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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/askick_4701.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Not quite your standard [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi mook]].]]

->'''Jame:''' I'm not asking who'd win in a fight, I'm asking if the Czar outranks the mayor.\\
'''York:''' And you don't think those issues are related?
--> -- ''Webcomic/TerrorIsland''

''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The higher a character is in his hierarchy, the better he is in a fight.]] This goes double for non-protagonists.''

In the real world, soldiers are usually promoted for their leadership and management skills, not for their fighting prowess. If anything, senior ranking soldiers tend to be worse at fighting than the rank-and-file, because they are generally older, and they do not train as much because they are not expected to actually engage in combat. There are exceptions, but they usually don't put themselves InHarmsWay.

And yet, in many works of fiction, especially video games, the opposite is true. The higher someone's rank, the deadlier he is in personal combat. A sergeant can kick a grunt's ass. A captain can kick a sergeant's ass. A general can kick everybody's ass. The [[FinalBoss "boss fight"]] at the climax of a game will often be against the literal boss of the enemy army.

Common examples of this {{trope}} include GeneralRipper, ColonelBadass, the DiabolicalMastermind, the CorruptCorporateExecutive, [[TheEmperor The Evil Emperor]], TheEvilPrince and PresidentEvil. Among the good guys, the RebelliousPrincess benefits from this one enough to be a competent mage despite her sheltered life, and [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent President Action]] can bring a whole new meaning to "political armtwisting." The MadScientist is more likely to go OneWingedAngel, but he can still invoke this {{trope}} if he's got a large enough cadre of [[TwoBeingsOneBody mutants]], [[TheIgor henchmen]], and/or [[MechaMooks combat robots]] at his disposal. The EvilOverlord will ''always'' take advantage of this, sometimes via KingpinInHisGym. It is almost always the way of things with supernormal creatures like DemonLordsAndArchdevils.

In video games with named and PaletteSwap enemies, this trope sometimes results in the player fighting squadrons [[OutrankingYourJob consisting entirely of generals near the end of the game, with no lower-ranked units in sight.]]

The AlmightyJanitor is an [[InvertedTrope inversion]], who is far more powerful than his lowly rank would imply. The DeskJockey is a different [[InvertedTrope inversion]], who has been promoted out of the field into authority. Compare YouCanBarelyStand. See also LargeAndInCharge, IzchaksWrath, RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething, and FixedRelativeStrength. Sometimes a sister trope to RiskingTheKing.

Not to be confused with AsskickingEqualsAuthority, which happens when the strongest fighter is the guy in charge ''because'' he is the strongest fighter. Of course, the two can overlap.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The leaders and other high-ranking dogs are always among the strongest fighters in ''GingaNagareboshiGin''. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by this being how it tends to go in groups of wild animals in real life, too.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** [[TheLeader Every leader]] of anything is always stronger than all their subordinates. Even the seemingly frail criminal masterminds like Captain Kuro suddenly whip out amazing martial arts or devil fruit skills. The Marines are all more or less ranked in strength, with the generic guys at the bottom always as weak cannon-fodder and everyone at the top made of pure {{badass}}. The only exception to this rule usually comes in the form of {{anime}}-only filler arcs, like the [[Franchise/StarWars Jabba the Hutt]]-like Commodore Nelson who was so fat he could barely move.
** [=CP9=] arc shows two aversions of the trope. First, some of the most powerful government assassins in the world were led by a guy who was weaker than a common soldier. He's simply the one who hands out directives, and is cowardly and arrogant. He tried to make up for it with his [[EmpathicWeapon sword-elephant]], but Funkfreed didn't amount to much[[note]]And ended up being the one to bring him down anyway[[/note]]. On the opposite side there's Iceburg, mayor of Water 7 and owner of Galley-La. All his workers [[spoiler: even those not in the [=CP9=] agents]] are certified {{Badass}}es while Iceburg himself lacks fighting ability but is the best when it comes to building and repairing ships.
** Also a notable aversion is Buggy, at least with his current crew. At the end of the Marineford arc, he gains a crew filled with former Impel Down prisoners, ''each and every single one of them stronger than he is''. Though it is played straight with his original crew.
*** Though he's certainly no slouch in battle himself, even if not as much compared to other characters.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' uses this heavily.
** The Gotei 13 is supposed to be ranked according to capability - the higher the rank, the more {{Badass}} the shinigami becomes. Captains are NighInvulnerable, unranked foot soldiers are CannonFodder. It is possible to become a captain via KlingonPromotion, but that's most likely to happen in the [[BloodKnight 11th Division]] and with only two mentioned examples, how common it is even for them is unknown. Even then, these captains have to be good enough to retain that rank. Although this works for the most part, the ranks really only confirm a shinigami's minimum power level as there are a couple of shinigami [[AlmightyJanitor at least vice-captain level in ability]] despite not being ranked as vice-captain ([[BaldOfAwesome Ikkaku]] and [[TheDandy Yumichika]]).
** Hollows are also ranked according to power, with the {{Mooks}} the CannonFodder shinigami fight, and power increasing up to the Menos Grande class, which itself is split into three levels of power. The Gillians are the weakest Menos-class hollow, the Adjuchas are the mid-class and the Vasto Lordes are the most powerful, allegedly even stronger than captain-class shinigami. Somewhere into the Menos-class of hollows are slotted Aizen's Espada and Fraccion army. Espada are more powerful than both Privaron Espada (former espada) and Fraccion (servants or followers or companions of the current Espada). Some of the Espada may have been Vasto Lord-level (possibly Espada 1-4, but no real confirmations in the manga for it yet) prior to becoming Espada, some used to be Adjuchas-class, and one used to be Gillian-class (number 9, confirmed in manga) - it's hard to know what level the 10th [[spoiler: (and sometimes 0th)]] Espada used to be (he doesn't fit any of the classes perfectly, though an usual variant of Adjuchas seems most likely) except that he wasn't a Gillian.
* In ''Manga/AirGear'', the leader of any given team of Storm Riders is, with only one exception, the most capable of kicking ass.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Yami Yugi used to be a pharaoh and Kaiba was his High Priest. In the spin-off ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Jaden is a reincarnated king.
* ''SamuraiDeeperKyo'' also uses a military ranking within the Mibu Clan: while RedShirt cannon fodder are unranked, the protagonists have to fight the Five Planets (Goyosei), comparable to Captains, then the Taishirou (the Four Sages or Stars, who order the Goyosei around), comparable to Gods to the rest of the Mibu Clan, and truly possessing godlike powers, to finish with the former Red King, NighInvulnerable, possessing a power far beyond that of a Taishirou, and only remaining clan member to know the truth about the clan, making him a MagnificentBastard and OneWingedAngel. The twelve generals can also be found in this manga, each possessing power slightly under or on par with a Goyosei's, and although they were created by the Mibu, they were given as henchmen to the evil Oda Nobunaga, who is unsuspectingly controlled by the Mibu.
* ''MurderPrincess'' uses it fairly straight; the most powerful swordsman in the kingdom, possessing ImplausibleFencingPowers, and the ''only'' non-RedShirt member of the army? The crown-prince, of course... as a matter of fact, the only one who can match him blow for blow, is the titular Princess...
* In ''KiddyGrade'', [[spoiler:Eclipse]] is initially believed to be a mere high-ranked administrator and bureaucrat (except for a few hinting flashbacks) until about halfway through the last story arc, she is revealed to possess [[spoiler:G-class ES abilities on par with the [[LovelyAngels two lead girls]] of the series. And it's justified too; her ability is part of the reason ES members can effectively live forever.]]
* The {{Leader}} of Yamainu is the only one of them who lasts long enough against [[TookALevelInBadass Akasaka]] near the end of ''[[VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai]]'' for him to get serious and reveal his true {{badass}}itude. On the other hand, ''his'' boss is just a regular woman. She just bought him and his men out.
* [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in ''{{Hellsing}}''. While Integra is skilled with swords and guns, she's nowhere near as powerful as either of the [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire vampires]] [[KidWithTheLeash under her command]] or her BattleButler. Enrico Maxwell and [[strike: Montana Max]] the Major, despite commanding legions of ChurchMilitant soldiers and [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi]] [[{{Ghostapo}} vampires]] respectively, have little fighting ability at all. Especially the Major, who in one humorous scene is unable to shoot a person standing ''right in front of him'', and when he finally runs out of bullets just tells his underlings to kill the target for him.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** The Führer, King Bradley. Justified by the fact that [[spoiler:he's actually a homunculus with superpowers]]. Also Ling Yao and Mei Chan, children of the Emperor of Xing, are expert fighters, with Ling Yao taking on Bradley one handed while holding someone.
** And don't forget Olivia Milla Armstrong. Her troops' credo? "[[TheSocialDarwinist Survival of the fittest]]". While her group is probably the most badass people of all army, she tops all of them became the most [[FourStarBadass badass general]] from all of the generals in Central circle.
** All State Alchemists are given the Rank of Major, which is a pretty high rank, and given what they can do, it seems pretty fitting for it to be applied to all of them.
** And then it gets subverted. All of the chief government officials are pansies who get killed by mooks that patient, trained soldiers can handle.
** In King Bradley's case the above was true for [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]]. But in Brotherhood all [[spoiler:being a homunculus did for him was give him the ultimate eye]]. His skill, strength, and everything else that made him BadAss were things he worked to achieve.
** Ling Yao and Mei Chan are justified, in that the Xing Empire is obviously based on ancient Chinese kingdoms, in which the emperor and all potential heirs were required to be good at EVERYTHING in order to be a fair and well-balanced ruler. Ling Yao in particular has had assassination attempts made on him since a young age, making him learn all sorts of dirty tactics and fighting methods in order to survive, so this trope is justified.
* The Three Kings of Makai in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. Raizen, Mukuro, and Yomi control their own parts of Makai, along with vast armies of warriors, and major influence. Strength of the king is strength of the entire kingdom, meaning the kings are the only worthwhile fighters. It was explained at the end of the last season that a single S class fighter would be more then powerful enough to casually take over the Earth, and [[InformedAbility possibly destroy it]]. Same goes for the afterlife as well. Guess what, each of the Three Kings makes a normal S class look [[UptoEleven tame]] in comparison. No wonder S class fights never happened on Earth.
* Members of the royalty and nobility in ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'' are obligated to service in the Imperial Navy. The higher one's rank, the greater one's responsibility; members of the royalty are at the top of the scale with many decades of required service.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'':
** The anime subverts this trope and plays it straight. HumongousMecha pilots in Britannia are called knights and those identified are always some level of nobility. Also there is LadyOfWar Princess Cornelia. Subverted however in that the ace pilots of the series (Kallen and Suzaku) hold only moderate rank and are not commanders in any sense.
** It's most notably subverted with Zero himself. Lelouch is an above-average pilot (with average being {{Mooks}} and RedShirts), but he's [[SquishyWizard physically unimpressive]], and ultimately gets his ass kicked by anyone with a name. He turns down the Black Knight's first SuperPrototype, giving it to Kallen, [[LampshadeHanging noting]] he's the [[TheStrategist commander]] and she's the [[AcePilot expert]]. Even when he does pilot Knightmare Frames, he sticks to ones that focus on long-range bombardment because he knows he doesn't have the skills for close-range fighting. Of course, his long range Knightmares have '''really''' big guns, so their kills are roughly equivalent.
** Same goes for [[BigBad Charles]], who generally generally hangs out in the capital, while [[LadyOfWar Cornelia]] handles the actual fighting. And [[BigBad Schneizel]], who is an excellent commander, but never wields a gun (bar a single instance) or pilots a Knightmare Frame. On the other hand, even {{pacifist}} Euphemia can pilot a Knightmare, and in the DS game, is pretty decent at it, especially with one of the best weapons ever built by Britannia. [[spoiler: Sadly, she doesn't keep it once you recruit her.]]
* ''TrinityBlood'':You would think a mere Departmental Director would be a middle-aged-man-in-a-suit-with-a-gut type of character. However, if the department in question's the [[ChurchMilitant Department Of Inquisition]], and the director in question is Brother Petros, that'd be the last mistake you'd ever make.
* The Meister Otomes (of which the Five Pillars/Columns are a subset) in ''{{Mai-Otome}}'' are vastly more powerful than the Corals and Pearls underneath them, getting all of the powerful weapons and [[PoweredArmor Robes]] (and merchandise!). Such positions are usually held by heads of state or members of nobility. Natsuki, headmistress of Garderobe Academy, is also a Meister [[spoiler:and one of the Pillars]].
* Somewhat subverted in the Ruby & Sapphire chapter of ''Manga/PokemonSpecial''. While the eight element-master Gym Leaders of Hoenn form the "high council"-type organization that rules and protects the region, [[{{Leader}} the guy actually calling all the shots]] has never been shown to have any battle prowess - or, for that matter, to own any Pokémon. Although there is some confusion on whether the Champion and Elite Four of Hoenn have any political clout, if they are totally independent from the Pokémon Association and the Gym system, or if they are a kind of last-resort peacekeeping squad under the Association's order.
* ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'':
** Riot Force 6 operates on this trope, with their highest ranking officers being [[PersonOfMassDestruction Persons Of Mass Destruction]] that hover around the [[RankInflation S Rank]]. However, this trope completely collapses when the entire [[HeroesRUs Space-Time Administration Bureau]] is taken into consideration, since non-powered individuals such as Regius and [[spoiler:the founders of the Bureau]] are the ones in charge.
** See also: Lindy, captain of the Asura, is never shown fighting. But when she [[spoiler:unfurls her wings and holds a dimensional tremor at bay]], it lets her subordinates take care of that.
** Curren of Hückebein, [[TheLeader leader]] of the selfsame MageKiller BadassFamily. Shanking [[spoiler: Hayate]] InTheBack may not be impressive (to some), but {{Curb Stomp| Battle}}ing [[spoiler: Vita and Erio]] in a straight fight without even [[SuperMode Reacting]] is an undeniable show of prowess.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** [[{{Leader}} Lordgenome]] manages to give a sound thrashing to and nearly defeats the heroes, something which almost none of his underlings came close to. When his mech Lazengann is ruined, he [[spoiler:climbs out and beats Lagann with his bare hands, eventually ripping the arms off.]] One of his direct underlings, Thymilph who is himself (itself?) a leader of many, [[spoiler:fatally wounds Kamina]]. The [[spoiler:Anti-Spiral King]] is the one who has a mech large and powerful enough to fight the heroes' final form ridiculously huge mech equally.
** Deconstructed in the post-TimeSkip human government. The officials are primarily old Team Dai-Gurren members, who showed their ability at asskicking in the war, but when it comes to governance they're generally incompetent. Simon in particular hates the job, the political crap, and would rather be back piloting Gurren Lagann. Rossiu is the only one who seems to thrive in the new order, he's actually good at politics and getting his policies implemented. The trouble is, those policies almost lead to disaster (see AlternateCharacterInterpretation for why). So the best asskickers got the highest authority, but proved to be totally unable to handle it.
* Averted in ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'': Mithril is led by military officers who let the privates and [=NCOs=] do all the fighting, like in real-life armies. [[spoiler:Amalgam is a straighter example, as only people higher up in the ranks get to drive around in Lambda-driver-equipped Codarls -- and the true masterminds have even better ones.]]
* ''GiantRobo'':
** Both played straight and averted. The heads of the IPO and Big Fire that we see are all enormous badasses, boasting power beyond any of their underlings. However in an ironic twist they are all eventually handed their asses by two characters both less powerful and lower ranked than them, and who turn out to be the real Big Bad's. (A lot can be said for having a bigger gun than everyone else).
** Also played straight when we meet [[spoiler:Big Fire himself, the true leader of the organization which shares his name. The mere ''sight'' of him is enough to fill his generals with absolute, paralyzing terror; no small feat considering that most of them are strong enough to decimate armies single handedly.]]
* The [[ChurchMilitant exorcists]] in ''Manga/DGrayMan'' are led by generals who earn their ranks by [[EmpathicWeapon achieving a certain level of synchronization with their Innocence]]. Outside of the generals, however, the exorcists are not ranked by power, and there are also plenty of technical and ecclesiastical personnel with authority but no fighting ability.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'' is all over the place with this one.
** On the one hand, Freeza fits this to a T. But then, Emperor Pilaf, Commander Red, Dr. Gero, and Babidi are all aversions to this trope (with the latter 3 being killed off by their [[DragonInChief most capable underlings]]. Piccolo and Vegeta are interesting takes. When Piccolo was the "Great Demon King" (and for a little bit after) he was roughly comparable to the protagonist, Goku. Ditto Vegeta during his starkly evil "Prince of Saiyans" phase. But the further assimilated into the hero roster they became, the further from their heritage and titles they got, and the further behind our hero they fell. Piccolo, of course, has a shining moment where he is the strongest fighter present... AFTER FUSING WITH GOD. Vegeta, likewise, recaptures some former glory by magically reinstating his old Saiyan Prince persona.
** In ''WebVideo/DragonBallAbridged'', Vegeta tries to invoke this trope in a moment of sheer frustration.
--->'''Vegeta:''' I'm the prince! I'm supposed to be the best by default!
** Vegeta ''constantly'' invokes this trope, at least in the manga. Whereas Piccolo doesn't seem that bothered with being relegated back, Vegeta is completely obsessed with the fact that as a Prince he should be more powerful than Goku. There's literally nothing he doesn't try to become more powerful than Goku (including ''selling off his soul and willfully condemning himself to Hell''. It's only in the fight against Kid Buu, a few pages before the end, that he finally admits that Goku really is better than him.
** While Piccolo doesn't seem to mind his decline as he becomes more comfortable with heroics, it should be noted that any time he does wish to stand out he has a tendency to invoke his former title (and, thus, this trope) while doing so.
** The gods of the show don't fair much better. Both Kami, the guardian of Earth, and King Yemma, the judge of the dead, are stronger than Goku when they're first introduced, but he quickly surpasses both of them. Same applies for King Kai, the god of a quarter of the universe. In the anime, the Grand Kai, the god of the Milky Way galaxy, seems to be vastly superior to Goku when he's first introduced, but Goku surpasses him off screen within the span of a few episodes. When Supreme Kai, the god of the whole flippin' universe, is introduced, Goku and many of his cohorts are already superior to him.
** The Grand Kai is the superior to all the "lower" Kais. By the time Goku went to his planet, he was ''already'' stronger than the Grand Kai, he just didn't let this on (although he did say he's been out of practice for three centuries) The Supreme Kai point still stands. Turns out being capable of killing Freeza with a single blow [[SoLastSeason is no longer enough by his introduction]].
** Then there's the Southern Supreme Kai, who's actually stronger than Goku ever canonically got given that he was able to fight evenly with Majin Buu. Too bad Buu surprised and ate him. Also somewhat of an aversion, as he's not the highest ranked of the Kais; that honor goes to the Grand Supreme Kai.
* ''{{Utawarerumono}}'' is a source of both good examples and aversions. The protagonist and emperor Hakuoro is a badass fighter who can also [[spoiler:turn into a giant monster]]. Samurai General Benawi is likewise among the best fighters in the series. Kuya, ruler of Kunnekamun, is a little girl with an unstoppable HumongousMecha. However, the first emperor killed by Hakuoro ([[spoiler:by Benawi actually]]) was a pathetic coward with no means of self-defense.
* ''NajicaBlitzTactics'' generally averts this - most of the time, Najica's target and main opponent is someone's [[TheDragon Dragon]] - a [[ArtificialHuman Humaritt]] - while their 'masters' are utterly helpless in a fight. However, at the very end, they play it straight with a rare MadScientist example - Dr. Ren, creator of the Humaritts, displays superhuman physical strength, and goes GunsAkimbo with [[BlingBlingBang Golden Handguns]]! Okay, so maybe she's not on the same level as her KillSat-controlling, [[GatlingGood Gatling-gun]]-wielding [[TheDragon Dragon]]... or is she?
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zigzagged]] in the ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' universe.
** It's rather unclear and somewhat self-contradictory whether becoming a Kage of one of the five great ninja villages is supposed to be based on one's [[{{Leader}} fitness to lead]] or one's relative strength. At the very least, character does matter; Orochimaru, despite his immense abilities, was disqualified from becoming the Fourth Hokage because the Third (correctly) felt that he was too power-hungry. It also doesn't hurt if the candidate is a relative and/or student of the previous Kage, since at least the daimyos seem to consider tradition to be incredibly important.
** The principle of having the leader be the biggest badass also seems to hold for minor villages, samurai nations, and any other ninja-run organization; Hidden Rain's leader, Hanzo, was so powerful that the [[BadassCrew Sannin]] became famous for (among other things) merely surviving a fight against him.
* None of the civilian mermaids we see in ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' ever even get to fight, only the princesses.
* The manga version of ''ChronoCrusade'' both subverts this trope and plays it straight. Duke Daffau is the {{Leader}} of the Pursuers (something like a demon military, police and FBI all in one), and renowned for being a powerful fighter--as Chrono says, "The best of the best!" But although he is shown to be very powerful, he's bested by another fighter (albeit partially because of superior tactics), the leader of the [[DefectorFromDecadence Sinners]], [[BigBad Aion]]. There's quite a bit of evidence that Aion is the most powerful demon out there (although Chrono is close, if not equal, in power). There's also a lot of talk of demons having "ranks", which heavily is implied to be both their place on the hierarchy ''and'' how powerful they are--basically, demons have a higher position in their government and society when they're more powerful fighters.
