* [[spoiler:Chuck]], in ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt''. In the last episode, [[spoiler:Chuck unzips himself to reveal [[http://i56.tinypic.com/t9y1k1.jpg this... THING]], and proceeds to charge straight up the huge Ghost, taking down Fastener (who does something similar, turning into a two headed dragon) along the way.]]
** Also, in episode 6-2, the protagonists themselves. Before, Panty and Stocking had shown plenty of badass, but we had never seen them facing a truly capable opponent. This time they faced Scanty and Kneesocks... And the battle was just too awesome for words. For bonus points, [[spoiler: Chuck]] gave us a small hint of what he could do with his [[spoiler: CarFu ''duel'' with Fastener]].
* Midway through ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'', [[spoiler:Hanyuu]] decides to get serious: ''"I have finally realized that this cycle of suffering is because of your Will. WE WILL NOT LOSE TO YOUR WILL!"''
** Even after that, in the last few episodes, several of the normally [[AdultsAreUseless useless adults]] have these kind of moments, with Kasai intimidating a group of mooks into submission with a large shotgun and [[FanNickname Mr. Delicious]] judo-flipping a corrupt superior officer. These are all trumped royally when Akasaka shows off his shiny new [[TookALevelInBadass levels in badass]].
* At first acquaintance, Rock of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' seems harmless and nice, a contrast to his DarkerAndEdgier crewmates, not to mention the city he lives in, a WretchedHive. Then, just when you think you're going to win, he shows ''why'' he's a member of the ''Black Lagoon'' crew.
** ''Really'' shows up in the Baile de la Muerta arc. He just pushes a couple of people in the right directions and sits back and laughs. Literally. Also when he shows his SlasherSmile, and that, no, he really isn't very idealistic at all (contrary to what everyone else thinks).
* From ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. We've always known that Major Armstrong was tough, but we never really knew what he was capable of until his fight with Sloth. [[BadAss He.]] [[LightningBruiser Opens.]] [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown A.]] ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Can.]]''
** That's nothing compared to what [[TheWoobie Dr. Marcoh]] had [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome done]] to Envy.
** And then there's Hohenheim taking care of Pride, by encasing him in a giant dirt dome.
** Yoki, who is TheChewToy ([[CorruptCorporateExecutive and not without reason]]) and a DirtyCoward, ''[[spoiler:rams a car into Pride]]''.'''''[[spoiler:[[TheDreaded Pride.]]]]'''''
* Happened quite often in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'', definitely after everyone took [[TookALevelInBadass levels in badass]].
* Vash the Stampede from ''{{Trigun}}'' lives and breathes this trope. 90% of the time he's goofing off, playing with local children, or even getting into trouble with local thugs, but when the chips are down, he really does live up to his nickname of "The Humanoid Typhoon". This is usually when he puts hsi sungalsses on.
** For the entirety of the first episode and the majority of the second episode, the girls are doubtful that they've found the actual Vash, because he's ''such'' a buffoon. Towards the end of the second episode, though, the villain shoots at him and instead of panicking and scurrying away (which is what he did in Ep 1 when being shot at), he just takes a half-step to the side and gives the shooter the ThousandYardStare. This is really the first clue that ''just maybe'' this guy's reputation as a badass isn't entirely undeserved.
* ''MacrossFrontier'' contains a direct subversion when Sheryl Nome attempts to fly a Valkyrie for the first time during a battle. She even intones her CatchPhrase and gets a ThemeMusicPowerUp, but she botches the whole thing as one might expect of an IdolSinger, getting shot down almost immediately.
* ''{{Madlax}}'', Elenore beating (more accurately kicking) the daylights out of a male classmate of who attacked Margaret.
* In the ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' manga, after being OutOfFocus for the entire Michel arc, Caren, Coco and Noel step up to [[YouShallNotPass keep the psychotic angel at bay]] in true LovelyAngels style.
* Done all the time in the ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' franchise. A duelist will be seen as weak and puny and will spend a turn or two making bad moves. Then suddenly, they'll reveal their weak plays to be part of a master strategy, they'll pull out a super combo that pushes the opponent into a corner, and ''now'' every move they make will just push them further in. This is usually accompanied by a minute or two of the character taunting their opponent for playing into their hand and explaining their combo in great detail to emphasize how powerful it is.
** Joey in particular demonstrates this trope a lot. Most of the time, he's the PluckyComicRelief far outshadowed by his King of Games best friend, who, after all, has ''card-playing superpowers''. But every once in a while, when you push him up against a wall, or you threaten the well-being of his sister, Mai, or Yugi, his eyes become little windows to hell, and you'd better brace yourself for a ''hard'' smackdown; he's Yugi's [[TheLancer Lancer]] for a reason. The only time this has ''failed'' is his duel against Marik, and he managed to (mostly) withstand an attack by an [[OlympusMons Egyptian god]] and get Marik to practically crap his pants before collapsing mere seconds before winning the duel.
