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File:StanLee 2570.jpg

He was awesome for a long time, True Believers.


"Anyway, I'm not a cliché,
I hardly own any ties.
I may be old but at least I'm not
like all those other old guys."

Five Iron Frenzy, "At Least I'm Not Like All Those Other Old Guys"

The effectiveness of a cast member is often determined by his distance from the median age of the cast. Deviations up or down will always be coupled with a lack of effectiveness. The Cool Old Guy is an exception to this. At some point, if one character is much older he swings the meter back to 'totally awesome'. In a lot of anime and video games, this makes him somewhere around middle age and the only non-clean shaven guy. Expect him to be greying, a loud voice, but in peak physical condition and unafraid of anything. For reasons that should be clear enough, this trope frequently overlaps with Bald of Awesome.

He usually won't have any special powers but that's only to marginally keep him from intruding on the other's limelight. He usually either has a dated and dramatic but lovable personality or is a complete no-nonsense hardass, depending on how the other characters act.

In Japan, this trope is called the Oyaji, written 親父 or オヤジ, which means "daddy". Can often stray into Even the Guys Want Him or Stupid Sexy Flanders territory. Wise Beyond Their Years is a younger version (usually no younger than late 20s at minimum) that has many of the same characteristics.

See also: Old Master, Older Sidekick, Badass Grandpa, Eccentric Mentor, The Obi-Wan, Dirty Old Man, Evil Old Folks. See Cool Old Lady for the Distaff Counterpart. Contrast Grumpy Old Man.

Examples of Cool Old Guy include:


  • Uhm, Uncle Sam. You know, this guy.
  • Fred the Baker from the Dunkin Donuts commercials, from 1981 to 1997. (As in "Time to make the donuts!") Originally portrayed as an atypical baker, a hard-working, average joe who always got up early so his product could be ready and fresh for his customers, Fred got progressively cooler as the years went on, doing such things as dressing up like a woman to investigate a supermarket bakery (to show their inferiority), waiting on modish 1980s customers while going into a black and white kitchen full of 1940s employees working to swing music (to show that quality has not changed throughout the years) or even creating his Halloween-themed mini donuts Mad Scientist-style.
  • Colonel Sanders; whenever he appears in commercials, he's much cooler than he was when he was alive. Some good ones here.
  • Dave Thomas was one both in the Wendy's commercials and out of them, see for yourself.

Anime and Manga

  • Joseph Joestar from Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Not only does he fight vampires and telekinetic bad guys alongside the younger heroes, but he collects comic books and has a wickedly awesome sense of humor; the latter two are especially put into play in the finale chapter. After being killed by Dio and having his blood drained, Joseph is brought back to life with a blood transfusion from Dio's remains. He pretends to be possessed by the vengeful spirit of Dio as a prank on Jotaro, and barely saves his skin from his angry grandson by stating his personal interests. Namely, that he collects comic books, that he knows Bo Derek starred in Tarzan, and that Weird Al sang "Eat It". Jotaro relents, because "only he would know such stupid things"
  • Dr. Juzo Kabuto from Mazinger Z. When Dr. Hell sicced an army of Humongous Mecha on him and his colleagues, he managed escaping alive. Afterwards he spent several years building the titular Humongous Mecha, an eighteen-meter-tall One-Man Army robot. When one of the henchmnen of Hell blew up his mansion, he got half-buried under several metal rafts, but in spite of he was moribund and trapped in an underground basement, he managed surviving several hours until his grandsons showed up and he could hand Mazinger over to the eldest (Kouji Kabuto). Also, he saved his son's life by turning him into a cyborg after he nearly got killed cause a lab experiment gone wrong. And in the manga and Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen he overlaps this with Crazy Awesome.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 gave us Sergei Smirnov. Despite being not very bishounen (and obviously older) that most of bishounen/bishoujo protagonist cast, he has a crapton of fans for being a Colonel Badass Hot Dad Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • The Claw from Gun X Sword.
    • For a heroic example, every member of the El Dora V.
  • Jet from Cowboy Bebop (although almost all of the main characters are hardened ultra-cool characters).

Jet: Wait a minute! First of all, I'm not old enough to be your father, all right? Why, if anything, I would be your boyfriend...[1] No, wait, that would be bad, wouldn't it? Open foot, insert mouth. I mean, I'd be more like your older brother...

  • From Pokemon:
    • Professor Oak, of course.
    • Victor, from the episode "The Pi-Kahuna". After he tried and failed to emulate his mentor and conquer the Humungadunga (a giant wave that occurs every twenty years) Victor waited for the next one, and succeeded the second time.
  • Dr. Reichwein from Monster.
  • Bear from .hack//SIGN was an older man comfortably pals with a teenage girl, Mimiru, through their shared love of virtual reality online gaming.
    • Phyllo in Roots. He sits on the bridge in Mac Anu all day, talking to anyone who's interested and becoming close with Haseo. In real life he's an old man, widowed and with two cats. As he tells Haseo, he's just there to kill time, and dies of cancer at the end of the anime.
  • The protagonist's grandfather in Beyblade may be getting up there in age - but that's not gonna stop him from dancing on the tables in Vegas!
  • Lt General Grumman of Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • Old Man Fu and Dr Knox as well.
    • Fuhrer King Bradley aka Wrath, who despite being at least 60 and regularly complaining about feeling his age is one of the most badass characters in the FMA universe.
  • Hiko Seijuuro from Rurouni Kenshin is in his forties when the main series takes place, but the man is easily in superhuman condition with strength light years beyond anyone.
    • Subverted because Seijuuro looks significantly younger than his actual age; when Yahiko and Misao learn that he's 43, they're shocked and conclude that "Hiten Mitsurugi is the secret to eternal youth!!"
    • Ditto for Kenshin, who also looks significantly younger than his thirty, despite quite a turbulent life.
    • Played somewhat straighter with Okina, who is old and LOOKS it. Upbeat and always ready with a bad joke, he's not afraid of chasin' some young skirts. He's also quite powerful in combat, being nearly a match for Aoshi...
  • Shunsui Kyōraku and to a lesser extent Urahara (Who is really more of a mentor) in Bleach
  • Chief Daisuke Aramaki, the Mission Control of the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
    • His brother, from what little we see of him, would also count.
  • Axel Thurston, grandfather of Renton Thurston in Eureka Seven. Robot mechanic extraordinaire and full of determination, even if a bit grumpy. Not to mention that he does a near-suicidal stunt to make possible for Renton to get an indispensable device and lives through it.
  • Early on in Dragon Ball Master Roshi filled this role, even defeating the main character Goku at the end of the series's first tournament arc, where he actually blew up the frickin' moon! Unfortunately, Roshi's powerlevel remained fairly constant throughout the series, while the younger characters became vastly stronger every arc, to the point where, by the start of Dragonball Z Roshi was relegated to being the comic relief.
  • Andrew Waltfeld from Gundam Seed; the show's director specifically referred to him as a Cool Old Guy, and this fact, combined with the director's being friends with Andy's Voice Actor, are often credited with his Never Found the Body return from the "dead" later in the series.
  • Third Hokage in Naruto, a very kind, very awesome old man who cared for the people in his village. Just watch the scene where he visits the Academy class to talk to them about the village and the people he cares about. Watch Naruto and his contemporaries' memories of him at the funeral. Everyone has a memory about something awesome he did for them.
    • There's also Jiraiya, and the Tsuchikage seems to be showing signs of this.
      • Tsuchikage is a dick and well past his prime.
      • It's implied he wasn't one before since Gaara's question seems to perturb him, and over the years he just grew more cynical with the shinobi world. With the world's constant militarization, and the fact that every major village had at least one tailed beast or dealings with Akatsuki by the beginning of Shippuden, he became cynical to match the times. What with the Magnetic Hero and Gaara, his protege, he's softening again.
    • There's also the original Ino-Shika-Chou trio, aka the fathers of Team 10, although they're all in their forties.
    • The fact that Sarutobi Hiruzen Sandaime was in one the real Uchiha massacre, even if he wasn't happy about it, has caused many fans to adopt a very cynical view of him, even though he is probably the single biggest reason Konoha isn't insane like Mist or as cruel as Sand. The fact that he runs a society of professional murderers who start before they hit puberty is kind of a reality check problem when compared to the actual events of the show.
      • Except that he'd gone through great lengths to try and prevent the Uchiha massacre from happening, and even Itachi pleaded with him that he protects Sasuke. Also, every village has been running a society of mercenaries before they hit puberty, possibly since around the time of the First Hokage himself.
    • Don't forget Chiyo! Despite fitting the Cool Old Lady trope she definitely proved herself to be a wrinkly badass while fighting Sasori alongside Sakura. Recently Kabuto ressurected Chiyo, along with an insane number of other dead shinobi, so we might see her engage in another battle in upcoming chapters.
  • Yukiatsu in Ayakashi Ayashi (Ghost Slayers Ayashi), a special case, since he's also the protagonist.
  • Watari, acting as L's assistant, proxy and Battle Butler in Death Note.
  • Genkai from Yu Yu Hakusho, although she is female, follows this trope better than Cool Old Lady. Oh, and also discounting the fact some of the teenage-appearing cast is Really Seven Hundred Years Old.
  • Sugoroku Mutou in Yu-Gi-Oh (Solomon Muto in the dub), Yugi's grandfather, especially during the Grand Prix arc where he was Jonouchi's opponent during the first round.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh GX: there was Dr. Albert Zweinstein, an Expy of Albert Einstein (who would likely fit this Trope too).
  • Yanagi from Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds was a Cool Old Guy, but also a little loony.
  • Rokujuro Misawa in Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal(called simply Roku in the dub), the franchise's answer to the Old Master Trope. Jinlon appeared to fit the Trope too, but as it turned out he was actually the spirit of Number 46: Dragluon in human form, still cool, but not an old guy.
  • The highly skilled but aged and wearily bitter Shimada Kambei of Samurai 7. Quite possibly the reason Kirara surprisingly fell for him. Alas, his hardass nature solidifies when he coldly rejects her feelings before she can even get them out.
  • Master Asia from G Gundam.
  • Kanchou/Skipper from The Daughter of Twenty Faces certainly fits this trope to a t; even his death is cool. An argument could also be made for Muta, even though he's more The Stoic.
  • Max Jenius in Macross 7. He might be 52, but he can still pretty much wipe the floor with everybody in the show, both in cockpit and with his bare hands, and he's the heroine's dad. Ah, BTW, he's also the fleet military commander.
  • Scary Black Man Dutch from Black Lagoon. Given that he's a Vietnam vet, and roughly contemporary setting of the show, he must be at least in his fifties.
    • Apparently, he lied about being a Vietnam vet. Who knows how old he really is...
  • Master Tiellagory of Le Chevalier d'Eon is one of the best fencers in France and possibly all of Europe, as well as having more experience with court parties and often wittier repartee than his younger companions.
  • Walter C. Dornez, the butler of the Hellsing Family in the anime Hellsing is also a prime example of a Cool Old Guy.
    • While he's alive, anyway.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, while about half of Nagi's group could potentially count, Takahata-sensei and Graf Wilhelm are likely two very good examples. Takahata counting as old mostly because almost 90% of the cast is between 9 and 17. While god knows how old Wilhelm actually is. Takahata's teacher Gatou likely is one too but we rarely see him do anything but smoke in flashbacks.
    • Hell, almost every old guy in the series could qualify, especially the (currently middle-aged) members of the Ala Rubra.
  • The Prince of Tennis has two: Ojii, the Rokkaku coach, and Banda Mikiya aka Banji from Yamabuki. Taro "Itte yosh" Sakaki of Hyoutei is still a bit young compared to them, but he's heading there.
  • Lief the Lucky might have only appeared during the flash back arc of Vinland Saga, but he still came off as a cool old sailor who liked to tell kids stories about his journeys amongst the skraelingar.
  • Gil Graham of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. A kindly old English gent who also happens to be one of the most experienced and powerful mages under the Space-Time Administration Bureau's employ. Though he turned out to be a Treacherous Advisor who was very reluctantly planning to seal the Book of Darkness together with Hayate once the book turns Omnicidal Maniac, the cast didn't blame him too much for it considering the complicated circumstances.
  • 20th Century Boys loves its Cool Old Guys.
    • Since it starts its characters around ten and takes them up to a prematurely-aged forty-something, yeah. Later-appearing Kenji is pretty good with this, especially considering his scruffy chin, but last-stage Shogun wins. A lot.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Andrey Kalinin, who admittedly plays mostly a support role, but is still a tough old soldier who still has some fight in him, made especially obvious during the Behemoth arc.
    • Gauron could be considered this. His Ax Crazy, nutty ways and apparent immortality have made certain parts of the fandom feel that he's completely awesome.
  • The old guy from Gantz.
  • Zelretch from the Nasuverse (all of the works) is unanimously considered to be the trope incarnate by fans. When he was younger, he beat down and killed the "ultimate" being, Crimson Moon Brunestud (and in the process singlehandedly stopping the moon from falling into the Earth), only because of a minor dispute he had with it. He's also one of only five "True Magic" users—his magic? Operation of parallel worlds, which lets him do pretty much anything involving alternate universes.
    • He pops into the "main" universe every now and then to take apprentices and screw with them until they're near useless from shock and trauma.
    • Or until they become Badasses. Whatever comes first.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Katsuhito Masaki/Yosho is a mustached old man who can still kick ass. In the original OVA, he's actually physically younger than he appears, but in the Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo series, he's genuinely old and a straighter example of the trope. Nobuyuki Masaki is this at times too.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes has Fleet Admirals Merkatz and Bucock from the Empire and Alliance respectively.
  • In One Piece, Silvers Rayleigh would most definitely count. The dude fights an Admiral to a standstill!
    • Not forgetting Vice-Admiral Garp who laments that he's gotten weak in his old age after throwing cannon balls like baseballs and topping off his attack with a huge flail whose ball is the size of freaking battleship, Whitebeard who ate the Quake Quake Fruit and can create tidal waves large enough to destroy Marine HQ and take on several admirals at once, Ganfall who can fight aerial battles against chosen warriors of God, Tom-san who was strong enough to break his chains after being harpooned through the chest, Admiral Kizaru, who kicks around major characters, and so on! Oda freaking loves this Trope!
      • That's only if you compare it to other stuff. Here they need it to do their job.
      • No, Whitebeard is a super Cool Old Guy. Garp's pretty good, too, even if he is a horrifically abusive guardian, considered seriously.
  • Just about any elderly person from Rave Master, but especially Shiba.
  • No Fukumoto series is complete without one- a lot of the time they're complete nutjobs too though. Just to name a few, Ichikawa in Akagi, Ginji in Gin to Kin and Akagi in Ten.
  • Oboe from Violinist of Hameln manga is revealed to be this near the end. Whenever he decides to show his (really good-looking, despite the obvious signs of age) true form, an epic battle ensues.
  • Professor Itsuki from Moyashimon. He's rather laid back for a college professor, referring to nearly everyone with the informal honorific "-kun". Though he does get rather passionate about fermented foods and his research into bioremediation.
  • Initial D has three: dr. Toshiya "God Hand" Joushima, Kozo "God Foot" Hoshino, and Bunta Fujiwara himself. All three are top-tier racers, and nobody has ever beaten Bunta. Even when he's not serious.
  • Dan'l Baboon from Kimba the White Lion.
  • Technicaly count, Shiba Hiroshi in the sequel Kotetsushin Jeeg. While he is a cyborg and still looks like a normal adult, the sequel takes place 50 years after the original, and his girlfriend already has a grand-daughter as a reference of his age. His age doesnt affect his Badassery though.
  • Grandpa Tanaka in Yandere Kanojo. He smokes, drinks, speaks informally, and it's implied he sleeps around with younger women (though not too young - when asked to charm a high school girl he was highly reluctant to do so). He's also good natured and friendly to just about everybody, and dispenses useful advice often. His grandson who lives with him, protagonist and arch-stoic Manabu, has a huge inferiority complex about it though.

