Created By: ForgottenJedi on July 1, 2012 Last Edited By: lycropath on January 27, 2013
Troped

Badasses Wear Bandanas

The headgear of a true Badass.

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Trope
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.

Sub-Trope of Nice Hat. Compare with Cool Helmet, and a Sister Trope to Fedora of Asskicking as well.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film
  • Will, Jack, and many other pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean franchise wear bandanas.
  • Rambo.
  • 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.

Live-Action Television
  • 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.

Pro Wrestling
  • 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.
The Undertaker used to wear one during his days as The American Badass from 2000-2003.

Tabletop Game

Video Games
Community Feedback Replies: 65
  • July 1, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Yusuf from Assassins 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.
  • July 1, 2012
    acrobox
    I feel like we have this already but I can't find it. anyway

  • July 1, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
    Ryu would fall under Martial Arts Headband.
  • July 1, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    This is frequently slapped on a Badbutt in an attempt at characterization rivaling the subtlety of Ms. Pac-Man's bow.
  • July 1, 2012
    Routerie
    If you couldn't use the word "badass" in the title, what would be a good name?
  • July 1, 2012
    KTera
    • Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. Big Boss wears one too, but his is a memento of his mentor, The Boss.
  • July 1, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
    ^^I'm not sure what else to call it. I like the Added Alliterative Appeal.
  • July 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    There's an old (discarded?) ykttw called Bandit Bandana which might give some examples.

    • Hulk Hogan often wears a bandana on his head to cover his baldness.
    • As did Jesse Ventura.
    • Both of whom took their look from an earlier wrestler, "Superstar" Billy Graham.
  • July 2, 2012
    Koveras
    Bandit Bandana is an alternative title...
  • July 4, 2012
    nitrokitty
    The Badass Bandana is an actual item in Munchkin.
  • July 4, 2012
    raven2785
    • Standard attire for the main character of Orphen
  • July 4, 2012
    Arha
    We're trying to avoid using the word Badass in trope titles now if possible. Bandit Bandana also seems a little more accurate, so I suggest we go with that.

    Anyway, the trope is related to Badass Longcoat. It's something that's done to show someone is a badass with a short visual cue, in this case a certain type of rugged, masculine badass. Also, from what I recall it's often sort of paired with the unspoken idea that the bandana user is probably rather dirty. For example, a soldier in the trenches or a greasy biker.

    The examples need some elaboration.
  • July 4, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Well, we've got Scarf Of Asskicking already, maybe Bandana Of Asskicking to go along with it?
  • July 4, 2012
    JonnyB
    In Asian films and animation, this will cross over heavily with Martial Arts Headband.

    • In Tora Tora Tora, the mechanics chief gives Cmdr. Fuchida a hachimaki for good luck just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • July 4, 2012
    planswalker
    I'm very opposed to Snow Clone ing this one. There's no justification for that.
  • July 6, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
  • July 7, 2012
    Arha
    I think this trope really needs to focus on that third paragraph. It's not just a badass wearing a bandana, it's a badass wearing a bandana to show their tough and gritty. A Lady Of War would never wear the Badass Bandana, but a grizzled The Ladette marine might. An elegant swordfighter wouldn't wear the bandana, but a rugged thief might.
  • July 10, 2012
    MrDrFreeman
    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.
  • July 14, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
  • July 22, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
  • July 22, 2012
    isk2837
    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.
  • July 22, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • July 25, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Any good pictures we could use?
  • July 26, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
    Maybe this pic on the Rambo page.
  • July 27, 2012
    judasmartel
  • July 27, 2012
    Generality
    The Japanese equivalent is the hachimaki, or Martial Arts Headband.
  • July 30, 2012
    Arha
    Will you be launching it with this name? If you do, I'm just going to drag it to the trope repair shop. We're both trying to avoid the word badass and it's kind of overly broad for something that's actually fairly specific.
  • July 30, 2012
    HonestGent
    The Best Wear Bandanas? Neatly avoids 'Badass' and isn't (to my knowledgr) a snowclone. Thoughts?
  • July 30, 2012
    forgottenlord
    I fully support a Rambo image. Rambo was the first thing that leaped to mind when I saw the title.

    Film:
    • Sgt Jones in Police Academy 2 puts a bandana on before capturing two would be thieves.
  • July 30, 2012
    forgottenlord
    How about Bandana Power or some variation?
  • July 31, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
    I don't see what is wrong with Badass Bandana. We already have Badass Bandolier, Badass Cape, and Badass Longcoat, and as far as I know there is no discussion about changing those. Will one more trope name like that really bother anyone? If there is a major problem with it, I will of course change the name to something else, I am just curious about the reasons why.
  • July 31, 2012
    HonestGent
    ^While it's not my call, I think it's because there are FAR too many tropes with badass in the title, an it's got to the point where it loses all meaning. It makes it sound like the character is badass because of their clothing, not because of creator's tendencies to dress badass characters in a certain way, which is what the tropes are meant to be about. I think. As I said, it's not my call.
  • July 31, 2012
    forgottenlord
    Badasses Wear Bandanas then?

