* In ''HighSchoolOfTheDead'', Kohta Hirano at first seems like a typical fat, otaku nerd, but once the zombie apocalypse happens, he reveals that he's quite deadly with firearms. In fact, his knowledge of how to use guns helps save the other characters several times through the series.
* Keaton Taichi Hiiraga from ''MasterKeaton''. At first glance he appears to be a bumbling part time lecturer with a keen interest in archeology. But he is actually an extremely competent ex-soldier with vast networks of important people (he is friends with a British prince!). When the situation calls he can even turns random items into deadly weapons or survival kit a la mcGuyver.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Boss is the ButtMonkey, HopelessSuitor and PluckyComicRelief {{Gonk}} character from this series and the sequel ''Anime/GreatMazinger''. He is mocked and ridiculized by his friends and belittled by the villains, and he gets beaten easily in each battle. Still, when he is angry he can get ''scarily'' competent and even {{Badass}}. He is {{Acrofatic}} and perfectly capable of holding his own on a fistfight, and although his HumongousMecha is a pile of scrap gets destroyed in every fight, he has blown up some dangerous {{Robeast}}s and pulled off several awesome BigDamnHeroes moments. Also, threatening Kouji -his [[VitriolicBestBuds vitriolic best bud]]- or Sayaka -his crush- is a bad idea.
** This holds especially true in his {{Mazinkaiser}} and ShinMazingerZ incarnations - in the former, he gave a [[spoiler:NoHoldsBarredBeatdown to TheDragon]] of TheMovie; in the latter, Boss Borot's first official appearance consists of it [[spoiler:grabbing a high-powered missile right out of the air, and tossing it straight into the sky.]]
* ''TheSlayers'' anime: Gourry Gabriev is a swordsman with extremely poor memory (often forgetting whoever he and his companions fought in the past) and a bumbling idiot who can't grasp onto any explanation, but if he's provoked enough, or if anyone, namely [[RedHeadedHero Lina]], is in danger, he becomes an utterly badass swordsman and pushes the BadassNormal creed as far as it can go.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has Jean-Pierre Polnareff, a ladies' man who's normally dumb as a bag of hammers and repeatedly has bad encounters with foreign toilets. However, when the chips are down (like with his fight against Vanilla Ice), he turns badass, [[spoiler: accepting his death with a calmness that most would kill for.]]
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', Black*Star's absolute confidence in himself makes him into one of these. Unless he is truly pushed he is too busy [[ChewingTheScenery chewing scenery]] to fight well. Death the Kid is a form of inversion; he's normally [[TheStoic stoic]] and {{badass}}, but if his [[FatalFlaw OCD]] gets activated he usually devolves into an ineffectual, sobbing wreck. That said, if his OCD is [[BerserkButton pushed too far]], it results in Kid's reaction in episode 3: obliterating his asymmetrical target and inadvertently demolishing the pyramid it was in.
** The normally goofy Shinigami can be wonderfully Badass when the need arises. He reacts to Asura's resurrection by calmly inquiring how he is...and pointing out that, unfortunately the Kishin is "going to have to die again". Notable in that he actually uses typically comedic tropes in real combat including using his ArmorPiercingSlap, the Shinigami Chop, as a particularly devastating weapon.
** Recently, Patti has been revealed to be quite the skilled fighter when not acting as a Weapon for Kid. She takes down numerous opponents in hand-to-hand combat training, and is very...enthusiastic at a firing range.
** The Death Scythe Tezca Tlipoca initially seems clinically incapable of acting serious, and makes a fool of himself on a regular basis. [[spoiler: Then he fakes his own death, tracks someone halfway across the world, and holds his own against one of the more powerful villains.]]
** [[CloudCuckooLander Spirit Albarn]] is absolutely an immature womaniser and Bumbling Dad to his estranged daughter. But as [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep 'the']] Death Scythe he is also a very powerful Weapon, whether with a meister ([[SociopathicHero Stein]], [[ThickerThanWater Maka]], and [[BigGood Shinigami]] in the anime) or [[BladeBelowTheShoulder not]].
* In ''SoulEaterNot'', Meme is introduced as a typical big-breasted [[TheDitz ditz]] character. Then we find out that she can beat people up ''in her sleep.''
* Yuri in ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh!'' acts this way whenever his Demon King side gets activated, and although he won't kill his enemies he usually succeeds in scaring the crap out of them.
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'': Brief is a nerdy wannabe ghost exterminator, a frustrated virgin, and has a crush on Panty, who doesn't reciprocate. However, in episode twelve, [[spoiler:he manages to fend off a few ghosts on his own, and even saves Panty from Scanty and Kneesocks when she starts losing her powers.]]
** Also, Chuck is the TeamPet seemingly only capable of [[PokemonSpeak saying his name repeatedly]] and getting crushed to a pulp every episode. Not only does he pull off CarFu once in a while, [[spoiler:in the final episode it's shown that he can go OneWingedAngel on command to turn into a monstrous Hellhound.]]
* ''{{Bastard}}'': A wild variation may well be Luche Len-Len, a sweet but somewhat dim child who can be "unlocked" and turned into the insanely super-powerful evil wizard Dark Schneider.
* ''Anime/BestStudentCouncil'''s Randou Rino. Her base persona is wet enough to drown Godzilla, but inside her (and manifested by her omni-present hand puppet) is a shrewd, intelligent, ass-kicking master of all she surveys.
* Carrot Glace of ''SorcererHunters'' is a scruffy, scrawny, lazy, largely single-minded LovableSexManiac...who just happens to be not only basically immune to magic, but absorbs it to power his InvoluntaryShapeshifting into [[OneWingedAngel various monster forms]].
* Kenshin Himura of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' fame; usually very easy-going, he reverts to a deadly (though TechnicalPacifist) swordsman when lives are in danger. And if he's pushed even further than that, he loses all hint of Technical Pacifism and [[SuperpoweredEvilSide goes into full-on murderous "Battousai" mode]].
** This change, unlike many series where a transformation usually comes as a surprise to those who witness it, is understood by the other characters from the start, since he was a legendary and merciless assassin 15 years ago.
** He's not TheFool, it's ObfuscatingStupidity. Most of the time.
*** It is both this trope and ObfuscatingStupidity. Kenshin truly is a bumbling idiot by nature, but his Battousai mode is completely under his control and he can activate at will or even be in it full time if he wanted. He just prefers to be his bumbling idiot self.
* Vash the Stampede from ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' is a glowing example of this, although there are hints that the rest of the time is just ObfuscatingStupidity.
** This is what separates him from the IdiotHero, though a tap of his BerserkButton can make all the difference in his response, from a casual, accidental-seeming sidestep to [[GlowingEyesOfDoom Glowy Eyes of Wrath]] [[FriendToAllLivingThings foreshadowing vengeance]].
* ''Franchise/DragonBall''
** Many of the benevolent main characters, including Goku, Gohan, etc. have displayed this trait (though they are not technically bumbling).
** Master Roshi. He's short, [[OlderThanHeLooks old]], and is an [[DirtyOldMan unabashed pervert]]. Yet in ''Manga/DragonBall'' he easily takes out a squad of Red Ribbon Army soldiers that invade his island, destroys an entire mountain (and later, [[spoiler: the moon]]) with his Max Power Kamehameha, and comes close to defeating [[spoiler: King Piccolo]] on his own. In the second ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' movie "World's Strongest", he even holds his own quite impressively against cybernetic monsters (Although naturally this doesn't last, as the movie is all about Goku, but you get the point).
** The best example is Goku's great great grandson from the Anime/DragonBallGT movie, who didn't even know he had powers and wasn't aware of his actions while using them, as if they were a separate personality.
** But an even better example is in Gotenks, the fusion of Trunks and Goten. While he gains both of their powers combined, he also happens to gain only (and I mean ONLY) their worst characteristics: Trunks' rebellion and mischievous personality, and Goten's childish and stubborn personality. Immediately after their first correct fusion, they rush off to face Majin Buu despite having never trained, so needless to say, they got their asses handed to them. Next, they fuse as Super Saiyans and Gotenks spends so much time showing off that his fusion wears off just as he's about to battle. Throughout his battle with Super Buu, the latter intentionally humiliates the boy at every turn, pretending to take effect only to quickly recover, and even taking out a soda at one point. It isn't until Gotenks[[spoiler: [[TheReveal reveals he can go SSJ3]] and]] finds out Buu [[spoiler: killed both his mothers]] when Gotenks officially [[BerserkButton loses it and kicks some ass]]. [[spoiler: Too bad the fusion wears off soon afterward]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** When Naruto is fighting Zabuza's apprentice, Haku, [[{{Jerkass}} Sasuke]] ends up getting beaten. As soon as his friend's life is threatened, Naruto's inner fox Emerges and the previously useless Naruto kicks Haku's ass. In fact, most of the Naruto cast has this, to a greater or lesser extent.