Comic Books

  • The Justice Society of America is more or less built around this trope, along with that of the Legacy Character. Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and Wildcat are pretty much the coolest old guys in the entire DC Universe.
    • In fact, Jay Garrick is so cool that he's the guy Nightwing (the original Robin) wants to grow up to be.
    • While not the Trope Namer, Garrick is referred to as "One cool old man." By Jack Knight in JSA #2.
    • Wildcat slept with Wonder Woman's mom. That is all.
  • Alfred is also pretty darn cool, and dangerous when pushed.
    • Batman becomes this whenever the timeline pushes him into clear agedness. Elseworlds aside, even the current comics continuity has him in the 'grandfather' age bracket. The most famous example being The Dark Knight Returns. For an animated version, see Batman Beyond And the Batman Beyond version of Old Bruce who guest-stars in a time-travel episode of Justice League Unlimited ...and proves to still be a downright scary interrogator, even moreso than his younger self!
  • Marvel's short-lived Alpha Flight revival featured an elderly superhero called Centennial, a little old man in a sweater who came out of a coma thanks to extremely delayed Puberty Superpowers identical to Superman's. He was played mostly for laughs, but when the team needed someone to give them a good kick in the pants for motivation, he was always ready to provide.
    • Marvel also has Roger Aubrey (the Destroyer) and the Thin Man, and they did have Iron Cross, who was still active as a hero in the present day despite being old enough to have seen service in World War I, until he sacrificed himself to save the world.
  • Master Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While his motivations, history, and personality can change, depending on the continuity, he's always a Cool Old Guy.
  • Elf Quest has a few examples.
    • Savah, mother of Memory, is a wise and practical grandmother-figure to the younger Sun Folk and Wolfriders (also very hot).
    • Likewise, after some initial misunderstandings have been cleared up, Lord Voll of the Gliders, who is even older, endears himself to the Wolfriders in much the same way. Unfortunately the trolls kill him.
    • Then there's Ekuar, the wizened old rock-shaper, who retains his charm and wit despite having survived centuries of mistreatment by the trolls.
  • Scrooge McDuck—pick anywhere in the world, and he's been there. Pick any type of adventure, and he's done it.
  • Charles Francis Xavier.
    • Wolverine, whose healing factor slows down his aging immensely. He was born in the late 1800s but has looked like he's in his mid-to-late 30s since his introduction.
    • Cable and Magneto also count, though Depending on the Artist means both are subject to suddenly being white-haired 20-year-olds.
      • Magneto is actually physically in his 40 or so, having been de-aged and re-aged by one of his many experiments. And seeing as Quicksilver was born white-haired, it might just be genetic.
  • The Punisher, depending on the writer. Mainstream writers tend to downplay his age, but people who write the more hard-edged MAX stories acknowledge that he's in his late fifties. He is still a bigger badass than anyone else he faces.
  • Nick Fury, who's been standing up to supervillains since World War II and whose only power is his longevity and is a badass in every sense of the word. He was born in 1920.
  • Douwe Dabbert.
  • Getafix the Druid, maker of the magic potion, speaker of Gothic, one of the calmest and most sensible inhabitants of the village, and Badass Grandpa with Magnificent Bastard tendencies. No wonder the Romans are after him.



"I couldn't do the running. I was eighty! I said to George Lucas, I can do the swordfighting, but I can't run!"

  • Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy is this and a Badass Grandpa.
  • Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
  • Any character played by Sean Connery in the twenty years or so before he retired. 'Cause he's incapable of ever not being awesome, even when the movie itself isn't (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
    • Marko Ramius crushes his political officer's windpipe in one blow, falsifies his orders and burns the real ones, takes a nuclear ballistic missile sub to defect to the U.S., and evades detection by the entire Soviet Northern Fleet before blowing up a much more maneuverable Soviet Alfa-class attack submarine with its own torpedo and an American sub as a distraction. And he does all this successfully, without his own crew ever suspecting him.
  • Practically all of the Enterprise crew in Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country.
  • Indiana Jones becomes a Cool Old Guy in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • Mako's character Mr. Lee from Sidekicks.
  • Arnold Joseph from Smoke Signals.
  • Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid
  • John McClane becomes one by Live Free or Die Hard, similarly to the trilogy creeps of Indiana Jones and Rambo series.
  • Raiden from the Mortal Kombat movie.
  • Rafiki from The Lion King
  • From The Dark Knight Saga
    • Lucius Fox, Batman's snarky go-to guy for gadgets.
    • Alfred Pennyworth, who like his comic book self is something of a Battle Butler.
  • Walt Kowalski from Gran Torino. "Get off my lawn" never sounded so badass.
  • Any character played by Jackie Chan in the later part of his career. The guy still does ALL his own stunts and appears exclusively in films with high kicking action sequences.
  • Splinter, at the very end of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
  • Pai Mei from Kill Bill Vol. 2.
    • On that note, Bill himself. Not to mention Hattori Hanzo from Vol. 1.
  • Carl Frederickson from Up crosses into this territory near the end, even though he starts out in Grumpy Old Man territory, even going into Badass Grandpa territory. Though it might not apply because he's the main character.
  • 2 of Nine. One hundred percent.
  • Spock Prime. from the most recent Star Trek movie.
  • Captain Teague on Pirates of the Caribbean. Not only is he the Keeper of the Code and Jack's Dad, he's also Badass enough to shut a room full of brawling pirate captains (including Barbossa) up by merely entering the room.
    • Granted, he shot one of them to punctuate his entrance. And when Jack asks if the Pirate Lords won't keep to the code, all it takes is a loud discordant guitar twang and a Death Glare to get an entire room full of Badass pirates to sit down and shut up.
    • Of course, being played by Keith Richards doesn't hurt.
    • Barbossa himself is a bit of one.
    • And Blackbeard, who is into his 70's. Also Teague's crew in At Worlds End, who all look to be quite tough.
  • Anthony Hopkins as Don Diego de la Vega in The Mask of Zorro.
  • Many characters played by Anthony Quinn in his last years.
  • Shlomi's grandfather in Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi. He is the only person in the house who genuinely likes Shlomi. He also sabotages Doron's amp.
  • Virgil Earp, as portrayed by Sam Elliot in Tombstone.
  • Another Sam Elliot portrayal is Sgt. Maj. Plumbley from We Were Soldiers. May cross into Badass Grandpa, but as the character tells a large group of young ruperts: If anyone of you sumbitches calls me gram-paw... I'll kill ya!
  • Lord Willoughby in Captain Blood. He may be an old English windbag at first, but anyone with only a silver tongue and some good news as leverage who can turn a pirate crew who scoff at sailing for the King into loyal fighting sailors for the British Navy in five minutes is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Kevin Flynn in Tron: Legacy. (Castor even says "He shut the whole room down just by walking into it!" Or something to that effect.) Doesn't hurt that he's actually God in that world.
  • In the first Tron film, Walter Gibbs and his digital counterpart Dumont fall into this territory. Gibbs was the guy who founded Encom, but was more interested in scientific development than money. He invented the laser that got it all started. He was also the only person on-screen who dared to tear Dillinger a new one to his face over the way things were run. His counterpart, Dumont, was the one who allowed Tron to get in contact with Alan via his tower and download the upgrade that eventually destroyed Master Control. Sark's forces eventually catch him, and he's remarkably snarky and sarcastic to them, even in the face of certain de-rez.
  • The Badass Bystander who stood up to Loki who was only credited as the Old German after Loki's 'born to be ruled' speech.

Loki: There is no man like me.
Old Guy: There are always men like you.


Jetfire: My father was a wheel! The first wheel! Do you know what he transformed into?
Jetfire: NOTHING! But he did it with DIGNITY!



  • Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings. His impressiveness isn't just because he's a wizard, but because most of the hobbits he's friends with usually describe him in grandfatherly terms.
    • Also deserves a mention for The Movie, as he's played by Sir Ian McKellen. Old guys don't come much cooler than him. Except for Sir Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, and who was still badass despite being too old to walk up a flight of stairs smoothly.
    • Most of the elves are pretty awesome, and some of them are older than the kingdom of Numenor. Legolas' age is never directly stated, but estimates range from 500 to about 3,000 years old. Book Legolas refers to the whole rest of the Fellowship, except possibly Gandalf because he was still dead when the remark was made, as 'children.' Movie Legolas gets called 'lad' by Gimli. There is a disconnect.** Not necessarily. might be more along the lines of "the body informs the mind." ie, maturity levels are reflected by physical aging to some extent. there is a trope for it, don't remember what it is called. This is a psychological theory debated in Real Life, as a whatif? result of theoretical immortality.
      • Gimli is 140 years old by year 3019 of the Third Age (Dwarves age slower than Men and live into their 250s). Aragorn is in his eighties. (Seriously, look it up.) Frodo is fifty. Merry is somewhere above forty, and Pippin, the youngest, is still in his thirties. Sam is younger than Frodo, but apparently older than Pippin, since Pippin's age comes up as a reason not to bring him into danger but Sam's doesn't. (Unless you don't worry about that kind of thing with servants.) No report on Boromir, though he doubtless aged much more normally than Aragorn since his blood is thinner, so maybe between Merry and Pippin's ages, maybe a little older than Merry. No one on this trip is an actual young guy.
      • There is a report on Boromir. He was born in 2978TE and died 3019TE which makes him 41. His father Denetor II was 89 when he died, and wasn't even considered very old.
    • To clarify on the hobbits. According to the birth dates given on family trees and so forth in the appendixes: At the start of the Quest, Samewise is 39, Merry's 37, and Pippin's 29. Still in his tweens, which is apparently the equivalent of the teens in a human, since thirty-three is coming-of-age for hobbits. This is going by the year of 1419 S.R. as the year the quest began.
    • Hobbits also were thought specifically by Tolkien to retain childish appearance (and somewhat childish and carefree way of thinking) for most part of their lives. Peter Jackson's film played this accurately - Bilbo Baggins still has the language and mannerisms of a young lad despite being over 100 years old and near the end of his lifespan.
  • Cohen and his Silver Horde, of Discworld fame. Not one cool old guy, but seven (eventually six, but in their most recent story they pick up a Cool Old Lady).
    • Commander Samuel Vimes fits this in his most recent stories. After all, he's over 50! (When Night Watch threw him thirty years into the past, the version of himself he met there seemed to be only in his late teens, and he describes a 51 year old vampire as 'not a lot younger than him' in "Thud".)
    • Vetinari. About as old as Vimes (if not older). Not only a political mastermind skilled at manipulating people to act in his favour but a former assassin of incredible skill.
    • Ridcully, especially when he has a crossbow in his hand.
      • One of his predecessors, Galder Weatherwax was almost as good, but lost it, after going against fate by trying to capture Rincewind.
    • And, lest we forget, Lu Tze the living embodiment of (if not inspiration for) Rule 1: Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men. The one and only master of Deja fu, with a reputation that makes men who know of him wet their pants (literally in at least one case) if they learn they have crossed him, and he kicked the ass of the new anthropomorphic personification of Time itself.
    • Also Reg Shoe, I mean he's not much older than Vimes, but he's 30 years dead (dies at the end of Night Watch).
    • Various other Zombies and Vampires would fit if 'cool' could be used to describe them.
      • The old Count Bella de-Magpyr in Carpe Jugulum is, as is Lady Margalotta.
    • Alberto Malich, the Wizard who started UU. 87 years old when he blew himself into Death's Domain, and it's been almost 2,000 years since.
    • Dios from Discworld/Pyramids. Okay, maybe not actually cool, but old can't be used to describe him, he's a freaking stable time-loop.
  • Zedd in the Sword of Truth saga.
    • Though Nathan is even older and in most cases even cooler. Someone who can serve as estrogen brigade bait (in-universe, anyway) at nearly a thousand years old, be one of the only existing prophets in the world, and be such a powerful wizard and (implied) swordsman to boot definitely deserves a mention here.
  • Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter. And after he dies, we get his brother, Aberforth, who is very nearly as cool as he is. Too bad their relationship was, well, rather troubled.
    • There's Mad-Eye Moody, too. Leaving aside that much of the cool stuff we actually see him do is a Death Eater impersonating him rather well, he's annoying and insane but pretty cool.
  • Shiro from The Dresden Files as a Japanese Knight of the Sword who, while looking like somebody's grandfather, manages to kick Denarian ass. Even Nicodemus, leader of the Denarians, is afraid of this guy. The RPG states that he has plot device levels of swordsmanship, which says it all really.
    • Harry's mentor Ebenezer McCoy fits also, although he's a wizard and not a Badass Normal.
    • The entire Senior Council. The Merlin held off an army of vampires and Eldritch Abominations with a single ward, and is pretty much based on Christopher Lee. Listens to Wind is a nice old medic and shaman. He also once shapeshifted into a bear the size of a minibus to beat the crap out of an Eldritch Abomination / Physical God of fear. Simon Pietrovich had a death curse power enough to wipe out several Red Court nobility and their allies. Aside from Cristos, all other Senior council members qualify by default.
    • Michael Carpenter by the time of The Warrior. A half-crippled former knight takes on a much younger former Marine and beats the crap out of him.
  • Khlit of the Curved Sword (aka Khlit the Wolf) from the Cossack stories by Harold Lamb is already retirement age when he first appears in a story. He chooses not to accept mandatory retirement and goes on walkabout through Asia instead, having many exciting adventures. Along the way, Khlit becomes both Kha Khan of the Tatars and Koschevoi Ataman of the Cossacks (but not at the same time). He's often underestimated by people who don't realize how tough a Cossack had to be to reach an advanced age. Even when Khlit relinquishes the protagonist role to his (adoptive) grandson Kirdy because he's no longer able to wield his famous sword effectively, Khlit remains a cunning fox, and quite capable of licking twice his weight in Mooks.
  • Huang Zhong in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Dynasty Warriors video game.
  • Most of the disciples of Aldur in David Eddings' Belgariad universe, but especially Belgarath and Beldin.
  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He's obviously also a Magnificent Bastard, minus the Bastard part. Hell, one of his responses to an argument is something along the lines of stating "You think you're about to win?", which he only said when he knew he would win an argument, or had a back up plan for what they were about to say. He's the model of a father that every child wants.
  • Brother Cadfael.
  • Papa Jan from This Perfect Day.
  • Giles Corey from The Crucible.
    • And from real life. The part about his death was true.
  • The short story They Live Forever has a subversion of this trope. The narrator becomes a cool old guy at 25 when he is stranded on a planet where the natives have a life cycle of two years. He is proportionally so old by the end of the story that he realizes his age would be meaningless to them and claims to have forgotten. This mirrors the original immortal of the story who made the same claim about himself when questioned by the narrator.
  • Raptor Red brings us a Cool Old Dactyl in the form of... the white dactyl. Old even by dactyl standards, he has bowed out of the great play of reproduction and chick-rearing, choosing to instead spend his golden years dicking around with the other predators.
  • Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz from 1632.
  • Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower series. Not only is he several decades older than the rest of his ka-tet and the epitome of The Gunslinger, but he is also possibly several hundred millennia old, due to his having repeated his life over countless times after reaching the Tower. He's totally unaware of that last fact, though.
  • Abraham van Helsing from Dracula.
  • Woodrow Lowe, age 108, from James Thayer's Man of the Century.
  • Great-uncle Ebbitt from The Seventh Tower combines this with Crazy Awesome.
  • PG Wodehouse's novels have Uncle Fred and the Honourable Galahad, who regularly helping their younger acquaintances out of trouble, often with rather impressive Zany Schemes. Uncle Fred gets extra points for knocking the hat off the pompous barrister Sir Beefy Bastable with a slingshotted Brazil nut.
  • The Mariner from the Keys to the Kingdom. He has a magical harpoon so powerful it hurts others just to use it (he calls his 'friend'), and a ship that can sail through suns.
  • About ninety percent of persons in the Honor Harrington series. Honor herself is 65 in the most recent stories. Yes prolong makes everyone seem younger. But prolong has been around only about 2 generations so there are few people over 120 yet.
  • Captain Flint from the Swallows and Amazons series is the only adult the protagonists seem to take entirely seriously.
  • Lord Varano from Samuel Shellabarger's Prince of Foxes, a historical novel of the Italian Renaissance. This upright old knight teaches cynical Guile Hero Andrea Orsini the meaning of honor. Lord Varano's Crowning Moment of Awesome scene, in which the folk of Città Del Monte elect to fight for him despite believing they are doomed to defeat by Cesare Borgia, is among the classic examples of both tropes.
  • Fraa Jad in Neal Stephenson's Anathem. This avout of the millenarians is a master of pithy one-liners, and has the ability to wander between parallel time tacks.
  • Professor Henry Armitage of H.P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror; a university scholar in his 70's who takes it upon himself (and a couple other professors) to get bitch-slap the earthborn spawn of Yog-Sothoth.
  • In the Petaybee books, Whittaker Fiske is not only cool but far more progressive than his son- he's completely open to the idea that Petaybee might be sentient when few off-worlders are.
  • Many characters in The Wheel of Time. Thom Merrilin, Rhuarc, Gareth Bryne, Furyk Karede, Noal Charin, and the male Forsaken at least.
  • Santiago, the titular old man in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Cristobal Junta from Monday Begins on Saturday.
  • Abraham Setrakian of The Strain, a holocaust survivor that teaches two doctors, an exterminator, and a gaggle of gangsas how to slay some monstrous vampires
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2D, C. J. teaches them all guns. He also does all cooking.
  • The Railway Series: Edward, Toby, Skarloey, Rheneas, Duke. All of them but Toby were built in the nineteenth century, and all are still in active service. Skarloey and Rheneas would currently be 146 years old. Also applies to Sir Topham Hatt I and Sir Topham Hatt II during certain parts of the series' timeline. Out-of-universe, applies to the original author, the late Rev. Wilbert Awdry, and his son Christopher Awdry who is the current author.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, this applies not to Lazarus Long himself, two-thousand years old though he may be, but to his grandfather, Ira Johnson. At seventy he was heartbroken not to be able to enlist in the army to fight in World War I, played a mean game of chess, and could kick ass nine ways from Sunday. He also raised his daughter Maureen on the principles of Eternal Sexual Freedom, which had major repercussions on the future of the human race, including Lazarus himelf.
  • A Tale of Two Cities: Mr. Lorry. He is a 75 years old businessman, his business include being a banker, hostage negotiatior, and help refugees to flee the country.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron series introduced friendly semi-retired smuggling boss Booster Terrik who is both a doting father-in-law/grandfather and and the owner of the only privately held Star Destroyer that he uses as a mobile marketplace/dock. While his age isn't given, he's in his late-40s at the earliest [3] in his first appearance and described with grey hair (though his stint in Kessel may have aged him prematurely). While voices for Star Wars Expanded Universe original characters aren't consistent for original characters between narrators, he's always voiced as quite jolly in audio book versions.

