Created By: KJMackley on May 15, 2012

The Unflappable

Nothing fazes them

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There is always something appealing about someone who seems like they remain in control regardless if they are about to get a bomb dropped on them. The Unflappable will look into every event and keep a level head regardless of the situation, they may even face death with an Obi-Wan Moment.

That's not all to say that they are completely stoic or are never caught by surprise. Like any Berserk Button, something may send them off the deep end. But the majority of the time they roll with the punches so well they make it look easy.

  • Namechecked in Scrubs where Michael J. Fox guest starred as a "superhero" doctor and was so OCD that nothing could startle him. After a bird hitting a window makes J.D. jump and Dr. Casey didn't even flinch, J.D. said "Wow! You are unflappable!" "That's right, I cannot be flapped."
  • Megatron in Transformers Prime deals with all sorts of suprising events and the most he ever does is a Psychotic Smirk as he is actually a big fan of chaos. In the episode "Armada" he was confronted with both an Insecticon Army and four Starscream clones trying to kill him and all he really says is an almost monotone "Busy day for assassins." That makes the few times he does lose his cool all the more significant.
  • Most of Team Westen in Burn Notice, as they have enough experience that they are able to handle most any curveball with a steely competence and quick thinking to turn a bad event into a positive outcome.
  • This is the expected default for Jedi in the Star Wars series, though how well each one does depends on the individual. In A New Hope while the Millenium Falcon is being pulled into the Death Star, everyone in the cockpit is getting antsy while Obi-Wan remains calm and collected, explaining "There are alternatives to fighting."
  • In the American Civil War, General "Stonewall" Jackson got his nickname for his unflinching observation of the battlefield, even as his troops and advisors were running for cover.
  • Christopher Titus jokes that because of his heavily dysfunctional family life that nothing catches him by surprise. "Once you've driven your drunk father to mom's parole hearing what else is there?"
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • May 15, 2012
    • The eponymous character of Afro Samurai rarely shows any sign of shock or surprise (not when it turns out that the cute woman he's just slept with was planning to betray him, not when he's shot at with a grenade launcher...even being attacked by his robotic Evil Knockoff or his childhood friend brought back as a vengeful cyborg barely seems to register).
    • In Doom 3, The Marine never seems to show any surprise or fear in cutscenes (not even when he encounters a demon for the first time, although to be fair he was just fighting zombified versions of the people he spoke to moments before).
    • In Eternal Darkness, Piers Augustus (the first Player Character) doesn't react with any shock when he's attacked by The Undead (he's also the only playable character who isn't at risk of suffering from insanity), indeed he even starts gripping his sword before the corpses get up and attack. He becomes a lot hammier after becoming a servent of one of the ancients at the end of his chapter, however.
  • May 15, 2012
    I would think Joe Friday on Dragnet might count-some things could get his ire up, but most of the time, there was very little that could faze him.
  • May 15, 2012
  • May 15, 2012
    This might be covered by Nerves Of Steel.
  • May 16, 2012
    Tabletop RPG
    • GURPS has this as the Advantage called Unfazeable. It makes you immune to anything that would normally force you to react in a certain way, such as Fright Checks and reaction modifiers to other characters' personalities or appearance. You also don't display strong emotions.
    Nothing surprises you - at least, nothing that's not obviously a threat. The world is full of strange things, and as long as they don't bother you, you don't bother them.
  • May 17, 2012
    I don't see the difference between this and The Stoic, but anyway:

    British butlers, valets, or manservants are often portrayed as this.

  • May 17, 2012
    Yeah, the difference between this and The Stoic should be spelled out in the description.
  • August 29, 2012
    Mike Warner of the Walkyverse has only ever once been seen to react with shock or surprise, but generally speaking keeps a cool head simply because he knows he's supposed to be taken aback.
  • August 29, 2012
    • Judge Dredd has faced so many bizarre and apocalyptic perils (omnicidal ghouls from another dimension, a nuclear war that blows whole chunks of the Earth away, an evil psionic mutant from the future, etc.) that little fazes him anymore.
      • When two burglars pick the worst apartment in the entire city to break into, Dredd- in his bathtub- simply tosses them both handcuffs and tells them that if they cuff themselves and wait for him to finish his bath, they will only go to prison. (They take the offer).
  • September 4, 2012
    First, I think this is a Comedy Trope, with this character as a foil for a Nervous Wreck. I'm thinking Emma Harris as the calm, rational chum to Lori Shepherd in the Aunt Dimity series, as well as the immortal Jeeves. More of a comedic sibling to The Stoic and Nerves Of Steel.

    Second, there's another YKTTW with the same idea and title here. Can they be combined?