** Kakashi especially. When he first appears he appears to be somewhat slow witted and laid back. Turns out he's one of the most elite ninja the village has and is known by many elite ninja outside of the village.
*** Kakashi fits better under ObfuscatingStupidity; he's eccentric, not a moron.
** Don't even think about eating Chouji's last bite. Of anything. EVER! Because if you do, that nice, chubby and pretty laid back guy is gonna kick your ass. Oh, the same thing happens, when you insult his friends.
*** And don't call him fat, either. Not even his best friend can get away with that one.
** Rock Lee...he's basically the epitome of the trope, he is a total idiot outside a fight, but can take on the "Sharingan Prodigy" (Sasuke), a Jinchuriki, and one of Orochimaru's most loyal and more powerful subordinates, even if he won against one of them, however he gave them runs for their money, he was just suffering the WorfEffect.
*** His teacher, Might Guy, is a grown-up version of Lee who is one of Konoha's best shinobi, [[spoiler: and currently, the only one of the Konoha 12's Jounin-instructors not to have lost a fight, having KilledOffForReal one of the world's most powerful S-Rank missing-nin ''by himself''.]] Unlike Kakashi, this doesn't fall under ObfuscatingStupidity, because Guy really ''is'' a total goofball when it comes to anything except combat.
** Jiraiya is pretty much ''Naruto'' 's answer to [[DragonBall Master Roshi]], old, goofy, and so unabashedly perverted that Naruto refers to him exclusively as a "Pervy Sage" (it doesn't help that he writes his own erotica, which Kakashi is a fan of). However, there is a very good reason he is considered among the legendary "Sannin": he was among the three ninja who held their own against the dangerous Hanzo, and even though he didn't become a village leader like Tsunade and Orochimaru did, he did train a ninja that went on to become a Hokage.
*** And the only reason he didn't lead a village is because he didn't ''want'' to. He handed the responsibility over to Tsunade instead.
*** Every student Jiraiya trained is so {{badass}} they're considered monsters in terms of sheer power and skill. ''Every. Single. One.'' Of these three, the most powerful stated flat out that he'd have never beaten Jiraiya if Jiraiya had known his secret.
** Naruto just tends to be this at any time. He will be obsessed with ramen and will pull off stupid moves like a comic-relief, and he's still a ''genin''. However, if you threaten ''anyone'' he cares about (and I mean ''anyone''), he will show you why he is one of the most powerful ninjas in existence.
*** To be fair, he's still a ''genin'' not due to any form of stupidity, but because he spent three years training with Jiraiya in solitude while his friends were busy taking the Chunin exams.
*** It was also stated in OVA 9 that he could be a ''chunin'' any time he wanted, but for some reason he seems determined to do it through the exam. Hell at this point Naruto could be ''Jonin'' any time he wanted. There isn't really any doubt at this point that he is next Hokage, he was already the strongest ninja in the village WITHOUT Kyuubi chakra mode, with it he is in the top 2-3 ninja in the world.
** During the Fourth Ninja World War, it is revealed [[spoiler: First Hokage, Hashirama Senju]] is also an example of this trope.
** Killer Bii, adopted brother of A the Raikage and jinchuuriki for Gyuki, the 8-tailed Bijuu, at first glance would be described as an idiot who enjoys rapping terribly... And that'd be a pretty correct description. However, he's also got a close friendship with Gyuki, and one of the strongest characters in the manga, proving more than capable of easily killing Sasuke (and would have succeeded twice during their battle without Sasuke being miraculously healed both times). He also taught Naruto to wield Kurama the Kyuubi bijuu's chakra, and forced Kisame to pull out his OneWingedAngel form.
** Might Guy, with his over-the-top theatrics, tends to be not taken seriously, but when he gets serious, he is one of the strongest fighters in the series, and even impressed the BiggerBad [[spoiler: Uchiha Madara]].
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' has Jacuzzi Splot, who breaks down in tears trying to introduce himself and spends three episodes running around a train, trying to find someone to tell him how to escape an UrbanLegend. Then it was revealed that [[BewareTheNiceOnes he once knocked over 18 Mafia-owned speakeasies in one night, by himself, armed with a single Tommy gun]]. And ''then'', he did battle against a guy who was armed with a knife, a fist-gun and a ''flamethrower'', with nothing but one cherry bomb and [[LifeOrLimbDecision his own elbows]], on top of a moving train. He won by throwing the other guy off the train.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** In earlier seasons, Psyduck tends to be rather useless and helpless, mainly during serious battles. That is, until his opponent induces a headache, resulting in a nasty psychic experience for the unfortunate victim. Psyduck loses any memory of these events though. Secondly, Togepi is generally considered an immature, coddled infant by Misty. Sometimes, however, when it looks like Team Rocket might succeed, it uses Metronome (a move that generates a random attack). Said random attack always blows the bad guys away. No one knows that Togepi does it.
** For that matter, Ash himself in the earlier seasons. IdiotHero to a tee, but every once in a while he {{Ass Pull}}s something genuinely brilliant.
** Cilan. Sure, he's a former Gym Leader, but he sparkles and "tastes" Pokémon. But when Cabernet shows up to wreak revenge upon him, he utterly destroys her two Pokémon in battle without any significant damage to his Pokémon. He pretty much had Pansage toy with Sawsbuck for the whole match.
** Wobbuffet of [[GoldfishPoopGang Team Rocket]]. Time and again, he's proven to be as powerful as his game counterpart, if only Jessie knows how to use him properly. Most of the time, Wobbuffet is just the PluckyComicRelief.
*** Hell, at one point he successfully held back an attack from an ''[[OlympusMons Articuno]]''
** Marilyn is a girl that goes gaga over any Pokémon she says is cute, though not as bad as Gardenia with Grass Pokémon. So anybody watching the episode would've never guessed that she's good in Pokémon battles.
* Abel Nightroad (Crusnik 02) from ''TrinityBlood'' may be a perfect example of this trope. It's hard to tell if its [[ObfuscatingStupidity just an act]] or not.
* Monkey D. Luffy of ''Manga/OnePiece''.
** Arguably, he is both at the same time, he is always super powerful, and he casually does super human feats, while acting like a moron...which makes him incredibly badass. But the moron "act" is dropped whenever he decides to fight seriously; he may be an idiot in most things, but he's a genius when it comes to fighting.
** All of the other male Straw Hats also fit this trope, though none as well as Luffy. Zoro would be a perfect {{Badass}} if his sense of direction wasn't so poor that he can get lost going in a straight line; Usopp is a coward and a liar (sometimes a BadLiar, sometimes a [[ConsummateLiar good one]]), and often engages in childish behavior with Luffy; Sanji's nature as a ChivalrousPervert often makes it difficult to take him seriously when he's not fighting; Chopper…well, he's not so much moronic as naďve, due to being so young, and he joins Luffy and Usopp in their childish antics; Franky is a LargeHam and pervert; and Brook is ridiculously blunt in regards to his perversion, and often joins Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper in childish antics. Each of them is a OneManArmy, and it is exceedingly rare for anyone to take them lightly, subsequently provoke them, and not end up half-dead as a result.
*** Inverted with Nami; before Robin joined the crew, she was frequently the OnlySaneMan, and regularly maintains that role…unless money is involved. In that case, she can be as reckless as Luffy.
** Give credit where credit is due: there's Luffy's predecessor [[TheObiWan Shanks]], captain of the Red Haired Pirates, who loves nothing more than [[BestBeerEver drinking]] and partying with his crew. He's an easy-going guy and will even take being beaten and humiliated by a bandit with a [[SelfDeprecation self-deprecating]] laugh. But those familiar with the big names in the Grand Line know him to be one of the four strongest pirates in the world; [[BerserkButton mess with people he considers friends]], and you better start writing your will!
*** To put in perspective here, the first time we see Shanks outside of Luffy's childhood is when Luffy receives his first bounty. Shanks and his crew were suffering hangovers at the time from partying too much the previous night. And when he sees Luffy's wanted poster…he throws another huge party. Appropriate, sure, but not smart, as lampshaded by his old rival that shows up to deliver the news: Dracule Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world. But his most recent appearance has yet to be trumped in terms of sheer badassery: [[spoiler:After Coby's WhatTheHellHero speech towards the Marines to stop the war, Akainu tries to kill him. Shanks [[BigDamnHeroes shows up out of freaking nowhere]] and blocks Akainu. He's facing down the strongest Marines in the world, and thousands of underlings, on one side, and thousands of pirates loyal to Whitebeard on the other side, as well as Blackbeard, who just stole Whitebeard's Gura Gura no Mi (Tremor-Tremor Fruit) powers, and his crew. He essentially orders them all to stop fighting. ''They do.'']]