* The Shogun, aka [[spoiler:Masaomi Kida]] in ''{{Durarara}}'' exemplifies this trope in bad way.
-->If there was a major flaw in [[spoiler:Horada]]'s plan, it would have been that he had completely underestimated the Shogun. He had dismissed the Shogun as an opportunist leader. But even if that was the case, the Yellow Scarves would still have had gathered around the Shogun for a reason - he was a strong fighter. [[OneManArmy He had probably taken on several gangs single-handedly by now]].
* ''Manga/BlackJack 21'' featured a particularly inexplicable example - a woman who had previously appeared to be nothing more than a trophy-wife with a pretty face, suddenly turned into a crack shot, hitting several small, remote targets with a handgun, under highly unfavorable circumstances. There's no indication that she ever had any combat- or firearms-training, but she DID just take over her father's AncientConspiracy Organization, so...
* Reinhard von Lohengramm of ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' always fights at the frontlines despite being the most important person in the universe. This happens out of his own conviction, but it's also a reason why he's such an [[{{Leader}} incredibly popular leader]]: He doesn't hide behind his soldiers while giving out hypocritical speeches about the need of sacrifices.
* Dark Oak, the leader of the Meterex in season 3 of SonicX. The guy managed to beat SUPER SONIC in a fight. Curiously, he doesn't really do anything else.
* [[Anime/AngelBeats Yurippe]], the leader of [[LaResistance SSS]], is one of the most competent fighter in the series. Same goes for StudentCouncilPresident and the vice president, Angel and Naoi, who is more or less NighInvulnerable [[TheJuggernaut killing machine]] and a GunsAkimbo sharp shooter, respectively.
* In ''BurnUp Scramble'', the Director spends most of the series as MissionControl for the Team Warrior AmazonBrigade. When she actually comes out to fight, [[spoiler: she spends most of it handing the girls their asses]].
* The third season of ''ShakuganNoShana'' shows us what many of the leaders can do once they get serious.
* In ''Manga/MedakaBox'', Medaka is the president of the 99th Student Council and one of the most powerful characters in the series. [[spoiler:Inverted by the 100th Student Council. Student Council president Zenkichi claims he is the ''weakest'' member of the council. The General Secretary is the strongest one.]]
* This trope varies in ''Manga/BlackLagoon''. On the one hand, you have characters such as Mr. Chang, Dutch, and Balalaika who are the heads of their groups, and are certainly in the upper echelons of the series lethality tiers. On the other hand, the Colombian Cartel and Sicilian Mafia heads are basically mere mooks, and lower level characters such as Robert and Fabiola (Maids) and Ginji (street vendor) are more than capable of taking out multiple mooks by themselves.
* In ''PandoraHearts'', [[ResearchInc the titular organization Pandora]] subverts this since, even though members of [[BlueBlood the four most influential Dukedoms]] are the only ones allowed to contract the Black Winged Birds (who are some of the most powerful [[OurMonstersAreDifferent Chains]] in existence), [[NonActionGuy Duke Oscar Vessalius]] is not a contractor and still well-respected. [[BadassFamily The Baskervilles]], however, play this straight: [[spoiler: before [[CataclysmBackstory the Tragedy of Sablier]], they were the only ones allowed to contract Chains, and their master Glen Baskerville was to contract ''all five Black Winged Birds'' before he could get his status of leader.]]
* ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'': Kuyou, the then-head of Yokai Academy's [[DirtyCop corrupt Student Police]], was able to outmatch Inner Moka and defeat her with relative ease. Keep in mind that, up until that point, Inner Moka was a borderline InvincibleHero who was essentially [[TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin guaranteed]] to [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomp]] the MonsterOfTheWeek in at most a minute.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Board Games]]
* The board-game ''{{Stratego}}'' exemplifies this, as applied to an army: When two pieces meet, the highest-ranking piece wins. The Field-Marshal is basically unstoppable, unless he runs into [[TheMole The Spy]]... or steps on a [[DeathTrap mine]], of course. The Field-Marshal can only be killed 3 ways: Attacking another Field-Marshal (draw, both die), ''DEFENDING'' against a spy (Spy wins - it's the only time that the spy can attack someone and NOT die), or encountering a mine (obvious). Suffice it to say, if the Field-Marshal attacks a piece, the piece it attacks WILL be removed guaranteed.
* Both subverted and played straight in chess: The King, the most important piece on the board, is capable of little more than the pawn, but the Queen ([[TheManBehindTheMan The Woman Behind The Man]], as it were) is the most powerful piece on the board. In older versions the Queen was even more useless than the King. She could only move one space and only DIAGONALLY. When they gave the Queen unlimited distance in all directions they called it "Madness Chess" because the woman was most powerful.
* In Yaquinto's ''{{Beachhead}}'', a single Japanese commander has four times the firepower of a 10-man squad.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In superhero comic books, a surprising number of superheroes and supervillains are also heads of state. SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom, the ComicBook/BlackPanther, [[ComicBook/TheInhumans Black Bolt]], [[ComicBook/SubMariner Namor]], Lilandra, ComicBook/{{Aquaman}}...
* Marvel's [[TheKingpin Kingpin]] is, on the surface, a tremendously fat man with a head for crime and a mean streak wider than he is. But he's also the {{Leader}} of TheSyndicate, and a DiabolicalMastermind besides, so he's got heavy-duty {{Charles Atlas Superpower}}s - enough to take out low-level heroes (and a room full of ninjas) in hand-to-hand combat; he could crush his nemesis Daredevil with his bare hands. Note that he does, in fact, work out, and some incarnations interpret his portly frame as being solid ''muscle''.
* In a similar vein, SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor always keeps himself in excellent physical condition, and can at least competently spar with heroes without super-strength. These days, anyway. When first introduced, and right through the Golden and Silver Ages up until he came up with his first purple-and-green combat outfit, Luthor was overweight. Similarly, in his initial post-Crisis appearances, Lex was suffering the ravages of an over-lavish lifestyle. In both cases, after having his backside repeatedly kicked (literally and figuratively) by Franchise/{{Superman}}, he wised up and shaped up. It helped that he got a young, cloned body after his first one got cancer from Kryptonite exposure, which he saw as a second chance to stay in shape.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica:
** In one issue, Cap is sent to a German concentration camp run by an SS Colonel nicknamed "The Butcher", a man missing half his face due to an encounter with a bear when he was thirteen - an encounter which ended with him ''breaking the bear's neck''. He even gives ol' Cap a good run for his money.
** Oddly enough, Cap averts this. While he has a special ranking in the US military and is probably the strongest and most experienced soldier (to say nothing of the most skilled) in the military, he is still outranked by many military leaders.
** Played... extremely bizarrely in one ComicBook/CaptainAmerica storyline, in which Cap takes on Reagan. Of course, Reagan has been turned into a lizard-monster.
* Tsar Alexander III in ''ComicBook/AssassinsCreedTheFall'' manages to [[CurbstompBattle utterly annihilate]] Nikolai Orelov with very little trouble. By the way, Nikolai is a master assassin. See RealLife down below.
* Funnily enough, inverted with ''ComicBook/TheAuthority''. Kicking as much ass as they do (and from an inter-dimensional spaceship, no less) [[ComesGreatResponsibility puts them in a position of great power]], and makes the ''actual'' authorities very twitchy. Given that the team will not hesitate to snuff corrupt officials if it makes the world a better place, you can't blame them.
* ComicBook/NickFury could kick serious ass back when he led the Howling Commandos, and he hasn't lost his touch at all now that he leads ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}.
* Played up to an absurd degree in the backstories of the ''GIJoe'' comic book cast, which favorably compares each of the heroic fictional officers who'd go charging first into battle and prove their authority with asskicking to the pansy sort of military officers who'd just sit back and draw up battle plans (even if that's a far more realistic and sensible use of their skills).
* [[ComicBook/TheNewGods Darkseid]] doesn't rule over Apokolips because of charisma, he rules because he's the strongest and most evil god on a planet brimming with powerful, evil gods. Even disregarding his Omega Beams, he has the physical strength to put down pretty much anyone who may dare rise against him. And when Darkseid's father Yuga Khan briefly returned from his imprisonment in the Source Wall, the latter [[TheWorfEffect quickly overthrew his son]], thus upholding the trope. This is shown perfectly in the penultimate episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited''. {{Darkseid}} was killed three seasons before and Apokolips is in the middle of a CivilWar for who will take his place. After getting resurrected, he returns to Apokolips in the middle of a battlefield, halting the war completely. Usually, on a planet full of [[TheStarscream starscreams]] and after being dead for a few years, you would think that someone would try to rebel. In this case however, Darkseid doesn't even have to say anything. He just stands there and everyone immediately bows down to him. Darkseid Is indeed.
* Also true for Odin, father of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]] and ruler of Asgard who up until his death was always ready to show exactly why he held that position whenever a challenge arose that his son could not defeat.
* In the generally disappointing, plot hole-ridden ''Nightcat'', heiress/drug lord/real estate tycoon Amanda Gideon turns out to be a better fighter than four ninjas (whom the heroine beats without breaking a sweat) or her bodyguard, [[TheDragon Mr. Krak]]. Also, she fights in what appears to be her underwear [[FanService for some reason]].
* In ''ComicBook/IronMan'', Tony Stark runs a multi-billion dollar company, and personally snuffs out bad guys with [[PoweredArmor his suit]].
* In the ''PlanetHulk'' story arc, the planet Sakaar is ruled by The Red King, considered the strongest being on the planet due to his use of PowerArmor. He's eventually [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority deposed and replaced by the Hulk.]]
* In ''ComicBook/ThroneOfAtlantis'', [[BigBad Ocean Master]] is the king of Atlantis and is a force to be reckoned with. Having equipment that allows him to control [[MakingASplash the seas]] and [[ShockAndAwe the storms]] also helps. [[spoiler:Aquaman becomes king when he fights his brother until he yields]].
* Justified in ''ComicBook/{{Nova}}'', where being higher-ranked in the Nova Corps means one has access to more of the Nova Force's power.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/TheThreeKingsHunt'' the Three Kings were the most powerful mages of their era and were also the rulers of Egypt. In the current era it's hinted that not only are they very powerful [[spoiler: to the point of stopping the genocide against the mages]] but that eventually they're going to be in charge of the mages.
* In [[Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak Prison Island Break]] Vector is at the top of a criminal empire and he's just as dangerous if not more so as his subordinates. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] because he had to climb his way to the top, he wouldn't be in that position if he wasn't {{Badass}}.
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** There's Celestia and Luna, as always, who in this setting are {{Physical God}}desses with tremendous power. However, we find out they're only two out of a large group of Alicorns (though they're the only ones who rule ponies directly) and later meet ''their'' {{Big Good}}s, Their Parents, the Father of All Alicorns and Fauna Luster, who are described as being so powerful that they're not even capable of manifesting directly in the mortal plain (though they can use Avatars). Discord also turns out to be one of a group of Draconequi (though he's the only one who's actually evil and the strongest) who answer to their own [[TopGod Elders]], Havoc and Entropy, who are on the same level as the Alicorn Elders. Havoc himself entered a war between the two groups using an Avatar with only a faction of his power, that was ''still'' far stronger than [[RealityWarper Discord is]]!
** There's also Queen Tiamat, the ruler of the Dragons and what seems to be their patron Goddess. When the Dragons were considering quitting the Dragon-Hooviet War due to taking too many losses, Tiamat herself stepped in and {{Curbstomp|Battle}}ed the ''entire'' Hooviet army, leaving half the country burning ruin and willingly stopping just short of burning their capital to the ground. It should be noted that she did this [[MamaBear because she considers all Dragonkind her treasure]] and was supremely ticked off at what the Hooviets had done.
** Shining Armor qualifies, being a very powerful when it comes to his shield magic (though he's a ''horrible'' shot). Same can be said for Master Chief Spartan (the leader of the Air Naval Calvary of Cadence's guard), who went on a FoeTossingCharge during a fight with the Hooviets.
** [[BigBad General-Admiral Makarov]], the Supreme Marshal of the Imperial Armed Forces for the Hooviets and second in command of the Hooviet Empire (officially, in actually his superiors are pretty much {{Puppet King}}s to him). He's also a SuperSoldier with tremendous magical power and nearly [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown beat Shining to death during their first fight]]. [[spoiler:Justified, as he's actually [[HumanoidAbomination Equineoid Abomination]] the Hooviets accidentally let loose from [[SealedEvilInACan Pandora's Box]].]]
* In the ''Manga/MedakaBox'' fanfic ''Fanfic/WorldAsMyth'', ''every'' committee chair, captain, and vice-captain introduced is able to hold their own in a fight. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for the athletic club leaders. [[WorldOfBadass Less so for everyone else.]]

* Played with to an extent in the crossover story, ''FanFic/TheBridge''. On the Equestria side, the ruling alicorns (particularly Luna and Celestia); are a good deal stronger than a vast majority of their world's inhabitants and leagues ahead of most ponies. On the kaiju side however it's a bit more debatable. Leader of the more benign kaiju and titled ''King of the Monsters'' by humans, the grown up Godzilla Junior is certainly a powerhouse. However, some in his faction do exceed him in a few categories (i.e. Mothra [[BeamSpam has better ranged attacks]] and Anguirus [[MadeOfIron is more durable]]), but he's a better [[JackOfAllTrades all around]] fighter and probably is the strongest in their ranks.

* The trope is subverted in supercrossover military fanfiction series, ''FanFic/TheTerminatorsArmyOfLegend'', as [[PresidentEvil President Barry Mabao]], the driving voice behind the ''Maxia'' Regime and the Second American Civil War, was brought down in seconds compared to his [[CoDragons generals]], supersoldiers General "Necro", General Mason, and the "Shade King".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'':
** Shan Yu and his council are the only Huns Badass enough to come popping out of the snow! Like daisies!
** During the climactic fight, Shan Yu does things like chopping through columns and bursting through roofs.
* Skipper, the penguin leader in ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'', pulls off some of their most crazy stunts himself.
* Jack Skellington in ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' is [[{{Leader}} King of the Pumpkin Patch]], and thus more than a match for Oogy Boogy, even in the seat of his trap-infested powerbase.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}'':
** Ronin is the queen's highest-ranked soldier, and the most powerful Leafman in the movie.
** Mandrake is the leader of the Boggans, and also the most powerful.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'' includes a scene in which Creator/RobertRedford participates in a dangerous river crossing. Even though he is a Major, he does a great deal of the asskicking personally. In later interviews, Redford would point out that his character would have been directing the maneuver, and would have only actually fired his weapon in an emergency.
* In ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'', [[TheDragon Brandt]] fails to live up to his BadassLongcoat despite fighting Preston to a standstill in an earlier training match. By contrast, [[spoiler:Vice-Counsel [=DuPont=]]], the real leader of Libria, is a bureaucrat who seems harmless without his complement of bodyguards... but actually has GunKata skills almost on par with Preston himself and the ensuing final duel lasts longer than most of Preston's skirmishes with the FacelessGoons. Then again, there was foreshadowing in that [[spoiler:[=DuPont=] is earlier glimpsed ''teaching'' a class of gun-kata students.]]
* In ''Film/RikiOhTheStoryOfRicky'', the toughest opponent Riki fights in the prison is the warden because as everyone knows "The warden of any prison has to be the very best in kung-fu".
* In the ''Film/{{Ultraviolet}}'' film, also directed by Kurt Wimmer, the government's leader [[spoiler:Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus]] is the hero's most physically dangerous adversary. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] or {{handwave}}d by the fact that [[spoiler:he was one of the original lab technicians researching and infected by the [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hemophage virus]] and used the abilities it granted him to aid his rise to power.]]
* The movie ''Film/AirForceOne'', [[JustifiedTrope justified]] or {{handwave}}d by the fact that [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent the President was a member of the military]] with an exceptional record. Being played by [[Franchise/IndianaJones Harrison]] [[Franchise/StarWars Ford]] doesn't hurt, either.
* Yoda in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' and ''any'' of his appearances that chronologically take place after that. There's a reason why he is called the Master. Mace Windu too, to a lesser extent.
* Apparently being Secretary of Defense in the live-action ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie provided enough BadAss to try blowing away an alien robot with a shotgun.
* In ''Film/ShaPoLang'', the Triad boss Wong Po turns out to be even faster and tougher than TheDragon, his personal assassin Jack. Not only can he throw down with the main character, who can literally ''punch people stupid'', and take him and two of his partners at the same time, but he can [[spoiler:survive getting over-the-head body-slammed into a giant tower of beer bottles and drinking glasses and then stand up a minute later to throw the hero out the window]]. Of course, the guy's played by Sammo Hung, who is known for his kick-ass action roles in the Hong Kong scene.
* Played for laughs in ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}''. The President of the USA is a hulking pro-wrestler with a fondness for automatic weapons.
* Seen in the finale of ''[[Film/XXx xXx: State of the Union]]'', where after easily subduing in hand-to-hand combat a few dozen marines, a couple squads of EliteMooks, and a TheDragon Navy SEAL, the hero finds himself being outmatched by the 60 year old Secretary of Defense.
* In ''Film/MenInBlack 2'', [=MiB=] leader Zed, despite being a 70 year old administrator, nevertheless manages to deliver a rapid series of improbable flying kicks to the face of the main villain.
* Subverted in the climax of the film ''Film/{{Wanted}}''. Although [[spoiler: Sloan]] is briefly shown to have the same superpowers as the other master assassins, he's too smart to actually confront the hero directly in a fair fight (the hero, for his part, is also too smart to fight fair).
* In ''Film/CurseOfTheGoldenFlower'', the Emperor > you. Both in kung fu and {{magnificent bastard}}ry.
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', Batman utterly owns everyone he fights pretty much instantly, including (leading up to the final fight) 4 ninjas in full body armor who presumably have the same training and skills as he does. However, Ra's al-Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows and Batman's BrokenPedestal mentor, is able to match Batman blow-for-blow and ultimately "wins" the fight, despite Batman wearing a high-tech suit of hardened combat armor, and Ra's [[BadassInANiceSuit wearing what's essentially very nice formal wear]].
* ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'':
** The film ends with Film/JamesBond and [[spoiler:Dominic Greene battling on a collapsing catwalk inside an exploding building which is also ''on fire'']]. Greene doesn't exactly do ''well'', but he puts up a much longer and involving fight than you'd expect a 5-foot tall, physically unimpressive corporate suit to do so against the world's most famous British murder machine, especially considering how Bond dispatches mean-looking, highly-trained professional killers ''much'' more quickly on several occasions earlier in the film.
** M also counts. We never see him/her fight, but (s)he being the head of MI6 means (s)he is the only one Bond ever listens to, and Judi Dench's character was the only one who Bond actually listens when she tells him she'll have him kiled if he reveals anything about the origin of her codename.
* General Miura from ''IpMan'' throws down with three guys in his first appearance and takes them down without much fuss. Ultimately he is the only one who actually manages to land real hits on our hero.
* In ''Film/{{Scanners}}'', Revok is not only the leader of the evil scanner underground, but also one of the two most powerful scanners in the world - which is, of course, how he started the underground in the first place.
* At the climax of ''Film/{{Cliffhanger}}'', effete villain John Lithgow (!) proves to be a match for musclebound Sly Stallone.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** In addition to the times the source material uses this trope, the fight with the Uruk-hai at the end of ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' shows the Fellowship effortlessly mowing down the Uruks, until the [[{{Leader}} orc chief Lurtz]] shows up. Lurtz fatally wounds Boromir with his arrows, and he's only defeated after a drawn out, one-on-one fight with Aragorn, King of Gondor. Of course, Lurtz also had the InverseNinjaLaw on his side.
** Legolas is an elven prince. He also [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome quite memorably]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=132WIdxvgdo brings down an Oliphaunt singlehandedly]].
* Played painfully straight in ''Film/RedSonja''. Nowhere in the preceding scenes did the Evil Queen show any kind of martial skill, but when she and Sonja face off, it's a battle royale, apparently just because the film needed a cathartic climactic final fight.
* In ''FistOfLegend'', the Japanese general is an incredibly powerful martial artist.
* In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' [[ColonelBadass Colonel Quaritch]] has his dropship severely damaged when [[spoiler:Jake Sully]] throws a missile into a turbine. Despite this, and having his shoulder on fire, he climbs into a mech as the dropship spirals out of control, pats out the flames, and jumps out of the dropship to land safely as it crashes in a hulking flaming mass behind him. Half of this he does while holding his breath. Earlier in the film, he kicks open a door without an oxygen mask and unloads an assault rifle and a pistol into an escaping gunship. And finally, in the final battle he fights hand to hand (albeit in a mech) with two Na'Vi and one palulukan, and again a portion of this is done holding his breath.