** Mokey Mokey is a 1-star (i.e. incredibly weak) monster... until it gets mad, at least. The card description says that "sometimes he gets mad and that is dreadful," and it's serious - just play Mokey Mokey Smackdown and wait for one of your Fairy-Type monsters to be destroyed. ''All'' of your Mokey Mokeys get ''ten times'' their normal attack power for the rest of your turn. One character - Belowski - uses a strategy involving destroying ''his own'' Fairy-Type monsters to start the "smackdown".
** Not to mention Yugi himself. In the second series, to a minor degree -- whenever [[NiceGuy Yugi's]] friends are threatened, expect a [[BewareTheNiceOnes very pissed Yami/Yugi]] [[WillingChanneler possession]]...[[TheSymbiote symbiosis]]...thing... to kick ass and take names (or whenever Yugi duels in a tournament; card games are serious business!) -- but it shows up in a very big way in the first series. Basic plot: Enemy of the week bullies/belittles/generally makes life a living hell for Yugi or one of his friends. [[TheWoobie Yugi]] just sort of takes it, until things go too far even for him. Enter Yami, ancient Pharaoh, master gamer, [[SociopathicHero total sociopath]]. Three words, season 0 watchers: "It's game time." And [[FateWorseThanDeath God help the baddie who cheats in a Shadow Game...]]
** In ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', you know Kenzan (Hassleberry in the dub) is done kidding around when [[HellishPupils his eyes turn reptilian]]; that's when the dinosaur DNA inside him is about to kick in, and he gains his HeroicSecondWind. (Not that his record as a duelist was all-too good, but he did manage to accomplish quite a few things without that.)
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** The cast consists of children in possession of potent, possibly lethal "ninja" powers. During Orochimaru's Invasion, the children are sent after TheDragon while the adults, with assistance from Legendary Sannin Jiraiya, repel the entire invasion force after most of Konoha's military forces were lulled to sleep.
** When Tobi is first introduced, he's TheLoad with a tag-along, singsong personality and is probably the least threatening member of his organization. As it turns out, he is not only the BigBad, but the reason he survives the way he does is because he can phase himself through another dimension.
** The first scene in which Might Guy pulls out nunchucks. He goes from PluckyComicRelief to CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass in seconds. However, his goofy personality still remains. What arguably might be his moment in the spotlight was when he struck an enemy assassin through a waterfall, believing that the fleeing enemy was actually his inner self, which he sought to defeat.[[spoiler: Then he opens all Eight Gates to fight Jinchuriki Jubi Madara and ''kicks his ass'' to the point he almost ''killed'' him.]]
** [[ObfuscatingStupidity Kakashi]] [[NonchalantDodge Hat]][[ExcuseMeWhileIMultiTask ake]]. Any time he raises his headband to reveal the [[MagicalEye Sharingan]].
* The latter half of ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' has plenty of awesome from [[TheCaptain Satsuma]], [[BridgeBunnies Miki, Megumi]], [[CoolOldGuy Yushima]], and their partners. Unfortunately, while [[spoiler:it is revealed that Yggdrasil strictly forbade Kamemon and Kudamon to fight while they observed the humans]], lines like "It's about time we showed off our Perfect levels," don't exactly dispel the FridgeLogic.
* Shinkuro from the anime ''[[LightNovel/KureNai Kure-nai]]''. After 11 episodes of all but getting his ass handed to him and looking incompetent, he finally decides to fight for real in the finale, easily kicking major ass. It then culminates with him [[spoiler:seeing his mentor/boss get stabbed, which triggers him into fully releasing the [[SwissArmyAppendage assassin's blade surgically placed inside of his arm]]. He goes into a mindless killing rage, using previously unseen insane skills, wiping out the guy who did it in under a second.]] ''Daaamn...''
** While Kurenai Shinkurou does qualify (he has some martial arts training, but his peers are far superior), similar occurrences happen earlier on. Additionally, [[spoiler:the blade [[InvoluntaryTransformation appears involuntarily]] and Shinkurou says outright he doesn't want to use it.]] However, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome damn]] is right.
* In ''FamilyCompo'', Uncle Sora mentions that his father is the one that taught him kendo. A few chapters later, he uses a massage stick to open a can of whoop-ass on some invaders of the house.
* ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' gives us Lord Yupa, a kindly old bearded guy, sweet with children, loved by all. Then he lands on an enemy battleship, whips up two blades, and starts cutting terrified mooks apart.
* One episode of ''Anime/TheBigO'' has Roger's mild-mannered butler [[strike:Alfred]] Norman pulling a huge, belt-fed gun out of {{Hammerspace}} to protect his employer and his robot girl sidekick. Then, when he's run out of big guns, he whips out twin semiautomatic pistols, fires them straight overhead, shredding a few robots about to land on him, all in the time it takes to yell "Sons of bitches!"