** Borsalino, a.k.a. Admiral Kizaru. He talks casually with pirates powerful enough to singlehandedly take out an army, never showing the slightest concern even in a battlefield; in short, he takes everything incredibly lightly. That, however, is justified because of the power he has from the [[LightTheWay Glint-Glint Fruit]]; even for those who have the power and training to neutralize the NighInvulnerability granted from Logia fruits, he's still an extremely powerful man.
** Kuzan, a.k.a. [[spoiler:former]] Admiral Aokiji, is this as well. Quite frankly, it's to be expected from someone who blatantly states his motto is "Lazy Justice." When he has nothing to do, he talks with pirates as casually as the aforementioned Kizaru, and he has no qualms about laying down in the middle of a conversation when he gets tired of standing; he always acts like everything is cool. But that's following the pattern of the pun in the Kizaru example; he gets his power from the [[AnIcePerson Ice-Ice Fruit]], giving him just as much Nigh Invulnerability and the power to freeze the ocean with a touch of his hand, and we've never even seen him go all-out in a fight.
** Some of the members of the government-sanctioned assassins, [=CP9=], fall under this category. Fukuro has a big mouth and a love of gossip, and a rather childish personality as well, and Kumadori…well, in a nutshell, he's a LargeHam. But while those two are among the weaker members of [=CP9=], they're still [[OneManArmy One-Man Armies]], and there's nothing moronic in their fighting. That is, unless you count Kumadori's antics; he fights mercilessly enough, but the hamminess never even falters until he's beaten within an inch of his life.
*** Inverted with Kalifa, who's portrayed as cold and collected from the time she's revealed as one of the assassins to the time she starts to fight Nami; even the comic relief she provides by saying "That's sexual harassment" doesn't make her seem any less dangerous. But in the midst of her fight with Nami, she starts looking more like a DumbBlonde than an EvilBlonde; perhaps that's the reason she's the weakest of the seven assassins.
** Heck, it's reasonable to say that at least half of the show's characters fit in this category.
* Judai of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' is one of those few cases where "things went bad."
* Joey of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is frequently mellow if not just plain goofy, but tends to get incredibly serious when his friends are in danger.
** Not to mention that, in [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries season zero]], he shows moments of genius during some of the "games". Oh, and by the way, don't hurt his friends. He WILL [[GoodOldFisticuffs break your face.]]
* Wolfgang Grimmer from ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' is a very laid back and friendly journalist, who under pressure or menace snaps into a berserker-like state that he calls "The Magnificent Steiner", after a Hulk-like show he watched when he was a kid. [[spoiler:Turns out that he was a victim of a combination of psychological experiments and brutal spy training during his childhood, and he is a bit of a StepfordSmiler about that]].
* Kid Muscle from ''UltimateMuscle'', a champion wrestler trapped in the body of an abject coward. He's also TheDitz, which doesn't help.
* Amano Ginji of ''GetBackers'' is normally childish and goofy, and even when fighting can usually enjoy himself...unless the fight becomes a true challenge. Then he goes into "Raitei" mode, and proceeds to show everyone just how he got to be the leader of the most powerful street gang in the Limitless Fortress, and why people nicknamed "Beastmaster" and "The Prince of Battle Terror" would take orders from him.
* Rushuna Tendou in ''{{Grenadier}}'' has a very ditzy, playful personality while being [[TheGunslinger the best marksman in the known world]]. And did I mention all the {{Fanservice}} she's ''the'' source of?
--> '''Rushuna''': YOU don't get a smile!
* Train Heartnet of ''Manga/BlackCat'' is a fairly easygoing bounty hunter who just wants to eat and have fun...and escape his former life as the strongest of the [[AncientConspiracy thirteen deadliest warriors in the world]]. Much of the action comes from those who want Train to return to his old life.
* TheDitz[=/=]{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Dita proves to be this when she breaks out her {{Determinator}} qualities in the first season finale of ''{{Vandread}}''.
* Having lived through death in his youth due to an accident, Tohno Shiki of ''{{Tsukihime}}'' appreciates life in general and tries to enjoy it as much as possible. That said, when threatened, he instinctively draws on his Nanaya abilities, which when combined with his [[CursedWithAwesome Eyes]], can turn him into a formidable opponent. He also demonstrates HeroicResolve quite often, especially in '' VideoGame/MeltyBlood''.
** For that matter, a ''lot'' of people in ''{{Tsukihime}}'' show this: Arc speaks and acts like a spoiled child, spends more time smiling and cheering than anything else, and is generally a really pleasant girl to be around ([[WeirdnessMagnet if you don't mind getting into trouble]])...but [[LaserGuidedTykebomb when faced with Apostles she reveals her true nature as the single most badass vampire in the world]]. Ciel is more the ObfuscatingStupidity type, but it's still significantly upsetting how one can be a pleasant, curry-obsessed high school student by day and a ruthless Church Assassin by night.
* When Mic Sounders XIII of ''GaoGaiGar'' was initially introduced, he was a childish, goofy robot who looked like the bastard child of a walkie-talkie and a Speak'n'Spell. However, he had an alternate mode -- a rocker who could kick ass and energize teammates with the power of music. This mode was locked to ensure that the AI wouldn't abuse its power -- or, more specifically, so that he wouldn't accidentally ''destroy the world'' -- but came out on its own to protect Mic's friends (and in particular, the sister of the man his AI was based on). Later on, the limiter was released and Mic could change between modes at will.
* ''RanmaOneHalf'''s Ryōga Hibiki and Kazuma Kuwabara of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' are the same variant: When going up against the series protagonist, they're basically treated as [[ButtMonkey buttmonkeys]]. But give them another opponent, and they can unleash a stunning amount of whoopass.
** Ryōga at least is the main character's [[TheRival rival]], and as such has to be just slightly weaker than him. Being slightly weaker than the main character pretty much requires that he be stronger than everyone else, he is portrayed as enormously strong and makes the MadeOfIron characters look to be MadeOfPlasticine. Of course, Ryōga IS a bit of an idiot and a rather nice guy when not being overly paranoid, so this might still qualify.
*** It is generally thought by fans that Ryōga is physically stronger than Ranma (though the manga does not explicitly show this, it is possible that Ranma just has better control of his strength than Ryoga does), however Ranma is faster, better trained, and better at working out how to overcome any given opponent.
** Also from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', Ranma's father Genma is usually portrayed as bumbling, lazy, cowardly, selfish, petty...you get the idea. However, he's one of the highest-level martial artists in the series, can still hand Ranma his ass in serious combat (that is, outside comedic, slapstick {{Megaton Punch}}es,) and devised two particular martial arts styles, the Yamasenken and Umisenken, that are unusually ''deadly'' for the ''Ranma ˝'' universe. Even the other characters were shocked with disbelief at discovering that the lazy slob had created such powerful schools.
** Happosai also qualifies. Most of the time he's just a JerkAss DirtyOldMan who makes life miserable for everyone by his petty acts. However, he is also the most powerful character in the series capable of defeating both Ranma and Cologne with ease. Fortunately, he rarely gets really dangerous, [[WeaksauceWeakness and can be quickly distracted and taken out by throwing womens underwear in his direction.]]
* Probably the biggest CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass ever, Tsuna Sawada of ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''. He kicks ultimate ass when in Hyper Dying Will Mode.
** Given the series' comedy origins, a lot of the characters have an element of this, especially Takeshi Yamamoto and Ryohei Sasagawa.
** Also Lambo. Idiot as a kid, still an idiot TYL but badass 20YL.
** Dino as well. He is extremely clumsy, unless he is around his subordinates.
** And as of the most recent story arc [[spoiler:Iemitsu, you know [[GenerationXerox Tsuna's father]]]] showed us just how big of a hidden badass [[spoiler:he]] is by [[spoiler:using dying-will flames to KO Tsuna and canceling Tsuna's powered-up [[SuperMode Hyper Dying Will Mode]] with [[CurbStompBattle one punch]]]]
* Hohenheim from ''Manga/FullMetalAlchemist'', although it might partly be a case of ObfuscatingStupidity. You can abuse him all you want if you're a certain [[spoiler:Edward Elric]], but just [[spoiler:[[PapaWolf don't touch his kids]]]], okay? In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the first anime]], he also has [[spoiler:a very shady past involving mass murders and the quest for immortality]].
** Aside from Hawkeye, Mustang's unit appears to be comprised almost entirely of either idiots or wusses. At least until the chips are down, ''especially'' in the manga and in Brotherhood. Then they demonstrate just ''why'' a man looking to change the country would have handpicked them for his central unit and closest bodyguards.