* Frank D'Amico in the climax of ''Film/KickAss'', as foreshadowed by earlier scenes of him practicing martial arts, although he also has a couple of factors tipping the balance in his favor, such as the fact that he's, you know, fighting a ten-year-old girl. Hit Girl previously mows down his Mooks by the dozen in a firefight, but she runs out of ammo by the time she faces D'Amico and is forced to resort to kung-fu fighting him, getting completely thrashed in the ensuing fight.
* The main villain is the only one in ''Film/TheTransporter'' to test the hero in a one-on-one fight. And he's even nicknamed "Wall Street", making it seem like he's just a corporate suit. So, for the final fight, both fight without their suits.
* In ''Film/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'', Metalbeak and Nyra are able to hold their own in battle, and will fight alongside their armies.
* The Emperor from ''Film/TheMummyTombOfTheDragonEmperor'' was a prodigy in every skill, surpassing all his teachers in [[ElementalPowers elemental magic]], martial arts, military strategy and pretty much everything else. How he lost to Brendan Frasier and co is a mystery.
* In the 1989 film of ''HenryV'', as in the original play, King Henry leads his men into battle at Harfleur and Agincourt. In the film, Henry is shown at Agincourt kicking all kinds of French ass.
* ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers2011'' briefly shows [[MagnificentBastard Cardinal Richelieu]] sparring with three {{Mook}}s at once. Possibly partly RealLife, since he received a military training before becoming a priest, and was still known as a good rider and fencer twenty years later.
* ''Film/ResidentEvil'' film series places badass Albert Wesker as the chairman of Umbrella Corp, thus implying that he was given his superhuman abilities at his own order.
* In Polanski's adaptation of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' the eponymous character just destroys a bunch of mooks trying to kill him.
* ''Film/TheAvengers'':
** Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD, jumps out of an out-of-control helicopter and shoots down a plane carrying a nuclear warhead with an unguided grenade launcher, among other things. His subordinates are not nearly as impressive, with some exceptions of course.
** Likewise, when [[CaptainAmerica Steve]] orders police officers to get people to safety and set up a perimeter, they initially question why they should be taking orders from him... until he quickly disposes of some attackers right in front of them.
* General Hawk from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
* [[spoiler:Aldrich Killian]] in ''Film/IronMan3'' is the most dangerous foe to the titular character, despite the fact that most of his {{Mook}}s are veteran soldiers who have been enhanced by the Extremis SuperSerum, while he himself was [[spoiler:a cripple until recently]]. Despite this, he survives what some of his Mooks don't. He can also [[spoiler:[[BreathWeapon breathe fire]]]].
* The French General Delatombe in ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'' spends most of the film sitting around. However, when necessary, he shows that he handles a sword ''very'' well for an old man and nearly dispatches one of the brothers. His aide-de-camp is also pretty good, despite not looking it.
* In ''Film/TheWolverine'', Shingen is by far the best swordsman out of the entire Yashida Clan, [[spoiler:with the possible exception of his father.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Literature/ReturnOfTheReaper we have both the Reaper and [[spoiler: the Doomed King]].
* Played straight with Visser Three in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''.
* Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' and ''TheSilmarillion'':
** Mostly played straight with the Valar and Maiar and Númenórean, Elven and Dwarven kings and other leaders. However, there is also a memorable subversion: [[EvilOverlord Melkor/Morgoth]] was considered the highest and overall most powerful of the Valar, and Manwë, the Valars' leader after Morgoth went renegade, second to him - but Tulkas, who was not really good at anything except fighting (and feasting) was the only one who could kick Morgoth's ass.
** Morgoth was the greatest of the Valar, and Tulkas came to Arda afterward solely in order to help her other Valar against him. The other Valar combined could defeat Morgoth and drive him away, but not capture him; meanwhile Tulkas was Arda's version of Hercules, and could wrestle Morgoth into submission.
** At one point in ''TheSilmarillion'', one of the last elven princes from the second generation of elves decides he's had it with Morgoth and rides forth to call the devil out. He loses the fight, due to tripping, but Morgoth takes such a beating (leaving [[ScarsAreForever scars]]) in the process that he never leaves his home again, till the Valar come to drag him out in chains.
** Elven-kings were the most powerful of all the Elves; after all, Elves were immortal, and the kings were the strongest and wisest-- particularly the Eldest ones. Also, Morgoth was very much weakened due to his obsession with material things. Elves were ''not'' created equal.
** In ''Lord of the Rings'', those in highest authority are also the greatest warriors. Aragorn is the best human warrior alive, but still he's nothing like Elendil who was almost 8 feet tall, and able (with Gil-Galad's help) to wrestle with Sauron to the death at the end of the War of Last Alliance; likewise, Isildur was over 7 feet tall, and so terrifying that the orcs fled from him even after shooting him dead. Boromir was also the hardiest warrior in Gondor, being Prince of Minas Tirith, and Faramir was a close second. Even Denethor was a fell warrior, greater than his own knights-- as was King Théoden, in the Battles of Helm's Deep and the Pelennor Fields. (Tolkien wrote elsewhere that leaders should fight in their own battles; meanwhile Denethor was a subversion of this, as he advocating that "wise" leaders use others to do their fighting for them).
** The toughest orc is always in charge, and maintains his place by this ability. This is asskicking equals authority, but it also means you always know which orc you need to watch out for.
* The moredhel ([[OurElvesAreBetter dark elves]]) of ''TheRiftwarCycle'' are tribal, war-like and live in a harsh, cold and barren land. A moredhel isn't considered an adult until they're a hundred years old, and they usually need to live another hundred before they're eligible for the position of clan chieftain - all while surviving in the cold amidst constant bloodshed and starvation, mind you. Thus, if you ever run into a moredhel chieftain, you better believe they're damn hard to kill.
* Played straight, subverted and double subverted in the {{Redwall}} novels - at least with the good guys. With [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy otters, shrews and other warrior bands, the Skipper or Log-A-Log is mostly the toughest guy around. This is definitely the case with all Salamandastron badgers, even the pacifist Russano.]] The Redwall Abbot or Abbess, by contrast, is usually the wisest and kindest person there rather than the most ferocious, though double subversions are in place as even the cutest Redwall leader has been known to get primeval if their Abbey is in danger. Case in point - Lycian in ''High Rhulain''. One minute peacefully sipping tea, the next minute spotting an attacking vermin and smashing him over the head with the teapot, which is full of scalding tea. The vermin are mostly AsskickingEqualsAuthority, but as with the orcs example above, it means that if a vermin is leading a band, nine times out of ten it means he or she could beat all the others in battle. If not, expect that situation to be remedied during the book.
* Justified in ''Literature/TheFirebringerTrilogy'', as the prince/princess of the unicorn herd is also their warleader in times of war (and they have considered themselves at war for over four hundred years).
* Subverted in the ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' series, in which it is noted that Petty Officers could be Drill Sergeant Nasties, but that would be beneath Hornblower's dignity as an officer as well as above his physical capacity. Hornblower got into much more tough physical confrontations as a midshipman and lieutenant than he did as a commander.
* Creator/CSLewis' ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia:''
** ''Prince Caspian'':
*** Peter's one-on-one sword fight with King Miraz lasts much longer than his fight with Lord Sopesian immediately afterward.
*** Earlier in the book, Edmund defeats Trumpkin the dwarf, a seasoned fighter, in a swordfight. While Edmund's intention may simply be to persuade Trumpkin that he (and, by extension, his older brother) are valuable allies to have during a war, the ultimate effect of Edmund's victory, and Susan's similar victory in an archery contest, is to convince Trumpkin that they are in fact the kings and queens of legend.
*** AuthorityEqualsAsskicking even is in effect when the main characters are children. Trumpkin's confusion stems in part from the fact that Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Susan returned as they were in England, as schoolchildren, and had lost much of their skill and ability. It returns to them slowly due to the "Narnian air."
** In ''The Magician's Nephew'', Jadis treats with contempt the notion that Uncle Andrew could be anything but a king: commoners are never magicians. This could be AsskickingEqualsAuthority, in view of her ruthless use of magic for power, but she treats it as this trope.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and leader of the Order of the Phoenix, is the only one who could kick Voldemort's ass in a duel.
** Averted elsewhere in the ''Harry Potter'' series, however. [[HeadInTheSandManagement Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge]] was never shown to be an outstandingly powerful wizard. His successor Rufus Scrimgeour was undoubtedly better, having been the former head of the Aurors, the Ministry's special forces; however, his chronic limp may be a handicap in a fight -- and anyway he was killed with relatively little struggle when the Ministry was taken over. Played relatively straight after the war, when Kingsley Shacklebolt is elected Minister, a powerful Auror who actually fought alongside the protagonists a few times and was assigned as personal protection for the British Prime Minister, lest he be magically dominated via the Imperius curse. Dumbledore himself was repeatedly offered the job of Minister, and he always turned it down; it was suggested that Voldemort may have wanted to take up the post earlier in his career, but he never did -- though he controlled the acting Minister for most of a year.
** However, played straight with the Hogwarts professors during the Battle for Hogwarts, when the school's teachers proved themselves more than a little adept at the use of magic in the defense of their students against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Those who can do, teach, eh?
** The Death Eaters themselves are an example. Voldemort can hold his own against Dumbledore in a duel, and can fight any other THREE wizards simultaneously and without effort. His highest-ranking Death Eaters also tend to be his most dangerous servants; in fact, most duels between named Death Eaters and any good guy tend to go in favor of the Death Eaters.
* Played straight in the UrbanFantasy environment of the {{Nasuverse}}, at least when a character is involved in an organization. The heads of particular divisions in the Magi Association tend to be holding their position due to their overwhelming brilliance. Naturally, this means that the Lords of the Association are scarily powerful. On the other hand, you also have oddities like how the last person on Earth who can use the Unified Language is teaching in a random high school.
* ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'':
** Heavily justified. The main principle of the [[SpaceMarine Mobile Infantry]] is "Everybody drops, everybody fights": all officers are promoted from enlisted ranks, and even generals are expected to be the first soldiers on the ground (although they have bodyguards to help keep the enemy riffraff away). Plus the higher-ups get command suits with both the speed of scout suits and weaponry and gear on par with if not superior to that of standard marauder suits. And to get the highest rank of Sky Marshal, one has to go through the ranks of both the Mobile Infantry and the Navy.
** Subverted in TheFilmOfTheBook, when they find a general hiding in the freezer while exploring an abandoned fort. He's shown to be completely useless; he's probably suffering from shellshock after seeing his men get their brains sucked out.
** While {{Klingon Promotion}}s are not supported, an officer is proven to be incompetent if he lets the morale and/or his personal level of asskicking sink so low that his underlings would even think of attacking him and surviving the attempt.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** The Wizards (at least in the earlier books) are an example of this. Progression is by the time-honored "Dead men's pointy boots" system, and the wizards don't usually wait for them to get emptied naturally.
** Archchancellor Ridcully is possibly one of the most powerful combatants on the Disc, and the Patrician is a trained and skilled assassin.
** [[DiscussedTrope The trope is often mentioned in the Watch books]], particularly in regards to Carrot's sword and/or references to the "old" nobility (ie. professional soldiers).
* ''Literature/CodexAlera'':
** In full force. Alerans have access to "furies," kind of like ''D&D'' elementals, which confer power over fire, water, air, earth, wood, and metal. Societal hierarchy is based on the power of one's furies, with Knights typically showing exceptional strength in one area, High Lords possessing amazing abilities in all areas (i.e. capable of causing conflagrations, flying, and possessing super strength and swordfighting skills), and the First Lord, well... he approaches PhysicalGod status.
** Also you have [[WolfMan Canim]] leaders Varg and Nasaug, two of the deadlist hand-to-hand combatants on the continent, and the [[HiveQueen Vord Queen]], who is far more powerful than any of her spawn. Of course, since the Alerans are practically a ProudWarriorRace, the Canim are ''definitely'' a ProudWarriorRace, and the Vord are a HordeOfAlienLocusts with a HiveMind centered ''in'' their queen, all of this makes a certain amount of sense.
** This trope is played with a lot in this series. Alera is in a 20-year succession crisis because the current First Lord has no acknowledged heir and he's getting old, but as we see during the series, he still has [[PersonOfMassDestruction amazing power with furies in his own right]]. Societal hierarchy is not actually based on the power of one's furies, but is strongly influenced by it; for just one example, a bastard will generally have his parent's power with furies but only the status he is born into. The protagonist is considered a freak at first because he is unique in [[TheCallPutMeOnHold not having access]] to ''any'' furies, ([[spoiler:though he gets some slight power at the end of the third book, he remains subpar through the fifth]]) and yet he eventually gets a great deal of authority because he's capable of AwesomenessByAnalysis.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** The Senior Council. The governing body of wizards is comprised of the seven strongest wizards on the planet; the youngest and weakest, Ebenezar [=McCoy=] [[spoiler:[[ColonyDrop brought down a decomissioned Soviet satellite]] on an island full of vampires for revenge at the end of ''Death Masks'']], and the Merlin and the Gatekeeper [[spoiler:stalled an entire army of Red Court vampires and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s with a single ward during the events of ''Dead Beat'']] ([[DeadpanSnarker Harry's]] comment: "You don't get to be the Merlin by collecting bottle caps"). The Wardens are also ranked by {{badass}}itude, but since they're a somewhat military organization that needs everyone they can get their hands on, it's more justified.
** Other example include the Sidhe queens, the Red King, and other similarly powered rulers. Mostly justified in that these are beings who have been alive for thousands of years or more and have had time to build and consolidate power, although people promoted to some of these positions (such as the Summer Lady) essentially immediately become a PersonOfMassDestruction.
** On the vanilla mortal side of things, we have [[AffablyEvil Gentleman]] [[TheDon Johnny]] [[FriendlyEnemy Marcone]], who can hold his own against a Fallen Angel with a Kalashnikov.
** On the heavy end of the scale are the Lords of Outer Night from ''Changes''--vampires so old and powerful that they actually are the [[PhysicalGod pantheon]] of the {{Mayincatec}} civilizations of South America. The very next book, ''Ghost Story,'' shows this trope on the light end of the scale, with a smalltime sorceror (someone who has some magical ability but is beneath the notice of the White Council as friend ''or'' enemy) pushing around a group of teenage orphans a la ''Oliver Twist.''
* In Creator/JamesThurber's ''Literature/The13Clocks'', the duke trusts in his captain of the guard, who has only been defeated once. But a minion points out that the prince who is trying to marry his niece was that one defeat.
* The ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain'':
** The series is full of royals who not only [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething actually fight things]], but tend to be totally awesome at fighting them. Of particular note are [[SupportingLeader Prince]] [[TheWisePrince Gwydion]], King Smoit, King Morgant and King Pryderi, all feared and respected war leaders as well as being mighty warriors in their own right.
** High King Math is a double subversion. He is very idealistic and peace-loving, and far too old to fight. However, in the final book he proves himself to be the most badass man alive by [[spoiler:''getting out of his deathbed'' to make a heroic final stand against the Death-Lord's army of [[MadeofIron undead minions]]]].
** Subverted with [[spoiler:[[BigBad Arawn]] [[EvilOverlord Death-Lord]] who, despite being a powerful sorcerer, barely fights (though he does kill someone) before being decapitated]].
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Frequently the most powerful nobleman leading an army is also its more powerful swordsman. During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, the royal pretender Daemon Blackfyre was considered undefeatable with a sword. During Robert's Rebellion, each side was lead by their strongest fighter: Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar Targaryen. After Robert killed Rhaegar in single combat and won the war, he became king. Also, the most powerful noble families breed most of the continent's best warriors: Loras Tyrell, a great jouster and Jaime Lannister, the greatest swordsman are all members of Great Houses. This is justified, as heirs and leaders of Great Houses they'd receive the most and best training, nutrition, and even genetics, as the need to appear strong is important as vassal houses are known to overthrow them if they appear weak. True choose to slack off. For example, when Jon Snow becomes a member of the Night's Watch and thinks he's better than the other recruits because he can beat them all in single combat. It's pointed out, InUniverse, that he's been trained for years by his master-at-arms, whereas the lower class recruits can't even afford a sword, let alone receive proper training in it.
** Warriors from the Great Houses are quoted to have been [[TrainingFromHell trained to ride and fight]] from when they could [[TheSpartanWay talk and walk]]. More often than not, their teachers would be experts at combat themselves. As individual fighters, the Heavy Troops (knights) are thought of as the strongest, bar none, and could very well be the most capable individual fighters in the entire world, even more so than Dothraki, pit fighters, and Unsullied. One must remember that [[TheAce Arthur Dayne]], [[TheBrute Gregor]] [[BadAss Clegane]], [[BadassGrandpa Barristan Selmy]], [[BadassGay Loras Tyrell]], [[BadAss Jaime Lannister]], and [[MasterOfAll Daemon Blackfyre]] were all knights.
** Justified in the case of the Dothraki, who only follow the powerful. Khal Drogo in particular was never defeated in battle and led an incredibly large group of warriors.
** Subverted quite a few times when it comes to certain noble characters, despite certainly looking and acting the part. This is noted by some characters.
** The most textbook cases are when a young knight, supposedly much better trained and equipped, ends up being defeated by an older, more lowborn man. The reasons tend to range from the lowborn man being much stronger or the young knight underestimating him to the knight misunderstanding the finer technicalities of battle (e.g. terrain, fatigue, mobility vs. protection) and acting inappropriately, while the lowborn man has much more experience.
* Justified in ''TheBookOfTheNamed'', Clan leaders can be challenged for their position by any Clan member, and thus must be good at fighting to stay the Clan leader.
* King Obould Many-Arrows of the ''ForgottenRealms'' series. He becomes even more kickass after he TookALevelInBadass, to the point where he can fight Drizzt one on one.
* ''Starship Traveller,'' an interactive novel in the ''FightingFantasy'' series, has this. When in combat, non-security personnel have a penalty to their skill rating. The exception is you, the ship's captain. "Your own fighting skills are equal to your professional skills, as befits a true hero."
* Literature/{{Beowulf}}, from the epic poem of the same name, is an inversion. He's far more kickass than the local king, and becomes king after his amazing feats of {{badass}} in defense of Hrothgar's land. He still dies against a dragon.
* This is an unspoken assumption in ''{{Dune}}''. When Baron Harkonnen learns that the guards escorting Paul and Lady Jessica have been killed, he asks who their rescuer may have been and his Mentat replies, "It was a clean, silent killing, my Lord. Hawat, perhaps, or that Halleck one. Possibly Idaho. Or any top lieutenant." Apparently, the Atredies couldn't possibly employ competent assassins without giving them high ranks, and no ordinary soldier would be able to manage a clean, silent kill. Besides, isn't Hawat, [[BadassGrandpa like, a hundred?]]
* ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'':
** Grand Admiral Thrawn doesn't fight anything. He's TheStrategist. He watches everything, plans, and gives orders; he's got to be highly intelligent, but there's no sign of him being physically adept, and no one knows how old he is or if his species is more or less powerful than humans are. Track down the [[AllThereInTheManual Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook]], a supplement for West End Games' now-defunct Star Wars RPG, and you see that his physical stats are pretty damn good, better than any of the other bridge officers', better than his counterparts in the [[strike:New Republic]] ''[[InsistentTerminology Rebellion]]'', better than almost any of the others who don't actually, physically, fight.
** Other parts of the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse prove him to be ''really'' good with a blaster, and he can move in armor. He impersonates Jodo Kast, a PaletteSwap of Boba Fett, and actually ''makes Kast seem cool''.
** In OutboundFlight, we see him board a slaver ship to lead his men into battle. While he has the crew of his ship backing him up, it's pretty obvious that he's cowing his opponents through sheer chutzpah.
** And once we meet his species (the Chiss), we find out that they're all extremely badass, though more in his "planning ahead" vein than in physical prowess. Thrawn is still portrayed as exceptionally talented even among the very-talented Chiss, though.
** On the other hand, his stats are probably bumped up to ensure that he survives contact with the average [[strike:SociopathicHero]] PlayerCharacter.
* In ''Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy'', a memoir from a WWII paratrooper, he recounts how someone sabotaged the parachute chord of a strict drill sergeant during parachute training, which was fortunately noticed before he jumped out of the plane. In response, the sargeant challenged anyone who had a problem with him to fight him. Two large recruits then fought him, but he beat them both. After that he didn't have any more parachute problems.
* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', [[CoolSword Shardblades]] tend to be gifted to nobles (assuming the person who won it already has one, of course).
* In TheKeysToTheKingdom series, the higher up you are in authority, the larger and stronger you become. By the end of the series, Arthur was over twelve feet tall and able to destroy everybody.
* The Sorcerer Kings from ''Literature/ThePrismPentad''.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, Clan leaders almost always tend to be good fighters. Having [[CatsHaveNineLives nine lives]] while other cats have only one is definitely an advantage too.
* Literature/TrappedOnDraconica:
** [[BadassPrincess Daniar]] effortlessly defeats mooks, has trouble with TheDragon but can't defeat TheEmperor.
** Her father, King Alister, is a different sort of badass: he raised four super-powered princesses, the last two by himself, despite not having any of his own. He also fights alongside them.