* Several comic relief characters from ''Franchise/DragonBall'' fall in this category. Master Roshi started out as a purely comic character (introduced as a pervert with a pet turtle); only later did he reveal his fighting skills. Yajirobe was instrumental in defeating Vegeta, and several {{Big Bad}}s came to regret underestimating Krillin. Even Mr. Satan has his moments -- he's worthless against ''ki'' fighters, but he can take down any human thug with ease.
** Are you kidding? At the end, he risked his life to save Vegeta and even helped give Goku the power he needed to take down Kid Buu.
*** There's also the fact that he was able to make himself Majin Buu's MoralityPet. Buu would have been fully redeemed if not for those idiot bikers gunning Mr. Satan down.
** Even Goku himself can come off like this, often joking and light-hearted even in the midst of battle. But when you ''actually'' piss him off? You are done. Period. This even shows in his English VA, as the tone in his voice clearly changes to show he's dead serious.
* ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'': When faced with the destruction of her new home and death of her friends, Caro, the supporting healer of the group, summons a Godzilla sized dragon that proceeds to wipe the floor with the bad guys.
** From the [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha first season]]: Chrono Harlaown. We'd been getting vague hints about his skill with magic, despite being [[WeakButSkilled confirmed weaker than the protagonist]], but he never seemed to actually ''do'' anything, and the [[CannonFodder relative strength level]] of the other TSAB mages wasn't helping his case. Then, in the finale, he obliterates several dozen {{Mecha Mook}}s in a single attack without the slightest effort, leaving Nanoha and Yuuno gaping. And ''before'' that, he goes OneManArmy, StormingTheCastle that previously swallowed a troop of hardened adult officers (Chrono is barely 12 at the time) and spit them out.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** The quirky father, Isshin Kurosaki, confronts Grand Fisher, and reveals that he was once a Captain level Shinigami. He then kills Grand Fisher, who had evaded capture and defeat for over fifty years, with a single attack.
** It's two [[TheDandy men]] fighting over who's the FairestOfThemAll and HilarityEnsues. It's PluckyComicRelief in the middle of all that serious fighting. It's one BerserkButton too many getting pressed resulting in the villain [[LetsGetDangerous losing it]]. It's a villainous FinishingMove activating his opponent's HiddenDepths. It's a fight that [[MoodWhiplash switches]] from [[SillyReasonForWar funny]] to [[WhatYouAreInTheDark serious]] before the fanbase can say "CurbStompBattle". It's [[MachoCamp Charlotte]] [[VillainousCrossdresser Cuulhorne]] being defeated by [[{{Bishonen}} Yumichika]] "LetsGetDangerous" [[AlmightyJanitor Ayasegawa]].
** Orihime against [[spoiler:Ginjou: "Sadistic? I don't mind you calling me that. If you don't want to get hurt, don't attack me when I say not to.'']]
* The cast of ''NinjaNonsense'' do this, but ''[[BaitAndSwitchCredits only in the theme]]''!
* ''{{Hellsing}}''. Walter C. Dornez is a rather benign butler who nonetheless displays some technical wizardry with weapons. When vampires attack the compound, however, he reveals himself to be a RetiredBadass and goes into full BattleButler mode, slicing through squads of mooks at a time with his RazorFloss.
** We also get [[TheWoobie Seras Victoria]] [[spoiler:taking on a company of [[EliteMooks Millenium vampires]] in a ''freaking airship'']] and [[LadyOfWar Integra Hellsing]] (who has [[BadassNormal no superhuman abilities whatsoever]]) [[spoiler:pulling herself from a car crash relatively unscathed, decapitating the vampire who attacked her, mocking the rest as weaklings who couldn't bear humanity, and telling them to bring it on so she can kill them]].
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', it is very easy to discount Shinigami-sama as harmless MissionControl, what with his goofy mask, silly speech pattern, and {{Verbal Tic}}s, and his tendency to spend most of his time inside the central chamber of Shibusen and doing {{Boke And Tsukkomi Routine}}s with his Death Scythe. Then [[spoiler:the Kishin imprisoned under Death City breaks free, and Shinigami is allowed to show the cast just why he's considered a PhysicalGod: His MegatonPunch does have some combat-related ability, for one...]]
** Spirit gets this during his and Stein's fight with Medusa, in a moment of MoodWhiplash where he muses about [[LovableSexManiac removing]] her white coat and promptly points out that, being the Death Scythe, he has to kill her. He is also eager to fight Asura with Shinigami in the anime.
** Marie Mjolnir as well. She may be a kindhearted TeamMom who can get along with pretty much everybody, but when she gets serious, shit tends to get pretty real. [[MegatonPunch Justin Law found this out]] [[ShockAndAwe the hard way]].
** Younger shinigami, Death the Kid, has shown off what happens when he takes fights 'seriously' without breaking down into [[SuperOCD OCD-driven mass destruction]]. With a little help from his dad (essentially, given what the Sanzu Line thing did to Shinigami), he goes from missing an arm and very close to Mosquito killing him, to fighting on a par with the vampire. He didn't exactly win, but he didn't lose either. And his arm got reattached.