** And then of course we have Maes Hughes, who is usually a [[TheDitz ditz]] who obsesses over his family at every possible moment, until we find out that he's really a {{Badass}} KnifeNut who has ObfuscatingStupidity and figures stuff out way before anyone else.
*** Like, maybe [[spoiler:the entire plotline for the second half of the series? About twenty episodes before there's even a clue?]] Of, course, this is also an example of [[spoiler: TooCoolToLive, because, well, he's TooCoolToLive]].
** Ling Yao is introduced as a FunnyForeigner who constantly collapses in the streets out of hunger, weasels his way into getting a free meal, jokes around, and sends his bodyguards to do his fighting while he runs away. It isn't too long before the audience learns he's an excellent fighter himself, has strong beliefs, and is very driven by his goals. Of course, very early on there were hints that there was much more to him that meets the eye, particularly due to any time he opened his [[EyesAlwaysShut often shut eyes]].
** Major Alex Louis Armstrong is a huge man, prone to ripping his clothes off and displaying his muscles at the slightest provocation, and in general has the temperament of a BigFriendlyDog with a side-order of CuddleBug and [[LargeHam ham]]. However, Major Armstrong is a frontline-grade officer, a State Alchemist and a combat veteran of the brutal hellhole that was the Ishvalan War. He is ''immensely'' strong, the most agile member of Mustang's unit in spite of his size, an extremely capable martial artist and combat alchemist and he can transmute with a precision no other alchemist can match.[[note]]Every object transmuted by another alchemist has bubbles, cracks or other visible flaws. His never do.[[/note]]
* Nyu/Lucy in ''Manga/ElfenLied'' has this in the form of a SplitPersonality, triggered through trauma or imminent danger. Nyu is [[CuteMute cute, affectionate, and utterly harmless]] -- but Lucy [[AxCrazy hates all of humanity and cuts people in half with her mind]], [[[WhatTheHellHero no matter if those people were just innocent civilians]].
** Well, that's more of a Crouching [[TheWoobie Woobie]] Hidden Monster.
* Teletha Testarossa, a GeniusDitz teenage commander from ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', despite usually being [[{{Dojikko}} clumsy and tripping over her own feet]], when her subordinates are put in danger, can even recapture a submarine from a freak terrorist group. Also, her claims about not be able to use guns, turn out to be false at these moments.
** As a humorous example, she's capable of holding her breath underwater longer than her bodyguard Sōsuke realizes, considering her below-average performance in other athletic areas. She has to rescue ''him'' from drowning (and tries to smuggle in a KissOfLife under Kaname's jealous eye) when he panics and dives in after her.
* Shinji Ikari from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has an unique ability to go berserk in his HumongousMecha when having received enough mental pain. He transforms then into an enemy-killing war machine, famous all over the universe. When taken out from his mecha, he is usually just a sobbing, depressed wreck of a boy.
** [[spoiler:Though really how much of this is actually Shinji and how much is the Eva itself taking over is somewhat debatable. Certainly the most badass moments (such as Shinji's first battle) are all Yui-sama.]]
** I think [[spoiler:diving in magma in an unprotected Eva to save [[HeroesWantRedheads Asuka]] or knifing an Angel with guts torn open]] still qualifies him - no Yui-sama there.
** What? No taking on Zeruel siglehandly and almost winning, even with only one arm? He was only stopped that time because the power went down. Besides, if At-Fields are true to series cannon, they are generated from the pilots (or dummy plugs). Guess what makes berserk EVA 01 undamageable.
*** And that's just in the original anime series! In the second ''[[RebuildOfEvangelion Rebuild]]'' movie, not only does he defeat Zeruel, he does so by forcing Unit-01 to enter a berserk state, replacing his lost arm with one made out of an AT Field, busts out EyeBeams, and nearly destroys the world by the time all is said and done!
** Misato Katsuragi qualifies, as well. At home, she's a slovenly HardDrinkingPartyGirl, but on the job, she's an extremely daring and competent strategist.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Orihime is an unaggressive {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, but when someone she cares about is seriously threatened and no one else can do the job she uses her powers to scarily strong effect. A good example occurs when she and Ishida have first entered Soul Society. They decide to blend in and disguise themselves as shinigami. Ishida is just about to come up with a plan when Orihime simply dives out of hiding, beats up two shinigami with her ''black belt-level karate skills'' and promptly reverts right back to passive {{Cloudcuckoolander}} mode, leaving Ishida in a state of shock over what he'd just witnessed.
** The vast majority of the time, Nel is a weird, annoying, and frankly stupid toddler. However, when Nnoitra almost kills Ichigo, she [[spoiler:reveals herself as the former 3rd Espada, and [[Awesome/{{Bleach}} turns the tables on the situation in seconds. She reverts back to her daft personality when the fight is over and eventually even ends up back in child-form.]]]]
** This also applies for Nel's friends [[spoiler: (and fraccion)]] Pesche and Dondochakka. They act ridiculous most of the time, but when Nel needs their help [[spoiler:they nearly defeat the 8th Espada to reach her. Szayel admits they would have succeeded if they had fought him seriously from the beginning.]]
** Wonderweiss Margera is a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} at very best. Then he's revealed as being capable of rescuing the top three espada from their captain opponents and even Aizen from Yamamoto's prison and so completely outspeeding Ukitake he one-hits him [[spoiler: before then being revealed as the one thing capable of sealing the strongest zanpakutou in existence, Yamamoto's sword.]]
** Isshin is the BumblingDad for most of the first half of the series. Then we learn he's a [[RetiredBadass captain-class shinigami]] when he kills Arrancar Grand Fisher in [[CurbStompBattle one blow]], to [[ItsPersonal avenge]] his long dead wife.
** Urahara was introduced in this manner. A sweet-shop owner who had weird knowledge of spiritual things, a bizarre sense of humour and who appeared to be a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} at best and an EccentricMentor who favoured TrainingFromHell at worst. Then it's revealed that he used to be a captain of the Gotei 13, is one of Soul Society's greatest (and most notorious) scientists, and is someone even the BigBad is (usually) wary of due to the fact he's the only one who's acknowledged as being more intelligent than said BigBad.
* The ''VideoGame/MegaManZero[=/=]Rockman Zero'' manga, in a complete change from the actual games, makes Zero a character of this sort. In his normal state, he's a coward with no memory of his past as a hero. Hit the right trigger, however, and the legendary hero returns, with his signature helmet and insane combat prowess. The manga actually calls this version Rockman Zero -- [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer which is just the name of the game series, not the character.]]
* Shiro from ''DeadmanWonderland'' initially appears to be an unpowered albino [[WesternAnimation/TeenTitans Starfire]]...until she's cornered by a bunch of dangerous guards in a watchtower. The tower explodes, and [[spoiler:she rends the guards into many small parts.]]
** [[spoiler: Which makes sense when Shiro turns out to be the one and only, Wretched Egg]]
* Shinkuro from ''[[LightNovel/KureNai Kure-nai]]''. For 11 episodes he leaves the viewer wondering how on Earth he could have possibly been trained by a family of ex-assassins, who even gave him a [[SwissArmyAppendage sword-like blade placed into his arm]]; he was tough, but showed ''no'' real fighting skill. Then comes the finale, where he suddenly uses insane skills to obliterate the enemy, afterwards revealing that he had ''never even used his trained abilities'' because he "regretted having the weapon placed inside him too much." After [[spoiler:taking out one of the {{big bad}}s in under a second with it. Which was ''awesome''.]]
* ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' has Yurika Misumaru who is, ninety percent of the time, a hopelessly naive, [[TheDitz ditzy]] LoveFreak with some [[ClingyJealousGirl serious denial issues]] Put her at the command of a battleship however, and she's a [[GeniusDitz fleet-destroying tactical mastermind]]...[[IdiotBall sometimes]]. Then there's her [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend boyfriend]], who's [[{{Expy}} pretty much]] Shinji (above) except on the appropriate medication.
* Nathan Mahler from ''[[BloodPlus Blood+]]'' seems like a putz at first. He spends the vast majority of his time flirting with his comrades and doesn't seem overly concerned about anything (plus, the fact that he dresses like a fashionatta and talks in a stereotypically homosexual voice doesn't help). Then, out of nowhere, he pulls out his scary voice, which can shatter glass and stop twelve foot bat monsters in their tracks. From then on he proceeds to establish himself as one of the show's most formidable bad guys (to the point where even TheDragon[=/=]TheManBehindTheMan is afraid of him).