Live Action TV

  • General Hammond from Stargate SG-1 could've been the trope namer. Col. Jack O'Neill aged into this trope during the 10 years of the series.
    • Brought-out-of-retirement Jack in the Stargate movie started out as this trope, especially to the kids of Abydos. As well as the Death Seeker with some Knight Templar and 'that military guy who always follows his orders even if they're wrong'...they got a new actor and changed his character a lot for the show. Apparently Daniel gave him an epiphany.
      • Yeah...jut look at season one or two Jack and go, "there's a guy who tried to commit suicide by nuke a couple years ago." Break your brain.
    • Bra'tac, who's even older then those two.
    • Then there's Teal'c - ninety-eight years old at the start of the series , one hundred and fifty-seven by series' end. Time travel was involved.
      • Of course, among the Jaffa, 98 is about the equivalent of, at most, 40 (Teal'c's son was a young adolescent in Season 1) thanks to the life-extending powers of the symbiote.
  • Even in the campy 60s version of Batman, Alfred is awesome.
  • The Equalizer: Robert McCall may be ~50 years old, but he knows kung fu (or something) and can handle any gun. Plus, he is a very cool-tempered Brit.
  • The Doctor, on Doctor Who. Especially his first incarnation, who was created precisely with this trope in mind. William Hartnell doesn't take lip from anyone, young man! Hmmm hmmm! But let's also remember the character is very very old, even when he doesn't show it physically.
    • One of the best examples being in The Space Museum, when the First Doctor pretends to be unconscious after three Xerons grab him and then knocks out one of his captors when the other two leave the room ("It was like a whirlwind hit me!") and then hides in a Dalek casing in the museum.
    • Also, the Third Doctor's frequent demonstrations of Venusian karate.
    • Ahem. Wilfred Mott, anyone? Among many other feats of badassery, he took on a Dalek with a paintball gun. Sure, it only worked temporarily, but mad points for style and cojones. Also doesn't hurt that Bernard Cribbins is an amazing actor whose apparent mission in life is to break our hearts.
    • We meet Wilf for the first time, having no idea who he is (Donna didn't mention him last season, and won't return until the following episode), it's as the only one in town. We think the plot is about to revolve around what made London a ghost town at Christmas, but we learn from Wilf that everyone else has fled, having gotten Genre Savvy (the Christmas Special is always blockbuster, so by season three, everyone clears out of London around the time, as history has proven that the shit is really going to hit the fan on the 25th.) However, Wilf refused to leave and stood his ground, never leaving the newsstand he runs.
  • The Brigadier himself, on The Sarah Jane Adventures. That's Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart to you.
  • Requisite Mutant Enemy reference: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Rupert Giles.
    • The vampires don't get to apply, even if Spike is cool. He doesn't look or operate old.
  • Albert (Robert Vaughn) in Hustle.
  • Both James Whittaker III on Hustle and Archie Leach on Leverage, both played by Richard Chamberlain.
  • Shepherd Book in Firefly. He's religious so he practices Thou Shalt Not Kill, but acknowledges that The Bible is "a mite fuzzier on kneecaps."
    • Until Serenity, in which he's forced to shoot down the Alliance ship destroying his colony before he dies from his injuries.
      • That wasn't very Christian of him.
    • Also Murphy from the Firefly episode "Shindig." He expertly puts a Rich Bitch who's tormenting Kaylee in her place, then spends the entire evening talking about engines with the latter.
      • Speaking of Shindig, Sir Warwick Harrow.
  • John Locke from Lost. Subverted when we discover just how pathetic and needy the guy is, though he's definitely starting to work back up to a traditional Cool Old Guy.
  • Technically, Methos from Highlander the Series qualifies in this trope because of his age and general coolness factor. In fact, general fandom often refers to him as the Really Old Guy. A subversion of this trope exists in the fact that, as an immortal, he looks really young.
    • Joe Dawson also qualifies.
  • Bobby, in Supernatural, manages to be the Only Sane Man (although not without his issues) and completely and utterly awesome at the same time.
    • Even if he did have only one scene in season three, the fandom reaction to Rufus was so overwhelmingly positive that they brought him back for appearances in seasons five through seven.
  • Doctor McCoy on Star Trek had elements of this trope, even though he didn't really get to interact with many kids.
    • In many ways, he was Kirk's father-figure, with Spock as the competing "cool uncle". Thus, while Spock could shame Kirk, only McCoy could outright scold him to his face. In one or two episodes, for medical reasons, McCoy did the equivalent of sending Kirk to his room!
    • He's not exactly a domesticated red junglefowl of the growing season in most temperate climates in Encounter at Farpoint, but has lost none of his coolness.*
  • Jean-Luc Picard showed enough combat and survival skill in his 60s that he could easily have been a one-man commando unit.
  • Raiden, from Mortal Kombat Conquest. His characterization was based on that of the movie's Raiden, which explains a lot.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: Bill Adama, Saul Tigh (2000 years old, as a matter of fact), and Dr. Sherman Cottle
    • Evil/Frakken' Sinister Old Guys: John Cavil a wangsty teen with mommy issues in an old man's body, which happens to be modeled on "mommy's" old man, and also slept with "mommy"; Tom Zarek who was probably pretty bad before the Caprica-shattering-kaboom and dared to pull a mutiny on Galactica
  • Abraham Bernstein from V is a Holocaust survivor who figures out exactly what the Visitors' real agenda is and does everything he can to fight them, including teaching some kids the proper way to deface a Vistor propaganda poster.
  • Cowley from The Professionals.
  • Tom Croydon of Blue Heelers has his moments, but special mention has to go to Superintendent Adamson. One episode has him on a raid to flush out a group of dangerous criminals. After the police hold their ground as their car speeds towards them as they are shot at with automatic handguns and rifles, one of the cops manages to disable the vehicle with a shotgun, before a number of police from both stations swarm in. What makes this cool is one of them resists and break away from the officers only to run into Adamson (and Inspector Fawlkner, also aged in his sixties). They both flatten him, making them not only Cool Old Guys but the scene their Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Lennie Briscoe from Law and Order. When a 60-something year old man is the most popular character in a cast full of Fair Cops and Hello Attorneys, you know he's doing something right.
  • Regent Correon from Spellbinder. The oldest and toughest of the Spellbinders, over the course of the series he manages to survive a trip through the Wasteland, takes command of the fanatically anti-Spellbinder Marauders, and trumps Ashka's plans for world domination with just a video camera and some very loyal decoys.
  • Gibbs, his father, Eli David, Ducky, and Tony's father in NCIS.
  • Jed Bartlet and Leo McGarry.
  • Peo Persson from Swedish sci-fi children's comedy show, Vintergatan. Began as a Grumpy Old Man, ended up a Cool Old Guy who could really rock a saxophone and smoked his pipe in big huffs.
  • Lester Freamon of The Wire. One of the smartest characters in the entire show and probably the most effective cop. Cool Lester Smooth.
  • In the 1998 Merlin series, the titular wizard gradually becomes one of these as the film progresses, and can be seen telling his story to the younger generations in the present. Also of note is the Mountain King, an ancient Time Abyss voiced by James Earl Jones who casually talks about the dawn of time. "If I can remember that, it means that I'm an old man!"
    • The current (2007–present) Merlin TV series also has one of these in the character of Gaius.
      • Uther has a claim, too, despite technically being kind of the villain. Gaius is pretty morally compromised himself.
  • Farscape - John Crichton becomes one of these in the alternate timeline featured in the episode "The Locket". According to Ben Browder on the DVD commentary for this episode, the Cool Old Guy effect carried over into real life when he found he could get away with a lot of things while dressed in the rather convincing aging makeup.
    • Crichton's dad, Jack Crichton, played by Kent McCord of Adam-12 fame, definitely fits the trope, even when he's being impersonated by an alien.
  • Col. Potter from M*A*S*H.
  • The group of old soldiers and hunters in Africa led by Frederick Selous(Paul Freeman) that Indy meets and help him blow up the "Phantom Train of Doom" in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
  • "Big" Ed Deline from Las Vegas is arguably cooler than the show's main character.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Special Agent David Rossi starts out looking like a Grumpy Old Man, but his coolness becomes apparent pretty early on, and he just gets cooler from there.
    • Agent Gideon: he's a cool character, he's played by a great actor and he's Inigo Montoya.
  • Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm wears sneakers, is regarded as cool by his younger black friend Leon, had an attractive wife who was at least 20 years younger. He's regarded as not having grown up properly by most of the characters.
  • Smallville: Jonathan Kent is pretty cool, as he's probably the Only Sane Man in the cast a lot of the time, as well as a Badass Normal Papa Wolf who goes out of his way to protect his son. And then there's a villainous example in Lionel Luthor. Already pretty darn cool as the Love to Hate Trope Codifier for Magnificent Bastard, Lionel's eventual Heel Face Turn let him establish Intergenerational Friendships with the rest of the cast, mock his Big Bad son Lex, and go right on being cool.
  • Trick aka the Blood King from Lost Girl.
  • ESPN's football College Gameday has this in Lee Corso, who combines this with Crazy Awesome through his antics—most famously, his tradition of announcing his pick for the winner of the day's featured (8:00 Eastern Time) game by donning the headgear of the piked team's mascot. This has led to some fairly ridiculous situations, like the time he dressed himself as a tree and danced around the set to pick Stanford over USC (October 29, 2011). It also usually gets a big response from the people around him: the show is transmitted from the campus of the home team for that day's game, and there is usually a crowd of students and other fans behind the set, so they see his pick, and cheer or boo accordingly.[4] Less absurdly, but just as amusingly, he calls everyone "sweetheart". Also, this. (It's a bit exaggerated, but...).
  • Jesse Duke, the Duke family patriarch, is a very no-nonsense old man, and everyone gives him proper respect. He was one of the best moonshine runners in his heyday, and he's no slouch when it comes to helping his kin get out of trouble. He's also one of the only people who can keep his nephews under control.
  • The Class: Yonk Allen.
  • Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show and its spin-offs, movies and specials could be considered this.
  • Artie from Warehouse 13. "And one of 23 ways that I could have escaped."
  • Captain Roy Montgomery, Beckett's boss on Castle. Driven home in "Kill the Messenger" when a big-name political family tries to interfere in their investigation and Montgomery very politely tells them to get stuffed. The guy threatens to get the police commissioner involved. Montgomery's response?

Montgomery: Say hi to him for me. And tell him I could really use a raise. I think we're done here.
(Blake Wellsley leaves)
Castle: That was awesome!!


Professional Wrestling


  • Casey Kasem, host of American Top 40 (and its spinoffs, American Top 10 and American Top 20) was a weekly presence on radio for 39 years – from his late 30s through late 70s! His voice had noticeably changed by the early 2000s, but it was still Casey, and it was cool to many to hear a 77-year-old radio host introduce artists such as Kate Perry, Lifehouse, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Pink, Fergie and many other urban, contemporary pop and rock artists of the late 2000s decade. (And to think, many people half Kasem's age won't think of listening to any of the above listed artists' music. Kasem – old enough to be some of these artists' great-grandfathers, was still making their music cool.)
  • Bob Kingsley, going on 73 and still going strong as host of Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40. He is best known for his 27-year stint helming American Country Countdown. Not counting the times he was substitute host of ACC, Kingsley has been a fixture on country radio for 34 years, introducing the biggest hits from George Jones and Tammy Wynette (in 1978, the year he started) to Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift (today's top singers).
  • The original panel of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue all became this some time during the nineties. Special mention goes to the late host, Humphrey Lyttelton, who told some of the filthiest jokes on the radio well into his eighties.

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40,000: Logan Grimnar, Chapter Master of the Space Wolves.
    • Any space marine, Chaos Space Marine, Necron, Eldar, or Titan princeps. A UNIVERSE of cool old guys.
    • Aun'shi of the Tau. One of the few examples of this trope to be only about 38, due to the Tau getting shafted on life expectancy.
    • Given the fact that human life expectancy, depending on planet, social status and wealth, can be hundreds of years, it would seem that in 40k, it's a little harder to qualify as cool old guy. Most players will come up with someone from their own army who is cool and old. Abaddon, Vect and so on. Still, there is one cool old guy who every 40k player can admit to being the coolest old guy who ever cooled. Yarrick.
      • Failaddon is hardly cool, really. He's just bark and no bite. Yarrick, on the other hand... Even Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!, who also kicked mucho ass while ostensibly in retirement, did it only once (at least what we know about). Yarrick... Yarrick did it THRICE. With Power Klaw and Eye Beams. Being 200 years old.
        • Abaddon only failed the majority of the Black Crusades due to infighting amongst the forces of Chaos, not due to his own incompetence
      • People, are we seriously going to forget Eisenhorn? The man The man lived to be over 300 (which even with drugs and implants is about the oldest a man gets without being a Space Marine or a Champion of Chaos). Then he gets both of his kneecaps blown out with a bolt pistol by his oldest friend. Meanwhile, the Big Bad is preparing to unlock an ancient daemonic superweapon which he will use to conquer the galaxy. What does the good Inquisitor do? He gets his legs rebuilt, and while doped up on painkillers and very slowly dying of his injuries, proceeds to challenge the villain (who, by the way, is a psychic powerful enough to kill a man by glaring at him and exists in an indestructible metal body that can use all of its limbs and its cloak as lethal weapons) to a SWORD FIGHT. And fights him to a fucking standstill. Then, when it becomes obvious that he can't actually win, he pulls the greatest Indiana Jones reference of all time, pulls the MacGuffin out of his pocket, and rips it in half.
  • Elminster from the AD&D Forgotten Realms universe. He loves jokes and riddles. He's an accomplished dancer who loves ice cream and sliding down banisters. He's possibly the game's most powerful character, probably the most powerful wizard.
    • Similarly, King Boranel of Breland in Eberron. Also, possibly, Kaius of Karrnath, but since he's a vampire, he may not count.
      • If the spoilered example counts, Vol absolutely must get a mention here.
  • Sebastian Crenshaw from Mutant Chronicles. Pushing 55 in a world where average life expectancy is 40. One of the solar system's best assassins and a mentor to many young trainee assassins. He is also a good-looking, distinguished gentleman, who is the life of every party and quite the ladies' man. Oh, also he's implied to be Scottish.
  • For different reasons, Archangel Michael and Archangel Yves in In Nomine. Michael is the classic version of the trope, the Archangel of War who's older than every being but Yves and could kick the ass of anything in creation. Yves is the quieter one, the pleasant old man whom everyone loves (except Michael) who *looks* like a harmless old man but as Archangel of Destiny possesses the secret knowledge of the universe and is feared by most of Hell because they don't understand him.
  • Although he's 42, Ezren from Pathfinder is the oldest of the iconic player characters and a very cool guy.