* The Sequel, ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Lydia is a FourStarBadass and more skilled than any of her subordinates despite the fact that she is fifteen and they are full grown adults.
* Literature/BlackCrown has King Valerius fighting in the front lines in 'Black Crown', and likewise the Lords are shown to be able to handle themselves in 'Schism'.
* ''Literature/KateDaniels'':
** The universe is filled with this, which makes sense, because Post-Shift Atlanta is pretty much ruled by survival of the fittest.
** The Shapeshifters are the most prominent example of this, since positions of power in the Pack are won by fights to the dead, so all Clan leaders have to survive a bunch of challenges to stay in power. Since they are the strongest and best fighters, they also take the lead in any violent confrontations.
*** Curran is the Beast Lord, the Alpha of Alphas, because he is strong, fast, and lethal enough to utterly destroy them. He won his position by single-handedly taking down a rampaging were-bear that weighed in over 2000 pounds and had killed several dozen people. At age 15. He's not only their leader, he's also their biggest weapon, so he takes point at nearly every confrontation involving the Pack.
*** While not technically a shapeshifter, Kate becomes the Consort of the Beast Lord, which means she has the same position of power as Curran. She earned her position by surviving 22 challenges while wounded, tired and emotionally compromised because of Curran's coma. All shapeshifters are stronger, larger and heavier than Kate when in warrior-form, and yet she killed them all with a six-inch knive.
* A lot of the higher-level warlords in the web-novel ''Literature/{{Domina}}'' are also extremely physically dangerous, due to the fact that there's an easy BioAugmentation device lying around, so anyone with the money (such as people in charge of a culture) can make use of it. It also goes the other way into AsskickingEqualsAuthority; people who manage to get augmented on their own can carve out their own culture easily

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The titular character of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. She's the most combat-capable of the Scoobies. When she left at the end of season 2, the Scoobies picked up the slack without her, and got curb-stomped by common vampires. It got to the point that, after her death in season 5, the Scoobies actually had to reactivate and reprogram the Buffybot to make ''any'' dent in Sunnydale's demon population.
* This seems to be the case in ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** The high-ranking main characters (who, more often than not, are officers in the virtually pacifist Federation Starfleet) all seem pretty handy in a punch-up. Kirk's martial arts "skills" are legendary, and at various times he takes on big lizard guys and genetically engineered supermen. It's very noticeable in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', where the crew of the eponymous space station regularly kick the asses of [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Klingons]] and [[SuperSoldier Jem'Hadar]] when it comes to a hand-to-hand brawl (Sisko's Q-punch has to rank pretty far up, too). [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for Dax and Worf, maybe (who at least have the martial arts credentials to back up what we see on screen), and Kira as well (she spent fourteen years fighting for her life in the Bajoran Resistance, what did you think would happen?) and Starfleet training ''is'' pretty well-rounded, but where did Sisko learn to use a ''bat'leth''? (Probably from Curzon Dax, the Federation ambassador to the Klingons.)
** Speaking of Klingons, there's the ''Next Generation'' episode where Worf is trying to defend his family honor, and his second is taken out. As a replacement he chooses not a seasoned Klingon warrior, not a fellow security officer, not the clearly able-bodied Riker, but old, bald Captain Picard. When he gets jumped by two Klingons later [[spoiler:he fatally stabs one of them before help arrives.]] This may partially be because Patrick Stewart is no slouch himself. Go rent ''Excalibur'', which was a break out film role for both him and Liam Neeson, and check him out in the armor. Or ''I, Claudius'' for that matter. The man may have gotten older but he he looks like he could take Riker in a fist fight. PragmaticAdaptation of the actor, perhaps.
** Especially egregious in the two-part episode "Chain of Command," where Picard, Crusher, and Worf covertly infiltrate a Cardassian facility. This would be like asking a naval O-6 skipper to do a job normally performed by Navy Seals.
** One could argue that all Star Fleet officers would be likely to have a myriad of skills because, in Roddenberry's future, you don't "need" to do anything and do what you do in order to improve yourself as a person. If you were given full freedom to do anything, especially with a holodeck, you'd probably be in great shape and know some very exotic martial arts. Sulu was into fencing, Riker was into "Anbo-jitsu" (that blind stick fighting thing he did with his dad), and we see several other officers playing difficult sports. Things like that would make you pretty handy in a fight.
** Also consider that self-defense was pretty much required training at the Academy. In one of the novels, a class is taught covering not only human but Klingon and Vulcan martial arts (pacifists they may be, but any culture that thought up the Nerve Pinch is pretty dangerous).
** The Vulcans became pacifists only relatively recently in their history. Keep in mind this is the same race that earlier split with one faction becoming the ''Romulans'', who are a close-second to the Klingons in their level of aggression. The whole 'logic used to suppress emotions' schtick is outright stated to be a (mostly) constructive response by the Vulcans to their inherently violent nature. In the TOS episode "Amok Time" Kirk and Spock are manipulated into the ''kal-if-fee'', a duel with traditional Vulcan weapons that wouldn't have looked out of place in the Middle Ages on Earth. Such duels are provided for as part of the Vulcan marriage ritual when the prospective bride wants to back out...meaning that not only can Starfleet officers generally (and Kirk in particular) kick ass hand-to-hand, but ''every Vulcan male'' has trained with these weapons in the event such a duel is called by their prospective consorts!
** We also see T'pol teaching Vulcan martial arts to a group of miners to defend themselves against Klingons, specifically focusing on moves to counter the Klingons' preference for oddly-shaped blades.
** In the ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode "Blood Oath", for all the guards protecting The Albino, he himself was the only one who put up a fight.
* Played straight in an episode of ''CSINewYork''. A company had training sessions for its higher ups. Two of them beat each other, two of them got into a fight at a pool hall so heated they were running on the ceiling, and one of them assassinated a man by hanging from a tree and doing an upside down DiagonalCut through the man's neck. The head stayed on until the cops came.
* On ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', the 12 founders of The Company are described as having been very powerful superhumans, although the show has been very vague as to what the exact power of many of them were.
* Rear Admiral AJ Chegwidden from ''Series/{{JAG}}'' was, before he became the Navy's top uniformed lawyer, a Navy SEAL who earned a Navy Cross in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, and he's had more than one occasion to showcase his credentials in BadAss...including one or two PapaWolf moments. And one incident involving an actual wolf...
* Franchise/StargateVerse:
** ''Series/StargateSG1'':
*** Colonel Jack O'Neill came out of retirement and promptly went to Abydos and picked up where he left off in personally f'ing up Jaffa.
*** Teal'c was the First Prime, aka the Head Jaffa in Charge for Apophis. Thus it makes sense when as the series progresses he's laying waste to hordes of Jaffa [[OneManArmy all by himself]]. And his kills include other First Primes as well as System Lords.
*** Colonel Samantha Carter may very well be the Baddest Chick in two galaxies. She did [[RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun blow up a star that one time]].
*** The few times General Hammond ends up in a fight of some kind, he shows exactly why he's in command of the SGC.
** In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the basic Wraith {{Mook}} troopers go down just like any human after a burst of P90 fire. The "officer"-type Wraith can take a handful of pistol rounds and keep on coming. The Wraith 'General' from "Sateda" was strong enough to effortlessly toss ProudWarriorRaceGuy Ronan around like a rag doll, and the Wraith 'Uber Queen' from "Submerged" ate a full clip of P90 fire and kept on coming. Part of that has to be due to the fact that Wraith regenerative abilities are directly dependent on how much and how recently they fed. A higher-ranking Wraith would have first dibs on any prisoner to feed on.
** Colonel Young from ''Series/StargateUniverse'', who started the series with a limp but recovered and ended up kicking a lot of ass.
* Ben from ''Series/{{Lost}}'' seems to have elevated to this status during season 4. Added to the fact he's the MagnificentBastard he was in Seasons 2 and 3, in Season 4 he [[spoiler:is the one who takes out Keamy, that season's BigBad]].
* In ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]'' the villains get deadlier the higher up the villain authority ladder you go.
* ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger''[=/=]''Series/PowerRangersSPD'': Deka Master/Shadow Ranger. Leader of the SpacePolice on Earth, he's easily the most badass Ranger on the planet...or, given what we see of his higher-ups, the whole organization. Seriously. The core five actually start slacking off when he becomes SixthRanger, and he has to remind his own troops [[HelpingWouldBeKillstealing he's not going to bail them out of every fight.]] As an example, the character once deflected machine gun fire. ''Using a sword.''
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'' plays this trope fairly straight. While the mooks Sydney/Vaughn/other agent fights are easily deterred, usually the Big Bad/episode mini-Bad has some freaking sweet skills. And in the later seasons, when Jack became [[spoiler:head of APO]], the trope took effect. Check out the episode "Nightingale".
* ''[[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Battlestar Galactica]]''. Both Admiral Adama and Colonel Tigh are capable of some serious butt-kicking, as seen in TheMutiny episodes. President Roslin on the other hand, while quite ruthless, only handles a weapon [[KillMeNowOrForeverStayYourHand on one occasion]]. And she manages to miss at point-blank range.
* On ''Series/UltimateForce'', Colonel Aidan Dempsey reliably kicks a lot of arse when called upon, most notably in the episodes "Dead Is Forever", "Never Go Back" and - particularly - "Charlie Bravo". In the latter, he strides through a gunfight, casually taking one-handed potshots at rebels, while exhorting his local counterpart to "Pretend you're an officer and get your men in order!"
* WWE chairman Vince [=McMahon=] is frequently booked as a fairly strong wrestler, and is usually the favorite in matches featuring him against anyone below main-event level. Partially [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the fact that [=McMahon=] is actually a very muscular person in real life. Though, it's ultimately inverted in most of Vince's matches with main eventers, as he ends up getting the worse of the beating against them. Keep in mind, that Vince is still the boss of said main event wrestlers, even after getting his ass kicked. When he does win, it's usually through outside interference or dirty tricks, not through [=McMahon=] himself winning it on his own.
* Subverted in an episode of ''TheSandbaggers'' where the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, Neil Burnside, "James bloody Bond" - is mugged by some hoods while walking about late at night.
* Just about every ruler from the 1998 ''[[Series/{{Merlin 1998}} Merlin]]'' series, including Uther, Arthur, and most impressively, Vortigern, who is aging and past his prime but still a force on the battlefield.
* And in the other ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', we have King Uther, getting up there but still able to kick butt in the tournaments. Even if Arthur ''did'' let him win. Arthur kinda fits this too.
* ''Series/TrueBlood'' plays it straight with Godric, Eric, and Russell Edgington, but totally subverts it with Sophie-Anne LeClerq, who apparently relies on luck more than anything. In the third season Eric points out that he only lets her kick him around because of his respect for her rank; [[spoiler:when he switches sides, Sophie-Anne is ''screwed.'']] She is shown to be much stronger than Bill, though, until [[spoiler:he is revealed to have brought a SWAT team armed with wooden bullets]]. Averted with Bill himself, after he is crowned King of Louisiana.
* In ''Series/{{Castle}}'', Captain Roy Montgomery is usually seen in his office calling the shots, but in the season 3 finale, he kicks all kinds of ass. He manages to [[spoiler:kill three hitmen with precision before they can even get their weapons out. Although Lockwood manages to fatally wound him, Montgomery is still able to kill the last hitman with a hidden gun in his sleeve]].
* Darken Rahl in ''LegendOfTheSeeker'' is a skilled swordsman and a sorcerer. He is also the ruler of the most poweful [[TheEmpire empire]] in the world (as far as he knows, at least; the series was cancelled before the discovery of the Imperium) Admittedly, he is not as skilled in magic as [[BadassGrandpa Zedd]], but he is able to beat Richard the first time they meet in battle. In another episode, he effortlessly kills several Sisters of the Dark, despite them being EliteMooks (in the books, at least). Averted with most other rulers.
* The Headmaster from ''TowerPrep'' is quite capable of kicking ass.
* In ''TheSopranos'', all of the capos and bosses in the mob are either capable fighters and killers, or they used to be in their younger days before they rose so high that they no longer need to get their hands dirty.
* This is how the leader of werewolf society is determined in ''{{Series/Bitten}}'' along with a hefty dose of KlingonPromotion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* Many of the kings and rulers in GreekMythology were themselves formidable warriors. One of the most famous examples is ''Literature/TheIliad'', where Idomeneus, Menelaus, Ajax, Diomedes, Agamemnon, Achilles, Patroclus, Odysseus, Philoctetes, Hector, in short almost all the major warriors are kings or princes of some sort.
* Zeus, king of the gods, is the most powerful of the Olympians. (It seemed to run in the family too; his father Chronos was the most powerful of the Titans, and their leader. Not to mention that most - well, pretty much all - of his sons were no slouches.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* This is often considered {{bad writing}} in the field of professional wrestling. Paul Boesch yelled at the Mongolian Stomper's manager, JJ Dillon, for wrestling competitive matches, insisting that should not be the role of a manager. Dave Meltzer has also criticized managers RD Evans and Prince Nana for going over board at ''Wrestling/{{R|ing Of Honor}}OH Final Battle 2012''. On the other hand, popular authority figures kicking ass often does go over well with crowds, such as whenever Carlos or Stacy Colon return to the ring to put upstart WWC wrestlers in their place.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': Because the Godmodder is one of the highest-leveled godmodders on the Internet, he is insanely powerful.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', being level-based, produces this given half an opportunity.
** In the setting of ''{{Eberron}}'' is a [[CrystalDragonJesus religion named the Silver Flame]] whose leader, Jaela, is a 11-year-old girl ([[FanNickname affectionately nicknamed]] "Loli Pope"). Normally she is a 3rd level cleric, but as long as she stays within the walls of her holy city, she is granted the powers of an 18th level cleric.
** Breland king and local pimp, Boranel, is a 3rd level aristocrat/8th level fighter, outpowering at least 95% of the population of his country. Karnath vampire king with the complex of "I am my grandpa", Kaius, outpowers 99% of the continent at CR 16, based on 11 levels of fighter, a lot of magic items, being a vampire with magic to remove the flaws, and action boost, a almost-exclusive PC trait. Heck, even Queen Aurala from Aundair is fairly tough compared to some people of the army. And she is a pure Aristocrat.
** Quite apart from that, it was more or less a standard part of 2nd edition ''D&D'' to assume that any feudal lord was at least tenth level because the rule mechanics actually said that was the time to find some permanent holding -- to become a feudal lord, head of a local church and so on. It was strangely meritocratic.
** For that matter, it would be easier to cite ''Dungeons and Dragons'' authority figures that did not enact this trope. After all, Money is Power and high level anythings will have lots of money. This in turn buys them lots of shiny magic items, allowing them to kick the ass of those that will invariably challenge their authority thereby getting more loaded and stronger... By contrast, the lower level sorts just won't hold up above their station, because their right to rule only extends as far as their fist. Which means they'll either get into a CurbStompBattle with the previous owner or some newcomer will fulfill that role.
** The PlaneScape campaign setting occasionally surprised players from other settings when not every authority was extremely high level. Many of the factols were below tenth level, which may be far beyond most mortals but due to typical power creep, many players dismiss this as "low" level. Others, such as Factol Hashkar, are no more powerful than a commoner or two. Some, however, play it straight.
** One place this is usually subverted is with yugoloths. In many cases, 'loths of lower rankings are actually ''much'' stronger than their superiors. Ultroloths are the leaders of the race, but nycoloths are in many ways, tougher than they are (despite being ''two'' ranks lower). In fact, the de-facto leader of the race, the Oinoloth, is a position that used to be held by Anthraxus, a unique yugoloth of godlike power, but he was tricked into relinquishing the title by an ultroloth named Mydianchlarus, who wasn't even ''close'' to being as powerful. (A 4th edition guidebook, however, claims that Anthraxus, now called Phraxas, challenged Mydianchlarus again for the title and killed him.) In short, among yugoloths, the most important trait for a leader is [[{{Chessmaster}} the ability to manipulate others]], not raw power.
** And AsskickingEqualsAuthority usually stands somewhere nearby. As one article of Bazaar of the Bizarre in [[AprilFoolsDay April]] DragonMagazine [[http://pandius.com/bargitem.html put it]]:
--->Also available are collector's editions of Bargle's best-selling self-help books. ''Social Advancement Through the Selective Use of Charm and Disintegrate Spells'', [...]
* In ''{{GURPS}} Goblins'', something like this is in place as a game mechanic: according to the rules which govern the late Georgian setting, differences in social status affect combat rolls, to reflect divine favoritism and the natural order of things.
* In ''D20Modern'', a character's rank is usually tied to the character's level. Taken to bizarre extremes in some d20 products. In the ''Series/StargateSG1'' game, for example, Dr. Frasier can out-fight most of the base SFs, because she is a high-level medic.
* ''LegendOfTheFiveRings'':
** In the pseudo-Japanese fantasy setting of Rokugan, for over a thousand years the Imperial dynasty has ruled by divine mandate. And it was not the Emperor's job to be the greatest fighter, but instead to be the wise ruler and source of all honor and authority. And even changes in the ruling dynasty have been only by the will of and with the blessing of the gods, not by either war or combat or anything else. At least, not until ''now'', where the game line has suddenly decided to choose the next Imperial dynasty by having the gods come down bodily just as the chief villain of the setting has finally won and utterly nullify his victory by [[http://www.l5r.com/samurai-championships-imperial-gift/ declaring the Mortal Kombat tournament]].
** And then they subvert the entire point by declaring the winner to be an Empress who couldn't cut her way out of a balsa wood box with a masterwork katana, because she showed "proper spirit". Well goodness, if that was all it took, why hold a tournament in the first place?
* Occasionally pops in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''.
** In general, the setting follows the normal logic with leaders indeed focusing on leadership skills, not fighting and having soldiers and bodyguards for that (although still requiring ''some'' skills to survive the assassination attempts). In case of Exalted leading mortal societies, be it openly or [[ManBehindTheMan covertly]], they ''are'' vastly more powerful than people around them, but that is a consequence of being the one with superpowers, not of authority.
** Played straight with the spiritual world: gods grown in power with the amount of worship they receive, and it also helps with growing in official station in the CelestialBureaucracy (although political skills are also necessary). Played straight with the top of the hierarchy: the leader of all gods, the Unconquered Sun, is literally invincible, and his chosen weapon deals infinite damage to anyone in the world. His fellow Incarnae are leaders of their own domains and are similarly powerful. For other gods, they are unassailable both physically and politically.
** Among the Exalted, the Solars were made to be the best at everything, and were given the right to rule the world, with the Lunars and Sidereals below them and the weaker but far more numerous Dragon-Blooded below them. Thus, Solars in general had both the asskicking and actual leadership skills, but individual ones have been specialising in their areas. In general among the Exalted, the older ones have both asskicking and other skills, honed across potentially millennia.
** In the Scarlet Empire, the Empress packed both immense political acumen and the raw power of both herself as an Elder Exalt and the [[FantasticNuke Sword of Creation]]. Now that she is vanished, the contenders for the throne realise that while straight military ''may'' land somebody on the throne, it is not enough to keep them there.
** Mostly averted in Autochthonia. Although the world of Autochthon has it's own Exalted, who are champions of the people, their superiors and the leaders of any given city or nation are mortal. Still, the cities they live in, though subservient to these mortal leaders, are themselves giant Exalted capable of magically empowering the people inside them.
* ''BattleTech'' uses this trope in a surprisingly restrained way. As the Inner Sphere is the feudal system InSpace, most Great House leaders are accomplished {{Mech Warrior}}s. Some aren't, being better at diplomacy and/or {{magnificent bastard}}ry, but your average Prince, Archon or Coordinator is generally among the most effective {{Mech Warrior}}s out there. The restraint comes from the fact that 1) aforementioned leaders all get the best of training, equipment and backup, and 2) there are plenty of non-royalty Inner Sphere {{Mech Warrior}}s who would easily defeat anyone short of a Katrina Steiner, Ian Davion or Takashi Kurita in single combat. And that's not even considering [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority the Clans]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Built into the system in the both universes - higher-ranking units are ''always'' tougher than their basic counterparts, with the Emperor Karl Franz being one of the most nasty heroes in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' universe. With most armies in either game, this is justified with better training, magic or AppliedPhlebotinum, but in other cases -- like the regular-human Imperial Guard or Empire armies -- it's really hard to justify why army officers are better shots than the armies' dedicated marksmen or special ops, and able to absorb more damage than Ork Nobs or PoweredArmor-wearing [[SuperSoldier Space Marines]].
** Possibly the Emperor of this trope is the God Emperor of Mankind, who may or may not be a PhysicalGod and defeated the vessal of all ''FOUR'' of the Chaos Gods. Unfortunately, he was mortally wounded and put on a permanent life support system called the Golden Throne, but still literally keeps the [[TheEmpire Imperium]] together by maintaining the Astronomican with his own power (and many pskyer sacrifices), a psychic beacon which allows faster than lightspeed travel - without which, the Imperium's worlds would fall into confusion and be easy pickings by a tenacious enough invader (or many other invaders...) with no way to work together. Oh, and the Golden Throne produces a metabolism product which is used to make an AntiMagic grenade called the Psyk-out grenade. Yes, you heard that right, The Emperor's shit kills psykers.