** [[spoiler: And he's the only one still standing ''after'' Saya rips him in two...]]
* The main character of ''HadesProjectZeorymer'', Masato, is mostly just an angsty teenage boy, who's still trying to wrap his head around how he went from being an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent to piloting a HumongousMecha. He doesn't want to hurt anybody, not even his enemies -- after all, they're still ''people'' -- and he DEFINITELY doesn't want any innocent bystanders getting hurt. However, when he's actually ''attacked''...he starts grinning like a loon, wielding his mecha like it's an extension of his body, trouncing the opposition without mercy, ignoring "Collateral Damage" completely, and just generally ''enjoying'' being the pilot of a walking WMD.
-->'''Miku:''' Masato, we have to lead them towards the forest! Too many civilians are getting hurt!\\
'''Masato:''' To hell with them! Let THEM worry about the civvies and trip themselves up!
** Though like Yugi above, it's actually a SuperpoweredEvilSide -- in his case, [[spoiler: the MagnificentBastard of ''Zeorymer'', Kihara Masaki]].
* Highly similar to Takashi Kawamura from ''ThePrinceOfTennis'', is Ippo Makunouchi from ''HajimeNoIppo''. Generally, he's a shy, awkward, overly-polite mama's boy...but once he steps into the boxing-ring, he becomes an intense and unstoppable fighter with a Dynamite Punch that can shatter bones, and an invincible stamina that allows him to keep coming back no matter how many times he's knocked down. It's not uncommon for people who've seen him in the ring, to completely fail to recognize him outside of it. Several times, this has worked to his advantage, since any opponent who've met him outside the ring is bound to underestimate the level of brutality he can unleash inside of it.
* Goku from ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'' can turn from kid who only thinks about food and fighting to a rampaging, unstoppable demon when his limiter is broken. Usually breaks if [[HoYay Sanzo is in trouble]]. Basically, he's [[GetBackers Ginji Amano]] but ReallySevenHundredYearsOld.
** It's also been revealed by new sidestory series ''Ibun'' that Sanzo's master Koumyou Sanzo was considered a big-time {{Cloudcuckoolander}} as a novice. The only reason people are ''less'' likely to think this when he is older is because he's immediately recognizable as a Sanzo priest and has TWO scriptures, which is sorta a declaration of badass, and Zen koans are pretty out-there to begin with "so maybe he's just THAT Enlightened that we can't understand a thing he's saying". Ukoku says flat-out at one point that he can't tell if Koumyou is a genius or a complete moron (Koumyou replies "I get that a lot.") His disciple Kouryuu (aka, the MAIN CHARACTER) seems to have made his goal in life to curb the moron tendencies. Until his goal in life becomes avenging his master's death, but that's another story (the main one).
* In ''WorldDestruction'' (which is also a video game and manga), Kyrie is [[TheFool utterly hopeless and useless male protagonist]], who pretty much ends up doing nothing useful for almost the entire series. Then, in one [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome magical moment]], [[spoiler:he activates his Destruct Code powers and begins disintegrating everyone into sand. Oh, and he can fly.]]
* Matsuda of ''Manga/DeathNote''. Conflicted and indecisive about Kira from the start, this aspect as well as his impulsiveness and absentmindedness are played up for comic relief. Determined to prove he isn't dead weight on the investigation team, he often acts on impulse and gets himself into hilariously sticky situations. Having been [[TheFool blessed with dumb luck,]] he manages to escape them unharmed [[BreakTheCutie aside from being a witness to everything else going wrong around him.]] His impulsiveness is finally [[BerserkButton not funny]] in the finale of the series, and ends up [[spoiler:shooting Light five times after finding out he's Kira.]]
** Also Ryuk. For all his lovable goofball portrayal, we get a reminder of his status as a Death God at the end of the series, when [[spoiler:he murders Light without a second thought for having used up his entertainment value]].
* Pai in ''Manga/SazanEyes'' is TheDitz until things get messy, then her third eye on her forehead opens and her other personality, a magic-wielding Badass comes out. In episode 4, though [[spoiler:we learn she's not the ditz we thought she was]].
* Gintoki from ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' also qualifies. Most of the time, he is a useless lazy bum. However, little do others know that he used to be a fierce warrior capable of knocking out the entire fleet of Amanto in a blink of an eye and still can do so if the people important to him are in danger.
** Gintoki is especially BadAss in the serious story arcs, battling everything from [[spoiler:alien space pirates, a crazed swordsman possessed by a demonic sword, and an alien crime lord from one of the strongest races in the galaxy]], just to name a few.
** Katsura from the same series is similar. Although he now spends more time making a fool out of himself by taking himself too seriously and [[ClarkKenting frequently appearing in public with terrible disguises]], he had once been a formidable warrior who kicked major ass when he fought alongside [[spoiler:Gintoki, Takasugi, and Sakamoto]] during the failed uprising against the Amanto aliens. He becomes a complete BadAss when it becomes necessary to protect someone that he cares about, as seen when he (in an awesome BigDamnHeroes entrance) [[spoiler:saves Ikumatsu (a woman who owns a noodle shop and sheltered him when the police were after him earlier) from being kidnapped by charging through a police blockade on a scooter and taking out her kidnappers using bowls of fried rice, all the while a policeman is shooting at him with a bazooka]]. In the Benizakura Arc, he specifically says that he is fighting against [[spoiler:former schoolmate and brother-in-arms]] [[NietzscheWannabe Takasugi]] and Takasugi's allies because there are too many people whom he cares about in Edo to let the villains carry out their plot.
** Pretty much every main character in Gintama qualifies for this.
* Very, and I mean VERY sparingly, something (usually a personal matter) might cause Kogoro of ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' to actually focus all his attention on a case, revealing him to actually be a very capable detective on his own. Meaning, he'll solve the case ''and'' kick the perp's ass if he needs to. He's also apparently a good marksman. Granted, since this happens like thrice or so in fifty volumes, it's very easy to forget.
* {{Kinnikuman}} and his son, [[KinnikumanNisei Kinniku Mantaro]], are both prime examples of this type of hero.
* Yukiteru, the main character in ''MiraiNikki'', may behave like a diary-writing bystander most of the time, but when both of his parents are killed in close succession and the assailants surround him, crap hits the fan.
* On the Kinda Sorta Maybe Hero side (a.k.a. ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''), there's Une. Her SplitPersonality is even more of a pacifist and stooge of Oz (and her military side) than "Queen" Relena turned out to be, despite being a good enough arguer to seriously talk down the most distrusting of souls. As for the Oz side of Une, this is the woman who cold-bloodedly assassinated Relena's foster father (Ambassador Dorlian) and pushed a no longer useful tool of a man out the back of an airplane, shooting him as he fell. It's no wonder she was semi-suicidal on the integration of those personas, the death of Trieze aside.
* ''MahouSenseiNegima'':
** The Baka Rangers are probably some of the biggest {{Badass}}es in the story, but while they're BookDumb, the only one that really fits this trope is BadassNormal Makie Sasaki, who can pull off impossible feats with ''[[ImprobableWeaponUser a rhythmic gymnastics ribbon]]'' and also somehow managed to maintain some subconscious memory of being under Evangeline's control. The main [[TheDitz Ditz]] of the staring TrueCompanions is incredibly powerful, but doesn't qualify due to being TheMedic.
** [[ObfuscatingStupidity Jack Rakan]], though he is ''always'' badass. I pity the poor fool who thinks that they can outsmart him easily.
* ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** North Italy has a moment of this when he fights Turkey. It hasn't really happened since then, though.
** South Italy also has one of these moments when he beats his Mafia up while trying to help Spain.
*** America in the movie fight scene-the man has skills.
**** Which is great and awesome to see but is nothing less than we might have expected of him, considering he lifted and (spun around) a buffaloo already when he was a kid. He later grows up to drag England's car behind himself just to ask England if he can borrow said car, and that might still be before he is explicitly stated to have begun actually WORKING OUT, with his strength then reaching "over nine thousand" instead of "up to eleven" levels.
* Nina of ''UltraManiac''. In the manga, her cat Leo is attacked by [[spoiler:Sayaka]] and she blasts a huge hole in the ceiling of the gym with her magic.
* In ''Anime/GalaxyAngel'', Colonel Volcott O. Huey is a usually even-tempered and complacent commander who takes the brunt of much of the show's comic relief slapstick. But tell him his mustache doesn't suit him, and he'll revert to his combat days as the "White Wolf" [[BadassMustache and proceed to destroy everything in his path to defend his mustache's honor.]]
* Yoh Asakura from ''ShamanKing''. He pretty much sits around in his pot leaf t-shirt fondling oranges and listening to Bob [=CDs=] but then turns into a badass when people threaten people he wants to protect.
** Lyserg Diethiel to an extent too except it's more of a case of crouching emo hidden badass. Most of the time he's just a little whiner who sits around saying how he needs strong friends but he actually owns a few people in battle.