Theme Park

  • Epcot has had two over the years: Dreamfinder from Journey Into Imagination, who flew around in a Cool Ship collecting thoughts and ideas to create all sorts of new things, and served as The Obi-Wan to his creation Figment until the attraction was overhauled to remove him. Then there was the Sage of Time from the Tapestry of Nations parade, an aged immortal that tried promoting human unity through his Great Millennium Walk that involved lots of cool puppets and Crowning Music of Awesome.

Video Games

  • In the Growlanser series Hien and Dixon from Wayfarer of Time and Alfred Burns from Dual Darkness embody this trope.
  • Bastion is a good example of this, featuring Rucks as a badass cowboy/former special ops, with a voice that can only be described as audio erotica.
  • Suikoden has TONS of badass old guys (and women). Georg Prime grows to be a badass old man in Suikoden II. For Suikoden III, Geddoe's main party consists of mostly old badasses (himself, Joker and Ace). Suikoden IV has Elenor and Lino, while Suikoden V has Galleon and Raja. And these consist of the generally self-proclaimed old. This game has a fruitful bounty of badass adults.
  • The first two Shadow Hearts games play this straight with Zhuzhen and Gepetto, who are eccentric but powerful mages, and provide invaluable information on the occult to Yuri and the Naive Newcomer female leads. From the New World plays with it, by making its Cool Old Guy character a quite possibly insane ninja/US Secret Agent who, despite technically fitting the trope, isn't cool in any imaginable sense of the word.
    • Yes he is.
    • Not to mention Roger Bacon and Albert Simon, though not playable, are still way cool.
  • Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 4 is depicted as a badass graying elder, capable of kicking as much ass as he did in earlier games. Although he isn't actually that old, he has supposedly aged prematurely because of the primitive cloning method used to create him.
    • In a twist on the trope, he's still the main character, and the sort of new generation he'd be a supporting cast member to in a more normal execution are secondary characters.
    • Then again, the games do have a very high concentration of cool old guys. Revolver Ocelot is in his sixties and the best gunslinger and Xanatos Gambler in the world. An extreme example is The End, 'the father of modern sniping', who's over a hundred and looks it, but is still capable of leaving a man a third his age in his dust, while carrying a sniper rifle.
  • Saisyu Kusanagi in The King of Fighters '98. He has much of Kyo's overconfidence but greater knowledge of combat, so it's justified.
  • General Luft from the Galaxy Angel gameverse.
  • Lt. Colonel Daitetsu Minase from Super Robot Wars Original Generation captain of the Hagane. Also Major Kai Kitamura.
    • Kai isn't actually all that old, however, Rishu Togo definitely counts, being an old swordsman who designed the Type 0's sword, and trained both Zengar and Bullet, and also on at least one occasion CUT BULLETS OUT OF THE AIR. You even get to use him as a pilot in one of the PlayStation 2 OG games.
  • Heihachi from the Tekken games. By the fifth one, he's a grandpa who can punch Terminators in half and survive an explosion that hurls him several kilometers away. Without any medical attention, mind you.
    • And he launches enemies into space on a ROCKET. Not only is the guy impossible to kill, he's got style.
    • No mention of Wang? He's 104 in 5 and 6, and is in perfect fighting condition. He's also one of the good guys, unlike Heihachi. He even gets the respect of Feng with his skill.
  • Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VII have characters named Cid, both of him fall under this trope. The VII version is a complete Jerkass, though.
    • Cid from VII rolls more as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He does have some redeeming qualities, after all.
    • In a slight subversion, Cid from VII isn't even the oldest member of the main cast (he's 32, Barrett is 35, Red XIII is 48), but he acts more like an old man than the other two.
    • Auron, of Final Fantasy X fame, fits this trope to a T. He is in near superhuman physical condition, unshaven, and a no-nonsense hardass. However, most of this is fairly unimportant compared to the fact that he's already dead in the first place.
      • He's also only in his 30's. Or he was when he died, at least.
    • The most imbalanced playable character in the Final Fantasy history: Cidolfas Orlandu, the Thunder God Cid is pretty cool - and pretty old.
    • Maat from Final Fantasy XI, the one NPC who WILL beat you into the ground when you first fight him. In Wings of The Goddess, you can see him hold off advancing Beastmen armies BY HIMSELF.
    • Why the hell hasn't Cyan been mentioned yet!? Not every RPG swordsman is a wangsty teenager, Word of God puts his age around 50-something. Strago could also count, but he's old enough to be more of a Badass Grandpa.
    • Galuf from Final Fantasy V is a 60-year-old man who was one of the four Warriors of Dawn, who had sealed the Big Bad prior to the game. Not only is he a strong warrior and a king, but he's not above making fun of his younger friends and spouting horrible, wonderful puns. Not to mention the fact that he may be the only game character ever to have been able to continue fighting while at 0 freakin' HP, right before a Heroic Sacrifice!
  • Advance Wars: The old series had Sensei, who is rumored to be Yellow Comets former legendary commander. The new series have Forsythe, another war hero returned from retirement.
    • Sensei's coolness is slightly reduced by the fact that he grows weaker in each game. In Super Famicom Wars, where he was still known as Yamamoto, his units were all nigh unbeatable by being a massive 40% more powerful than any normal unit. In Advance Wars 2, his debut as Sensei, only his infantry and battle copters retained his original abilities - and even then only in offensive power, with defense being reduced to average - though he also gained some cool super powers, that still couldn't match his original strength. In Advance Wars: Dual Strike, his infantry had also become total weaklings.
      • On the other hand, his CO power in Dual Strike summons a hell of a lot of them, making him arguably a Game Breaker on some maps. He is going just a little senile though...
    • Also, Javier, a Don Quixote wannabe who can still kick plenty of ass and has the best lines in the game.
      • "Charge into the toothy maw! For now is the time for a glorious hindspanking!"
      • "This day shall be the greatest of days, unless tomorrow is even greater!"
  • Malcolm Corley in the LucasArts Adventure Game Full Throttle: Not only is he the owner of Corley Motors, the last remaining domestic motorcycle manufacturer, but he's spent a significant amount of his youth on the back of a motorcycle, and gets along particularly well with his customers, sharing anecdotes from the 'glory days'. It's a shame to see him die at the hands of his greedy second-in-command about a third of the way through the game.
  • Jolee Bindo in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He is a very Cool Old Guy , who feigns deafness and senility but who is still a competent fighter and dispenser of sage advice.
    • And he's voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
    • Also, Masters Vrook and Vandar.
    • And Sion (still can whip your ass with a lightsaber at around 1,000 with a barely functional body. Just imagine him in his prime).
    • And three of the five lost Jedi Masters (Atris and Kavar don't look old enough).
    • Canderous Ordo also counts. As of the first game, he'd been kicking ass for forty years. Second game, he's pushing 65, is the only humanoid in the party Exile can't cross-class (and doesn't NEED to), helps put the smack down on two Sith Lords, and is still kicking righteous ass as Mandalore the Preserver, setting the stage for his people to become Republic 'allies for the next century or two. All with a bone-dry wit, and surprisingly poetic descriptions of his past battles.
  • Baldur's Gate's Keldorn. Probably in his 50s at least, greying, a bit creaky, yet goes out and smites evil arse with a 2 handed sword and plate mail (his default equipment).
    • It is hard to be lawful good and cool at the same time, but he manages it perfectly. The fact that he is the only NPC that can use the uber-paladin sword Carsomyr is just gravy.
    • His interactions with Anomen (lawful neutral, thinks he's lawful good) frequently take the form of a Take That at Knight-Templarism and/or Lawful Stupid, the basic message being "if you're not awesome, you're doing it wrong".
    • Gorion, too. Admittedly he's dead for most of the time and as such mainly appears in various flashes of the past, and his big Dead Man Writing is ruined when he's apparently retconned to have lied about the PC's mother. But the picture gathered from other characters is that he used to be an active adventurer who probably saw a lot during his life, and had even faced a dragon and lived to tell the tale, leaving it with a few scars. And apparently he used to tell Imoen and the PC stories about everything between heaven and earth, and would hang out with canon über-characters like Khelben Arunsun and Elminster Aumar. When we actually see him for a moment at the very beginning, he defends his foster child against the Big Bad and his minions and ultimately sacrifices himself, unwaveringly telling them to step aside if they want to remain unhurt and then eliminating all the three minions in about one round each before facing off hopelessly against the Big Bad himself until he's cut down.
  • Athos the Archsage from Fire Emblem 7. More than 1000 years old and still quite the Eccentric Mentor, aside of being one extremely powerful magic user.
  • Anduin Lothar from the Warcraft franchise. Not only was he a Badass Grandpa who led The Alliance in a world war, but he serves as a kind of Big Brother Mentor to Khadgar in Warcraft the Last Guardian, showing much more level-headedness and wisdom than his own King.
  • In World of Warcraft, Tirion Fordring. A retired man living in a hut until the player shakes him up, at which point he reforms an order of paladins, redeems an army of death knights, and leads an army to some godforsaken corner of the world to bring judgment to a Complete Monster Physical God who threatens all life.
  • The Castlevania series has Julius Belmont, who is noticeably older than the cast of the rest of the cast of both Sorrow games. Technically, Arikado/Alucard is much older. He Lampshades this by commenting to Soma that "Growing old is a terrible thing," when he is too winded to fight after breaking a dark barrier. This still doesn't stop him from kicking ass in the bonus Julius Mode of both games.
    • Better still, in his fight in Aria of Sorrow, he can use the Grand Cross and it makes PARTS OF THE CASTLE CRUMBLE, and claims to have been holding back despite being That One Boss for some people, and this is only using subweapons after halfway into the fight. In Dawn, he is bested by Dario, some fire punk foe, but only because he can't seal his dark power. The badass part is that Julius has dealt with sealed enemies before, except he's just beaten the shit out of them before they can regenerate. That's how awesome he is.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue: Professor Oak. Wait, what? Well, in the Adventures/Special manga, at least - Oak actually competes in the Pokemon League, and beats Blue, and without his lab-coat, he looks surprisingly fit for someone his age. The games themselves note that Oak was a top-class trainer before switching professions, roughly around the level of the Elite Four, since he was friends with Agatha.
    • With the use of a cheat device, or a branch of the Mew Glitch, you can unlock a Dummied Out battle with Professor Oak, where he has some of the most powerful Pokemon in the game, his strongest equaling Mewtwo and their levels on average being the same as the Champion's if not higher. His Pokemon? Tauros, Exeggutor, Arcanine, Gyarados, and the fully evolved starter that wasn't picked. All of them are amongst some of the most powerful Pokemon of the first generation. The guy's a straight-up Badass.
    • Also, several Gym leaders from the anime are cool old guys. Blaine/Katsura, Pryce/Yanagi (once he gets defrosted when his long-lost Piloswine returns), Juan/Adan and Spenser/Ukon come to mind...
  • A playable 20-40 throwing the 15-18 Competence Zone out of balance is a staple of the Tales series.
  • Wrex and Mordin from Mass Effect, both old by their species' standards. Wrex is a bit over 1,000 (the natural krogan lifespan is—you guessed it—about 1,000; however, as the game gladly points out to you, very few krogan die of old age). Mordin is over 40, which is rare for his species. Zaeed Massani and Admiral Hackett also qualify, although Zaeed is somewhat younger than he looks.
  • Bill from Left 4 Dead, an old Vietnam war vet who constantly has a cigarette hanging from his mouth and a witty remark ready for his younger, upstart fellow survivors. One of the lines you can hear him say as you mow down zombie after zombie is "I'll see peace back on Earth if I have to kill every single one of these bastards with my bare GOD DAMN hands!"
    • As well as, "I was too old for this shit fifteen years ago."
    • It's really too bad in the end though considering he was the one who sacrificed himself for the team in what ended up being such an anti-climatic way. Thanks again, Valve.
  • Most of the characters from Team Fortress 2, with the exception of the Scout and possibly the Pyro, appear to be in the late 40's, early 50's range, making them an entire cast of Cool Old Guys.
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume has enough Cool Old Guys to make them a subject of an amusing scene in Seraphic Gate.
  • Gouken from Street Fighter 4.
  • Soul Calibur's Edge Master.
    • Also, Voldo and Cervantes.
  • Both male teachers from the Rival Schools series, Hideo Shimazu and Hayato Nekketsu, qualify for this by simply being Badass Teachers.
  • Odin and Tor Anderson in Alan Wake might be crazy, but that's part of what makes them cool. The other part is that they're retired rock stars from the band Old Gods of Asgard. They still have a stage with working pyrotechnics at their farm (which is the location of a Crowning Moment of Awesome), they have a Viking longboat in their barn, they changed their names to Odin and Tor, and they make their own moonshine.
    • At one point, Odin comments on the events in Bright Falls and their own craziness, saying "It takes crazy to know crazy!"
    • Not crazy, but still cool is Pat Maine, the town's radio host and a retired cop, who calls out FBI agent Nightingale on his reckless pursuit of Alan - while on the air.
  • Fallout features Harold, a 90 year old mutated human known for his sense of humor and ability to survive. Harold makes appearances in Fallout 2 and 3 as well.
  • Fallout 2 has John Cassidy, who is in his sixties at the earliest, has a heart condition, a metal plate implanted in his head, a missing eye, and is covered with scars and wrinkles. Nevertheless, he's an outstanding marksmen and easily the strongest companion available to the player. His daughter, Rose of Sharon, can fight alongside the player in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • Fallout 3 features Owyn Lyons, Star Paladin Cross, Fawkes, and of course, your father, James. All four have dedicated themselves to helping humanity, though in different ways. There's also Desmond Lockheart in Point Lookout, but it's really up to you if he qualifies as cool or is just a jerk.
    • Herbert 'Daring' Dashwood is one of the few people in Tenpenny Tower who isn't a jerk, and his terminal and radio show reveal he had quite a past. If you release the feral ghouls into the tower, he manages to take some down before being overwhelmed by numbers.
  • The Remnants in Fallout: New Vegas, a squad of Enclave veterans with high-tech gear and a shared shady past who kick massive amounts of ass once reunited.
  • Elder Keeper Artemus of the Thief series. He's more of a Non-Action Guy and The Obi-Wan / surrogate father figure to the protagonist, but he's a Badass Bookworm and master of stealth nonetheless.
    • Specifically, Artemus is able to outsneak the protagonist, who is able to outsneak basically everyone in the organization that prides itself in never being seen.
  • Mario Auditore from Assassin's Creed II. Ezio's uncle acts as The Obi-Wan and is the one who teaches him how to be an assassin and helps him throughout the entire game.
    • Ezio himself can count for this by end of Brotherhood. He's 49, likely the most skilled assassin in Italy and Grand Master of the Assassin Order in Rome in a time where the life expectancy was within the late 40s to early 50s.
      • Considering Assassin's Creed: Revelations takes place after Brotherhood, he definitely counts as a cool old guy now.
      • Revelations also features Altair being the Memetic Badass we've come to know him as well into old age.
  • Garth from Fable II definitely counts. the first time you see him, he's fighting against the frakking Commandant. And he's not doing to badly.
  • Okami has a dojo in 3 areas, all run by the same guy, who goes by Onigiri Sensei. He barely looks like he's capable of anything at first, but holy crap what is this i dont even
  • Master Naguri from Bujingai Swordmaster. He's first introduced as he tosses a stone column at his student, Lau, to test his skills. He then proceeds to dodge all of Lau's attacks, calling them terrible. Keep in mind, Lao is capable of Dual-Wielding Big Fancy Swords, casting magic, and gliding through the air.
  • Golden Sun's Kraden isn't a combatant but a Gentleman and a Scholar who provides a great deal of plot exposition, but is still ridiculously popular with the fandom, to the point of being worshipped as a deity by a fan forum called the Temple of Kraden, having a Fanon Christmas-equivalent holiday named for him, and being the subject of several hoax cheats to unlock him as a player character.
    • In Dark Dawn, not only has Kraden's aging been slowed to the point of Immortality (albeit the rather unfortunate Age Without Youth variety), but some of his Memetic Badass status has leaked into the universe, with multiple characters respecting him as a Determinator who will reach his destination regardless of the traps, monsters, and labyrinths in his way (and this is accurate; he travels through a war zone to join you!).
    • King Hydros of Lemuria is also this in-universe, as Piers mentions to the party in The Lost Age that he is not feared but respected by his people for his tremendous age and wisdom (in a nation of Really Seven Hundred Years Old people).
    • And another in Dark Dawn; over the last thirty years, Briggs went from a youngish pirate and new father to a gray-haired oldster. He has not grown any less badass. It doesn't last.
  • The kooky mystic in Ratchet and Clank Going Commando.
    • While we're on the subject, it would be criminal not to mention Orvus and Azimuth. Both majorly cool characters, both capable of incredible things—they are, respectively, former Senior Caretaker of The Great Clock [5] and a Four-Bolt Magistrate for the Lombax Praetorian Guard and an Elder Councilman for the Center for Advanced Lombax Research.
  • Augus from Asura's Wrath.
  • The Elder Scrolls; the Dragonborn is whatever age the player desires, so he can easily be this Trope.