** Entirely Justified with the Space Marines, as their entire background is that of Knights Templar in Space. Logistics are handled by Techmarines, Intelligence by Librarians, and Morale by Chaplains. The only thing Captains do is Leadership, and when you're an eight foot tall SuperSoldier SpaceMarine asskicking is about the only form of authority you respect. Tactical and Strategic skill is secondary, but present in the most successful.
** It could be ''just about'' justified by the fact that high-ranking Imperial officials do have access to advanced biological and technological upgrades (not of the same order as the Space Marines, but still) and they will have taken part in many campaigns to achieve their rank. Considering the '''extreme''' danger of the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' battlefields, a soldier who survives long enough to attain high rank probably accrues a lot of combat skills, [[{{Determinator}} and a sheer, stubborn tenacity to survive]].
** Orks:
*** Ork hierarchy is literally sorted by size, so it's completely sensible for Da Warboss to be the biggest murder machine on the battlefield for that army. Some relatively philosophical Orks (and the bar is very low here) have reflected on how unclear the human chain-of-command is, because we're "all 'bout da same size."
*** Works both ways for Orks: since their culture (for lack of a better word) and chain of command is based on liberal ass-kickings, the physically strongest Orks tend to lead the rest. For a given value of "lead", of course. More like prod them in a general direction. However, because Ork beliefs tend to [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve kick the normal laws of physics in the jollies and reshape them in proper Orky ways]], and the belief that "da boss is da strongest an' da meanest" is held by every single Ork in the warband (after all, if he wasn't, he wouldn't be da boss, QED), a high ranking Ork actually [[LargeAndInCharge becomes taller and stronger]] over time ''because'' they is da boss.
*** This is actually built into the biology of the Orks: The more asskicking the Ork does, the more praise he gets from other Orks. The more praise he gets, the more he physically grows (akin to puberty, but happening every time he kicks ass), which in turn leads to more asskicking. So Orks gain Authority by Asskicking, and Asskicking by Authority. Go figure.
** Skaven and Ogre hierarchy is determined solely by your ability to kill the former guy to have held the position. In the Skaven's case you have to be sneaky enough to do so, and you are respected (which means feared in Skaven tongue) for being sneaky. Ogres just bash the hell out of eachother. And since food is an important resource in both societies, leaders (who have access to better food and more nurishment) are in better physical health than their underlings. In addition, the positions in the Council of 13 can only be attained by first touching a radioactive stone and survive, then defeat the current placeholder. None of the current Council of 13 has been defeated in 200 years (the average skaven lifespan is 20 years).
** Similarly, a Dark Elf who holds any title of authority for long will have to be both cunning and strong, to fend off attempts at mutiny or assassination.
** Chaos of all kinds plays this straight because of their patron gods; the more you do, the more the gods pay attention to you. The more attention you accrue, the more mutations (gifts) you get. These gifts are directly proportional to how much asskicking said champion is capable of. Daemons plays it straight in a different way; The Chaos Gods themselves are implied to be no different than their Daemon servants; they are simply the most powerful of their kind (and by a huge margin no less). Skarbrand's attempt at invoking AsskickingEqualsAuthority on Khorne is exactly why he's the only bloodthirster unable to fly.
* ''TabletopGame/DragonDice'':
** The game relies on this trope in that the strongest standard infantry dice in a given race are the largest, have the most health, have more capability in melee/ranged combat/maneuvering/magic than lesser troops, and have special abilities not available to lesser troops - they are also the various leaders of their factions.
** Somewhat averted in that the largest and generally most powerful dice in each faction represent monsters that are allied with that faction or under their control, rather than their leaders, though they are also not strictly members of the species that the race represents.
* ''MagicTheGathering'':
** The game varies with its use of the trope, usually depending on creature or organization. It's rare for the highest-ranked ruler in charge of a race or faction to be the most physically powerful, but it does happen--the [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=136146 three]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=207915 legendary]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=5233 Slivers]], for example, are all much bigger than even the largest of the rest of the species.
** Although whether they're ''physically'' powerful or not, most leaders do have extremely powerful abilities.
** Let's also not forget [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=78594 Lord Konda]] is more powerful than many dragons in combat and, thanks to a stolen child deity, is indestructible.
** The players themselves are also the ultimate authority on their side of the field and have the power to back it up. A massive assault on a player with tons of monsters can be casually dismissed by some of the most trivial spells in the game. Even PhysicalGods and {{Eldritch Abombination}}s can be eliminated by a variety of spells.
* [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for the upper management of Pentex in the 20th Anniversary Edition of ''WerewolfTheApocalypse.'' Not only is it largely populated by supernaturals, but ''anyone'' -- be they human, vampire, fomor, or Black Spiral Dancer -- who can not only survive but ''thrive'' in a ruthless, physically and spiritually toxic environment where assassination by werewolves is a fact of life is going to be a bit more tough than your standard manager.
* ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh''
** Gravekeeper's Visionary, the first leader of the Gravekeepers. [[CombinedEnergyAttack He even powers up when his fellow Gravekeepers are in the Graveyard]].
** Also his successor, Gravekeeper's Oracle, who even taps into the power of the ''Egyptian God Cards'', as indicated by his artwork and effects.
** Caius the Shadow Monarch is implied to be the leader of the Monarchs (and he's based on JuliusCaesar). Though his stats are equal to the other seven, he has probably the most powerful effect, being able to banish any card and deal damage if it was a Dark Monster.
** Dark World plays with this. Brron, the Mad King, isn't the ace, but he is a pretty tough card with 1800 ATK (which is fitting, since he's implied to be a figurehead). Goldd and Sillva are warlords, and they're much stronger, and Reign-Beaux, the Overlord, is the second strongest Dark World card. (The strongest is PhysicalGod Grapha, and even then, it's a close match.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Firstly, a strange subversion of this is in VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2, where after defeating Silver Sonic in Death Egg Zone, Dr. Robotnik tries to escape through a long corridor on foot. You run after him, but it turns out that ''Dr. Eggman, the obese scientist who was re-named for his poor physical state is faster than, or capable of keeping up with Sonic, the fastest thing alive'' and you can't catch him! All because he immediately jumps into the cockpit of the final boss.
* Strategy games often make leader units and campaign characters stronger fighters than regular troops.
* In ''StreetsOfRage 2'', you have to fight your way through MechaMooks, monsters, and TheDragon - Shiva, legendary martial artist - to get to Mr. X. He's just a big dude in a business-suit, but he's nonetheless tougher and more dangerous than any of those preceding him. No small part of this, however, is the fact that he packs an ''assault rifle'', but even close-in, he's [[PistolWhipping no slouch]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stranglehold}}'', the final boss is Mr. Wong, the head of the notorious [[TheSyndicate Dragon Claw syndicate]]. He's a short, balding, wrinkled guy, but that doesn't stop him from carrying around a huge sniper-rifle with one hand -- and he can absorb more bullets than Dapang, his [[TheDragon hulking, tattooed bodyguard]], who was seen [[GunsAkimbo dual-wielding]] shotguns.
* In the western-themed [=LucasArts=] videogame ''VideoGame/{{Outlaws}}'', the final boss is, in all appearances, just another desperado. But since he's the leader of the gang, you ''will'' need a [[GatlingGood Gatling]]-[[{{BFG}} Gun]] to take him down. [[spoiler:When he stumbles into ending NotQuiteDead, [[CutscenePowerToTheMax The main character's daughter shoots him with the basic pistol]] ]]
* In ''NoMoreHeroes'', the bosses are ranked in the UAA according to their ranking as an assassin. While this trope is played straight in both games with the higher ranked assassins [[spoiler:(Bad Girl, Jeane and Henry in the original game; Alice and Jasper Batt Jr. in the sequel)]], it also tends to be subverted at times: higher ranked assassins like Destroyman and Capt. Vladimir tend to be easier compared to lower assassins like Shinobu, Margaret and Ryuji. It could be possible that Shinobu, Margaret, and Ryuji were still cutting their way up to a higher rank when Travis came along.
* Used freely, like most tropes relating to superheroes and supervillains, in the ''CityOfHeroes'' and ''CityOfVillains'' MMO:
** Leaders of villainous groups are classified as "Archvillains", and because of this, they automatically require a large, well-coordinated team of superheroes to take 'em down.
** Averted with The Center, leader of the Council. The two missions where he actually appears he doesn't fight... because he's somewhere around 120 years old, and in spite of his rank as the leader of the Council, one of the largest paramilitary groups in ''CityOfHeroes'', he has no real combat abilities. Instead, he calls down the entire chain of command on you in the first of these, then summons several of his elite guards to fight against a hero ambush in the second. All of this while [[WhileRomeBurns nonchalantly reading]] [[DissonantSerenity a newspaper]].
** Played very straight with Countess Crey who story-wise is just the CEO of [[MegaCorp Crey Industries]] with villainous business practices yet is a legal KarmaHoudini. However in a late-game story arc when you finally manage to get a warrant to arrest her, she turns out to have devastating psychic abilities that are never mentioned in story.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}: No Regret'', when you finally cross paths with the CorruptCorporateExecutive who's had it in for you since the previous game... surprise, surprise, he seems to have acquired a HumongousMecha and is blocking your exit. Not that he's particularly good at ''piloting'' it, but...
* In the classic {{FPS}} ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D'', several of the final bosses take advantage of this, including Dr. Schabbs (one of the rare examples of a MadScientist using this trope), at least one Nazi General, and of course, [[StupidJetpackHitler Adolf Hitler]], who naturally takes this to extremes: Not only has he [[StupidJetpackHitler somehow acquired]] [[PoweredArmor an armored battle-suit]] mounted with [[GunsAkimbo quadruple]] [[GatlingGood gatling-guns]], once you've blasted it enough, he pops out -- [[SequentialBoss and continues to fight]], with [[GatlingGood Gatling]] GunsAkimbo, while [[MadeOfIron ignoring the hail of bullets you're throwing at him]]. Not to mention the fake Hitlers you meet before you face him, which have a unique weapon: Flamethrowers. [[ManOnFire Nasty, nasty, nasty...]]
* The bizarre Japan-only Xbox game ''MetalWolfChaos'' has this as its central premise. You play as the president of the United States in a super-powerful HumongousMecha trying to liberate the U.S. following a military coup led by the [[EvilChancellor vice president]] who, naturally, also has a HumongousMecha.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Higher-ranked Sangheili/Elites are far more skilled at fighting than their subordinates. This is {{Justified| Trope}} as Elite promotions are based almost entirely on how many foes they killed and, by extension, how much experience and skill they have as warriors. Additionally, promotions come with better equipment; the highest ranks, like Zealots and Ultras, generally have shielding so powerful that they can withstand a charged Plasma Pistol shot on Legendary, which would instantly destroys the shields of a lesser Elite. They also get one-hit-kill energy swords.
** Brutes work the same way, but in an even more [[KlingonPromotion brutal]] way; never mind the kill score, if they topple the current pack chief, they get his seat and shiny helmet along with tough shielding, rounded off with a gigantic more-often-than-not OHKO hammer. On higher difficulties, even being licked by its impact shockwave hurts like crap. Even if they eschew the hammer, they'll still carry around the heaviest ranged weapons available. In fact, even the client Covenant species seem to be promoted based on combat ability; they also receive better equipment as they advance in rank.
** On the other hand, the Prophets, who are the religious and political leaders of the Covenant, avert this entirely, being frail and barely capable of fighting. The one fight you have against one of them consisted of avoiding the easy-to-dodge fire from his hoverchair before jumping on and punching him to death. It would be an utter CurbStompBattle even on Legendary if it wasn't for the continuous waves of his Elite Honor Guards.
** Forerunner Prometheans, the highest order of Warrior-Servant a Forerunner can ascend to, are made up of only the biggest and strongest Forerunners. In fact, due to their custom of assuming different "forms" based on their rate and rank, they are specifically engineered to be the pinnacle of what a Warrior can be, mentally and physically.
* Emperor Palamecia from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', the FinalBoss, a master sorcerer who ends up [[spoiler:taking over Hell itself and absorbing its power.]] They never make clear if he's Emperor because he's badass, or if he's badass because he's Emperor.
* ''FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'', of the twenty-one main playable characters, eight are royalty, and another is brother to a king. In the world of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', Asura and Leviathan rule the Feymarch, Bahamut is King of Eidolons, and Odin is the former King of Baron, so the four highest ranking Summons are all royalty too.
* In the case of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', four of your five party members are royalty, and of those four, one is a badass alien king and one becomes queen by default partway through the story.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'':
** While you never actually fight him, Emperor Gestahl is able to cast high-level fire spells that are only available to the party at the very end of the game. Unfortunately for him, however, when he actually tries to use them, it is revealed that his PsychoForHire OmnicidalManiac Kefka has found a way to make them ineffective. Oops. Later on you discover the personal "secret treasure" he was keeping in reserve, and it turns out to be an item that grants (among other things) most of the high-level fire spells he is shown using earlier in the game.
** Kefka himself starts out as a subversion. He is a wimp who runs away from you when you face him for the first time. It's only after [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity he starts infusing himself with more and more magic]] that he becomes a threat beyond his military power and complete lack of morals.
** On the good side of things, we have Edgar, king of Figaro, GadgeteerGenius, and all-around asskicker. His brother Sabin counts too, though he had forsaken the throne and fled the kingdom. Celes is a former Imperial general, Cyan is the retainer to a king, and GuestStarPartyMember Leo is an Imperial general too.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'':
** This is the only explanation for Palmer. An obese and incompetent member of the Shinra Board of Directors, the party gets a memorable fight against him where he survives a good few minutes of being hit by machine guns and giant swords before getting run over by a truck.
** Rufus Shinra is an exception to this rule, however. He is the President of the Shinra Company but is actually one of the weakest bosses in the game, compared to his HumongousMecha-riding military directors and his [[OneWingedAngel mutating mad scientist]]. On the other hand, he did manage to fight Cloud (admittedly with help from his pet) while using a double barreled shotgun (with one hand!) and escape with only a few injuries (while grabbing onto a helicopter with one hand, holding the gun, and presumably being injured). His stats are more a matter of [[GameplayAndStorySegregation gameplay rather than story]] (Reno also had fairly low stats when you first fought him). And [[spoiler:during his encounter with Kadaj he managed to shoot between the latter's fingers while falling down the side of a building]].
** Sephiroth, the BigBad of the game, plays this straight as he used to be Shinra's General and was designed to be perfect for the position.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal, who each lead one of the political factions vying for control, are easily the most badass members of their respective factions.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has examples for pretty much every single nation. The final mission battles for each of the three starting nations has you fighting alongside a major political figure: Prince Trion, Captain Volker, and minister Ajido-Marujido. Archduke Kam'lanaut is a bit of a subversion, though: [[spoiler:while he is a major storyline boss, it's his "little" brother Eald'narche who's the real BigBad.]] Prince Trion is portrayed as a warrior-prince, Captain Volker is a captain of a special forces squad and a famous war veteran and minister Ajido-Marujido is the head of the department in-charge of the nation's Orastery (or Department of Magic). The game also takes place during wartime/a post-war period as well so there is understandably a high number of war veterans around the world.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' almost any figure of considerable power is a noble:
** First the Judges Magister. This is [[JustifiedTrope justified by the backstory]], since they are both the highest-ranking officers of the Imperial Army AND handpicked by the emperor for their martial skills to be his guardians, officers, and advisors.
** Then, we have Ashe and Vayne, two [[spoiler: [[OneManArmy mighty warriors]] and heads of state]] with enough backstory to justify their power. Vayne spent his life trying to survive Archadia's murderous politics, led his country's army against two neighboring countries, both of which give him enough experience to be a credible MagnificentBastard. Ashe has led the [[LaResistance Resistance]] for two years prior to [[spoiler: exploring three continents, battling men and monsters, taking control of Scions, and finally, successfully crossing blades with Vayne.]]
** And finally, we have Cid and Larsa: Cid is an [[BadassBookworm impressively dangerous]] [[MadScientist researcher]], smart enough to earn [[spoiler: the respect of the borderline [[EldritchHorror eldritch being]] Venat. Venat teaches him how to create [[GreenRocks artificial nethicite]] a powerful supernatural resource]]. He is the [[spoiler:most influential man in the Empire after Vayne's coup]]. Larsa, by contrast, is a 13 year old boy skilled both with the sword and [[GambitRoulette interlocking machinations]], who uses his talents to stop the [[spoiler:world war his brother planned to use to "free" mankind from the Occuria.]] Experimentally-enhanced fighters rising in rank and even gaining political powers is believable, and Cid's abilities can be accepted since they adhere to the rules of the world's [[FunctionalMagic magic]], but a pre-teen able to outwit [[spoiler:senators, emperors and even gods?]] House Solidor must have some [[LamarckWasRight interesting genetic material]].
** Larsa was guarded and trained by one of the five aforementioned Judge Magisters. Quite appropriately, he is the only non-Judge character who knows how to DualWield.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has [[spoiler:Galenth, the leader of Cocoon, and also one of the main antagonists who is secretly the leader of the fal'Cie of Pulse]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' plays with this. Non-nobility characters can have high base stats and be just as effective as some of the unique characters, but chances are the characters with the cool, unique classes have a title backing them up. Ramaza's father was a high ranking noble and purportedly a beast in combad. "Thunder god Cid" is of equal rank, and his skills are apparent. Agrias, Beowulf, Ramza's brothers, and others have unique classes to go with their nobility, and Delita only acquires a unique class after he moves up on the social ladder.
* An in-universe example in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', Chiaki wants to reshape the world so that this philosophy (the Reason of Yosuga) is to her liking - where those who are deemed weak are slaughtered, and the strongest are deemed the upper classes.
* In ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', almost without exception, commanding officers are at a significantly higher level than their subordinates.
** The main characters, all members of the nobility (sans Ike) and the leaders of your army, usually have the potential to become the most powerful characters available.
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in ''Path of Radiance'' for the laguz and Daein. The laguz earn their ranks and respect based on strength, meaning the kings really can kick everyone else's ass. Likewise, Daein's King Ashnard lets any decent warrior become a knight, and promotions are based on talent.
** Also justified in ''[=FE4=]'', were members of nobility had holy blood which gives bonus % growth and the ability to use [[InfinityPlusOneSword Legendary Weapons]].
** In ''[=FE7=]'' and ''[=FE8=]'', the antagonists had Dark Druid and Necromancer as their classes, respectively. However, the antagonist of ''[=FE6=]'' doesn't need Dark magic, for he is a King. And he's just as strong as his other GBA antagonists, if not stronger.
** An interesting version of this trope is present as simply occupying a throne gives out lots of bonuses and makes characters more powerful than a fort ever could.
* ''FatalFury'':
** Geese Howard, at first, seems to be your run-of-the-mill crime boss. Once you actually fight him, though, you can easily see why he is where he is. After all, he was the very first [=SNKBoss=].
** ''FatalFury 2'' brings us Wolfgang Krauser, Geese's half-brother and the latest in a line of bodyguards to various European nobility. He has his own bodyguard, Lawrence Blood, but Krauser really doesn't need him: he's strong enough on his own.
** Likewise, [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters Rugal Bernstein]] has two secretaries, Vice and Mature, who also function as his bodyguards. Like Krauser, Rugal doesn't really need them, as he once took out an ''entire company'' of Heidern's troops before beating Heidern himself to a pulp. Then he killed Heidern's family for the lulz. It was also implied at one point that he had beaten both Geese and Krauser one-on-one.
** Kain R. Heinlein from ''Garou: Mark of the Wolves''. His SuperMode is unlimited, and his bodyguard, Grant, is ''also'' an SNKBoss. He's Geese's (and Krauser's) brother-in-law... there's something about that family...
** And Mr. Big of ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'' ain't no slouch either. He's the head of a Southtown crime syndicate, and wields two Kali Stick-things which he uses to good effect, not only for smashing heads open, but he can create Power Wave-style energy blasts from them. Add a huge, imposing body build to that mix and you have the perfect Don.
** Years earlier in the ''SamuraiShodown'' universe, we have Gaoh, the leader of a rebel army. He is dangerous, wielding a deadly looking polearm. We haven't even GOTTEN to the fact that he can turn into a demon mid battle.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'':
** Terran units have ranks going strictly by unit power/tier. Space Marines are Privates, Firebats are Corporals, and so on. By contrast, character units are a lot stronger than their normal versions but their rank is plot-dependant (and not particularly high in most cases).
** Inverted in Starcraft II. All units start out at some basic rank that [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority increases based on the number of kills they have.]]
* Perhaps one of the more ridiculous examples is the video game adaption of ''VideoGame/TomorrowNeverDies''. In the movie, the primary villain is merely a CorruptCorporateExecutive and doesn't have any exceptional physical abilities. In the game, though, he's one of the final bosses and is able to take about a dozen grenades to the face before he dies.
* In ''MusashiSamuraiLegend'', the villains are the CorruptCorporateExecutive Board of Directors of Gandrake Enterprises. All of them, including President Gandrake himself, are endgame-level bosses.
* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'':
** Captain Price, apart from being [[GameplayAllyImmortality literally unkillable]] for the most of the game, is usually the first one to dash into the next room full of {{mooks}} and clear the way for his team, including the PC. He also does some impressive tricks when subtlety is required.
** Played straight with General Shepherd in ''ModernWarfare 2'', [[spoiler:where it turns out that the general is capable of completely whooping both Captains Mactavish and Price (two S.A.S. commandos) in a stand up fight. The two only survive because the half dead Soap manages to pull a knife out of his gut and [[EyeScream throw it into Shepherd's eye]] as he's distracted while beating Price to death. Keep in mind that Shepherd has just survived a helicopter crash (whereas Soap and Price "merely" fell down a waterfall).]]
** Also, Price demonstrates his extreme badassitude in ''[=MW2=]'' when he shoots down a combat helicopter ''with an antipersonnel sniper rifle '''while dodging a minigun ON A FRICKING RUBBER BOAT IN THE MIDDLE OF A MOUNTAIN RIVER'''''. He also has some [[AwesomenessByAnalysis mad hacking skills]], as he [[spoiler:hijacks a Russian nuclear submarine and rigs one of its missile to detonate ''exactly'' above Washington on his own under extreme time pressure.]]
** Call of Duty is rife with this trope, yet still subverts it with Al-Asad [[spoiler: beaten up and summarily executed by Price]] and Victor Zakhaev [[spoiler: commits suicide to avoid capture, which is at least better than Al-Asad]]
* ''TheSimpsons'' beat-em-up video game has this, too, sort of. The final bosses are a bomb-crazed Smithers who can smack you across the screen with impunity, and C. Montgomery Burns in a breakaway huge mecha. Then again, once out of it, he shows his true strength--which is on par with Maggie's.
* In ''LostOdyssey'', Prince/King Tolten wields an unusual variant of this. He's a bit of a wuss, and compared to the two Immortal melee-fighters, his stats aren't impressive. However, BECAUSE he's a member of the Royal Line of Uhra, he's got access to unique and powerful accessories, weapons and skills. Including the [[AwesomeButImpractical Ultimate Hit]] and the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Age of The King]]. Once you put those things together, he actually ends up being a fighter on par with the thousand-years-old main character. Now only if there was a way to fix his accuracy problems...
* The ''Franchise/{{Star Wars|Expanded Universe}}'' video game ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' had this in the villain of Admiral Saul Karath, the number two on the evil hierarchy under Darth Malak. When you fight him on the bridge of his flagship, it takes a whole arsenal of high-powered weaponry to take him down. Not bad for a guy whose reputation was as a tactical genius. Of course, Darth Malak himself is difficult and justified in being so.
* Averted within ''VideoGame/FrontMission 3''. There are commanding officers among your enemies, but that doesn't necessarily make them stronger, although they do tend to have better training. There are even a few battles where the strongest Mecha on the field will be a lower-ranked individual or a non-voluntary test pilot, or even standard enemy pilots. Used straight by the time you get to ''Front Mission 4'', where only higher ranking individuals get a name, and always come with extra abilities.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight'':
** Mayor Mike Haggar, who took a somewhat more direct approach than most to reducing the city's crime rate. To be fair, he was a wrestler and street fighter before becoming mayor. And after, too.
** The crime syndicate leader and boss of the same game, Belger. He has the largest health bar of ''anybody'' in the game, and has a rapid-fire crossbow. Oh, and he's invulnerable for most of the fight with him. And he starts the fight in a wheelchair... which is entirely to lower your guard ("would you hit a man in a wheelchair?" style). Once you hit him enough, it breaks and he gets up.
* In ''MaxPayne2'', the "boss" criminals (Kaffman, [[spoiler:Cowboy Mike]], and BigBad [[spoiler:Vlad Lem]] can all survive more bullets than the standard mooks, but the difference is barely noticeable. Kaffman has something like 4x as much health as a standard mook, but that just means he goes down after several shots instead of just a couple. Likewise, [[spoiler:Vlad]] only has somewhat more health than a normal enemy, but you fight him in an elaborate PuzzleBoss arena.
* Alejandro Sosa from ''VideoGame/ScarfaceTheWorldIsYours'', the powerful drug lord Tony has spent the whole game building up to vengeance on, takes multiple rounds from the otherwise-OneHitKill Desert Eagle and gives as good as he gets. Enemy gang leaders usually pack better heat than their underlings too. Of course, you as Tony kick far more ass than any of your innumerable RedShirt {{mooks}}.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'', it takes almost a dozen sniper rifle shots to the face to bring down [[GatlingGood minigun-wielding]] North Korean leader General Kyong. Granted, he's wearing a [[PoweredArmor nanosuit]], but that still doesn't explain how he can survive headshots without wearing a helmet, or the fact he survives much more damage than regular nanosuit-wearing enemy soldiers.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', but usually justified since higher-ranking officers get more powerful HumongousMecha to fight with. An example of a ''good'' character using this trope, however, is Ring Mao, CEO of Mao Industries. Using a DeadlyUpgrade RealRobot? Check. Ungodly stats? Check. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Taking on a small army in OG1 single-handedly?]] Check.
* The entire ''DynastyWarriors'' series operates off of this trope. Ordinary soldiers are cannon-fodder. Only enemies ranked Lieutenant or higher are any sort of a challenge, while master Strategists like Sima Yi and Zhuge Liang kick ass with the best of them. The Kings of the Three Kingdoms are, of course, packing boss-level HP whenever you meet them on the battlefield. This is particularly noticeable in various scenarios that allow you to face them ''before'' they became kings at much lower power. All player-characters are ranked Lt. General at the very least, and their rank increases as they level up. All of the titles you can attain have 'General' in it somewhere, though.
* In DynastyWarriorsOnline, this is a much more straight example. lowly mooks still die by the hundreds. Named characters, or characters named by their rank if you are facing the non-specific kingdoms that have little importance in the story of the three kingdoms, are stronger than mooks, but sitll pushovers. Your character, starting at "guard" working his way up, can (not necessarily will) kick all kinds of ass, and the musou generals, who are the orginal chracters from the game, are teh strongest out there, and have many special abilities as backup, including backup. As a player character gets higher ranked, they can use more powerful weapons, meaning that they will get many bonuses to facing a lower level chracter if they use that ability.
* Lord British is NighInvulnerable in most of the ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' games. [[LordBritishPostulate There's usually a way to kill him, though]].
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Online'', this trope is taken to its logical end point; the ONLY difference between new characters and end game characters is their rank. Naturally rank allows access to better items and skill, but the fact is that a newly minted mage has the same "power" as one who can duel a greater daemon and win.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer: Red Alert 3'' has [[spoiler:Emperor Yoshiro piloting the SuperPrototype of the [[HumongousMecha King Oni]] in the Soviet Campaign.]]
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' uses this partially. On the side of TheEmpire, battlefield commanders (probably sergeants or at least corporals) are signified by a red armor, and invariably have more HP and a better chance to dodge bullets. They also hit better, and (somehow) do more damage. However, while your own corporals and sergeants starts out pretty strong - and remain so for the entire game - several of them are eventually surpassed by some of the enlisted troops. Your second-in-command, however, is probably the most powerful unit around, and you yourself (a squadron commander ranked Lieutenant) gets to drive around in a SuperPrototype tank. The truest use of this trope, however, falls to the trio of Imperial Commanders leading the invasion under the direction of EvilPrince Maximilian. Two of them pose impressive challenges by having access to unique vehicles, as does Maximilian, and the third, well, she just kicks unholy amounts of ass. [[spoiler:And finally, at the very end, Maximilian shows that being ranked prince gives you access to some really nifty toys, and single-handedly goes up against your entire squadron, including two tanks.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'':
** Both a hunched over old man and a drunk (who in the preceeding cutscene is implied to be able to kill a warrior only because he was sleeping) can take more hits then most of the randomly spawning monsters in the chapter, for no reason other then that they are pillars of the community and (one of the possible) final fight in the chapter. While the fight is not hard by any means, the necessity of this trope is questionable; they are preceeded by a much more climactic boss.
** This is subverted with the arrival of King Foltest, appearing the macho cavalier as he insists he'll survey ''his'' city no matter what a warzone it's turned into. An assassination attempt sends him into a huddle surrounded by his footmen. After being rescued by the leader of a knightly order, who plays this trope straight, Foltest retreats to his palace with all the dignity he can muster.
** The aforementioned leader of a knightly order [[spoiler:who is also the ManBehindTheMan and BigBad]] counts. Justified in that he is the accomplished swordsman and [[TheGift the source]] who mastered his own power through the sheer force of will.
* Regal Bryant in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', [[spoiler:a noble and president of an important and powerful company which almost controls a whole city.]] He fights with his feet while handcuffed and would be more powerful if he fought with his hands, but [[spoiler:he made a promise not to kill anyone with his hands after he euthanized his lover with them.]] Still uses them when it doesn't involve fighting. Case in point: he broke the group out of a prision cell with a KameHameHadoken.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'':
** Gaius is the ruler of the country of A Jule, and is strong enough for the first fight against him to be an OpenEndedBossBattle. [[spoiler: He ends up being the final boss, and come ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', he's now the ruler of the entire world of Liese Maxia, a playable character, and even more of a {{Badass}} then before.]]
** Bisley Karcsi Bakur from ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' is the CEO of the Clanspia Company. He makes it rather clear he's not a run of the mill guy when he effortlessly avoids some attacks from one of his top agents early on, but his true strength doesn't come to light until much later [[spoiler: where it's revealed he's the holder of the ultimate [[SuperMode Corpse Shell]], a BigBad, and ultimately ends up becoming the final boss after he takes out Khronos, the other BigBad. He gets extra {{Badass}} points for choosing to fight with his fists when he's just as capable of conjuring a lance to wield as Ludger is.]]
* The faction leaders (one or two special [=NPCs=] per race) in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' are all boss-level creatures who will mop the floor with your face if you attempt to take them on without an army behind your back. (Well, except the king of Stormwind, but he just happens to be a 4-year-old kid.) Likewise, no instance endboss ever attained his lofty status by virtue of guile, cunning or charisma. It's ''always'' a case of having more power than all other pretenders. The king of Stormwind has since been replaced with his father, who easily ranks as among the most [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/wowwiki/images/2/22/Varian_in_Stormwind.jpg badass characters in the game]].
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'' has this trope all over the place. Pretty much everyone who kicks ass is, was, or is related to, royalty. The only real exceptions are the Three Wise Men, who are just normal (though powerful) mages, and only actually failed in their schemes because ''every'' PC (sans Gwendolyn) and even an NPC or two was gunning for them at them, all at the ''same time''. They really should have tried to make fewer enemies...
* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'':
** This is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the Tasen Commanders and Elites having superior weapons and power armor. In the case of the Komato, it's more AsskickingEqualsAuthority, since the strongest and most skilled Komato get upgraded to the highest ranks... but they also get equipped on promotion with Berserker cybernetics, Annihilator exoskeletons, or even General Tor's [[HumongousMecha Eidolon exoskeleton]], which is [[ThatOneBoss the nastiest machine in existence.]] The only character who invokes this trope ''without'' justifying it with superior equipment is Asha, leader of the Assassins, who holds his rank by dint of skill and not gear.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with PlayfulHacker Yukebacera, bar none the most powerful Tasen, [[AlmightyJanitor who's only a Soldier]]; this is explained by him having illegally hacked himself an arsenal that's fully a match for [[TheDragon Annihilator Iosa's]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' use this trope straightforward time and time again, except in ''Subterranean Animism'' where the bosses of stage 5 and 6 are ''domestic pets'' of stage 4 boss (who is also the mistress of the dungeon your character is fighting through).
* In just about any ''Franchise/Pokemon'' game, the hero faces an evil organization of sort, and whoever leads it (along with TheDragon and other high-ranking members) are usually the most powerful bosses in the game.
* Towards the end of ''NinjaGaiden'', Ryu faces the two monstrously huge forms of the Holy Vigoor Emperor, the head of state and absolute monarch of his country. While not the toughest bosses in the game, they put up a good show for themselves, and by dimensions, are the largest. The third form is revealed in the DS sequel to have been small, humanoid, and capable of running the day-to-day affairs of the small, militarized land locked Asian monarchy.
* In ''NinjaBlade'', it is no big surprise that the Master of your Ninja Clan is an asskicker of unsurpassed magnitude. However, it IS somewhat surprising when your Unit Commander, generally a VoiceWithAnInternetConnection (a gray-haired bureaucrat in a pin-striped suit) turns out to be a Jui-Jitsu master powerful enough to kick TheDragon's ass in unarmed combat.
* [[TheDragon Colonel]] [[{{Badass}} Radec]] of ''{{Killzone}} 2'' shows you how he got that high a rank in his [[BossFight boss]] [[ThatOneBoss fight.]] Even after you take out his personal guard, [[MoreDakka he'll be blasting you in the face with a light machinegun]], teleporting and going invisible to [[OneHitKill knife you from behind]] and [[MadeOfIron being a fricking bullet sponge]] until you finally defeat him, [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled at which point he commits suicide]]. [[spoiler:Scolar Visari on the other hand isn't a combatant and dies after Rico shoots him in a cutscene.]]
* In ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms VII'', higher officer classes can command more powerful armies, and higher general ranks get more tactical points. And since [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority officer classes are determined by "deeds," and the quickest way to up your deeds marker (barring exploits) is through kicking ass in battle, while the AI usually assigns general ranks by WAR skill,]] you can bet that a 1st Class Supreme General will be an absolutely fearsome opponent, whether man-to-man or commanding on the battlefield.
* Subverted with the ZOE squadron pilots in ''AceCombat 2''. The Captain gets a F-14, the Major gets a F/A-18E and the Colonel gets a F-22. Seems to be holding up so far, right? Well... the General gets a relatively dinky F-15S. Then the Commander, who would pretty low on the totem pole by CommonRanks, is the FinalBoss with the ADF-01 superfighter that is as capable as one would expect a non-[[AnticlimaxBoss Anticlimax]] FinalBoss to be.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
** A side quest in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' finds the player scavenging the ruins of a DC museum in search of UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln artifacts. One such antique the player can find is "Lincoln's Repeating Rifle", a gold-plated weapon that fires .44 Magnum bullets and ''easily'' outclasses most other weapons in the "Small Guns" category. Honest Abe was '''packin'''', folks. Somewhat TruthInTelevision, Lincoln's family had to hunt for their own food and he always kept himself up to date with developments in ordnance technologies.
** Talon Company's leader, Commander Jabsco, who's armed with a rocket launcher and can survive more damage than a Deathclaw (the toughest "non-boss" mob in the game, not counting the expansion packs), and the truly insane General Jiang Wei, who carries a lightsaber and (depending on player level) can have more health than any other mob in the game, including the 15-foot tall Super Mutant Behemoth.
** Averted in the game's main plotline, though, as BigBad President Eden is [[spoiler: a supercomputer with no combat capabilities]], and his TheDragon Colonel Autumn turns out to be only marginally tougher than a standard soldier.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' had BigBad TheMaster, an evil mutant head attached to an armored throne armed with dual gatling lasers. His TheDragon, The Lieutenant, was also the toughest member of the Mutant Army.
** And in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' you had Frank Horrigan, who was the toughest member of the Enclave. Although completely averted with the President.
** In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' the player can have the Courier play on this trope, doing the Wild Card main quest will allow the Courier to take control of New Vegas himself/herself, and involves stopping both the NCR and Caesar's Legion from taking control of Hoover Dam and taking New Vegas for themselves, as well as killing, or disabling Mr. House to take control of the Vegas strip from him.
** Caesar's Legion goes both ways on this trope. Caesar himself is no stronger than his EliteMook guards. Legate Lanius, his second in command, is one of the strongest things in the game. Vulpes Inculta, the leader of the Frumentarri, is on-par with a Prime Legionary at best, and Lucius, third in command of the Legion, is also no stronger than any of Caesar's EliteMook guards. However, Centurions, the field commanders, have the best combat skills of any type of soldier in the Legion, and carry the best equipment, including named characters like Aurelius.
** The New California Republic generally averts this; their leaders are leaders and their soldier are soldiers. Similar to Caesar, General Oliver is no stronger than an EliteMook. However, this is thrown to hell in the ''Lonesome Road'' DLC with Colonel Royez, a power armor wearing badass who has boss-level health, 100 points in every combat skill, and a [[{{BFG}} Plasma Caster]]. He's only accessible if you decide to [[MoralEventHorizon nuke the NCR]].
** The ''Lonesome Road'' DLC also adds Gaius Magnus, who's apparently one of the highest ranking members of the Legion since he wears the same armor as Lanius. He has many of the same attributes as Royez, only he wears slightly worse armor and wields a [[GatlingGood Minigun]] instead of a Plasma Caster. [[FridgeLogic It makes you wonder why they didn't send either of these guys to Hoover Dam...]]
* Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight in the ''TotalWar'' series. Depending on the traits that a leader possesses, he may be a god of war in human form that can charge into enemy ranks and massacre them easily, capable of striking fear into the hearts of enemies and raises his own army's morale through the roof. Or he can be a hypochondriac wimp that can be killed by being surrounded by peasants armed with pitchforks...
* Every character even loosely associated with the royal bloodline of the Kingdom of Obel in ''{{Suikoden}}'' games will be, at the very least, a competent fighter. This includes the [[spoiler:{{player character}}s in [[SuikodenIV the fourth]] and [[SuikodenV fifth]] games.]] At some point, it goes beyond being a WarriorPrince; Obel's royal family apparently [[LamarckWasRight passes knowledge of warfare through the genes]].
* Subverted, then played straight in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'': [[spoiler:Andrew Ryan turns out to be an AnticlimaxBoss who orders you to kill him with his own golf putter, but Frank Fontaine juices himself up with ADAM so that he can be the final boss.]]
* This trope is one side-effect of the way ''SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' handles unit setup. All units in a "room" fight and move together on the battlefield, and one unit is designated as the Leader. The Leader tends to be more powerful than any other unit in the room, because all the other units contribute a percentage of their stats as a constant bonus to the leader as long as they're alive.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrolls'':
** Played fairly straight in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion''. Although the Emperor himself is a OneHitpointWonder, [[spoiler:Martin turns out to have extensive knowledge of forbidden magic, not to mention turning into a dragon in the final act. Not bad for an unknown priest in the middle of nowhere.]]
** Dremora may fit as well, as high-leveled character will encounter only Markynaz and Valkynaz-ranked ones (which are considered to be [[http://uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Dremora#Markynaz lords and princes of their realm]]).
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' has it for the guilds where the player has to fulfil attribute and skill requirements to get promoted -- at least for the guild heads, who generally have ''very'' good attributes (far above what is required, and pretty good in the other attributes, too) and are fairly close to fulfilling the skill requirements (mostly, they don't have any that are quite that high, but have several that are ''almost'' that high). They tend to be relatively well-equipped, as well.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'':
** Organization XIII uses this trope in various ways. In ''Kingdom Hearts II'' the FinalBoss is the organization's leader, playing this trope straight. Simultaneously subverted; The Organization's members are ranked chronologically by the order they joined from one to thirteen (with the oldest being #1, and the youngest being #13), but they gain authority by completing missions. So even though Vexen (#4) has been around for a very long time, he's done few missions for the Organization, so he's looked down on by pretty much everyone else.
** And on the heroic side, there's Mickey, a keyblade master and the strongest GuestStarPartyMember in the game... and, of course, he's also the revered king of the Magic Kingdom. Practically a meta example, as he's also the mascot and leading character of the Disney half of ''KH'''s Square-Enix/Disney team-up, and his power and role in the storyline reflects his real-life importance.
* Both used and averted in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}''. Elizabeth Greene and [[spoiler:the Supreme Hunter]] are both far more capable than standard Infected, and Leader Hunters are stronger than normal Hunters, but "mere" Captain Cross proves to be tougher than any of the random higher officers Alex consumes, and definitely more badass than the Blackwatch leader.
* Subverted in the ''[[Franchise/StarWars Revenge of the Sith]]'' game, where [[spoiler:the leaders of the Separatist army are easily the weakest enemies in the game. Incapable of attacking and trapped in a small conference room with Anakin, all they can do is attempt to run away as Anakin slaughters them all]]. Played straight later in the level, when the main one (the green grub guy from the first two movies) pilots a spaceship and becomes the level boss.
* The ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' series had both Big Boss and his predecessor, The Boss. Both initially handled by the storylines as villains, both incredibly powerful warriors, and both far more complex than any of the games' heroes could have guessed.
* ''VideoGame/FableII''
** Averted where the end boss after a cut scene is weaker then most random mooks you face and is taken out in one shot.
** Played straight in the event that the player amasses property wealth in excess of 2.5 million gold, at which point they are named King/Queen. Wielding weapons like the Royal Scepter (A high-power mace with four enchantment slots), wading through bandits, Hollow Men, Hobbes, and Banshees, once the player occupies the position of authority, it most certainly does equal asskicking!
* Averted again in ''{{Wet}}'' were after taking out the dragon, there isn't even a gameplay fight against the main boss; it's just a cutscene of Rubi executing him.