** Chocolove and Horo Horo, for goodness sake. Although Horo Horo proved his own during the fight with Yoh in the beginning of Shaman Fight, he ends up as the ButtMonkey for a good long time, even as the weakest member of Team Ren. That's until in the manga we learn about [[spoiler:his past, his real name and the Ainu meaning to it, and the true identity of his adorable Koropokuru - Damako, his childhood sweetheart who essentially froze to death because of him]]. Chocholove is aiming to become the world's greatest comedian, despite the lameness of his jokes, and it's not until later we learn why exactly he does. ([[spoiler:He used to be the leader of a murderous gang who's parents were killed by a burglar on Christmas Day, and had to witness his teacher killed by the gang members he had left in order to hone his shaman powers]]. Of course, it turns out that he and his gang members had made peace and they had followed him to the Shaman Fight later.) THEN we find out about his connection with the Golem kids...[[spoiler:and they send him temporarily to hell, and more.]]
** Asakura Mikihisa. He's the goofball dad who just wears a wooden mask and [[TheMaidenNameDebate married into]] a family of traditional Japanese shamans. Who is also the biological father of Yoh and the current incarnation of Hao. Who also sometimes shows up only in his underwear and gets frequently called a "Pervert" or "Freak", enjoys climbing mountains for training and is apparently handy with a barbecue set. And then the the Hana-gumi tried to kill the Golem kids he was playing guardian for.
* Usagi from ''Anime/SailorMoon''. She spends a good portion of the anime bitching about how she doesn't want to be Sailor Moon and shrieking at the top of her lungs whenever confronted with a problem. And acting incredibly stupid. But in the end she still beats Queen Beryl and protects Earth!
** That's because she is [[ThisLoserIsYou the embodiment AND exaggeration of a normal girl's flaws]], and also since ''every'' time she awakens to her powers fully, [[BlessedWithSuck Bad Things happen]]. But still, she's [[MamaBear protective enough of those she loves]] to go charge against her enemies, even when she's bitching about having to do it. Lampshaded in the R season, when a depressed Usagi is monologuing in Mamoru's apartment [[spoiler:after the other Senshi are captured by Rubeus and she, Chibi-Usa and Mamoru barely escape]].
--->'''Usagi''': Surely at this rate, I would've already said "I can't do this! I'm scared! I'm sleepy!" ''(sigh, smiles sadly)'' How odd. I said it as if I really meant it.
* ''GateKeepers'' had that woman whose only job is to provide fanservice. Then she pulls out her bazooka in the final episode.
* Queen Horn of ''ViolinistOfHameln'' usually acts like a ditzy {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, but when she gets serious, she gets ''DEAD'' serious.
* A mild example is Holi in ''TransformersVictory''. In the first few episodes, he's portrayed as naive and childlike, but when the rest of the Rescue Patrol Team arrives, he turns out to be a very competent commander in his own right.
* Kukubara from ''DefenseDevil''. Normally portrayed as a complete idiot who couldn't hurt a fly if he wanted, he unleashes his true powers upon proving his client's innocence and generally kills whoever his opponent is in a single attack. [[spoiler:Admittedly, it is later mentioned that he was once one of the most powerful Devils in their world - but was kicked out for being too kind to innocent people instead of simply dragging them to Hell.]] His sidekick, Bichiura, is another example of this.
* Apachai of ''KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' is normally a FriendToAllLivingThings, as well as being TheDitz. He's also known as the [[RedBaron "Death God of Muay Thai"]], and for good reason. He ''will'' kill you if you start a fight with him. He accidentally nearly kills Kenichi on multiple occasions during sparring exercises because he ''never'' holds back.
** Correction: He DOES kill him multiple times. By midway through the series you'll occasionally see someone mentioning that "Kenichi died again!" Just before they revive him with...herbs and acupuncture, he forgets what happened, and they continue with the training! ''Training From Hell'' indeed...
* Ruby from the ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' manga, though it may cross to ObfuscatingStupidity. He has an extreme obsession with Contests and beauty, not to mention he cries like a little girl whenever he gets a little dirty. However, if he's forced into a battle or nobody's watching, he turns out to be an extremely skilled battler. [[spoiler:The interesting thing is that he used to be full time badass as a child, but he forced it down to become an active moron due to traumatizing events. He somewhat got over his issues by the time the Emerald arc comes around and is now a (somewhat) healthy mix between moron and badass.]]
* In ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'', Louise the Zero is an utter failure at magic. She is unable to use any element of magic and has never successfully cast a spell (all attempts have been disastrous). Later in the first series it is revealed that she's not as incompetent as previously thought, and in fact has the exclusive ability to use the most powerful element of magic of them all: Void magic.
** Well, she's still incompetent. I don't think having Void magic makes it so you can't use the others. She still sucks at those, and her Void magic doesn't always work, either.
*** Actually in the novels it is explained that Void magic makes using other spells hard until you cast a Void spell for the first time, Louise is even shown using several common spells such as 'lock' on a few occasions with no problems.
*** And her Void magic depends on her willpower; sure since she has quite the inferiority complex that means she can screw it up quite easily, but that doesn't mean she can't do pretty badass things when she has to; like in Volume 11 of the novels where after receiving the proper [[BerserkButton 'motivation']] thanks to Tabitha [[spoiler: She destroyed a giant gollem that absorbed magic by overloading with just one explosion spell.]]
* Patrick Colasour from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' (in the later part of Season 2).
* In ''Manga/BlackButler'' all of the Phantomhive's house staff. We have LethalChef [[BattleButler Bardroy]], [[CuteClumsyGirl clumsy]] {{Meganekko}} [[NinjaMaid Maylene]], and the [[{{Keet}} optimistic]] overall sweet [[DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength Finnian]]...who will not hesitate to [[BadassAdorable kick your ass]] if you dare threaten to harm his master. Maylene's not afraid to snipe you down, either, and Bard will simply grab his Gatling gun (or some [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome flour and a match]]). Tanaka might be BadAss, too, but it's hard to say if it was implied that he killed the man outside Elizabeth's room or if Maylene shot him.
** Oh, he's definitely BadAss. When Ciel's attacked in the current 'closed room murder mystery' arc, Tanaka appears out of nowhere to slam the guy into the ground without breaking a sweat.
** And as of the latest story arc, [[spoiler: Lizzy and Undertaker]] - two morons who have been around since Volume one - have proven themselves to be complete badasses given the [[BerserkButton right conditions.]]. So as a warning, [[spoiler: never threaten Ciel's life in front of Lizzy]] nor [[spoiler: attempt to kill a person who has made Undertaker laugh for five consecutive pages]] or they will rip you a new one while Ciel and Sebastian watch in StunnedSilence.
* Kaien Cross from ''VampireKnight''.
* Age in ''HeroicAge'' is ordinarily a curious and kindhearted boy who really wants nothing more than to just be friends with anyone, but when the time comes for him to go into battle on behalf of the Iron Tribe (humans), and especially the [[CoolShip Argonaut]], [[PersonOfMassDestruction he is truly a force to be reckoned with.]]
* Joe from ''ViewtifulJoe'' is a selfish, idiotic and lazy slacker, but whenever Silvia or Junior are in danger, he kicks some serious ass.
* Tadao Yokoshima from ''Anime/GhostSweeperMikami'' is usually best described as [[LovableSexManiac "lust-addled"]]. However, if someone he has the hots for...er...he cares about is in trouble (read: Mikami, Okinu, and/or Luciola), his spiritual powers go into overdrive, and he becomes surprisingly cunning with his latter-half-of-the-manga monju. Of course, it helps that his spiritual powers are quite literally [[PowerPerversionPotential lust-fueled]]...
* Roberta from ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' isn't very good at being a housemaid, but when her young master is kidnapped, she [[BattleButler travels halfway around the world to find him, putting bullets into anyone foolish enough to stand in her way.]] Seems she was a revolutionary known as "The Hunting Dog of Floencia" before going into hiding as a housekeeper.
** And then we have her protégé...
** Also in the same vein, any junkie or bartender who is still alive in Roanapur. There is a ''reason'' why they can be as high as a kite or sell mind-altering substances and still survive...
* Fai D. Flourite from TsubasaChronicle. Comes off as a total, overjoyful, optimistic and somewhat annoying idiot. Seemingly useless without magic. However, when a battle arises and the kids are in danger, he has shown that he has great physical skills and staff skills. Though, sometimes that goofy air is about him in battle, just to piss off Kurogane. Bad ass none the less.
** I find Fai to be more ObfuscatingStupidity, as he's not ''really'' an idiot, he just plays one. He's repeatedly shown to be incredibly insightful, such as when it is revealed that he knew [[spoiler:Syaoran wasn't human all along]] as well as recognizing [[spoiler:that Yuuko was on a separate plane when he and the the other three first met her at the shop.]] He's also very good at lying and manipulating people, to the point where [[spoiler:he was a double agent for most of the series and only Yuuko knew it]]. Playing the fool simply prevents awkward questions about his past from being asked, shielding his competency from unneeded scrutiny. Also, it annoys the hell out of Kurogane.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' gives us [[PlayingWithFire Natsu]], TheHero with a WeaksauceWeakness in motion sickness.