Web Comics

  • Thaco from Goblins. He is literally old enough to be the other characters' father. He IS the father of one of them. In his first introduction, he was sitting in the 'retirement hut' with two other goblins—one blind from cataracts and one who shakes so much he can't walk without two canes. Not to mention that his name is a reference to Advanced Dungeons Dragons Second Edition, which is apparently a good way in the past in the game world—at least one generation ago—and which he was apparently alive to see.
  • Lord Shojo from the Order of the Stick. Even Belkar thought he was cool.
    • Yeah, but it was mostly because he ordered paladins to clean his cat's litterbox.
      • So? Anybody who orders gets paladins to clean a cat's litterbox has to be pretty cool.
    • O-Chul is probably old enough to count, too. Bad-ass enough to resist torture for months while gathering useful information, then escape armed only with a metal bar, he's another example of successfully being Lawful Good and awesome.
    • General Tarquin, ruler of the Western Continent and Elan's father.
  • Dan McNinja, father of the titular character of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • Dr. Disaster from Gunnerkrigg Court. How many teachers' dramatic entrances are greeted with cheers from the students? Bob Sutton the gardener, who chuckled at Renard's jab about Ysengrin's "terrifying skills of gardening". As we discover later, he's the one who regularly handles some consequences of this—successfully. Also, he always shows good sense of humor and good sense in general.
  • Rocky's 'Grampy' from Too Much Information. He's got a black belt in 3 different martial arts, has fought in 2 different wars, has traveled the world as an adventurer-archeologist, and taught English in inner-city schools. While the rest of the cast are stuck working their way out of a Love Dodecahedron, he hits it off with Cool Old Lady and borderline Manipulative Bastard Rosa Cartman - who, other than being RIDICULOUSLY good-looking for her age, owns a multimillion-dollar corporation. While the young 'uns are still trying to figure their way out of Dysfunction Junction, he hooks up with her, gets laid (on their first date, no less), and elopes with her within weeks.
  • Mr. Bear from Achewood, a sharp-witted old pub owner with a broad range of knowledge, who in one story arc handily beat all the younger characters in a contest to see who was the most Badass.[1]
  • Mrs. Primrose from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! Seemingly a cute and chubby little old lady, she's an agent employed by an ancient civilization of dragons, and owns a suit of Bubblegum Crisis-style power armor with which she can fly into space.
  • Donovan Deegan isn't as old as some of the other guys on this page, but he probably qualifies, considering he's the father of 3 full-grown men. And he's certainly cool, always upbeat and sociable. Plus he's an awesome swordsman who's pulled some pretty badass stunts (such as slicing his initials into one jerkass's pant seat). And he can play an electric guitar (which is actually a normal guitar powered by lightning magic, which is all sorts of badass).
  • Tales of the Questor has the Eldest. He's apparently the old Raccoonan in the region of Freedom Downs and is a fun loving chap who apparently is one of the few, until recently, there who respects Quentyn.
    • Actually, he's the oldest living Racconan—period. As to whether he respects Quentyn or not, it's more a matter of being so old that he doesn't give a tinker's damn what anyone else thinks about anybody.
  • Mob Ties has Papa-san, the head of one of the few decent Yakuza clans in Tokyo. He's friendly, intelligent, devoted to his daughter, and is the first person to truly realize just how badass Sidney Burns truly is, and is the only person man enough to actually confront him about why he is so badass in the first place. Of course, given that Papa-san was quite the badass himself in his younger days, that last part is understandable.
  • Horse-Man from Unwinder's Tall Comics: He's twenty-something while the main cast are high-schoolers. He's also nice enough to treat Unwinder like an equal; Horse-Man is likewise the only person that Unwinder seems to respect.
  • Baron Klaus Wulfenbach from Girl Genius.
  • Both Tagons from Schlock Mercenary (the captain is well into his 40s, turning 49 in the Credomar plot-arc).

Web Original

  • Magus from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is the most powerful wizard on Earth and the heroic defender of the planet from the sorts of supernatural threats usually faced by Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange. He's 318 years old (though he only looks 70 or so), and acts like a Cool Uncle to the rest of his teammates.
  • In The Gamers Alliance, there are several cool old guys such as Harrad, Josiah and Waldheim.
  • Tech Infantry has several, including Admiral Karl Von Shrakenberg, Dr. Icarus Hicks, and Colonel Arthur Clarke. Lwan Eddington also qualifies in the later stories.
  • The aged Buddhist Shinto priest and Badass Long Robe Kamimura from Broken Saints, who lost his family to the atomic bomb in World War II, making him at least twice as old as any of the other three protagonists.
  • Sensei Ito at the Super-Hero School Whateley Academy in the fictional Whateley Universe is a Crazy Prepared Badass Normal who is a tiny old Japanese martial artist capable of taking down virtually every single superpowered student at Whateley. As he demonstrates at the start of every term, in aikido classes. He also has a bit of Magnificent Bastard in him.
    • Whateley Academy is rife with Cool Old Guy characters, from sixty-ish Gunny Bardue who runs the ranges, to Security Chief Franklin Delarose, to a number of older teachers who you just know used to be superheroes. Charles Xavier's school should be so lucky.
  • Pretty much every over-fifty on Gaia Online counts to some extent.
    • Johnny K. Gambino, who started out in the plotline as a major villain and is pretty much just Crazy Awesome in general.
    • Edmund, who is BFFs with Gambino, chock full of Battle Butler charm, and suave enough to make perving on Vanessa look gentlemanly. Moonlights as a member of the superhero G-Team whenever the need arises.
    • Old Man Logan, also a member of the G-Team and an obvious Wolverine expy.
    • Uncle Kin in zOMG!, second-in-command of a ninja clan and devoted relative to his Miko niece.
    • And last, but definitely not least, the late Vladimir Von Helson, lord of Gaia's vampires, whose sparkly death scene was easily the best thing about MMVII (unfortunately, even sparklepires couldn't save MMVII).
  • Some Something Awful Goons:
    • GeneSplicer, 43 as of 2009 (that's old when you're among high school/college students) high school forensics teacher ("Who brought the maggots for the students to 'play' with? Me!"), who even has an avatar of the creepy old man from Family Guy with the legend "Forums Senior Citizen". Has a wedding ring made of meteorite iron and collects (fake) skulls. Has a bookshelf full of sci-fi props, including one of those mind-eating bugs from The Wrath of Khan in a tank. Makes sock monsters in his spare time, which he gives to his students as prizes. Mrs. GeneSplicer also counts, since she got him some of the skulls as a birthday present.
      • Possibly HellBastard, since he mentioned a TV show that GeneSplicer also saw as a kid.
    • 50-Foot-Ant (presumably around 50), excellent writer and author of about two dozen Dungeons & Dragons manuals and claims to have witnessed the Ramstein air show disaster and to have a supremely annoying Otherkin relative.
    • Someone who claimed to be a World War II veteran who registered to praise Humper-Monkey (age unknown and possibly 50-Foot-Ant's creation) during his tales of the haunted German US Army Base that was once used by Nazis where problem recruits are ditched.
    • Tokaii, who was a Chicago cop for a few years during The Sixties. He wasn't a Corrupt Cop, but pretty much everyone else was which is why he left despite loving the job. He's also been on the some form of internet since 1982.
  • Yamauchi-sensei from Greek Ninja is the definition of this trope.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's grandfather. He might have been crazy, but he gets points for being the only family member who Critic has fond memories of.