* In ''StrongHold'', the Lord is the most powerful unit, being almost immune to arrows and able to outmatch up to three heavily armored swordfighters simultaneously. Unfortunately, the player cannot make much use of this advantage, since the lord's death equals a Game Over.
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather'' game, higher-ranking enemy mobsters have more health, deal more damage and must be softened up before you can grab them. On your end, as you gain Respect levels and rise through the ranks of the Corleone family, you also gain health, damage and a variety of other perks.
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather 2'' The player starts out almost maxed out. As they advance through the story they are allowed to recruit up to 7 followers, even though they can only have 3 following at once. Followers have 3 ranks:
** Soldiers are capable of a single specialization, though some rare ones have two.
** Eventually you can promote up to two of them to become Capos which have double the health of a Soldier and have an additional specialization.
** Right before [[ManBehindTheMan the reveal]] [[BigBad of the]] [[HiddenVillain obvious villain]] [[FinalBoss and traitor]] [[spoiler:Hyman Roth]] you gain the opportunity to promote a Capo to Underboss; these guys have yet another specialization and 3 times the health of a Soldier, the same as the [[TheDon protagonist]].
** Averted with pretty much every other Don, however, who is at most a KingMook, but definitely not a monster in combat like the trope suggests.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'':
** Ridley is the leader of the Space Pirates and is a [[RecycledINSPACE Space]] [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragon]] to boot. Being badass is inevitable, as proven by how [[ThatOneBoss incredibly powerful]] he is everytime he shows up.
** Averted and played straight by [[BrainInAJar Mother Brain]] and played straight by the rest of the Pirates. Mother Brain can't even attack in the first game, but is protected by indestructible turrets and has [[MadeOfIron immense durability]] and a HealingFactor. In ''Zero Mission'', she lost the healing factor but gained an attack, and in ''Super Metroid'' she is attatched to a HumongousMecha that can wipe the floor with Samus, requiring a DeusExMachina to defeat. For the rest of the Pirates, higher rank usually nets better equipment, like the Pirate Commander's indestructible armor and personal teleprter. Weavil, a Pirate [[FourStarBadAss General]] (the same rank as Ridley, actually), has armor on par with Samus' and wields a miniature nuclear reactor ''in his crotch''.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' games in which they show up, the Strogg have a supreme ruler, called the Makron. The first Makron was the final boss of ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' (it's said he got the job by destoying any rivals), and his successor was the final boss of ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'' (who was specifically built to counter the Human counterattack). Justified in that the Strogg are cyborgs, which means giving your leader more guns and armor on the assembly line is doable.
* Shao Khan, the FinalBoss in many games in the ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' series, is ruler of the Outlands, and clearly didn't gain the position just by good looks. He's a terror whenever your character fights him (unless you take advantage of his frequent habit of gloating, which is [[WeaksauceWeakness pretty much the idea]]).
* In ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore: For Answer'', the world is pretty much ruled by a group of arms-manufacturing megacorporations which resolve disputes using HumongousMecha. Guess what two of the [=CEOs=] of these corporations do to earn pocket money... yep, that's right. Semi-justified as both of them exclusively use their own respective corporations' products in combat, thus serving as walking (or rolling) advertisements.
* In ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' the demonic Queen of Hearts is the ruler of Wonderland [[spoiler: not to mention the embodiment of Alice's insanity]] ''and'' the FinalBoss of the game. To say that she's hard to beat is an understatement.
* The Nihilanth in ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' and the Combine Advisors in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', both leaders of vast armies and both possessing immense psychic powers. Breen could have been an aversion, though he was a figurehead at best.
* General Viggo in ''VideoGame/FurFighters'' is naturally the FinalBoss and one of the most powerful characters in the game.
* ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate'':
** The world of Basel is effectively a fundamentalist state, ruled by a group of Cardinals. You get to fight 4 of those Cardinals through the course of the game. (Well, technically only 3, since one of them left his position just before attacking you.) The first one inexplicably possesses VillainTeleportation, wields a grave-marker in one hand and a SawedOffShotgun in the other, preferring to teleport directly behind you and unload an undodgeable combo which can (and will) take you from full health to 0 in one go... but he can be somewhat forgiven for this since [[BadassPreacher he LOOKS the part]].
** The next one, however, is a MadArtist with a french accent, who dual-wields a [[BlingBlingBang golden Luger]] and... a picture-frame. His bullets are powerful enough to make the roof collapse on your head, and he soaks up damage better than most of the giant mutants you've fought before. The next one is a bald, white-bearded old man who is mostly famous for his huge collection of rare books, and studious inquisitiveness. He wields a {{BFG}} and is even tougher. The final boss is [[spoiler: Cardinal Rowen, the highest-ranking of the Cardinals, and de-facto leader of Basel. He goes GunsAkimbo with a Gold AND Silver Luger, and can absorb SICKENING ammounts of bullets.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/JustCause Just Cause 2]]'':
** The game takes place on a small, east-indian island-state, run by the short, egomaniac tyrant, 'Baby' Panay. He's clearly patterned after real-world dictator, Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, and seems to compensate for his diminutive size by errecting huge monuments in his own honor - and, of course, by executing anyone he doesn't like. However, after shooting your way through his entire army - tanks, gunships, torpedo-boats and all - he turns out to be virtually invincible on his own, starting out by shrugging off a hand-grenade to the face, and then wielding a supercharged rocket-launcher in one hand while ignoring the hail of bullets you throw his way. In the end, [[spoiler: it takes a [[NukeEm NUKE]] to kill him.]]
** A lesser case is the Colonels - high-ranking army officers you are tasked with assassinating. They all wear nigh-impregnable body-armor, and if using small arms against them, can only be damaged with headshots - of which they can absorb several. Even if you bring in some heavy weaponry - a tank or a missile-armed gunship - you can expect him to take at least one direct hit without dying.
* In ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans'' this is done with varying degrees of justification. General Armquist and Silhouette only pose such a challenge to Crypto because they've kept the best SchizoTech for themselves, and President Huffman is originally an aversion, getting killed as easily as any random civilian . . . until his brain's put inside a [[HumongousMecha 50-foot tall robot]], at which point he becomes [[ThatOneBoss the toughest enemy in the game]]. However there's no real explanation for why cops can take more volts of electricity than civilians, or why soldiers can take more than cops, or why Majestic agents can take more than anyone else.
* In the RTS game ''SevenKingdoms 2: The Frythan Wars'' regular soldiers, once out of training, start at level 20. The King (Player) starts the game at level 100. However, it's possible for normal soldiers to equal the King eventually, at least in combat. To hone their leadership though, they need to be promoted and improve it through leading.
* [[spoiler:Domin]] from ''{{Dubloon}}''. [[LargeAndInCharge Large]], tough and has RealityWarper-like powers.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'':
** Ezio from ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'', now a Master Assassin, is a better fighter than any of the Assassins he recruits, and even more kickass than in ''2'' when he was younger and didn't have the authority. His position gets much more solidified in VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations.
** Largely averted in the first ''VideoGame/{{Assassins Creed|I}}'' when it comes to your targets; they're powerful and influential people, but (unless there's a good reason for it), usually (and logically) less difficult to fight than their guards.
** Played straight with Robert de Sable. Living up his title of the Grandmaster of the Knight Templars, the guy is a monstrous tank on two legs and it takes a lot of time and energy to just even hurt him.
** Altaïr becomes the leader of the Levantine Assassins by the end of the first game.
** [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII Connor]] starts his career in the Assassins as a teenage boy on a VisionQuest. Within the next couple decades, he is not only a hero of the American Revolution, but also rebuilds the American branch of the Assassins and built a thriving community in modern day Rockford, MA.
** It seems this trope runs in the Kenway family as [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag Edward]], Connor's grandfather, starts out as a washed-up pirate. By the end of the Golden Age of Piracy, he has become a fearsome captain of the seas.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia: Legends'':
** One of the [[BonusBoss Optional Bosses]] requires this trope to explain his very existence. Rupee, the leader of a legendary band of desert-bandits, inherited the position from his recently-deceased father. He's maybe 8 years old, scrawny, cowardly, and wears NerdGlasses. His hulking [[TheDragon bodyguard]] practically has to DRAG him into battle. But when it comes down to the actual fight, he's got an immense pile of HP and an arsenal of powerful magical attacks (mostly, but not solely, support-spells.) Worse yet, once you wear his HP-bar down past the halfway point he TurnsRed, and starts dishing out powerful physical attacks that deal far more damage than anything his aforementioned bodyguard could hope to inflict, virtually always causing a OneHitKill. Noteably, those special attacks are prefaced by his NerdGlasses turning into ScaryShinyGlasses...
** A more subtle, but nonetheless interesting application of this also occurs in the game - the 'Captain's Stripe' item you receive after winning major ship-to-ship battles. Using it powers up your current ship's stats, including HP, armor and speed. Apparently, the simple act of adding another stripe to your uniform ''makes your ship tougher''.
* The [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Kenget Kamulos]] in ''{{Albion}}'' make this extremely true by having their current leader become the avatar of the god of war.
* In ''VideoGame/VanguardBandits'', the nation leaders each have a [[SuperPrototype Excavated]] [[AMechByAnyOtherName ATAC]] which is significantly more powerful than the common grunt suits reverse-engineered from them. Being some of the best pilots in the game helps too.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'', Roan can hold his own in battle alongside a professional mercenary, a robot warrior and a tough beast-man, despite being just a little boy. Why? 'Cause he's a prince, I guess. Later, he becomes a full-fledged king and becomes even more powerful.
* In LiberalCrimeSquad, authority is represented by how many people can work under your liberals. This depends on [[ExperiencePoints Juice]]. Since Juice and also increases statistics (Like Agility and Health]], The better you are at leading, the better your stats. And the current leader of the LCS gets 6 extra recruit slots... And [[PlotArmor a 75% damage reduction]].
* Averted in ''SwordOfTheStars''. Destroyer-based Squadron Command and Control ([=CnC=]) ships are poorly armed and best kept far from the fighting, cruiser-based Strikeforce [=CnCs=] are not much better, and while dreadnought-based Armada [=CnC=] and Flagship vessels are pretty tough they usually lose to proper combat dreads in a straight fight. Played straight with Leviathans in the sequel, which are the toughest craft in the game and have the best command.
* Partly played straight but mostly averted in ''Franchise/DragonAge'' games. King Maric Theirin of Ferelden was pretty badass. However, as the novel ''Stolen Throne'' indicates, he was a wimp for a good portion of the book before circumstances forced him to grow into a badass. He was officially crowned king later. Inverted with Loghain Mac Tir, who became a nobleman ''because'' of his badassery. The novel ''Calling'' reveals that Duncan, the head of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden, also earned his position.
* Averted in VideoGame/DragonAgeII with Viscount Marlowe Dumar of Kirkwall, who is a politician, not a fighter. The Arishok, though, is the most skilled and toughest of all the Qunari in Kirkwall. Played straight with Prince Sebastian Vael of Starkhaven, who can handle himself pretty well and is a crack shot with a bow.
* Mostly played straight in ''VideoGame/TheLastRemnant''. If an important character is playable, they will be a leader in battle (as opposed to a common soldier). If they also happen to be high-class or the leader of an organisation, they will usually have more skills and higher stats than the average leader, and often get a LimitBreak as well.
* Both played straight and averted in ''SaintsRow''. Some of the various gang and faction leaders are undeniably talented ass-kickers, while others are barely a threat in a straight fight. For instance, the [[{{Yakuza}} Ronin]] gang carries [[KatanasAreJustBetter katanas on their backs]], and it's no surprise their leaders and officers are well versed in their use. Conversely, some of the Vice Kings leaders are no more threat than their {{Mooks}}. The player character pretty much becomes one of these in the course of the sequel, being both the leader of the revived Saints and the only one among them with a body count higher than [[BloodKnight Johnny Gat]], the resident crazy violent bastard of the bunch who was once on trial for literally hundreds of murders. [[OneManArmy In a single case.]]
* Franchise/MassEffect has numerous examples of this:
** [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Krogan]] [[ColonelBadass chieftains]] get their rank by being the toughest krogan in their clans ([[FourStarBadass Urdnot Wrex]] goes one better by trying to [[TheChosenOne unite the clans with his sheer badassery]]).
** [[FemmeFatale Miranda]] and [[MagicKnight Jacob]] are certainly handier than the [[NGOSuperpower Cerberus]] Mooks they lead.
** If you choose to pick [[TheCaptain Captain Anderson]] for humanity's council spot, then he definitely counts.
** [[BloodKnight Zaeed]] was the leader of the [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Blue Suns]] mercenary gang.
** After Garrus Vakarian quits the space police, he [[TookALevelInBadass becomes the space Batman]], leading a small team of vigilantes on a CrapsackWorld.
** An evil example: [[TheDragon Saren Arterius]] had his own [[ArtificialLimbs geth arm]], a HoverBoard and managed to fight Shepard to a standstill on Virmire.
** Despite being TooDumbToLive, Warden Kuril is pretty good with his [[MoreDakka Revenant machine gun]]. He can even fire it one handed and with good accuracy.
** [[StateSec Spectres]] have nearly limitless authority within [[TheFederation Council space]]. Of the five we know ([[FemmeFatale Tela Vasir]], [[TheDragon Saren Arterius]], [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]], [[TooCoolToLive Nihlus Krylik]], and [[spoiler: the Virmire survivor]]) all are definitely [[BadAss badasses]].
** Some [[TheHighQueen Asari Matriarchs]] are this - EvilMatriarch Benezia and her EliteMooks being one. On the good side, Matriarch Lidanya, commander of the CoolShip ''[[AwesomeMcCoolname Destiny Ascension]]''.
** [[TheDon Aria T'Loak]]: "[[BadassBoast I'm the boss, CEO, queen, if you're feeling dramatic.]] It doesn't matter. [[AbsurdlyCoolCity Omega]] has no titled ruler and only one rule: [[PrecisionFStrike Don't fuck with Aria]]."
** [[TheChessmaster Information broker, manipulator and all-round]] TrueNeutral the Shadow Broker [[spoiler: is a massive monster called a Yahg.]] He goes to battle with a {{BFG}} in one hand and an energy shield in the other. [[spoiler: He gets replaced by another equally badass figure, Liara T'Soni]].
** Admiral Hackett spends most of ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' as an [[TheVoice unseen]] QuestGiver. [[spoiler: He leads the Arcturus Fleet in killing Sovereign, ordering his commanders to hold the line at all costs.]] In the second game, we get to see his face. Boy, [[GoodScarsEvilScars has he earned that rank]].
** [[TheCaptain Captain Kirrahe]] is a pretty good [[TheStrategist strategist]] and a FatherToHisMen. He does a good line in [[RousingSpeech inspiring speeches:]]
---> '''Kirrahe''': You all know the mission, and what is at stake. I have come to trust each of you with my life -- but I have also heard murmurs of discontent. I share your concerns. We are trained for espionage; we would be legends, but the records are sealed. Glory in battle is not our way. Think of our heroes; the Silent Step, who defeated a nation with a single shot. Or the Ever Alert, who kept armies at bay with hidden facts. These giants do not seem to give us solace here, but they are not all that we are. Before the network, there was the fleet. Before diplomacy, ''there were soldiers!'' Our influence stopped the rachni, but before that we held the line! Our influence stopped the krogan, but before that, we held the line! Our influence will stop Saren; in the battle today, we '''will''' hold the line!
** Mordin Solus led a science team, then a mission to [[CrapsackWorld Tuchanka]] to create and release a new version of the [[DepopulationBomb genophage]]. How good is he? He ''killed a krogan with a pitchfork''.
** [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch abominations]] [[BigBad Sovereign]] and [[BigBad Harbinger]], [[TimeAbyss millions of years old]] mecha-Cthulhus are scarily competent in directing their indoctrinate servan...[[MemeticMutation I AM ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL!]]
** The setting subverts as well: [[ObstructiveBureaucrat The Council]] are pretty normal, Vido Santiago is an accountant playing at war, [[TheDon Fist]] is useless and needs turrets to help him. [[AffablyEvil The Illusive Man]] is never shown to be much cop in a fight. [[BigBadWannabe Elanos Haliat]] dies easy. [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Doctor Gavin Archer]] is useless in combat. AssInAmbassador Udina is never shown to be any good at fighting.
* The reboot of ''VideoGame/{{Syndicate}}'' seems to follow this pattern. Sergeants are EliteMooks, the Lieutenant shown in trailers is a miniboss at least and the Colonel in the co-op demo is a boss.
* Pinnacle from ''DeadToRights'', the corrupt mayor of Grant City who's like a cross between [[MarvelComics The Kingpin]] and an evil version of [[VideoGame/FinalFight Mike Haggar.]] In their LetsPlay, LetsPlay/{{Slowbeef}} and Diabetus ponder why he even needs a security force when he's a "shaved bear in a pinstriped suit."
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' is always this way. Gym Leaders and the Elite Four are always harder to fight than other trainers of the same level, and the legendary Pokemon are the same way. Of course, some of it is because TheComputerIsACheatingBastard.
* The original ''VideoGame/{{X-COM}}'' only has this for the aliens: Leaders are toughers than soldiers, who in fact aren't even more badass than the various non-combat specialists. The rare commander is badasser yet. Some races' leaders even get special abilities. ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' extends this to humans, too, [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority as promotion to higher ranks comes with learning new special abilities and gaining better stats]]. The reverse is also true in the remake, as promotions are earned exclusively through kills. This means that the highest-ranking XCOM soldier is also the one who has killed the most aliens.
* A standard rule in ''Videogame/MakaiKingdom'' and the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series, due to the general demon mindset. The Overlord rules the Netherworld because they're strong enough to fend off anyone else trying to take over. If another demon manages to defeat the Overlord, they become the new Overlord. An Overlord can even conquer another Netherworld by defeating its established Overlord.
* ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' has this in full effect, as the lords and kings are both [[OldSoldier a lot more experienced in the battlefield]] due to [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething leading their own troops into battle]] and able to buy the best weaponry and armor the game has to offer. The latter makes it easier to pick them out and home in on them, which you'll probably have to do if you don't want your troops slaughtered by him.
* ''DeadSpace'' has a [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]] version: Captain Benjamin Mathius of the USG ''Ishimura'' is the first [[EliteMooks enhanced]] [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies Necromorph]] you encounter.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' games featuring the Bacterian Emperor, who [[ZeroEffortBoss has minimal offensive power at best and is completely stationary and incapable of combat at worst]].
* Played straight and subverted in Dark Souls. Plot wise, each boss you face that you receive a Lord Soul from was one of the Lords who rebelled against the Dragons and defeated them with the power of the Flames. This includes Gravelord Nito, Seath the Scaleless, The Four Kings of Anor Londo, and the Bed of Chaos, formerly the Witch of Izalith. But then there's the final boss, [[spoiler: the withered husk of the God of the Sun, Gwyn, Lord of Cinder]]. Unlike other bosses in the game, his attacks are absolutely relentless, and he has close to no openings during the entire fight. Not to mention that he wields a massive flaming sword that can kill you in only a couple of hits, and can damage you even as you guard. He is extremely powerful, even if at this point he's little more than a burnt-out hollow of his former self.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNVarlNMOEA Subverted from a gameplay standpoint, in that he is also the only boss in the game who can be parried, which can make the fight much shorter.]]
* Though he looks to be almost the same age as the protagonist, Nova from ''VideoGame/AzureStrikerGunvolt'' is the leader of Sumeragi and is easily the strongest foe Gunvolt has faced. [[spoiler: Whereas the other six Sumeragi Adepts use only one Glaive to hold back their powers, Nova uses ''three'', and even without them can still fight.]] Likewise, [[spoiler: [[TrueFinalBoss Asimov]], leader of [[LaResistance QUILL]], is quite powerful in his own right compared to his comrades, and uses stronger versions of Gunvolt's own powers.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** The webcomic is a rare example of this rule being used by {{mad scientist}}s. Most of the Sparks that have appeared in the comic so far have proven to be quite competent fighters - part of this may be justified by them often having a DeathRay or two in their pockets, but even in unarmed close combat, several Sparks have demonstrated high levels of skill. [[OverlordJr Gilgamesh Wulfenbach]] demonstrated an ability to smack a BIG [[SuperSoldier Jäger]] around while injured (but [[BerserkButton flipped out]]). Baron Wulfenbach has also had action hero-level fighting skills, but that may be attributed to his past adventuring with the Heterodyne Boys. The Heterodyne Boys themselves may also, technically, be said to use this, seeing as they were the hereditary rulers of Mechanicsburg. Agatha "doesn't fence", but she's [[WrenchWhack quite the slugger]] with a 3/17 Occipital Left-Leaning Heterodyne Wrench. Or [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070629 any]] heavy [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110711 wrench]], for that matter.
** Justified in that the magical intelligence boost that allows the sparks to create military wonders and various supersoldiers also increasingly makes them impatient and crazy enough to install said wonders and perform said experiments on themselves or their loved-ones. It is at one point suggested that should Gil prove faulty (i.e. less than perfect in every way) his father will simply take him apart and try again, and no one seems to find this particularly implausible. Baron Wulfenbach has visibly performed various surgeries on himself and augmented himself to the size of a small tank. The heterodynes casually drink from a spring that, in a very dilute and weakened form, turns ordinary soldiers into near-invicible superstrong jagermonsters.