*** It's worth mentioning his two weapons, Liz and Patty. They act like his retainers and are generally both cheerful, laidback girls. But mess with them and they'll be very happy to show you just how they managed to survive most of their lives on the streets of New York.
** [[HighlyVisibleNinja Black*Star]] gets a lot of this as well. Once he manages to calm down his I-Will-Surpass-The-Gods complex and fight seriously, he's one of the most frighteningly competent characters in the series, even being called the current strongest meister in the Academy and breaking Kid out of insanity by literally beating it out of him.
* In ''MahouSenseiNegima'', after over 40 chapters of [[BoisterousBruiser joking]], [[MiserAdvisor price-gouging]], and [[DirtyOldMan perversion]], Jack Rakan struck a stance for the first time and hammered home the reason why they call him [[RedBaron The Thousand Blades]] and why he's considered the hero to all [[GladiatorGames slave gladiators]]. This was a point proven as one should be: a massive fist driven into the hero's gut -- [[TaughtByExperience decades of tempered strength and refined fighting skill]] [[BadAssGrandpa will do that]].
** Later on, and even more shockingly, [[spoiler:Nodoka proves that [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v31/c280/3.html she will screw you up]], even if you can erase people from existence. There's a good reason that Fate considers her as dangerous as Negi.]]
*** [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v31/c279/18.html Here]], [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v31/c280/4.html here]], and [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v31/c280/5.html here]]. Nodoka is now officially ''{{Badass}}''.
* The main characters of ''MahoujinGuruGuru'' are easily distracted, to say the least. But both Nike and Kukuri have managed to perform some fine feats of fighting evil when the need arises. Especially when one or the other are in danger.
* Chichiri and Nuriko from ''FushigiYuugi'' both tend to be comic relief, with Chichiri sticking to the "religious" side of ReligiousBruiser and Nuriko a sassy WholesomeCrossdresser. Except when you need Chichiri to single-handedly get you out of the enemy stronghold, or when you need Nuriko to take on a ferocious wolf-man, and they reveal their heights of badassitude.
* Hare from the ''Anime/MonsterRancher'' anime was generally portrayed as competent, but on more than one occasion, his own arrogance would result in his plans failing dramatically, forcing him to improvise. Thus focused, his IQ would practically double.
* ''Manga/BlackButler''. Holy crap. Do not mess with the Phantomhive servants. Just... don't.
** Or [[spoiler:Lizzy.]]
* A lot of characters from ''SaiunkokuMonogatari''. Normally childish, goofy Ryuuki turns out to be [[spoiler:only pretending to be an idiot for a variety of complicated reasons]] and manages to [[spoiler:take down several highly trained assassins to save Shuurei, in spite of his fear of the dark and, oh, not being able to ''see'']]; Shouka, Shuurei's blundering, spacey father is actually [[spoiler:the legendary assassin Black Wolf, and... well, just don't hurt Shuurei and let him know about it]]; Ryuuren the eccentric genius manages to take down bad guys by the dozen ''using only his flute''; and even the little brainiac Eigetsu [[spoiler:turns out to have a split personality, and his other side is an insanely good fighter]]. And that's just the tip of the iceberg; don't even get me started on the ''women''....
* In the ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome}}'' finale, the school is under attack and [[TheHero the Blue Sky Sapphire heroine Arika Yumemiya]] and [[BewareTheNiceOnes Fire-Stirring Ruby]] [[LadyOfWar Mai Tokiha]] and even the [[BadassTeacher headmaster Ice Silver Crystal Natsuki Kruger]], have been forced to [[InstantArmor Materialize]] to combat the invasion. But then they hear the familiar voice of Miss Maria Graceburt, one of the most feared teachers in Garderobe... '''''Who has MATERIALIZED and thus REGAINED HER YOUTH.''''' Cue the young Miss Maria [[FlashStep Flash Stepping]] towards the monsters, and in the next scene we merely see her blade dripping their blood. [[DeadpanSnarker Her remark?]]
-->'''Miss Maria:''' It's shameful that, even in my old age, I still have to show this graceful form.
** Doubles as a NeverMessWithGranny moment. Especially since she's been getting provoked by the invaders since the start, and her patience just reached its limit.
* Nanael from ''QueensBlade'' is a ditzy angel who always gets in trouble and can't even fly straight, because of her asymmetric wings -- until the moment she beats up ''three'' of the most badass characters without even breaking a sweat.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'': The [[BewareTheSillyOnes Straw Hat Pirates]] have all mastered this during the TimeSkip.
** Generally, when Luffy cracks his knuckles, Zoro puts his bandana on his head rather than around his arm, Sanji lights a cigarette in the middle of a fight, and Robin brings her hands up to the opposite shoulders; when they do these, you know they're taking their fight seriously.
*** Kaku even lampshades Zoro's bandana.
---> '''Kaku:''' Are you supposed to get stronger when you wear that bandana on your head?
