We all know Helmets Are Hardly Heroic
, so what is a Badass
who likes to have their head covered supposed to wear on the battlefield? A bandana of course!
The reasons for wearing one can vary. Maybe the wearer thinks it looks cool.
It can keep the wearers hair out of their face without obscuring their vision like a helmet might. If supplies are scarce, a bandana might be the only headgear one is able to find. Whatever the reason, a bandana usually highlights just how much of a Badass
the wearer is, and warns others to stay out of his way.
Bandits, cowboys, and pirates tend to wear bandanas to signify them being outlaws or to reinforce their tough and gritty look. In fact, the bandana will often be worn for this exact purpose: A Lady of War
would never wear a bandana, but a grizzled Lad-ette
marine might. An elegant swordfighter wouldn't wear the bandana, but a rugged thief would.
Note that this does not have to be an actual bandana, and could be a do-rag or headband, which would fall under Martial Arts Headband
if martial arts is involved, especially in Asian cinema. It also does not have to be worn on the head, as characters often wear bandanas around their necks.
This is frequently slapped on a Badbutt
in an attempt at characterization rivaling the subtlety of Ms. Pac-Man's bow.
Related to Badass Longcoat
. Both are added to a character to show they are a badass with a short visual cue, in this case a certain type of rugged, masculine badass.
of Nice Hat
. Compare with Cool Helmet
, and a Sister Trope
to Fedora of Asskicking
Anime & Manga
- Will, Jack, and many other pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean franchise wear bandanas.
- In Tora! Tora! Tora!, the mechanics chief gives Commander Fuchida a hachimaki for good luck just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
- In Gremlins 2, Gizmo the Mogwai puts on a bandana (a move inspired by his watching Rambo) when he Takes A Level In Badass. He goes on to kill a Gremlin that has turned into a giant spider monster by firing a burning arrow at it and setting it on fire.
- Sgt Jones in Police Academy 2 invokes this trope when he puts a bandana on before capturing two would be thieves.
- Pvt. Vasquez from Aliens gives an excellent Lad-ette example.
- Charles Gunn from Angel wore a bandana in his first few appearances, but it was dropped soon after.
- Lex in The Tribe wore one in a few first season episodes as well as his flashback episode.
- Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura often wear a bandana on their heads to cover their baldness. Both likely took their look from an earlier wrestler, "Superstar" Billy Graham, who did the same thing.
used to wear one during his days as The American Badass from 2000-2003.
- Marcus Fenix of the Gears of War franchise is one of the most visible examples of this trope. He is only seen without his bandana twice: at the start of ''Gears of War'' and at the end of ''Gears of War 3''.
- Dizzy Wallin also wears a bandana under his cowboy hat.
- Frank Woods in Call of Duty: Black Ops wears a headband throughout the game.
- Yusuf from Assassin's Creed: Revelations wears a very colorful headband. It probably serves to make him a distinct character model more than anything else, but he is an Assassin.
- Ike from Fire Emblem Tellius.
- Many Sacaens wore headbands, almost all of them were badasses by default and the headgear may have been more evocative of Braids, Beads and Buckskins.
- Characters of the Thief, Rogue and Assassin classes tend to have bandanas or hoods.
- Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. Big Boss wears one too, but his is a memento of his mentor, The Boss.
- In the Fable I and Fable II, bandits often wear bandanas, but aren't very Badass in comparison to your Hero. But you can wear a bandana; just expect people to run in fear from you.
- Fire Emblem has Dart and Darros, both of whom are pirates.
- Many characters from the Final Fantasy franchise wear them.
- Firion, The Hero of Final Fantasy II, wears an elaborate bandanna decorated with jewels and beads.
- In Final Fantasy V, all of Faris' pirate crew but herself wear bandanas. Every character including Faris will wear a bandanna when made into a thief through the Job System.
- Final Fantasy VI has Locke, who is a thief that wears a bandana. He proves to be Badass by saving Terra in Narshe at the beginning of the game, steals the clothes off of merchants and soldiers while they're wearing them, and in the World of Ruin, goes to a remote cave in the mountains in order to find the magicite Pheonix in order to resurrect his dead girlfriend.
- Laguna's hulking giant of a companion Ward wears one in Final Fantasy VIII, here it gives him the impressions of a Naval soldier with his choice of weapons.
- Snow, the male lead of Final Fantasy XIII wears a black do-rag to show off his rebel-ness.
- Flik from Suikoden II.
- Most Tales Series protagonists. There's even a skit about it here.
- A Waddle Dee that is used as a Joke Character Boss in Kirby Super Star Ultra wears a blue Bandana to tell it apart from other Waddle Dees. He later appears as a main character in Kirby Returns To Dreamland where he wields a spear.
- Fatal Fury and King of Fighters has Billy Kane, a mean Brit wearing red-and-white bandanna.
- Crono from Chrono Trigger.
- The hero of Secret of Mana.
- The male human player character of Sa Ga 2, as well as Arthur of Sa Ga 3.