** Also Lucy to certain extent.
** Erza is an inversion resident badass but is a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}
** Juvia acts like a slightly stalkery fangirl most of the time, but [[BerserkButton try to harm]] [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend her beloved Gray]] and you'll be [[ActionGirl painfully reminded of why she used to be]] [[MakingASplash one of Phantom Lord's Elemental Four]].
** Gildartz is as badass as he is clumsy. And he's easily the clumsiest character in the Fairy Tail universe (that isn't PlayedForLaughs).
** Loke is introduced as a [[TheCasanova womanizing]] [[HandsomeLech prettyboy]] with a debilitating fear of Lucy. He's [[spoiler: Leo the Lion, leader of the Zodiac spirits]].
** Mirajane Strauss is an[[spoiler: S-rank mage nicknamed 'The Demon']].
* In ''DemonDiary'', Raenef Demon-Lord-in-training is a hopeless idiot who can't remember his lessons and is scared of his own magic. But if you get him scared, angry or upset you will suddenly realise that there is a very very good reason why he's the successor of one of the most powerful demon lords who ever existed. Same goes for Chris. He's an egocentric idiot who can't remember an incantation. However, he draws his powers from a ''god''.
* Any of the main characters of the manga ''Category Freaks''. They may lay around, be lazy, be klutzes, be sex-crazed, have issues with self-esteem, or have the mind of a child...but don't piss ''any'' of them off. If you get entangled with just one, you'll probably end up dead. You don't want to see what will happen when you get the entire group involved.
* ''DieBuster'': Nono is happy, friendly and goofy most of the time. When she "stops" being happy, friendly and goofy, [[spoiler:[[EarthShatteringKaboom property values on Titan start falling in a hurry. ]] ]]
* Mikado Ryugamine of ''{{Durarara}}'' is a shy and meek NaiveNewcomer who gets overshadowed by his {{Keet}} best friend. He spends the first several episodes poking around and asking questions about the Dollars, a large and mysterious gang in the area. But when push comes to shove, Mikado reveals that he's got a few secrets up his sleeve: namely, that [[spoiler:''he is'' the leader of the Dollars.]]
** Kida Masaomi and Sonohara Anri also counts. Kida's the playboy who simply knows his way around Ikebukuro - and it's most eccentric inhabitants - really, really well. Anri's the quiet {{Meganekko}} who has a nice rack and is the victim of sexual harassment by a teacher, who is worried about a missing "friend". It turns out that [[spoiler:Kida is the founder and former leader of the Koukinzoku, until it got too violent for him, and Anri is the true user of the Demon Sword Saika]].
** Shizuo Heiwajima is also a case. Most people's first impression he's a thin, quiet, unassuming young man whose only noticeable quirk appears to be the inexplicable tendency to dress, as noted by some, "like some kind of nineteenth-century nightclub pimp." This impression typically lasts all of five minutes before [[HairTriggerTemper some tiny nitpick sets him off]] and he demonstrates [[UnstoppableRage just why he's known as Ikebukuro's God of Destruction.]]
** Walker Yumasaki and Erika Kurosawa. A couple of wacky, out-of-touch-with-reality fun loving otakus, who spend their days making doujinshi and cosplay and visiting conventions. [[spoiler: They are both psychotic {{Torture Technician}}s infamous for their extremely creative (and unbelievably horrible) ''manga themed practices'', and when they want to be, they can be badass heroes all on their own. With molotov cocktails.]] Other then that, they really are possibly the two friendliest guys you are likely to meet in the crazy hellhole that is Naritaverse Ikebukuro.
* Played around with in ''SamuraiDeeperKyo''. Kyoshiro seems to have this going on, being a kindly LovableCoward and perverted medicine seller with Kyo as a SuperpoweredEvilSide that comes out when he's forced to draw his sword. However, this gets subverted when fairly early in the manga, Kyo [[SplitPersonalityTakeOver takes over full time]]. There is an even greater subversion later [[spoiler: namely, that Kyo and Kyoshiro actually are two separate people and while Kyo has killed plenty of people, the whole "killing a thousand people" reputation was something Kyoshiro did, and his bumbling was really ObfuscatingStupidity.]]
** While Benitora really IS a idiot who is head over heels for Yuya. He doesn't really want to become the [[spoiler:Shogun]] like his Dad wants him to. (Yukimura is probably more Obfuscating Stupidity than this trope, though.)
** Bontenmaru is a BoisterousBruiser and only came to the Forest because he heard that a group of {{Action Girl}}s had gone to defeat [[spoiler:Nobunaga]]. What he found disappointed him greatly, except for Okuni. Then again, he IS the famed Dokuganryuu AND a [[spoiler:former member of the Shiseiten]]...
** Really, all of the Shiseiten fits this trope - except probably Akira.
* The entire premise of ''RuneSoldier''. The better part of the show is about priestess Melissa who has been given a mission by her god to support apprentice mage Louie to become a "Valiant Champion", for which he seems to be completely unfit. Instead of using his magic in combat, he rather punches monster in the face with his fists and when told to use his magic wand, he breaks it by whacking it over a monsters head. But with Melissa's guidance and combat training by Genie, he becomes a much better fighter and shows to be a genuinely good person who never gives up helping people in need.
** Even with guidance and combat training, he's still a ''mage''...
* Remember Touka from ''Manga/{{Saki}}''? You know, the comic relief, ButtMonkey, UnknownRival of [[TheLancer Nodoka]] whose great moment in the tournament involved her getting her butt kicked by practically everyone in her table? Well, the manga chapters set after the Prefecture finals reveal that when she's surrounded by powerful enemies, the normal Touka sort of...goes to sleep, and a personality dubbed "Cold Touka" by [[SubordinateExcuse Hajime]] takes over. During the training camp, this Touka joins a table comprised of [[BornLucky Saki]], [[WindsOfDestinyChange Koromo]], and [[TheAce Fujita "Pro"]]. She then proceeds to [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] them. Repeatedly.
* Badou Nails from ''Manga/DogsBulletsAndCarnage'' is a textbook example of this trope. He's an idiot, he's a coward, he'd rather run like hell away from you than actually stand up to you... until you [[BerserkButton take his cigarettes away]]. At that point the MAC-10s come out and your best course of action is to get the hell out of range, and fast.
* ''{{Kaiji}}'': in the series of the same name. In the first episode he's so paranoid that he reveals that he committed a crime the affected didn't even suspected him from, in the second episode he gets raped in the ass and even needed someone to explain to him what happened, midway through the series he's betrayed (twice) by a fat asshole, but then he gets into serious mode and gets revenge on everyone, he once went as far as to [[spoiler:cut off his own ear]] to fool his opponent into believing that he was calm because [[spoiler:He had device that monitored his cardiac rhythm which gave info to said opponent]] and thus making wrong decisions which led into his victory [[spoiler:Then he returns to retard mode and loses everything]].
* In the manhwa ''Manhwa/DorothyOfOz'', Abee at first appears to be a perfectly harmless amnesiac who hilariously mixes up his words in the most awkward way possible. He also happens to be an ''incredibly'' powerful telekinetic, and will not hesitate to throw someone off a cliff for threatening his best friend.
* Rio from ''{{Spiral}}'' is a cutesy {{Dojikko}} who loves melons and cute things, but is [[FearOfThunder scared of thunder]]. Cross her, however, and she'll reveal her true self, as one of the 'Blade Children' - a ruthless, calculating murderess with a degree in {{Magnificent Bastard}}ry. Indeed, it initially seems like her CuteClumsyGirl personality is just ObfuscatingStupidity, but she still acts the same way when alone, or hanging around her fellow Blade Children...
* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'':
** While not as {{Badass}} as some, Fumi has proven herself to be extremely capable in certain subjects, her first appearance has her doing a complicated math problem in her head, but nearly overshadows Isumi when it comes to {{Cloudcuckoolander}} status in other departments. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like she'd be a badass StudentCouncilPresident -- yet.
** Isumi is also a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, plus she has NoSenseOfDirection, but give her a demon to clean up, and she's one of the most powerful spiritual fighters in generations and is actually called out by a chapter title and a powerful character herself to possibly be the most powerful character in the story.
* Sakura Kinomoto/Avalon of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' is a blissfully naive cutie, often acting rather childish and ''extremely'' oblivious to the obvious (most notably to the extreme infatuation she receives from ''both'' of her best friends), however she is often proved to be highly resourceful and formidable in the use of the Clow Cards.
