Generic Cool Guy
Characters created on the gimmick of being laidback, but no unique person. or guiding philosophy
"Line up the current Sam Fischer, Nathan Drake, guy from watchdogs [Aiden Pearce] ...every COD character and you see there is no difference in their appearences. All mid 20's dudes with brown/black hair stubble and a generic cool guy voice. Why are game developers afraid to let their main characters be characters anymore?"
"As a character Dante was such a generic 'cool guy badass', that he never had any real personality or character development."These are characters that are made to appeal to audiences (charming, easy-going, and attractive) and have little to no personality or guiding philosophy beyond that. This trope was something unique and new when it was implemented back in the day to create characters who were neither angsty nor paragons of virtue, but today have been copied and imitated repeatedly. Traits of Generic Cool Guys
— okcomputer of N4G forums.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: They are generally Red Onis
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: They are generally on the idealistic side, but some are too shallow to considered either. Regardless they tend to favor style over substance and thus lack any sort of unique personality or guiding philosophy.
- Limited emotional range
- Flat and/or Static
- Rarely displayed having to deal with problems confronted by people in real life, but sometimes is justified depending on the setting.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Cowboy Bebop: for all of this show's depth, Spike Spiegel has shades of this (namely his easy-going personality, general stoicism, and his fighting prowess), but is by no means this entirely. Though it should also be noted that he is this trope more retroactively than on purpose.
- In something of a humorous jab at this trope, there is an episode, Cowboy Funk, where Spike butts heads against another bounty hunter Andy von de Oniyate (AKA Cowboy Andy) who... actually is Not So Different, though Spike resents that comparison.
- Digimon Adventure: Yamato "Matt" Ishida is considered this In-Universe in the first few episodes. A straighter example is Tai Kamiya, who is generally easy-going and doesn't allow the crises they face faze him, but halfway through subverts this by becoming the responsible Gogglehead that his group needs.
- Gundam: From G Gundam, there is Chibodee Crocket
- Cobra from Space Adventure Cobra
- Michaelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is this in more modern depictions.
- The vast majority of characters played by Will Smith (with some exceptions) and Tom Cruise.
- Batman (of all people!) became this when he was played by George Clooney in Batman & Robin, which played a key role in ending that franchise.
- Disney's Beauty and the Beast has the character of Gaston who is a unfavorable portrayal of this trope.
- Vince Vaughn's character in The Cell tries to be this.
- Vanilla Ice's character in Cool as Ice is possibly the epitome of this (combined with being a Pretty Fly for a White Guy), but also laughably bad.
- The Matrix: Neo is this combined with Boring Invincible Hero in the sequeals.
- Brutally satirized in Shrek 2 in the person of Prince Charming. The closest thing he has to having a fully fleshed out personality outside of his Coolness fašade is being a Jerkass who thinks he is entitled to marry Fiona by default of being a Generic Cool Hero.
- Played with in Dork In Disguise by Carol Gorman. The protagonist poses as a generic cool guy but eventually learns that it is better to be hated for what he is than being loved for what he is not.
- Fight Club: An invoked example is Tyler Durden. The Narrator is intrigued with his charisma and coolheaded attitude. Though Tyler Durden is a subversion as he does have a philosophy that motivates his actions and thus avoids being generic in that regard, but in a double subversion he is but a projection of the Narrator's split personality personifying his rage and melancholy and also what he wish he could be.
- Edward Cullen of Twilight in the sight of the fans of that series.
- Dean Winchester was this for the most part in the earlier seasons of Supernatural but after going several dilemmas, including being killed and going to hell after previously making a deal to save his brother's life, subverts this.
- In the Season 5 episode, The Real Ghostbusters, The Winchesters encounter Cosplayers who dress as them at a convention for the Supernatural novel series based on the Winchesters (It Makes Sense in Context). Dean is especially not amused as being seen as simply a Generic Cool Guy whose suffering is for their entertainment.
- Dante, more specifically Classic Dante, from Devil May Cry, whose creator, Hideki Kamiya, admittedly stated he was created on the principle of being a "cool and stylish" individual.
- Duke Nukem is this to a T, but then again this was largely intentional.
- Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth according to The Autarch.
- League of Legends: Some characters are considered this.
- Many characters in the King of Fighters have varying degrees of this, but probably the most notable is Terry Bogard.
- Metal Gear Solid: Snake appears like this at first, but isn't due to having a genuinely unique personality and philosophy. However, it is more the fans who perceive him like this.
- Mortal Kombat: Johnny Cage has many elements of this, and for bonus points plays characters like this in his movies, but is also somewhat of a Deconstruction of this trope given the dark and gritty nature of the series.
- No More Heroes: Goichi Suda (AKA Suda51) is not fan of this type of character and created Helter Skelter, who is killed by the protagonist in the first cutscene, as a testament to his opinion.
- Sonic the Hedgehog in many games and other media is this. One notable exception is Sonic Sat AM were he undergoes character development and becomes more fleshed out.
- Ken Masters, particularly ever since Reuben Langdon began voicing him. From the Street Fighter III games, there is also Alex.
- Uncharted: Nathan Drake, but he is also someone who tends to be clever enough to lampshade this on occasion.
- Johnny Bravo: The eponymous character is a parody of this trope.
- The Simpsons deconstructed this with Poochie, a character added to The Itchy & Scratchy Show in an attempt to make it hipper and more relevant. He became The Scrappy instead, universally hated by the fans, so much that he was Put on a Bus (which then crashed for good measure), And There Was Much Rejoicing. In-story, the episode also had a young teenager character inexplicably staying with the Simpsons, who then left just as suddenly.
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