Created By: aurora369 on September 15, 2012 Last Edited By: aurora369 on July 29, 2013

Badass Despot

A tyrant who is nevertheless likable because he's Bad Ass

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This character hates democracy and scorns human rights. He (and it's usually a he) forces everyone to obey some arbitrary dictums, be they his own, originating from his boss or his religion, if he has one. He will punish disobedience in the most cruel ways. He will not tolerate anyone who disagrees with his Truth-with-a-capital-T. Sounds like a horrible totalitarian jerk? Well, he is.

But somehow this character is still considered cool or badass. Maybe most of his victims are genuinely dangerous for society. Maybe it's the badass aesthetics. Maybe his ideals are not utter hogwash. And, most importantly, this character is genuinely honest. He really believes in whatever ideals he declares and subjects himself to the same regulations he enforces on others. As the result, we end up sympathizing with him.


Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • September 15, 2012
    See Zero Context Example. You need to explain how your examples fit this trope. Saying a character "is this" doesn't tell the reader much of anything.
  • September 15, 2012
    I'm concerned about the part where you say "this character is still considered cool". Who considers? Different fans my disagree. If an example is YMMV, it doesn't belong on a trope page. Your last example falls into that already. And if the character isn't considered cool in universe, then it's fan reaction.

    Also, Compare Vetinari Job Security and several on the Badass In Charge list.
  • July 29, 2013
    Agreed to everything on the above. This sounds like a cross between Evil Is Cool and Draco In Leather Pants.
  • July 29, 2013
    Yeah, ok... we don't really need any more Badass tropes.