---> '''Zoro:''' Let's find out.
** Also, pretty much any time pre-TimeSkip that Luffy goes into Gear Second, Sanji goes into Diable Jambe, and Chopper eats his Rumble Ball...though that last one is even more Let's Get Dangerous post-Time Skip.
** [[spoiler:When Usopp and Luffy fight over ownership of Merry (it was about to be decommissioned), Usopp, who had just been beaten senseless and is covered in bandages and bruises, goes ''crazy''. The first eight minutes of that fight is nothing but him flooring Luffy with everything he has. He's still taken down with one hit, though. The one hit that ''connects'', that is. Luffy's first solid punch gets absorbed and reflected by an Impact Dial, courtesy of Usopp.]]
** Usopp plays this trope magnificently in Thriller Bark when he calls out for help, then rescues himself as Sogeking complete with gag theme turned CrowningMusicOfAwesome.
** In the Thriller Bark storyline, Brook was introduced as a bumbling socially incompetent idiot. Many chapters later, he suddenly had one of the creepier dramatic entrances of the series and one-shotted a giant monster who was wiping the floor with Franky and Robin ''at the same time.''
** In the opening first Chapter, Shanks and his crew just seemed to be cheerfully messing around, and get chewed up quite a bit by Higuma. When Shanks laughed it off, the latter assumed he was just a weakling. A bit later, he kidnapped Luffy. And ''then'' Shanks shows them just how bad an idea it was to mess with him, with ''ONE'' member of his crew decimating Higuma's bandit force, and Higuma himself fleeing, only to be eaten by a sea monster, the implication being it's the sort of thing Shanks deals with almost every day.
** Though he gave Sanji a good fight in the Alabasta arc, Mr. 2 Bon Kurei was generally considered a joke both before and after his HeelFaceTurn. Then he reappears in Impel Down, and fights off a pack of the highest level prison guard "mooks". With his bare hands. In sub-zero temperatures. Half naked. To save the main character's life. Sure, he had to have some skills to be the second strongest fighter in a major criminal organization, but with how much ObfuscatingStupidity he did...''[[BadAss damn.]]''
*** Not to mention that at the end of that arc, he stays behind in [[TheAlcatraz Impel Down]] to give Luffy and his new allies the chance they needed to escape. Putting in perspective, this has him facing a large group of armed guards and the prison's warden, the latter having used his [[PoisonousPerson Doku Doku no Mi (Venom-Venom Fruit)]] powers to ''send Luffy to death's door, EFFORTLESSLY,'' a few chapters earlier, alone and unarmed with nothing but his martial arts. The battle was never seen, but post-TimeSkip it's revealed that he somehow survived the fight and is alive and well, living in Impel Down's secret Level 5.5 as the new ruler.
*** Not only that, but he managed to scar [[ImplacableMan Magellan.]]
** Villainous but undoubtedly epic example from Impel Down: Magellan's warden, Hannyabal, is seen as a fully incompetent [[TheStarscream Starscream]], who has a habit of voicing his desire to be warden with less than polite words towards Magellan…[[TooDumbToLive while the latter is right behind him.]] Then, when it proves necessary, he steps up and takes command of the prison, allegedly just to stabilize his job. But when it comes down to it, and Luffy is going on an all-out rampage to get out of the prison and save his brother, Hannyabal demonstrates exactly why he's the vice warden of the prison that houses the most powerful criminals in the world by pulling a YouShallNotPass on Luffy. Sure, he can't land a single hit on Luffy and gets tossed around like a rag doll by Luffy's best attacks. The thing is, even when he's a bloody mess, [[TheDeterminator he keeps getting up;]] in the end, nothing Luffy does can make him stay down. [[spoiler:He's defeated when Blackbeard shows up and stomps on his face, finally knocking him unconscious.]]
** Last but not least, from its first introduction to near the end of Punk Hazard Arc, Franky Shogun was shown as a unnecessary [[HumongousMecha giant robot]] that serves mainly for comic relief and to impress the immature male members of the crew. This is for good reason as [[spoiler:most of the attacks come from Franky himself]]. Robin even lampshaded on this by asking what the robot was even for. Then we found out how [[spoiler:FREAKING TOUGH and dangerous it is]]. While its physical strength is unquestionable, [[spoiler: it was also actually quite agile for its size as it was able to punch CANNONBALLS back at Baby 5 and deflect her spinning attack ]]. To make it even better, [[spoiler: Franky Shogun even has its own much more powerful version of Franky's Weapon left, and a ON-LAND VERSION of the freaking GAON CANNON!!!]]. Hell, you could say that the enemies back at Fishman Island were not strong enough for him to use Shogun seriously. And then we are told that it's armor is unbreakable when an attack that can slice a Pacifista, the World Government's near unstoppable cyborg mini army, in half barely scratches it's PAINT.