Western Animation

  • Iroh of Avatar: The Last Airbender practically embodies this trope. (Though he's not a Badass Normal.)
    • And his group, the White Lotus Society, is a whole gang of cool old guys.
      • "Welcome to Old People Camp!"
        • Plus all five30 or so of them reconquer Ba Sing Se, and at least one of them doesn't even bend!
    • The best part about Uncle Iroh is that you just know that if someone went down the list, and played the "Who Would Win" game, nobody would win against Iroh, because he'd offer them all tea, and they'd end up calmly drinking tea and discussing old people stuff.
      • Iroh was trained up to conquer the world. Although he must have had mixed feelings, given the thing with the dragons happened relatively early in his life, he was doing pretty well at that until his son died. His father died the next day. He suspended all his Badass and sank into sleep mode, doing nothing while his little brother usurped him and then following his traumatized nephew around the world being as annoying as possible. Then, One-Man Army.
  • Doc from Invasion America fits the bill nicely, though that series was less plagued by Competence Zone than most.
  • Grandpa Max from Ben 10, especially after he's revealed to be a former Man in Black who remembers quite a bit from his old job and still has access to his old gear. Generally of the "dated but loveable personality" type, but swings into "no nonsense" when the situation calls for it... In a nutshell, he's a textbook case.
    • He's the same guy who bosses Snake around, making him even more awesome.
  • Master Fung in Xiaolin Showdown started out a mentor-type, but with the introduction of Mala Mala Jeong, proved he still has plenty of awesome fighting skills in him.
  • Ol' Skool from Get Ed, who uses actual old school gear, but can keep up with the kids he mentors, their enemies, and with Mr. Bedlam as well, much of the time.
  • Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond.
    • Makes sense, considering he used to BE Batman.
      • USED to be Batman? Tell that to his subconscious!
      • Batman is Batman is Batman...the Battle for the Cowl in the comics featured at least two, although Machine Gun Jason Batman was out of the running for reader acceptance. Because machine guns.
  • Jerry in Totally Spies! - on the rare occasion that he's personally called into action, he consistently outclasses the Spies themselves.
  • Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures, not only is he the Old Master but he is seen kicking ass as it is needed and will bring pain to those who bring trouble, including the main protagonist.
    • Let's not forget his totally awesome Catch Phrase, "One more thing!"
  • Cap'tain K'nuckles from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He beat 100 pirates alone, carried Bubby on his back and sailed in a storm during a fight against 8-Armed-Willy.
  • Most "old" characters in Transformers tend to be cool old guys. Since they don't age like humans, the most common cause of death is war-related and anyone who survives to be really really old probably did so by being really really badass.
    • Ratchet in Transformers Animated is definitely a badass, despite sporting a beer gut. He's also the team's medic, making comparisons to Bones McCoy even more impossible.
      • Also Ultra Magnus, especially {{[[[Drop the Hammer]] when he's got his hammer with him.}}
    • Kup in Transformers Generation 1 is definitely a cool old guy, like Animated Ratchet but much less grumpy. Also, in "All Hail Megatron" he gets a bitchin' robot cigar to chew on.
      • Even Ratchet's G1 incarnation, who's not really intended to represent any extreme of age the way Kup is, tends to get a lot of this trope. His canon appearances as a competent medic and go-to guy paved the way for his interpretation by the fans. Fandom is especially fond of causing him to bludgeon insubordinate/uncooperative patients with wrenches and other tools, go all Doc McCoy even on Optimus Prime's aft, and generally act in a lovably codger-y manner, even ascribing him Cool Old Guy traits such as extreme shrewdness and a wrathfully protective nature regarding his crewmates (the young twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe tend to be at the receiving end of his lectures and fists, more often than not).
        • Somewhat justified by G1 Ratchet and Ironhide being the same toy with different color schemes.
    • G1 Ironhide was the franchise's original Cool Old Guy . His toy card specifically states how he's the oldest Autobot, the most likely to break down from outdated parts, but too stubborn and orny to give up and quit fighting. The show just made it better by giving him a Southern grandpa accent to match.
    • Vector Prime in Transformers Cybertron is both cool and so old he's made of clockwork.
    • Scavenger in Transformers Armada was mentor to Optimus freaking Prime.
    • And don't forget Revenge of the Fallen Jetfire. When Scorponok erupts from the sand without warning, Jetfire simply stabs him in the head with his cane, just about as quickly.
  • Detective Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov from Stuart M. Kaminsky's series set in Russia. Over fifty when the series started in the '80s, he is lame from a WWII injury involving a tank, but is a champion weightlifter. He once defeated a thug just by holding him in the air, despite all the thug's attempts to get down. (Most of what Rostnikov does isn't brawn but brain, though.)
  • Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales (1987), serving as a faithful adaption to the comics' glory.
  • Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda was quite old when he beat one of the most dangerous known martial artists. Master Shifu probably could have replicated the success 20 years later if not for his sentimental attachment to said artist.
  • Wildcat in Justice League Unlimited and Batman the Brave And The Bold. Both are Badass Normal to boot, and don't even have Batman's level of training or gadgets- just boxing.
  • From Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Kai-lan's grandfather Ye-ye.
  • Like his Real Life counterpart, Benjamin Franklin of Liberty's Kids.
  • Mosey from Horseland and to a somewhat lesser extent, Shep.
  • Plato from The Little Flying Bears.
  • Ito San from Tokyo Mater, who is an old Japanese car who helps Mater race against the villain Kabuto after being rescued from a ditch and brought back to Japan.
  • In ThunderCats (2011)
    • Court Mage Jaga is the eldest of the titular Cats, but is fully capable of taking on a Walking Tank by his lonesome, mocking a Mook Lieutenant when held prisoner, and getting a few licks in against Big Bad and Sorcerous Overlord Mumm-Ra.
    • Anet is the elder of a village of Forgetful Jones Elephant Monks. Wise and kind when focused, but constrained by a need to meditate on any decision, they seem largely useless when an invading army comes seeking a MacGuffin, until Anet leads his people in routing the army and defeating an enemy General barehanded.
    • In the original Thundercats Lynx-O was the resident Cool Old Guy.