    Honestly, agree both both of the above posts.
  • July 31, 2012
    HonestGent
    ^Not sure that'll float. As Arha pointed out earlier on, the third paragraph deserves some emphisis. It's not just badasses wear bandanas, but tough, gritty, not-always-by-the-book characters wear bandanas, which the title should reflect. Look to examples like Rambo and Solid Snake and you see the trope and how it's different to Martial Arts Headband, which is typically associated with badasses of the composed and elegent kind. Bandit Bandana is too weak, but on the right lines. Bandana Battler? Bruiser Bandanas? Every name has it's own flaws.
  • August 9, 2012
    beamerpook
    Anime - Ryoga is by far the most badass, and always has a yellow bandana with black dots.

  • August 9, 2012
    MrRuano
    Fatal Fury and King Of Fighters has Billy Kane, a mean Brit wearing red-and-white bandanna.
  • August 9, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Live Action Television:

    • Lex in The Tribe wore one in a few first season episodes as well as his flashback episode.
  • August 9, 2012
    PDL
    Video Games:

  • August 10, 2012
    Arha
    We're trying to avoid using the word badass in titles as much as possible now. Also, we're trying to avoid using it when it's not a character trope. And there actually are attempts to clean up tropes that use the word badass in them without being character traits.

    Anyway, that aside, description is looking better now.
  • August 11, 2012
    sigh824
    Most Tales Series protagonists. There's even a skit about it here.
  • August 14, 2012
    ForgottenJedi
    Bandana Battler is the best alternate suggestion I've seen. Does anyone have something better? I don't want to launch until a better name is found.
  • August 17, 2012
    lycropath
    Video Games:

  • August 17, 2012
    lalalei2001
    The Protomen's members wear these a lot.
  • August 18, 2012
    Heffenfeffer
    Perhaps Bandana Berserker? Both words have three syllables for better narrative flow.
  • August 18, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    Suggested names so far:

    Of those, I like Bandit Bandana the best. If I may have the temerity to offer a suggestion or two of my own, along some more indirect lines:

    This one simply can't die because of a silly deadlock on the name. Let's get a consensus going!
  • August 18, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    There's nothing wrong with Badass Bandana at all. It's to the point and it's got Added Alliterative Appeal.

    Also, does this apply to those who wear the bandana around their neck too? Don't say that's Scarf Of Asskicking; scarves and bandanas are not the same thing.

    Bandit Bandana would be a horrible name because that would probably cause Trope Decay and make people assume that this trope is only for bandits who wear bandanas.
  • August 18, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    I like the name Badass Bandana just fine as well, but people have already threatened to take it right to TRS if we title it that, and I don't doubt that they will. There's very strong anti-snowclone sentiment right now, and there's simply way too many tropes that have the word "badass" in the title as their only descriptive bit. So unfortunately I think we're going to have to suck it up and pick something without "badass" in the name.
  • August 19, 2012
    lu127
    You really shouldn't have Zero Context Examples before the trope is even out of YKTTW.
  • August 19, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    ...who the heck made a page called Badass Bandana that just has one sentence? :|
  • August 20, 2012
    Arivne
    According to the page history it was a troper named Fireseed11.
  • August 20, 2012
    Salda007
    Pvt. Vasquez from Aliens gives an excellent Ladette example.
  • August 20, 2012
    captainpat
    These example need to example why these character are badass before the trope launches.
  • August 30, 2012
    HonestGent
    I really like the sound of Rulebreaker Rag, but I've got no problem with Badass Bandana. I just understand why people are trying to curb the amount of Badass tropes.
  • September 8, 2012
    lycropath
    Video Games
    • Snow, the male lead of Final Fantasy XIII wears a black do-rag to show off his rebel-ness.
  • September 9, 2012
    Damr1990
    • Chrono from Chrono Trigger , also the bandasa serves as an In-game accesory, givin' the wearer a speed bonus
  • November 23, 2012
    IlVit
    Please, no more Badass Tropes. Special Efforts is trying to clean up the Badass tropes. Try and rename this.
  • November 23, 2012
    McKathlin
    Okay, to avoid excessive Badass Snowclones, maybe something like Rebel Bandanna or Roguish Bandanna? Rulebreaker Rag is fun for the Added Alliterative Appeal, but "Bandanna" is more self-explanatory than "Rag".
  • November 23, 2012
    McKathlin
    The bandanna is a favorite of the standard young JRPG protagonist; it keeps his Spiky Hair out of his face.
  • November 23, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    Nobody answered my question. Does this also apply for those who wear a bandana around their neck? If so, the name cannot imply that, to apply for the trope, it needs to be on their head.
  • November 23, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    I vote against discarding this one. I really like it, we just need to settle on a name.
  • November 25, 2012
    BlackTemplar
    After Wolverine lost his adamantium and reverted to a more feral state, his mask was a bandana.
  • December 20, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • Referenced in Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary. The Bandana Skull, which is a discoverable Easter Egg shaped like a human skull, gives the player infinite ammo.
  • December 21, 2012
    Unprettier
    I like this trope. Dunno if we could put real-life examples here though
  • December 21, 2012
    313Bluestreak
    Another professional wrestling example: The Undertaker used to wear one during his days as The American Badass from 2000-2003.
  • January 20, 2013
    lycropath
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=fupwu5ztb289l5oilo9zy9cz