** Additionally, the paranoia the spark brings isn't really unjustified, as few sparks actually survive to adulthood due to the usual torch-bearing mobs and the danger of their own creations. Even a spark in the rational state is liable to see some advantage to augmenting themselves being the toughest thing in the immediate vicinity at all times. If not for the law that dying causes one to lose one's properties, most of Europa's rulers would probably be undead abominations by now.
** There's also the strong implication that the Baron experimented on himself to keep going in his adventures (much like Othar), and there's the possibility that Gil inherited some of those... improvements.
** Don't forget the Jager generals. On the Castle Wulfenbach one take a crashing plane head-on. When they fight, even the lesser Jagers don't want to be around. Later [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120427 Oggie thought]] that being "detatched" is a sufficient reason to disobey Mamma Gkika -- see the result on the next page. Presumably, you get to be a Jager general by being tougher than any other Jager around you.
** And then they get [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120521 to]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120523 the]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120525 actual]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120528 fighting]]...
** Opinion is divided as to [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091125 how much]] of Tarvek's "[[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091130 spoiled aristocrat]]" image [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110425 was]] ObfuscatingStupidity.
* [[spoiler: Raizel]] from ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'', who is the True Noblesse, the leader of all [[OurVampiresAreDifferent nobles]]. He won EVERY FIGHT he got into, which all ended in a CurbStompBattle. This is later downplayed; While Noblesse is an important title, it is not for the leader of the nobles; nevertheless, the actual leader, titled the Lord, is nothing to sneeze at either. And the Lord's seconds-in-command, titled the Clan Leaders, are also much stronger than normal nobles. Their enemies, the Union, also follow the same hierarchy, with the leading Union Elders being scarily powerful. [[spoiler:Made worse by the fact that one of those Elders is actually a Clan Leader who defected.]]
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'': The Rankers are ranked solely on their performance while they climbed the Tower. Which is kind of a big deal. Rankers move on to become agents, bureaucrats and test administrators, positions of great authority. So yeah, being a test administrator equals major asskicking abilities.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' has almost everyone using various forms of SuperSoldier "boosts", but there are some clear examples:
** Captain Tagon is no slouch: a trained, experienced, and highly skilled soldier, he isn't someone you'd want to cross. Still, in a fair fight, he'd probably be creamed by any number of his enlisted beings. [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20030511.html Good thing]] [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20080427.html he cheats]].
** Kevyn, the second in command, isn't all that tough physically; but between the antimatter-bomb epaulets and just being the MadScientist, everybody reacts like he ''could'' kick their asses. Also, he and his sister are good enough at it to surprise the unarmed combat instructor.
** The trope is used even further when Xinchub, a fat general who is mostly into politics, manhandles a bounty hunter. He explains that he has "boosted" (meaning enhanced in various ways) more than she has, probably because he has the political clout to get away with it.
* In ''{{Erfworld}}'' the higher level your chief warlord is, the higher a bonus your troops get. This means that chief warlords are almost always the most powerful speaking unit around, Which makes people wonder why Parson ever becomes chief warlord
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', being promoted to aristocracy makes a normal demon at least larger and much more powerful, and becoming a Demon Lord grants NighInvulnerability and a fiery BattleAura as well as, apparently, SuperStrength.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Subverted when Roy mistakenly assumes that Lord Shojo is a high-level paladin when he is, in fact, a non-combatant aristocrat.
** Later played stright with his nephew, Hinjo, who is a ''very'' capable paladin [[spoiler:and becomes the leader of the Sapphire Guard and exiled Azurites after Shojo's death.]] And then Hinjo goes on to somewhat subvert it later in the story. While he's focused on trying to keep the survivors of the Azure City battle together, looking for a place to settle them, and dealing with treacherous aristocrats, some of his fellow paladins are fighting against villains and other hazards and continually getting stronger. Eventually Hinjo admits that he's fallen well behind them in level, and when a few paladins are needed for a task vital to saving the world, he opts to remain behind, leaving the job to his more powerful subordinates while he concentrates on keeping his people afloat. He still kicks ass, just not as much as some of the people below him.
* It's demonstrated [[http://fancyadventures.com/2008/12/08/page-44/ here]] in ''Webcomic/TheFancyAdventuresOfJackCannon''. Who knew Principals had so much power? It's implied that the General is also powerful, but we have yet to see him in action.
* Played with in ''ErrantStory''. The most skilled members of the Ensigerum, a group of [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot warrior/monk/time-mages]], are generally the highest level initiates and newly raised monks as the older members lack recent combat experience and have grown too dependent on magic. The trope is played straight for their leader, Imperatrix Anita, who is without a doubt the deadliest member of the order.
* ''MSFHigh'': Any teacher at MSF High has this. Any Legion Queen has this, with access to all ten Legion 'facets'. Principal Kasumi? Don't even ask. Keiri is not to be messed with as well.
* Justified in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', as Sburb is effectively a video game and thus needs to provide some bosses for its players to defeat. The Kings and Queens of Derse and Prospit aren't very strong on their own, but they are all provided with items (rings for the Queens, scepters for the Kings) that provide power boosts which elevate them far above the rank-and-file. Like many things in the medium, these power boosts are tied to the prototyping of the player's Kernelsprites. The Black King of the Troll's session was prototyped a whopping twelve times and proved an absolute monstrosity to defeat.
* Mr. Verres of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has shown his offensive magical abilities and is relatively high up in the local [[TheMenInBlack paranormal division of the FBI]]. Assistant Director Liefeld, his boss, is an extremely beefy man which means he probably has significant physical fighting prowess even if he is not a magic user.
* ''ZokushoComics'': If Clash is anything to go by, Master Byron is quite capable of opening up a rather large can, despite his age.
* [[EvilRedhead Ro]][[BigBad yce]] from HeartCore fits this trope, considering how he almost killed the protagonist of the story without using his full powers. Being the king of demons and fiends does help, though.
* Played straight in ''TwoKinds'', by the Basitin people. On one side we have a new General, who fought and bested every challenger for the right to take the position. On the other side we have the King, who was presumed fatally injured and has been noted as incredibly ill for months. When she asks him if he wishes to challenge her decision [[http://twokinds.keenspot.com/archive.php?p=582 he pales and backs down.]]
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': U8 King Cold, who is inexplicably far more powerful than Cold as depicted in the original manga, is the strongest fighter in his universe.
* Magical Rulers in ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'' tend to be quite formidable thanks to several things. [[SuperpowerfulGenetics Powerful linage]], YouKillItYouBoughtIt and because [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve they personify their subjects hopes/dreams/fears]].
* Everyone in the Galactic Union, the government of pretty much the whole universe in ''Webcomic/LuminaryChildren'', seems to be very strong, and very cruel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Used in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest''. The leaders of the terrorist organization are Danya, and a group of four terrorists directly under his command appropriately referred to as "The Big Four", two of whom are Danya's bodyguards when they're not doing other things. The Big Four play this straight in that they're all elite soldiers, one of them having been a successful professional boxer between leaving the military and joining Danya's organisation, and BadassBookworm Jim Greynolds is the only one of them who isn't more or less a master of hand to hand combat. Also used with the group [=SADD=], whose leader Neil Sinclair is probably the best fighter of the bunch (he certainly lived the longest)
* In the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' {{fanfic}} "Osama's Last Stand", OsamaBinLaden can [[spoiler:stab Kim Possible in the stomach in the middle of her monologue.]]
* Used in the Sonic fanfiction ''TheMobiusChronicles''. The higher in rank Amadeus gets the more ass kicking he does, also the Overlander second in command is one of their most talented fighters.
* ''OpenBlue'''s BackStory had the Caesars of the [[{{precursors}} Iormunean Imperium]], who had access to an elixer that boosted their lifespan, physical abilities, and HealingFactor, making them fearsome warriors in battle. Second to them was the [[FourStarBadass High Executor]], leader of the PraetorianGuard, who was armed with an [[AncestralWeapon ancestral sword]] that could double as a ''WaveMotionGun''.
* [[http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/hes_barack_obama He's Barack Obama.]]
* Xandus, the most powerful villain in the AvatarAdventures universe, doubles as the Prime Minister of Canada.
* It is revealed in {{Kickassia}} that [[spoiler: Kevin Baugh could teleport and use a sword.]]
* In the [[http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=118771 Armageddon]] web-novels, this is how both Hell and Heaven operate - rank and power are equal, with Satan and Yahweh being on the top of the heap. When Michael managed to kill Yahweh with the assistance of his conspiracy, he not only increased in power, he gained the ability to confer power on other angels.
* [[http://5secondfilms.com/watch/keeping_you_safe Tom]] [[http://5secondfilms.com/watch/keeping_you_warm Watson]], [[FiveSecondFilms MP for West Bromwich East.]]
* * Lord Opticord in {{Sockbaby}}.
* In ''TheGunganCouncil'', it's either played straight or [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority inverted]] with Masters and Elites. They are regarded as the strongest characters and usually have or are granted many prestigious titles and responsibilities. Can be subverted or even averted for Padawans, Apprentices, and Trainees that roleplay have a high title.
* Entry #23 in the Cracked photoshop contest "[[http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_489_23-rejected-final-bosses-from-famous-video-games_p23 Rejected Final Bosses from Famous Video Games]]" proposes [[spoiler:Chalres Darwin, author of the theory of evolution, as a possible final boss for the Franchise/{{Pokemon}} franchise (which deals with "evolution" as a major game mechanic).]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** The show uses this with [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]], and [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass King Bumi]] (and to a lesser extent, Azula and Zuko). The Earth King on the other hand couldn't fight at all, and was being controlled by his EvilChancellor since he was four (though apparently Earth King authority ''used to'' equal asskicking). The warden of "The Boiling Rock" [[spoiler:was a bit of a pushover as well, but at least had [[KillUsBoth the attitude]].]]
** Nearly all of the main characters qualify. While not a really a major authority at the time of show (being gone for a century while people were suffering does not help to endear) the Avatar is considered a sort of King of World and past ones always seemed able to boss around the other rulers a lot. Sokka and Katara are more or less royalty by virtue of being children of the Southern Water Tribe Chief (even though poverty makes them little better than peasants) while Toph is a definitely noble ranked high up in the Earth Kingdom pecking order. Iroh, Pakku, Jeong-Jeong and even Piandao are also either royalty, nobles, generals or aristocrats. Even Suki, essentially the only member of Team Avatar who can't be construed as anything other than a lowly peasant, is still the commander of her island's warriors by virtue of being [[BadassNormal an asskicker]].
** And dare we even mention [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Toph's daughter]]? Lin Beifong, chief of police in Republic City, after all of her other metalbending cops are knocked unconcious, still goes after [[BigBad Amon]] anyways, through use of her metalbending. The only person to aid her was [[BackToBackBadasses Korra herself]] - and she saved Korra on multiple occasions throughout the fight.
** Amon himself. The leader of the Equalists and the most skilled of them all. Although this is thrown into doubt when [[spoiler: we learn his ''physical'' fighting prowess is rooted in his bloodbending: he can 'read' people's muscle movements and use slight tugs of bloodbending to throw enemies off their game]].
** Councilmen Tarrlok and Tenzin also count, although the rest of the council, reflecting the demilitarized state of their world, aren't shown to possess any real fighting skill.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'', the mayor is a professional wrestler in a luchador mask who is always introduced as Johnny "the Mayor" Bledsoe. He doesn't appear to be able to do any actual fighting--the one time he tried, he reflexively started faking his hits.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', the Mayor is usually content to let the Girls be the heroes. ''However'', in one episode, when Fuzzy Lumpkin took over as mayor, and then had the nerve to ''take his hat'', he [[BerserkButton became so angry]] that he wrestled Fuzzy to get his job back - and won.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** True for both sides. Since promotions for the Decepticons seem to be either through murder or treachery, Megatron tends to be one of [[{{Leader}} the most powerful, charismatic and strategic guys around]]. The same goes for Optimus Prime (and Ultra Magnus in ''TransformersAnimated''), although with him it's more that they ''made'' him {{leader}} because he's the best.
** In the animated movie, Hot Rod gets upgraded from a racecar to a futuristic truck when he was promoted to Rodimus Prime by the Matrix. He got about half again as tall, and upgraded from "pathetic" to "successor of Optimus Prime."
** Optimus Prime himself was a small pickup truck type thing when he was Orion Pax, and was rebuilt into the bigger, tougher Optimus Prime. The nice thing about being robots is that you can get an upgrade upon promotion to fit this trope much more easily than with us fleshlings.
** The one time this trope was ''not'' used in ''Transformers'' was a brief period in the 1980's comic series in which the Decepticons were led by ''Ratbat''. Yes, a small purple cassette that turned into a talking bat. He scored the leadership through his popularity and attempted to run the Decepticons with more businesslike efficiency. The comics played it straight aside from that, with leadership landing in the hands of Shockwave, Scorponok, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, and back to Megatron thanks to the superior ass-kicking power of each. The Autobots got into the act, with powerhouses like Grimlock and Blaster trying to take over the Autobots whenever Optimus was absent.
** This seems to be part of the Predacon culture in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' - Megatron leads by fear and intimidation as much as loyalty. When Dinobot first defects to the Maximals, he first tries to do it by challenging Optimus' leadership by force. [=BlackArachnia=], Terrorsaur, and Tarantalus attempt coups frequently. Megatron's stated policy is that he tolerates treachery but not incompetence.
** This seems to be a part of Transformer culture in general. Optimus Primal was fully capable of kicking the crap out of his underlings. Pretty much any given Transformer leader stands head and shoulders above most of his troops, sometimes [[LargeAndInCharge literally]].
** Rhinox is no slouch either. He's smart, devious, and strong. He simply lacks ambition and is content to follow Optimus. When he is infected by a Predacon-made virus that turns him into a Predacon, he also gains ambition and, in a short order, nearly takes over Predacon leadership. In ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', when he becomes [[spoiler:Tankor]], Rhinox nearly causes both Megatron and Optimus to kill each other, while he picks up the pieces.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Dr. Director from Global Justice and Gemini from WEE are the big cheese and the best fighters of their respective organizations. And they're twins.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', Faragonda and Griffin are the headmistressess of Alfea and Cloud Tower, respectively. Both are incredibly powerful sorceresses who can fight if the need arises.
* A memorable episode of ''ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' pits the Skipper and his crew against a horde of sewer rats in an attempt to retrieve Julien's crown. The rats say they'll hand it over, on the condition that the Skipper fight their leader. Skipper laughs and says he'll try to go easy on the ''mousy'' little guy... who's revealed to be in fact a massive mutated lab rat who resembled M. Bison. Cue the stunned looks of OhCrap! on the penguins faces.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''
** Numbuh 362, the [[{{Leader}} Supreme Leader]] of the Kids Next Door organization, was a top stealth agent before she took command, and she can still kick a very respectable amount of ass when the need arises. This was [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome memorably demonstrated]] in the episode "Operation: I.T." where she [[spoiler:ate her way through a wall of broccoli to take on [[BigBad Father]] and made him break down in tears by threatening to force-feed him the dreaded vegetable]]. Also, in ''WesternAnimation/OperationZERO'' she held her own against a senior-citizombified Numbuh 60.
** And, just to underline the trope, she is eventually succeeded as Supreme Leader by [[spoiler:Numbuh Five]].
* [[{{Leader}} Jerry]] in ''TotallySpies'' was easily able to defeat Clover, Alex, and Sam when they were turned evil by the enemy. And in an episode ''previous'' to that one, he was able to beat another villain senseless, causing Clover - the only witness, who had been turned into an unwilling pawn by said villain - to comment that even ''she'' was surprised at how good he was. (As Jerry himself told the guy, "There are a ''lot'' of things my girls don't know about me.")
* M.O.M. in ''WesternAnimation/MartinMystery'' is extremely acrobatic and good with weapons and gadgets. She was able to pummel a vicious spider monster on one occasion with her bare hands.
* Charles Foster Offdensen from ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}''. Excelling in hand-to-hand combat is a must when you're the manager of the most popular band (and twelfth largest economy) in the world.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'':
** Starfire and Blackfire are both [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses royalty]], and while superstrength seems universal for [[HumanAliens Tamaranians]] (or at least those we see in the palace), the two princessess are apparently the only of their species that can [[{{Flight}} fly]] and shot [[PureEnergy energy blasts]]. (The trope likely applies to all Tamaranian monarchs anyway; seeing as it seems to be legal to assume the throne by defeating the monarch in a fight, one who couldn't fight well probably wouldn't last long.)
** Lord Trogar of the Gordanians in the episode "Go" was able to simultaneously beat Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire in a fight on his battleship. He was also able to take an energy blast from Raven which knocked out his ship and immobilized his guards without flinching. Makes one wonder why he needed guards in the first place...
* Played for laughs in an episode of ''MyGymPartnersAMonkey'', when Adam convinces Mr. Hornbill, a lovelorn rhinoceros teacher, to challenge Principal Pixiefrog (who is, well, a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin pixie frog]]) to a ring fight to prove his masculinity. It turns out this trope is in full effect as Principal Pixiefrog proceeds to wipe the floor with Mr. Hornbill while shouting "who's your principal, Cyrus?!? I said, ''who's your principal?!?''"
-->'''Adam:''' What just happened?!?\\
'''Jake:''' A 2-ton rhino just got his butt handed to him by a 6-ounce frog! Where were you for the past 30 seconds?
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_President Super President]]''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' this holds true with Thundera's King Claudus and his two [[FourStarBadass best generals]] Panthro and Grune, all of whom sport {{Heroic Build}}s and illustrate the ability to mow down multiple foes in one blow, and in Grune's case, defeat a monster many times his own size.
* The original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' also qualify as to be recognized as a their full-fledged leader, Lion-O faces a series of trials against his comrades and then is sent to kick Mumm-ra's ass by himself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', pretty much all the leaders seem to be powerful magic users, with Princess Celestia stepping up with laser beams and horn strikes, Princess Luna powerful enough to threaten Equestria with her SuperPoweredEvilSide and Queen Chrysalis proving far more powerful than any of the mooks under her command. The Diamond Dog leaders also proved much more competent than their underlings in a fight. Subverted in Princess Cadance who has never been shown to be particularly powerful in combat, though she manages to be [[BadassPacifist badass]] in other ways.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In ages past it was common for generals to actually lead their troops into battle, but this was really to better direct the troops in an age before radio. The death of a general in battle often ensured his army's defeat, so this tradition was abandoned as soon as distance command became practical.
* In feudal societies, the upper classes had more access to military training and equipment, as well as better diets, so you could expect that the lord could wipe the floor with his peasants.
* Among the lower ranks of real military forces, however, this is most certainly TruthInTelevision. A Corporal or Sergeant Major (etc.) will only hold the rank they do because they climbed the rank ladder from the very bottom upward and will have gained valuable combat experience along the way, but are not yet too old to dish out a good asskicking.
* Part of a senior non-commissioned officer's job is to mentor junior officers. The officers ''do'' outrank [=NCO=]s, but are expected to defer to the knowledge and experience of their senior NCO subordinates. The corollary being that [=NCO=]s must never in any way be perceived as diminishing or being dismissive of the officers' command authority.
* As historically nobility equaled warrior class, worth as a vassal was earned in warfare, and commonplace wars and duels let the stronger take over the weaker. So in the Early Middle Ages, higher nobility had to be highly skilled in combat to stay such, through AsskickingEqualsAuthority effect. The expense of quality equipment helped that end as well. Later relative peace and hereditary nobility ended this.
* Tsar Alexander III was a truly massive man, nearly two meters tall and possessing great physical strength. He was rough and, though his reign was relatively peaceful, was known to train extensively for combat. When his train crashed, he actually held up the roof so his family could escape. This puts the VideoGame/AssassinsCreed example under ComicBooks in perspective.
* During the UsefulNotes/RussoJapaneseWar, rear admiral Rozhestvensky: chief of staff of the Russian Navy (basically the third highest job in the whole Navy, second only to the director of the Department of the of Navy (counterpart of Defense Secretary in US terms, only dedicated to the Navy and not the armed forces in general) and the General Admiral (a rank reserved for members of the House of Romanov) for the first half of the war and commander of the Second Pacific Squadron when the Tzar decided to send ships of the Baltic Fleet to reinforce Port Arthur, was a powerful man who would punch out any undisciplined sailor unlucky enough to be noticed by him. From the same conflict, Heihachiro Togo: commander in chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy and [[WorthyOpponent the one who defeated the best admirals of Russia, Rozhestvensky included]], was a trained samurai and a skilled swordman before the Meiji Restauration and him becoming a sailor.
* Subverted in the case of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. While they did serve in World War I, their state's PropagandaMachine made them into much more than they really were. Hitler did get two Iron Crosses, but that probably had more to do with his near-constant proximity to the Regimental HQ. He also turned down a promotion, probably to avoid more responsibility. Mussolini's war record, on the other hand, is almost completely unremarkable.

[[/folder]]

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