Real Life

  • Konrad Adenauer. He had been retired for years, hunted by the Nazis, many times imprisoned, financially broke, and 73 years old when he got elected Chancellor of (West) Germany, supported by all large parties except Communists. Stood for 14 years, throughout the worst of the Cold War, rebuilt the state administration of Germany by himself, practically from scratch, initiated the reparations agreement between Germany and Israel, helped secure the release of the last German POWs from the USSR, and above all gained the entrance of Germany in the nuclear club during the 1950s. It takes some diplomatic hype to ask the cooperation of former enemies in this matter barely 10 years after The War.
  • Kheyr ed-Din, a.k.a. "Barbarossa" (not to be confused with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I), was a Barbary pirate who was still fighting sea-battles in his eighties - and kicking righteous ass, too.
  • Jazz singer Tony Bennett. After his career tanked in The Sixties, he's staged an amazing comeback, keeping light bouncy jazz alive and kickin' since 1994 (and has no intention of retiring, according to The Other Wiki).
  • Tony Benn. An ever-present figure in British politics who had his start in the mid-1940s/1950s somewhere there, is still involved in politics, even after not being a member of parliament since 2001, had a talk with Ali G once, and that's just a couple reasons I could name right off the bat. In-fact, some consider Tony Benn a living national treasure in the UK.
  • Tom Bergeron, host of The Hollywood Squares, Dancing With the Stars and America's Funniest Home Videos. He's known for being very laid back and "un-Hollywood" off camera.
  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX of Thailand. He's simultaneously the world's oldest, richest, and longest-reigning monarch, led his country to democracy in the 1990s, and is really the one stable constant in Thailand's notoriously shaky political system (the man has seen sixteen governments go by without a single change to his own office). He's also an accomplished saxophonist, apparently.
  • John Williams.
  • Jerry Goldsmith.
  • Elmer Bernstein.
  • Norman Borlaug. He's a pretty cool dude.
    • Though really, internet memes aside, He's responsible for saving the lives of billions of people through genetic engineering of plants to feed the world. Check out all his life work here on the Other Wiki. Honestly, why his life isn't taught in schools is a downright shame.
  • Michael Caine
  • George Carlin
  • Sonny Chiba
  • William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Kirk and Spock. Also best friends in real life. And despite being well into their eighties now, both are still very active in the Star Trek fandom and the media as a whole. Need we say more?
  • Winston Churchill: Because He Never Surrenders.
  • Dick Clark. Until his stroke a few years ago, he still looked so untouched by age that he epitomized his "World's Oldest Living Teenager" nickname.
  • Sean Connery, no doubt.
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Jacques Cousteau, the great aquatic explorer who seemed like the Ancient Mariner himself in his documentaries.
  • Walter Cronkite, "The Most Trusted Man in America". Uncle Walter not only brought us "the way it is" night after night, but was a long-time race car driver and expert sailor.
  • Robert De Niro
  • Clint Eastwood is the personification of this trope. At 80-ish years old, he's still awesome, is a Memetic Badass, still makes some of the best movies in Hollywood (now more often as the director rather than an actor, with a distinctive visual style and a good reputation for finishing ahead of schedule and always within budget), and still has a great attitude. As a licensed pilot, he apparently still sometimes flies his own helicopter to the studio to avoid traffic. He's a veteran of the Korean War, and is a former lifeguard. He's also a Friend to All Living Things and has long been involved with animal rescue efforts in California, and he and his wife take care of several rescued animals on their ranch that they've adopted. He's also got a talent for music, and in particular is an aficionado of Jazz (and his son Kyle is a renowned jazz musician in his own right), as well as Country Music. He's also been known to practice meditation every morning since the 1970's. And he can still kick your ass easily.
  • Roger Ebert
  • Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
  • The Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe. Anglican priest, member of Mensa, former writer of Extruded Book Products (which made him a figure of minor legend in the UK SF scene), dan-grade martial artist and weightlifter, biker, investigator of anomalous phenomena. All carried out with an enormous zest for life and a great sense of humour. Your only problem, if you're lucky enough to meet him, will be getting him to stop talking...
  • Tim Gunn. To the point where Congress recently declared him a national treasure.
  • Benjamin Franklin was this by the time of the Revolutionary War.
  • Morgan Freeman. Because, you know, he's God.
  • James Harrison, the "man with the golden arm." His unique blood donations have saved approximately 2 million babies' lives, and at 74 he's still donating a pint of blood as often as he can.
  • Mark Hamill isn't that old, but is nevertheless an avid comic book fan since childhood and has voiced everybody's favourite clown psychopath for twenty-odd years now.
    • Even if he wasn't old, when he did it, he's still LUKE FREAKIN' SKYWALKER.
  • Werner Herzog. Among other achievements, his most recent documentary required him to climb around in a cave with his camera crew, someone once drove by and shot him with a BB gun and he just laughed it off.
  • Sammo Hung. A legendary action superstar (and friends with Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao) in Hong Kong action cinema. What's even more impressive is that this former Peking Opera player turned actor is now nearing 60, doesn't seem to get any thinner, but could still go toe-to-toe with the likes of much younger action stars such as Donnie Yen and Wu Jing.
  • Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Lloyd Kaufman, who's been making truly independent films for about forty years, and, at 65, he definitely hasn't softened.
  • A 63 year old man named Fred Kemp protected himself and his wife from a robber by getting him in a rear-naked choke.
  • Sir Christopher Lee: Just read the article; actor, commando, secret agent[6] (Not to mention he provided his voice to an upcoming heavy metal album. That's right. An 87 year-old man singing in a heavy metal album. How much cooler can you get?)
    • Being Saruman the White AND Dracula. And no, he doesn't sparkle.
      • And he would kick Edward Cullen's arse.
        • Kick it? He would rip it off and make Cullen eat it.
    • Did his own stunts in the Star Wars prequels, used a stunt double only when he was supposed to run.
  • Stan Lee, as the image on this page indicates. Innovating most of Marvel Comics's major characters and generally being a great guy make Stan Lee absolutely a Cool Old Guy.
  • Kurt Loder for MTV News. Granted he was only 42 when he began to work for MTV, but that was still twice as old as even the second oldest on-screen MTV personality. Despite this he's actually MTV's longest serving personality because of his trustworthiness and popularity with the young adult crowd.
  • Most of the stalwart staff of Mad magazine is pretty well up there but still turning out some top-notch parody. Among them are writers Dick DeBartolo (born 1945), Duck Edwing (born 1934), Mort Drucker (born 1929) and Al Jaffee (born 1921).
  • Sir Ian McKellen.
  • Nelson Mandela, doubles as Badass Grandpa.
  • William Marshall. He had multiple chances to seize a throne for himself but his honor and loyalty were stronger than the temptation of power. He also suffered from terminal levels of badassery. His most dramatic moment was the battle of Lincoln. as he put down the rebellion against young Henry III (William was Regent). He led the charge against the rebels and fought in the streets until he captured the enemy commanders, with three dents in his quarter-inch-thick steel helm from the fighting. Not bad considering he was 73 at the time. Immediately after that he rode to Dover and stopped the invading French forces there and negotiated a peace.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto. It's hard to find a picture of him where he's not grinning his ass off with that youthful sparkle of creativity in his eye, and he's pushing 60.
  • Paul Newman. Aside from being a beloved actor, philanthropist, and all-around great guy, he was still racing cars in his seventies.
  • Al Pacino
  • Don Pardo. He's NINETY-TWO and still rockin' the opening announcements for Saturday Night Live.
  • Ron Paul is no doubt seen this way by many.
  • The late John Peel fit this trope when he got older. He never settled into a routine of playing his old favorites on another radio station; even up until the very end, he kept his Radio 1 gig of playing new, upcoming acts and making sure that if a demo tape/CD was good enough, it'd be played on his program, regardless of whether the artist was signed or unsigned.
  • Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband. Still grills at the age of 90, flew over 5,000 pilot hours by the time he turned 70.
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Former US president Ronald Reagan. After being shot, he was wheeled into the hospital...and was still calmly cracking jokes.
    • And most of the other US Presidents who lived past sixty.
      • His Excellency, General and President George Washington was a Memetic Badass within his own lifetime and has continued to be ever since. He survived near-death experiences on the battlefield and rallied the troops to keep fighting for independence. Later, the inability of the first Congress to pay the troops' long-overdue salaries in the aftermath of the war created a situation where angry troops wanted to overthrow Congress and many wanted to convince Washington to lead this coup and become a military dictator, which would have crushed American freedom in its infancy. George Washington refused, and successfully convinced his troops to relent. By doing so, Washington saved the early American republic (for the second time, considering the fact that his military leadership had preserved it during the Revolution), and became the Cincinnatus. Years later, he became the first President and set another important precedent by stepping down after two terms (becoming the Cincinnatus a second time), a precedent followed by all following Presidents except FDR. The early Americans were well aware of Washington's status as "the American Cincinnatus", and one of the first veterans' associations in the United States was named the Society of the Cincinnati in recognition of this fact. This is also where the name of Cincinnati, Ohio comes from. Even Washington's archnemesis, King George III of the United Kingdom readily admitted that by giving up power, Washington would deserve the title of greatest man then-currently alive. That's right, Washington was so badass that his own archnemesis couldn't deny it.
  • Mr. Warmth, Don Rickles. He's 84 years old but he can still kick all those younger stand up comedians and insult comics around the curb.
  • The late Fred Rogers, Friend to All Children and beloved by generations of television viewers.
  • Many would agree that the late Scatman John qualifies. Not only did he have to overcome his severe speech impediment (during the height of his success, journalists commented that interviews were difficult due to his constant stuttering), he achieved global success with his numerous dance singles. Did we mention that he was releasing dance songs at the age of 54? While not by any means ancient, at the time dance mixes were something almost exclusively created by the younger generation. Worth noting is said speech impediment invariably contributed to his success.
  • Socrates became something of a youth idol in his time, despite being over forty when he began his "gadfly of Athens" phase, to the point that the main charge that led to his execution was "corrupting the youth.[7]" (Athenian law was more... flexible.)
  • Shigesato Itoi
  • Ringo Starr, obviously.
    • Paul McCartney as well.
      • Heck, any old rock star guy who is still around in the music business as of 2010 automatically qualifies for this trope, which include but are not limited to Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan. He doesn't even have to be a former Beatle.
        • To name a few, Keith Richards, Little Richard, Robert Plant, Johnny Rotten, David Bowie.
          • Charlie Watts deserves special mention for making a decades-long marriage, clean living and jazz drumming look cool for 50-plus years.
  • Jim Steranko. Instantly recognizable at any comic book convention in his double-breasted suits, tinted aviator glasses, and wave of silver hair, Steranko continues a lifetime of being a Cool Guy, having been an escape artist, early rock-n-roll musician, ground-breaking comics artist, and collaborator of Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola. In a recent interview, he revealed that he only sleeps two hours a day and only eats one meal of raw fruits and vegetables. Interviewer Jonathan Ross asked him, "You know how mad that makes you sound?" He replied, "Yeah, I don't give a damn." Ross concludes his article by expounding, "I believe it when he tells me he still runs miles every day, pumps iron, and fornicates blissfully like a man a third his age."
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Ed Sullivan.
  • George Takei. Oh Myyyy!
  • Mr. T, foo'!
  • Tamerlane/Temur Lang/Timur Lenk, the fourteenth century conqueror. Absolutely brutal, but notable for surviving being a great, empire-building conqueror, outliving two and a half (the third son suffered crippling brain damage) of his four sons. When he was about seventy, his favorite grandson stalled out invading India, so he rode out and gave the kid a hand, sacked Delhi, and went back to Qandahar. He died at seventy-four in the process of gearing up to invade China. And he probably would have won, too.
    • Extra points for doing all this with a congenitally deformed leg (Timur Lang means 'Timur the Lame;' he called himself Amir Temur) and shoulder. And for his pacifist fifty-something youngest son holding over half the empire together from Herat for decades during the succession struggle after he died.
    • Let it be pointed out that the sack of Delhi above is famous for its brutality. Policy was purportedly to kill everyone over fifteen. Timour butchered Delhi.
      • In that case Genghis Khan gets to be on here, too, though he didn't get quite as old. He actually conquered China.
        • And his personal charisma was so high that Chinggid rulers of his bloodline were the only legitimate ones for centuries in many regions of the empire even after it broke apart, even if they were only figureheads. (Timurids had a similar if lesser value in his region later on, and Timur himself married Chinggid princesses for legitimacy.)
  • Alex Trebek, 71, chased down a burglar and helped catch her. [2] [dead link]
  • Nobuo Uematsu. Singlehandedly wrote and composed ALL the Final Fantasy songs from FFI to FFX. Is also in a metal band called the Black Mages.
  • Norio Wakamoto definitely counts amongst the Seiyuu circles.
  • Tom Waits, for crying out loud! The man is coolness incarnate.
  • The one, the only Sir Terry Wogan. For ages, the only reason many tuned into the Eurovision Song Contest, and his radio audience transcended age boundaries (which is why there's a "TYG/Terry's Young Geezers" counterpart to the "TOG/Terry's Old Geezers" fanbase). He too broke new artists on his Radio 2 program, from Katie Melua to the late Eva Cassidy to Jamie Cullum.
  • Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese businessman who lived to be 93, having survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 1945.
  • All the astronauts from the US space program, as interviewed in the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon.
    • Buzz Aldrin in particular. One day, while walking with his daughter, he was confronted by a crazy conspiracy theorist who kept loudly and rudely claiming that the Moon landing had been faked, and called Aldrin "a coward, and a liar, and a thief." Aldrin promptly responded by punching the conspiracy theorist in the the age of 72.
      • Later, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Buzz teamed up with Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli, and Soulja Boy to create the rap single and video, "Rocket Experience." Proceeds from video and song sales went to benefit Buzz's non-profit foundation, Share Space.
    • Once introduced himself at a speaking event as Buzz Lightyear, and also appeared As Himself on The Simpsons in a role where he mercilessly mocked himself.

NASA Scientist: ...and Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon!
Aldrin: Second comes right after first!
(Long pause as everyone save Aldrin looks around awkwardly)

  • Pretty much any of the "outlaw country" singers from The Seventies, most of whom are still recording today. Examples include Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
    • And in more modern country music circles, there's George Strait. 58 years old and still the charming hitmaker he always was.
  • Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being, better known as Kirby, won Westminster when he was 8. That's old for a dog. This was the same year he won the canine Triple Crown. However his pure canine awesome didn't stop. When he was 14 he came out of retirement to win (for the fourth time) Papillon Club of America's National Speciality Show. This made him both the oldest dog to win this title and the dog with the most wins of said title. He died two years later at 16.
  • Sir Elton Hercules John.
  • Although he isn't exactly "old" quite yet, as of his recent 50th birthday, Jon Bon Jovi is on his way to becoming this trope. At 50, he's still very athletic (apparently, he still has abs), recently started up the JBJ Soul Foundation to help provide quality food and housing to poor people in his home state of New Jersey, and unlike some rockers, he's still married to his first wife, who happens to be his high school sweetheart. Oh, and he and his band (who are also on their way to becoming CoolOldGuys) can still put on awesome concerts, and generally tickets for their tours get sold out extremely quickly.
  • Baseball's Yogi Berra is definitely this trope. During the 1940's, 50's, and 60's, he was one of the greatest players in the game. He later became a coach, serving as mentor to the new generation of players. Now 86 years old, he still attends the Yankees' Spring Training to dispense wisdom to the current players. He's known for being extremely friendly and gregarious, and lots of people in baseball think of him as a Cool Uncle. Oh, and the many amusing malapropisms he's uttered over the years, known appropriately as Yogi-isms, always result in a Crowning Moment of Funny. In short, Berra is a classy, funny veteran of the game and it can quite safely be stated that he's universally loved by fans and players alike.
  • The late Pope John Paul II definitely counts.
  • Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington was still active in both politics and the military up until his death.
  • John Cleese
  • Lemmy from Motorhead. As of this writing, he's 66 years old but still playing kick-ass metal music.
  1. Jet's 36, and the girl he's having the current conversation with is around 16.
  2. He had actually bought up the right to Unforgiven years earlier, but choose to chew on it until he was old enough to play the main part.
  3. He was an adult with work history by the start of the Clone Wars 30 years prior
  4. That one elicited boos from the USC home crowd, but at least he had the consolation of being right; the previous week, he had donned Wisconsin's badger head rather than home team Michigan State's Spartan helmet, only to see the Spartans win on a Hail Mary.
  5. "A marvel of science and sorcery located in the exact center of the universe! ...Give or take fifty feet."
  6. He's mentioned serving in both the Long Range Desert Group and the Special Operations Executive. When filming The Lord of the Rings he was able to tell Peter Jackson the exact sound a man made as they died after being stabbed in the back.
  7. the unspoken subtext being that they blamed him for corrupting the particular youth Alcibiades