* Happens at the beginning of ''NinjaScroll: The Series''. Shigure is always getting angry at her fellow villagers about their inability to take their martial arts training seriously -- it turns out that the ''entire village'' is made up of skilled fighters whose sole job is to protect her, and who were [[ObfuscatingStupidity only pretending to be lousy]] at it. Unfortunately, even they [[RedshirtArmy all get wiped out]] by an army of demons, so she has to flee.
* Folgore and Kanchomé are normally comic relief in ''KonjikiNoGashBell'', winning all their battles through tenacity alone. However, in the manga, [[spoiler:Clear Note's threat prompts Kanchomé to begin training, and discover that the true nature of his powers makes him a MasterOfIllusion. And the emphasis here is on "master"; faced with his most powerful spell, Goomu and Mir were as helpless as babies. Later, Gash wins the final battle through Kanchomé's direct help when the latter makes Clear Note believe he destroyed the Earth, when it was only an illusion Kanchomé created that was destroyed.]] And, of course, with this newfound power, [[spoiler:he was actually able to beat Gash in a sparring match.]]
* While VideoGame/{{Kirby}} is as competent (read: violent) in the games as the player, in the [[KirbyOfTheStars anime adaptation]], he becomes very much a KidHero with roughly the mental capacity and speech patterns of a toddler, and spends most of his time [[BigEater eating everything remotely edible he comes across]] and being cute. But generally after the MonsterOfTheWeek smacks him around like the pink rubber ball he is, [[TheKidWithTheRemoteControl Fumu tells him to inhale]] and he gains instant competence with whatever ability he copies and its use in battle, generally resulting in some serious asskicking even with [[ImprobableWeaponUser the most unlikely abilities]].
* Also, in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime, Misty's Psyduck. Normally totally useless, but whenever it gets a serious headache, it gains amazing psychic powers.
** Misty's Togepi. The little ball of cuteness that can barely walk on its own packs a mean Metronome attack which saves the day almost every time it uses it.
** Ash turning his hat backwards might also count in the earlier episodes, although he's done it once or twice recently as well.
** Mew in PokemonTheFirstMovie, spends most of the film curiously swooping around in a playful manner. [[BigBad Mewtwo]] attempts to goad it into a fight, and it ignores him. However, after one of his energy attacks successfully hits Mew, sending it flying into the sky, it drops its playful manner entirely and fires an attack back at Mewtwo, blasting him backwards through a wall. After this, it ceases to be cuddly and engages in a massive and vicious battle with its clone Mewtwo.
* Mitsumi from ''PokemonDiamondAndPearlAdventure''. Of course, it makes sense that she's that powerful, seeing as [[spoiler:she used to be a Team Galactic officer]].
* [[FriendToAllLivingThings Yellow]] from ''PokemonSpecial''. She is sweet and pacifistic to the degree it pains her to hurt enemies (a psychic empath), even if it means more trouble for her, not to mention she's a terrible battler and her Pokemon's levels are rather laughably low compared to the other Dex Holders. However, [[BewareTheNiceOnes push her to the edge enough]] and her Pokemon's levels get boosted up to the point that she can take down just about ''anybody''. (This phenomenon has been scientifically measured, their powers are roughly tripled to quadrupled.) Lance got his ass handed to him and Sird/Storc wisely decided to make a run for it before Yellow got the chance to do the same to her.
** Paka and Uji, Platinum's real bodyguards, are a pair of goofballs who have a penchant for corny posing. Put them in a fight, and they show that they are a pair of goofballs who have a penchant for corny posing ''along'' with a strong work ethic and equally strong battling skills.
* Any time [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qs9EiK_JJE this music]] plays in ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'', it's a sure sign that Battler is about to be way, way more awesome than anyone expected. This means doing something like [[spoiler:completely ignoring the most powerful attack the Siestas can throw at him]]. Other human characters also have HiddenDepths of badassitude, but he's the only one to have a separate ''theme song'' for them.
* Hayato and Kai, and later Sayla, of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' do this every once in a while if the White Base is in a pinch, not always to great avail. This is also tried in various other series, but, being Real Robot anime, [[AnyoneCanDie it doesn't always work out so well]].
* While the ''CityHunter'' Ryo Saeba may be a ChivalrousPervert, once you get him started with the task at hand, watch out. And pray he doesn't get ''really'' serious, for if it happens... Well, in one occasion he caused so much devastation his allies started to believe he could destroy the whole Tokyo, and ''then'' he made the arc villain and his son ''[[TheLoinsSleepTonight impotent]]'' (he was pissed).
** This works for almost the entire cast:
*** Mick Angel is every inch a ChivalrousPervert as Ryo and an even worse goofball, and is just as fearsome. His handgun is a Desert Eagle not because the author wanted to make him look cool, but because, [[ShownTheirWork knowing how hard to handle it is]], wanted to ''show'' he was badass by making him handle one with ''one hand''.
*** Kaori doesn't seem too dangerous, aside for the occasional reminder she has some rage-fuelled SuperStrength. She's also a formidable [[TrapMaster Trap Mistress]], and carries a ridiculous amount of explosives.
