Created By: ThreeferFAQMinorityChick on January 28, 2012 Last Edited By: ThreeferFAQMinorityChick on April 4, 2013

Crazy Badass

A psychologically broken or insane badass

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This is a person who has done something in the past, does something onscreen, or has a role that automatically qualifies him or her as Badass and yet has clearly lost at least some of his or her marbles. Subtrope of Handicapped Badass and sometimes intersecting with Crazy Awesome. However, Crazy Badass does not Crazy Awesome make. Someone who is Crazy Awesome is awesome because they're crazy. A Crazy Badass, however, does not always share a similar intertwinement between badassery and insanity. Sometimes it does, but not always.

The Crazy Badass actually comes in these types:

Type A: The Crazy Awesome Badass. This type's badassery has insanity as an essential component.

Type B: Has done something that is badass, but they've clearly not been right again as a result of it. Expect them to be a Shell-Shocked Veteran, if not outright insane. You can reasonably expect Survivor Guilt, Bad Dreams, and/or Drowning My Sorrows.

Type C: This is someone who is known for being crazy, and then right out of the blue, does something totally badass or else we find out that their backstory contains quite a bit of badassery. May be combined with Type B if their badassery is meant to be at least a partial explanation of their insanity, but most times, they just happen to be both crazy and badass.


  • River in Serenity. She is already The Ophelia due to years of Mind Rape at the Academy and she gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome when she takes on a whole roomful of Reavers by herself.
  • The movie glossed over it but the novelization of Aliens depicted Ripley having severe PTSD, including waking up screaming every night. The Space Marines thought she was just a crybaby civvie...

  • Just about every survivor of the eponymous The Hunger Games that appears in the books counts as this
    • Haymitch Abernathy survived the second Quarter Quell, in which he alone survived out of twice the usual number of Hunger Games competitors. At the time the books take place, he is an alcoholic Shell-Shocked Veteran who even performs even more acts of badassery, such as sabotaging the third Quarter Quell so that the remaining competitors are able to escape with their lives. Wow.
    • Wiresss is badass simply by virtue of being a Hunger Games victor. She definitely fits the crazy part.
    • Annie Cresta is The Ophelia and a Hunger Games victor.
    • Johanna Masen is a Hunger Games victor who we know very early on to have pretended to be a weakling only to turn out later to be a raging killer. When she actually appears, she has lost none of her badassery, but quite a few of her marbles. She has a pretty cavalier attitude towards stripping down to her slippers in front of two people she has only just met as well as things that would scare the crap out of anyone else. Plus, she develops a severe case of hydrophobia as a result of Cold-Blooded Torture in the Capitol.
    • Peeta is one of the two victors of the 74th Hunger Games. YMMV on whether or not he counts by virtue of the way he won the Games, but he still managed to get through the Games alive. Plus, he manages to help Katniss multiple times by being a Consummate Liar. He's driven into the Crazy part by loads of Mind Rape in the Capitol.
    • Katniss already has nightmares about the explosion that killed her father before she competes in the 74th Hunger Games. After competing in the eponymous Hunger Games twice, fighting in a war against the Capitol, and watching her little sister die, her psychological well-being has taken quite a toll, what with the fact that she's hallucinating, deeply depressed, and is plagued by more nightmares about all of her horrible experiences.
  • Harry Potter himself counts as one. Throughout the whole series, he takes on multiple Dark wizards, including Voldemort himself, multiple times before he reaches the age of eighteen. However, this has taken quite a toll on him psychologically, to the point where he is a full-blown Shell-Shocked Veteran by the fifth book.

Real Life
  • Combat veterans, as well as survivors of rape and abuse, are usually considered to be badass just for having went through what they did, even and especially if their experiences resulted in PTSD.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • January 28, 2012
    Oh gods, not another Something Badass trope...
  • January 28, 2012
    The movie glossed over it but the novelization of Aliens depicted Ripley having severe PTSD, including waking up screaming every night. The Space Marines thought she was just a crybaby civvie...

  • January 28, 2012
    I dunno. This is basically Crazy Awesome to me... but then again, Your Mileage May Vary. We do have lists of distinctions between tropes for a reason after all...
  • January 28, 2012
    This is badass + trait. It's not a trope. To be a Trope, the character has to be badass because of something or in spite of something that it notably a hindrance to being badass. Crazy Awesome pretty much already the only thing that could be trope-worthy from this.
  • January 28, 2012
    I wouldn't say it's only badass + crazy. As far as I can see, there are three types of the Crazy Badass and I feel that they are all tropeable for these reasons: 1) The Crazy Badass who is badass because he or she is crazy (much like Crazy Awesome except applied to badassery). 2) The Crazy Badass who has earned the title of Badass, but has been driven crazy by the events by virtue of which they count as badass (such as Shell Shocked Veteran). 2) The Crazy Badass whose insanity and badassery have no apparent link. Sometimes this kind is merely badass + crazy, but other times these two traits have some significance that don't quite fit with either one of the aforementioned types. For example, Alice might be underestimated by her enemies and/or by viewers because she is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, only to turn out to be Not So Harmless. However, Alice's insanity is not quite integral to her badassery.
  • January 30, 2012
    Faith of Buffy The Vampire Slayer was committed to an institution at the end of season 3. Whether she counts or not depends on if descending into madness counts, or if they have to start as crazy instead.
  • January 30, 2012
    I haven't seen Buffy, but did Faith go crazy as a result of her badassery or do any more acts of badassery onscreen?
  • April 3, 2013
    Avatar The Last Airbender: King Bumi is completely insane, and also one of the most powerful earthbenders in the world.
  • April 3, 2013
    I don't think having three subtypes makes this more tropeworthy.
  • April 4, 2013
    Faith wouldn't count. Her badassity has nothing to do with her craziness. Also she's not really crazy, just kind of a bitch.

    ... not that I think this trope should exist anyhoo, for established reasons.
  • April 4, 2013
    How does the Punisher (the movie, anyway) fit within this? He was bad-ass before his family got murdered, but I must say he went some kind of crazy to start "punishing" in the way that he did - which, I would say, is far more bad-ass than he was prior to losing the fam.
  • April 4, 2013
    Remove "badass," which has no effect on the trope. Make this about crazy characters.

    Which we probably cover elsewhere. Discard.