* Keroro from ''KeroroGunsou''. He may act like an idiot most of the time but God help you if you [[BerserkButton touch his Gundam...]]
** Or if his surrounding air is hydrated as strong as on his home planet, which is how he got to be General in the first place: heartlessness and efficient. But then the Nyoro creatures come from the sky to [[NotWhatItSoundsLike suck him dry]], [[StatusQuoIsGod cancelling out his effectiveness]].
* The anime version of ''VirtuaFighter'''s Akira Yuki is an IdiotHero who [[BigEater can't stop eating.]] Whenever the situation is going out of control, though, [[TransformationSequence he equips his gi]] and turns himself into a serious fighter until his enemies are defeated, sometimes so far that it reflects his original persona in the game.
* In ''Manga/HappyYarouWedding'', Akira is generally a goofy DirtyOldMan with occasional CrazyJealousGuy moments, but the reason his father gave up interfering with him at all is because he firmly believes Akira would try to either kill or utterly ruin him and his company if he did.
* Various installments of ''PrettyCure'' tend to have someone like this, including Nozomi Yumehara of ''YesPrecure5'' and ''YesPrettyCure5GoGo'', and Love Momozomo of ''FreshPrettyCure''.
* Shigure of ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' comes across as a goofy ChivalrousPervert, but in reality he's [[spoiler:a MagnificentBastard and TheChessmaster behind the entire plot.]]
* Zerodyne from ''PsychicAcademy''. Nearby his brother, he [[AnnoyingYoungerSibling loses about twenty years of maturity]], doofs around class all the time (even gets called out for acting like a student!) yet he is the most powerful aura master in the world, and boy does it show.
** [[BerserkButton Under NO circumstances should you EVER threaten his brother]]. While Zerodyne has [[PapaWolf protected Ai when he was in danger]], he never actually hurt anyone...but when the ADC came to take Ai away, Zero almost choked a woman to death.
* Mari Katsuragi from ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows''. Looks like an ordinary HouseWife, right? Well, this housewife also [[RetiredBadass used to be]] [[BadassBiker a member of a biker gang]] and instantly pulls out the {{Tsundere}} if [[WomanScorned sufficiently provoked]]. In this state, she can break chairs merely by kicking them at the wall hard enough.
** Elsie shows signs of developing into this as time passes. She's normally a bumbling ditz, but on one occasion when her nii-sama Keima's life is seriously threatened, she rises to the occasion by capturing the attacker in a jar.
* Parodied with "Super Rabbit" from ''Manga/BoboboboBobobo''. He's a really weak guy in a rabbit suit (his name is printed on his suit, and it's spelled wrong), but eventually he becomes hyper-aware and goes all out on the party.
* ''CodeBreaker'' has a bunch:
** Sakura is an IdiotHero[=ine=] and [[spoiler: a such a strong PowerNullifier she can also suck out a person's life and if her blood ever interacts with powerful flame-manipulator Ogami's it creates a huge explosion (for their relationship's sake let's hope it's ''just'' their blood...)]].
** Yuuki is a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} and also [[spoiler: one of the wealthiest people in Japan, one of the strongest super power-users (sound manipulation), and is [[GovernmentConspiracy EDEN's]] ultimate artificial being -- his (more) super-powered side has no drawbacks like [[SuperPoweredEvilSide evil]] or UnstoppableRage.]]
** Toki is a HandsomeLech and [[spoiler: the only one with a super power that can reach the evil power-nullifiers: metal manipulation. Super powers can't touch them but an iron bar to the head can... at least in theory]].
** Nenene is also somewhat cuckoo but [[spoiler: that's just her de-powered side: her real personality is an ice-cold killer. Her powers are (or were) so strong that she gave half of them to her brother Toki.]]
** Mitsuru is a very shy {{Hikikomori}} because [[spoiler: her super-powered evil side can slice through people like a hot knife through butter. She has a lot of cats (a tiger is a cat, right?), is so beautiful despite not bathing or wearing clean clothes that her "fan club" made her (essentially) homecoming queen regardless of the fact that she never goes to class (she hides in an abandoned room) and she wields a flame that can burn the sin of lust that only Ogami is supposed to be able to use.]]
** "The President" is a weirdo in a mascot suit and also [[spoiler: one of the legendary Four Founders of EDEN, the good guys' TricksterMentor, principal of Sakura and Ogami's school, a power-nullifier who infused the building with his own blood to protect it from evil power-users, and Sakura's biological father.]]
** Zed is so BrilliantButLazy that he's [[spoiler: normally ''dead'': his power is life manipulation and he can make anyone an immortal "zombie". He's been carrying around the "lives" of three evil power-nullifiers for almost a decade, which doesn't sound like much until he puts one each in three of the good guys and they instantly de-power -- Zed's only alive when he's de-powered and he's had those power-sucking orbs in his chest for years. No wonder he's one of the Four Founders of EDEN.]]
** "Fussy Lunch" is, well, obsessed with lunch and [[spoiler: leader of the other four (now three) evil power-nullifiers. His weapon of choice is a pair of chopsticks; the incredible amount of damage he does with them has nothing to do with his powers, he's just ''that freaking strong''.]]
* In ''LightNovel/ProblemChildrenAreComingFromAnotherWorldArentThey'' [[LongTitle (*gasp*)]], Kurousagi. Most of the time, she's ditzy and useless...until episode 6, when her recently recruited super-people nastily fake-threaten to abandon the team, and teleport to the other side of the world to start a fight without permission. Kurousagi thoroughly loses her shat, follows and catches up with them in a matter of minutes. Izayoi proves elusive, so she plays a Gift Game with him, which she manages to bring to a draw while landing a pulverizing punch on a falling clocktower. Keep in mind, Izayoi [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu effortlessly beats elder gods into a pulp with his bare fists]], and this is the first time we see him fail to win a contest.
** Following and finding them wasn't that hard for her. She has direct link to all Little Garden surveillance systems and can use teleportation stations free of charge. But the fact that she could keep up with Izayoi relatively easy is impressive on its own.
* Mummymon of ''DigimonAdventure02''. He may be a bumbling goofball most of the time, but he's also an Ultimate level Virus type Digimon, and easily capable of defeating 3 Champion level Digimon.
* ''[[LightNovel/{{Vamp}} Vamp!]]'' has a character known as The Magic Man, who dresses like a Salaryman and willingly gets [[BadBoss violently abused by his boss]]...until he finally decides to drop the act and call him out. Subverted in that it's implied ''anyone'' in the room is inherently more powerful than the boss, but they were all either fooled into believing they couldn't beat him or were playing this trope.
* [[spoiler:Elena]] of ''Manga/TheVoynichHotel'' is nice, chipper, and polite till you piss [[spoiler:her]] off, or threaten [[spoiler:her boyfriend.]] Bad, bad things happen when you anger [[spoiler:an ancient island goddess.]]
* KilllaKill: ''[[TheDitz Mako]] [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Mankan]][[PluckyComicRelief shoku.]]'' How ditzy is this girl? She's [[HeavySleeper fast asleep]] (SnotBubble included) in her first appearance, she shifts into different poses ([[ItMakesSenseInContext and even into a]] [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Xenomorph]]) during her [[MostWonderfulSound Hallelujah!!]] expositions, and many characters have noted that [[GoodIsDumb she doesn't have much going on in that bubble she calls a head.]] However, she has the uncanny ability to jump head-first into situation that are totally over her head, and come out on top. This includes [[spoiler: intervening fights between Ryuko, Staskui, and ''[[CuteAndPsycho Nui Harime]]'', [[TheDeterminator going trough a booby-trapped death course to so so she wouldn't get expelled]], [[BigEater and eating all of the delicious food in Osaka]], who was in the middle of a city-wide raid!]] And this isn't even mentioning the fact that she's THE [[spoiler: president of the Fight Club and wearer of the corresponding Goku uniform.]] You know how Ryuko can '''''[[FinishingMove SEN-I- SOSHITSU!]]''''' club presidents with little effort? Yeah not this one. [[spoiler: Mako is the only club president who can go toe-to-toe with the Kamui. And she nearly WON.]]
* ''Anime/HighschoolDxD'': Issei spends much of the series lagging behind Rias' other [[ChessMotifs pieces]] and makes a signature ability out of ClothingDamage, which is taken about as seriously as you'd expect. Make him take a situation seriously, like [[BerserkButton messing with his friends]], and he ''will'' find a way to kick your ass.
* Chiya in episode 5 of ''Manga/GochiimonWaUsagiDesuKa''. She seems a uncoordinated when practicing with Cocoa, but shows amazing ability to dodge objects being tossed at her. She even hit a volleyball hard enough to knock out Cocoa, but passes out from exhaustion herself.