"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
While this is not a bad trope in and of itself
, but when done poorly can make a character as being a less than three dimensional one
See also Escapist Character
and Action Genre Hero Guy
of which this trope overlaps with (The former of which this is somewhat of an outgrowth of and is like the later, albeit are generally are pretty boy versions
minus a compelling
and interesting personality
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
- 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.