crazy dream, even in the face of his slow metamorphosis into Saint Nick (down to having "the list" delivered to his house via several trucks). In the end, having accepted his role as Santa Claus, he's mistakenly arrested as a kidnapper, which is where the movie hews closest to this trope as a squad of high-tech combat elves is sent in to break him out; in the end, everyone's faith in Christmas (and his hold on sanity) is restored, and everybody lives Happily Ever After until the sequel, where the new Santa discovers he has to go back to civilization and get himself a Mrs. Claus. He puts a toy double of himself in charge while he's gone which promptly goes mad with power; the finale, true to the trope, has Santa having to deal with his evil robot duplicate in order to save Christmas. The third has it the least, but when Jack Frost and Santa go back in time twice, the second time has Santa beating down Jack Frost with a shovel to prevent a change to the space/time continuum. Unknown if that actually counts though, as in that scene Scott isn't really Santa. Unfortunately Jack Frost isn't defeated this way, and instead gets his due with a...hug.
    • Scott's quote at the top of this page comes from the first movie, in a scene in which the corporation he works for tries to revamp the Santa image by putting him in a tank instead of a sleigh. Scott tweaks on them all and tells them that Santa isn't going anywhere without his sleigh.
  • In The Night The Reindeer Died, one of the Films Within A Film in Scrooged, there's a short version of this. Terrorists attack the workshop at the North Pole, and the Clauses and the elves apparently have well-established emergency procedures and lots of guns. They also have Lee Majors on their side.
    • "This Jolly Old Elf is goin' out the front door!"
  • Santa with Muscles features Hulk Hogan as a man who, after getting amnesia, thinks he is Santa Claus and then proceeds to beat up bad guys in order to save an orphanage.
  • Despite being the namer for another trope, Billy Bob Thornton's character in Bad Santa ends up being more Badass Santa, at one point teaching Thurman to stand up for himself.
  • Santa Vs The Snowman. Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Arthur Christmas has Steve, Santa's eldest son, controlling the massive Christmas operation involving thousands of elves aboard a giant spaceship-like sleigh while walking around wearing military fatigues and sipping coffee. No matter the snag, he calmly guides the elves through the task of delivering presents without anyone knowing. The start of the film makes it seem like Santa himself is one, wearing something that is more akin to a red uniform than Santa's clothes with a red beret appearing more like a general than Santa. Then it turns out he's just a figurehead with Steve running the entire operation. Also, unlike his family members who are either portly (Santa, Grandsanta, Mrs. Santa) or scrawny (Arthur), Steve is in excellent shape.
  • The French Connection features a brief scene in which the main character, Detective Popeye Doyle, is dressed as a mall santa while on the job.
  • In the upcoming movie Rise of the Guardians Santa dual-wields sabres, apparently associates with yetis, has Naughty and Nice tattooed on his forearms and by his accent in the trailer is probably a Husky Russkie. Enjoy.

 Santa: Buckle up!

Easter Bunny: Where are the bloody seatbelts?

Santa: Ha! That was just expression.



