Some characters act their strength, making sure everyone knows that messing with them will mean lots and lots of pain.
. This trope is about those. Characters who are in fact, incredibly strong, but don't bother with the whole "strong" image. Or "illuminated". Or "wise" image. Or anything that is not a "proper image" for someone as powerful as him in the context of the setting.
This differs from obfuscating stupidity and similar tropes that it doesn't necessarily actually hide his power.
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- Jack Rackan in Mahou Sensei Negima! is a pretty clear case of this,
- Jiraiya in Naruto as well. He's one of the Three Great Shinobi, but he acts the fool (especially in flashbacks where he dresses as a frog) and will forever be remembered as "Pervy Sage".
- Also from Naruto, we have Killer Bee, Eight Tails' jinchuriki. He doesn't go out of his way to act tough, but he's much more interested in his rap than in holding up the image of a tough guy.
- There was an anecdote about a military bar, full of guys trying to each act tougher than the next, with a few guys sitting quietly in a corner just nursing juice and milk. When the newcomer asks about them, he is informed they are actually special ops, and just don't feel the need to prove themselves to anyone.