*** Saeko seems just an incredibly beautiful woman with a penchant for manipulating Ryo, but she can not only manipulate ''everyone'', she's incredibly good with knives and has hospitalized most of the people her father tried to engage her with (she refuses to marry a weaker man, and they failed her test). And her sister Reika is even worse: she may not be as good with knives or saddled with too weak fiancee wannabes (as far as we know), but is very good at firing a [[HandCannon Colt King Cobra]], and even ''more'' unashamed than Saeko.
*** Miki is a beautiful woman, and apparently harmless. She's a former ChildSoldier who currently runs a coffee house, and an hitwoman on the side. Oh, and she can hypnotize most people with a single glance.
*** Umibozu is a {{Subversion}}. Given the series you'd expect him to be this, and he has his own amusing antics to go with his awesomeness... Except he's [[GentleGiant huge]] and [[ScaryBlackMan scary-looking]], so ''everyone'' realizes he's dangerous at the first glance.
* Erika and Walker of ''{{Durarara}}''. [[spoiler:Not only are they Dollars, the were also instrumental in the downfall of the Blue Squares Gang, which they accomplished by ''pouring gasoline on the leaders of the Blue Squares and lighting them on fire.'']]
* Generally, [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Gintoki]] doesn't need more than [[WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter the wooden sword he bought in an infomercial]] to slice and dice his enemies, alien airships, towering mechas, and so on. There are at most two or three enemies in ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' whom he deems strong enough that he decides to swap his wooden sword for a real sword in the fight. However, you'll know that he still doesn't consider his enemies challenging until he starts [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome dual wielding]].
* Matsuda [[spoiler:shooting at Light]] in the final episode of ''Manga/DeathNote''
* Juvia Lockser from ''Manga/FairyTail'' is a childish ThirdPersonPerson who seems to only exist so she can be [[TheLancer Gray Fullbuster's]] StalkerWithACrush. The entire thing is played for laughs, because no one considers Juvia capable of any real malice or harm anyway. [[spoiler:Then when one of the enemies in the S-Class Trial arc says she's out to kill Gray... Juvia rises up from a supposed defeat and starts speaking normally, ready to go into ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend mode.]]
* Many characters in ''Anime/GhostSweeperMikami'', but most notably Yokoshima, the perverted ButtMonkey of the series. While he is treated harshly by his employer and also get sthe worst of everything, when he does get serious, he can really cause some mondo damage. Hell, he winds up taking down Medusa, once of the series' biggest bads, not once but ''twice''.
* Several times in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', but in particular "Jacuzzi Splot [[BerserkerTears Cries]], [[CowardlyLion Gets Scared]], And [[BigDamnHeroes Musters Reckless Valor]]."
* In ''TigerAndBunny'', Kotetsu/Wild Tiger has shown himself to be a complete dork and something of a klutz. However, dork or not, he's still a veteran superhero (and, according to Yuri Petrov's archived data, a former holder of the King of Heroes title) and demonstrates quite regularly that he can be quite a ''badass'' dork.
** Origami Cyclone as well. This is a guy whose main style of 'heroism' is to pop up everywhere there's a camera, largely because he doesn't think his [[VoluntaryShapeshifting superpower]] measures up to the other heroes. Later in the series, after a boost of confidence, he proves to be much more {{badass}} than he had been before, [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower using his power]] to disguise himself as a ''wanted poster'' at one point, and proving that he really can fight in the finale.
*** And his infiltration of the [[spoiler:Ouroboros base, which took guts and was almost a Heroic Sacrifice once Jake found him]].
* [[MagnificentBastard Xerxes Break]] of ''PandoraHearts'' says this almost verbatim toward the end of the anime. Although he has revealed to the audience how truly terrifyingly badass he is during earlier fights, none of the main cast have seen him do it until that point, and their reaction is little less than speechless shock. To top it off, every time he gets dangerous, he does so without changing his overly flamboyant behavior and speech.
* In the ''AxisPowersHetalia'' movie, ''everyone'' pulls one of these; given that almost nobody in the entire cast is usually serious, this is something of a welcome change. After the heroes have been stranded on an island, the alien mothership lands and deposits a very large army of [[TheBlank faceless]] [[AlienInvasion aliens]] around them, who respond to this threat by ''[[GoodOldFisticuffs punching the crap out of it]]''. Especially awesome moments include America remembering he has super strength and backflipping out of the way of several shots, [[BewareTheNiceOnes Rus]][[PsychopathicManchild sia]] facepalming the aliens out of the way [[note]]One for ''you'', one for ''you''...[[/note]] and Japan picking up a stick to wield as a katana. Sadly, they still lose, but even that has its fair share of epic moments; for example, when Germany realizes everyone else has been hit:
--> "All right then, come on! ''I'll kill you all with my bare hands!''" *proceeds to take down another dozen before finally getting taken down*
* YesPrecure5: Nozomi [[YesPrettyCure5GoGo Yumehara]] is probably the bubbliest of a FiveManBand. She's implied to have [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny ADHD]], she's BookDumb, and [[GotVolunteered she'll drag herself and everyone else into some odd idea of hers]]. Yet, if you dare try to squash someone's dreams, she will ''end you''. You can easily see that between her civilian identity and her transformed identity as her voice grows deeper and more commanding in the latter.
* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'' the StudentCouncilPresident spent the first 8 episodes being [[BrilliantButLazy Lazy, eating dried sweet potatoes]], and [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything hanging around]], but in the 9th episode she takes over the gun of her tank and demonstrates ImprobableAimingSkills in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome, tying down 5 larger tanks, and disabling two of them to allow her team to escape a trap.
** And then they topped that in Episode 11 by invoking [[MemeticMutation Hetzers gonna Hetz]] from WorldOfTanks.
* In ''DetectiveConan'', Kogoro is a bumbling private investigator who suffers from being BrilliantButLazy. Instead of actually working on cases, he prefers to hit on pretty women, gamble, and drink lots and lots of booze. There are a few things that will spur him into genuine competency though, mainly Ran and Conan being put in danger. A specific example is shown in one of the movies, when [[spoiler:a flashback reveals that his wife was taken hostage in front of him. Without flinching, he frees her by grazing her with a bullet, causing the criminal to toss her aside and leaving said criminal open to be directly attacked.]]
* Rushuna Tendou of ''{{Grenadier}}''. In the first episode, she looks like she's going to be the comic relief, while Yachiro the samurai is fending off bullets with a sword. Then, when she tries to get the castle full of heavily armed villains to release the captured lord and is rebuffed, the comic vanishes. After she says, "In that case, you don't get a smile," she demonstrates why she's considered the DistaffCounterpart of Vash the Stampede.
* Mitsuko Kongou of ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun''. Vain, boastful, and generally seen getting embarrassed or beaten up. Then, come episode 23, she finally gets into a situation where she can see her opponent and use her powers. Immediate cut to the BigBad being informed that a PowerArmor squad has been taken out. The next episode marks her first on-screen power use when she ''air punches a truck into a pair of attack helicopters''. Not to mention what she's shown to be capable of during the climax of ''S'' where she uses her powers to send a huge battle robot into the god damn ''stratosphere''. It tires her out but [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome woah]].
** Kuroko as well. Most of her screen time is spent trying to get into Mikoto's shorts, but whenever there's a crisis, she immediately switches from LoveableSexManiac to an extremely competent law enforcement official.
* ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'':
** Hikaru is a cute, innocent GenkiGirl, but as soon as someone tries to hurt her friends, she will burn them to a crisp.
** Eagle Vision in ''Rayearth II'' is a smiling and affable fellow... until he gets into his HumongousMecha. He's capable of fighting the Magic Knights and other countries to a standstill.
* Near the end of ''VampireKnight'', it is revealed why, exactly, Cross Kaien is called the greatest Vampire Hunter still alive, when he dusts off his old sword and [[TheGlassesComeOff takes off his glasses.]]
* Achika in the first ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' movie, ''Tenchi Muyo in Love'', was just an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent who had no idea why KAIN, a SealedEvilInACan, was targeting her at all. Then, he made the mistake of harming Noboyuki, the two of them harboring crushes on each other. This was enough for her to unlock her incredible power as a royal blooded Juraian, the thing KAIN was trying to kill her for. [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Oops.]]
* Anime/SpaceDandy is normally a rather incompetent bumbling HandsomeLech [[DidntThinkThisThrough who rarely thinks anything through]], with slight CloudCuckooLander tendencies. But when he brings the [[HumongousMecha Hawaii Yankee]] out, he's surprisingly competent.
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'': [[HugeSchoolgirl Sakiki]] is usually a wallflower, who'd like to make friends if only she weren't [[ShrinkingViolet so shy that she's more comfortable blending in with the scenery.]] But if anyone threatens [[TokenMiniMoe Chiyo]], or makes fun of her, that changes every thing. Sakaki goes into [[CoolBigSis 'protective big sister' mode]] and will defend Chiyo - be it from an incoming snowball, or some jerk mocking a 10 year old during a race.
* Fai of ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' usually keeps to the sidelines and teases Kurogane until he is pissed enough to tear their enemies a new one but when he does get out there you might wanna run.
* Mami in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion''. She was competent in the series, but never got to do anything really dramatic or impressive [[spoiler:[[TheWorldsExpertOnGettingKilled (besides getting killed by a witch three episodes in)]]]]. But in the movie, with no psychological issues holding her back... Homura, who makes the mistake of [[MamaBear messing with Bebe]], underestimates her. Despite Homura's trademark GameBreaker abilities--time-stopping and a near-limitless HyperspaceArsenal--Mami beats her handily. With ribbons. [[spoiler:A clone of herself made of ribbons, to be precise.]]
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