  • In C.S. Lewis's Narnia series, Santa Claus Father Christmas is presented as an archetypal opposite of the White Witch, providing gifts and encouragement (in contrast with the Queen's message of sameness and hopelessness).
    • Particularly when said gifts consist largely of weapons...
    • There's a reason the White Witch's curse traps Narnia in a state of "Always winter and never Christmas".
  • The Hogfather in Discworld is that world's equivalent of Santa Claus, and like our Santa is partly derived from old pagan gods...just a little more literally. As they say, You'd better watch out...
  • JRR Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters (originally written to his children) depict a version who leads armies of Elves to war against Goblins at the North Pole. Also a case of Really Seven Hundred Years Old, as Tolkien depicts him as being literally as old as Christmas itself (about 1,930, at the time).
  • In the All Myths Are True universe of The Dresden Files, a lot of creatures not normally considered 'fairies' are part of the local version of The Fair Folk. When talking about trapping a fairy in a circle, Harry mentions in passing that while the method might work on anyone up to and including Santa Claus, nobody had ever dared try to trap one so powerful.
    • Also one of the potential members of the Senior Council was Klaus the Toymaker
    • Word of God says that Santa Claus is a Faerie King whose power is equal to that of the Erkling (who in turn is on par with the Faerie Queens)
  • "Santa Claus Vs S.P.I.D.E.R.", a short story by Harlan Ellison, reimagining Santa as a secret agent. He's got rocket-assisted boots, machine-guns and flamethrowers up his sleeves, that red nose is a grenade, the beard is an incendiary plastic explosive, and the fat belly is really a life raft. "Ho, ho, ho...."
  • Stationery Voyagers has Niklo DiMyral. He not only gets in fights with local sex traffickers regularly, delivers gold to men who can't afford dowries for their daughters, and tries to lead an entire town on a crusade to burn the pimps; he even coaxes an entire army of proto-Muslims into helping him foil a pimp's kidnapping plot! And he only has his staff, wits, and five-foot-tall stature. In other words, he makes the "modern" heroes look like complete wusses.
  • The Guardians of Childhood has North, a swordsman and outlaw who becomes one of the early members of the titular group when he has his first encounter with the Nightmare King Pitch.
  • In Legacies, Repairman Jack dresses up as Santa to kick the living shit out of a sleazebag who'd stolen a bunch of Christmas presents from a children's AIDS clinic.

Live Action TV

  • Santa fighting a grizzly bear to the death armed with only a knife, cutting Elvis Costello out of the godless beast's stomach? Has to be Stephen Colbert's Christmas Special. According to the special, Santa Claus is also Stephen Colbert.
  • In the Santa Claus episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Santa shows up in Deep 13 and challenges Pitch to a fistfight. Notably, he also invokes Chew Bubblegum when he shouts "I'm here to eat candy canes and kick ass, and I'm all outta candy canes!"
  • The Good Eats cookie recipes episode had one that could qualify. He wears a bandanna under the cap and manipulates the the time stream and the episode begins with him saying in a bad ass manner, "Here's Santa." On a cooking show! But this is the same cooking show that had both an Igor and the lady of the refrigerator.
  • Earlier episodes of Dai Sentai Goggle Five features a Santa who used to be a Heel wrestler, thus he is formidable on his own. Too bad this being an earlier Super Sentai series, he can only take down maybe two mooks before he is taken down by himself. But at least, he did participate in a Fastball Special attack with Goggle Black...
  • In Ultraman, Santa Claus was once revealed to be the Father of Ultra, who at the very least would count as a Retired Badass. Sure, it's not revealed whether or not he always does this, and in this instance he doesn't do anything amazing, but this is the guy that lead the Ultras to overthrow a monster army that once took over the Land of Light.


  • The Arrogant Worms have the song "Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass" after having a really crappy year. The reindeer and elves are in an equally bad mood.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic made a song called "The Night Santa Went Crazy" you can find an animated version here. It never really says why, but Santa destroys his factory and kills pretty much every reindeer, although in the end it repeats the phrase "Something must have snapped in his brain".
    • It specifically says in the song "All those toys, for some milk and cookies? Something finally must've snapped in his brain."
  • The pill-popping, rent-a-cop fighting Mall Santa from the music video for Skillex's Ruffneck- Full Flex.
  • The Badass Santa theme song: I am Santa Claus


  • In parts of Germany and Austria, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) is accompanied by a Knecht Ruprecht / Krampus, a demon who was tamed by the saint and now helps him punishing naughty kids. Hm, if Santa can take on a demon, that'd definitely make him this trope.

Tabletop Games

  • Inverted in the table-top game Santa's Soldiers. Santa is quite formidable, but really naive. Therefore, it's your crew's job to protect the big guy from his many enemies, but also from realizing he has them. The paramilitary elves are headed by Mrs. Claus, whose stats make Chuck Norris look like a wimp.

Video Games

  • Parodied in Kingdom of Loathing. Uncle Crimbo is a lazy-ass, alcoholic Bad Santa who is nonetheless great at making toys. His brother, Father Crimbo, was a Badass and made good toys, but that's not such a good thing when robots have reanimated his corpse.
    • Also, there's one point where the Penguin Mafia takes over Crimbo (as Uncle Crimbo failed to pay them the money he owes them). At one point that year, you fight Don Crimbo, who now wears the magical Crimbo hat. It is impossible to beat him, no matter what level you are.
  • Santa-Fu. As the name suggests, Santa knows kung-fu, enemies include gingerbread men, elves, and naughty children, and bosses include Turbo Man, Rudolph, and Jesus himself.
  • Killing Floor has Bill "Baddest Santa" Weeks.

 Bill Weeks didn't think he could stoop any lower than a part-time job as the Mall Santa. But the little girl weeing on him screaming "He's the Baddest Santa Evuh!", followed by being fired, took it down yet another notch, so Bill went down the pub to drown his sorrows. Coming out to the next morning he had no job, a filthy headache and a truly evil temper. And the world was full of monsters. Bill picked up a handy shottie and waded in. "I'll show you the Baddest Santa, you BEEEEEEEEP"

  • In Secret of Mana, Santa Claus is the true form of the boss Frost Gigas. See, Santa was frustrated by children no longer believing in the true meaning of Christmas, so he tried to create an amazing Christmas tree by planting the Mana Seed of Fire. This doesn't exactly work out, and the Seed's power turns the jolly old elf into an insane hulking giant with amazing snow and ice magic. Yes. This is a thing that actually happens.
  • In a Team Fortress 2 update's backstory, they explain the origin of Australian Christmas being started by Nicholas "Old Nick" Crowder. He was sailing to Australia, got disgusted at the sight of it, and sailed away on a personal mission to conquer the South Pole instead. Every December he comes to Australia to judge if children have been naughty or nice. The nice ones get the greatest gift of all: not being kidnapped and enslaved by Old Nick and being forced to build hats for him. He sells the duplicate hats online "practically giving them away."
  • Hyper Princess Pitch gives us Mecha-santa. On the harder difficulty setting his attacks become Bullet Hell level, of particular note is Death Metal Disaster Zone, anyone that can pull off an attack with such a name is automatically badass.
  • Ghouls vs. Humans used to have Santa Claus as one of the classes for the human team. You have to admit, Santa vs. a cadre of giant floating carnivorous killer heads is quite badass. The class was removed for being The Scrappy, however.
  • The premise of the Doom Game Mod XMAS DOOM. Santa takes on the role of a gun-toting demon slayer to fight back an invasion of The Legions of Hell on his workshop.

Web Comics

  • There's this strip of Full Frontal Nerdity.
  • This arc of Pv P.
  • The Santa v. Bun-Bun fights in Sluggy Freelance. Santa here is particularly powerful because he can use his ability to slow down time (in order to deliver all the presents in one night) to fight in Bullet Time.
    • He's also an alien overlord, which does give him an edge.
      • He was pretty Badass before he became an alien, though not as tough as Mrs. Claus.
  • O in Commissioned believes Santa is actually the Jolly Red Roof-lurker, a violent supernatural psychopath that steals cookies.
  • This Killroy And Tina guest strip shows Santa as a retired evil alien warlord who dosn't appreciate active evil alien warlords ruining his season.
  • This VG Cats strip contains a bit different version...
  • In this Beaver and Steve strip (plus the following one), Santa saves Steve from no other than Count Dracula.
  • Virtual Shackles plays with this, and makes the Skyrim version of Santa an ancient magician, capable of speaking Dragon tongue.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • There is no Santa Claus who is more of a Badass than Santa from South Park. He gets into a huge fight with Jesus in the South Park debut short "The Spirit of Christmas," goes totally Rambo in "Red Sleigh Down," brutally slaughters the demonic Woodland Critters with a shotgun in "Woodland Critter Christmas," and wields a huge axe against the forces of Evil Imagination in "Imaginationland."
  • In an episode of American Dad, Steve accidentally kills a mall Santa. In retaliation, Santa goes to kill the Smith family using a huge array of snowmen, elves and reindeer.
  • In the Christmas episode of Earthworm Jim, after recovering from a mind-control chip implanted by Queen Pulsating Bloated Festering Sweaty Pus-filled Malformed Slug-for-a-Butt, Santa tears open his red suit and reveals that in his previous job he was "Woden, Norse god of judgment!" In the ensuing Battle Discretion Shot, Jim remarks, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he kicks butt!"
  • Mucha Lucha had a fight between Santa Claus and the evil Rudo Claus.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door had a Santa Claus as a parody of Professor X from the X-Men who with his X-Men parody elves, helped defeat the Delightful Children from down the Lane.
    • The episode references X2: X-Men United and the "Dark Phoenix Saga", with Numbah Three as Jean Grey.
  • Parodied in Pucca, where Santa once was a badass ninja thief but then pulled a Heel Face Turn and became Santa... and the Butt Monkey.
  • Fairly Oddparents - Santa was like this at the end of Christmas Every Day and Have a Merry Wishmas. He was fighting the other holidays in CED and in Wishmas, he used it on Jorgen Von Strangle because Jorgen Von Strangle tried to replace Christmas with Wishmas. He was using Christmas magic.
  • In the Rugrats Hanukkah special, there was mention of a Christmas movie called Santa Vs the Alien.
  • Futurama has an evil robotic bazooka-wielding Santa. Not nice, but definitely Badass.
    • Heck one song they sing about him is called "Santa Claus Is Gunning You Down."
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot "A Robot For All Seasons", Santa defends the North Pole using his skills as an ex-ninja, complete with cookie shuriken.
  • One of Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah Cartoons was Super Santa, which showed what Santa Claus does for the rest of the year: he fights crime with his Emma Peel-inspired wife.
  • Robotboy features a Santa who seems pretty standard at first, but when the Christmas of one child is threatened, he ties his hair in a ponytail, takes off his red suit to reveal a six-pack and a Rambo-esque outfit, switches to his rocket sled, and goes on a rampage with a variety of insanely destructive weapons.
  • An episode of The Simpsons featured a video game commercial around Christmas time: Two children are bored playing a bloodless knock-off of Mortal Kombat, when Santa's sleigh (pulled by two snarling reindeer) bursts through their living room wall. Santa is bulging with muscles and is heavily armed. "YOU WANT EXCITEMENT?!?! STICK THIS UP YOUR STOCKING!!!" He fires a video game cartridge via RPG into their port. It is an incredibly bloody Beat'Em Up and the children (and Bart) are instantly enthralled. He closes the commercial saying "TELL YOUR PARENTS TO BUY YOU BONESTORM, OR GO TO HELL!!!"
    • Bart then walks into the kitchen and does precisely that.
  • Robot Chicken has the Full-Assed Christmas Special, opening with Santa going on a James Bond-like assassination against a particularly naughty child. The kid even plays the part of the big bad perfectly (periodically flashing back to Santa's fight with The Dragon, his mom), right up to pulling a handgun from his bedside table, only for Santa to have already unloaded it.
    • 'James Bond-like'? It was straight from Casino Royale. (The newer one)
  • Santa Claus from "The Fight Before Christmas" Powerpuff Girls Christmas special. We might not see him fight any baddies, but the verbal beat down and Cool and Unusual Punishment he gave Princess was made of win.


Real Life

  • Badass Santa
  • St. Nicholas, upon whom Santa is based, was actually fully capable of being badass. Examples include an incident of Nicholas whacking Arius at the Council of Nicaea, or when he raised three brutally murdered children from death, or when he rescued three men sentenced to death and scared the Prefect who had sentenced them into confessing to taking a bribe.
    • A recent examination of his relics disclosed a healed fracture in his cheekbone, close to his nose; at some point, this guy took a roundhouse punch in the face, but given the evidence, no doubt he could give it back in spades.
      • He could also have received it while a prisoner of the Roman empire. Bishops were not treated very nicely.
  • Italian policeman uses a Santa disguise to catch a mafioso