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[[quoteright:348:[[Webcomic/ZebraGirl http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ZebraGirl-SamVsWolves1_7659.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:348:[[RefugeeFromTVLand He's actually retired from cartoons, now.]] [[http://zebragirl.net/?date=2004-03-26 And more badass than you will ever be.]]]]

->''"It's widely believed that a Contractor possesses a cool, analytical mind: at all times, in all situations, no matter how desperate, he's able to calculate the most logical course of action. Is it because he knows no fear? Hardly. A Contractor can get as scared as anyone. He simply doesn't let his feelings affect his reason."''
-->-- '''Mao''', ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack''

Everyone has a tipping point, a BerserkButton, [[HeroicBSOD a threshold of shock]] and joy and [[DrivenToMadness weirdness]] that once crossed [[NotSoStoic collapses all emotional reserve]] like a FawltyTowersPlot. Some, however, have such an exceptionally high threshold that they'd probably greet the impending collapse of the universe with the same equanimity as cold tea.

Characters with [[TitleDrop Nerves of Steel]] are of steel in the same way a physical body can be MadeOfIron -- they are nigh-unshakable.

Someone who has NervesOfSteel ''thinks'' when times are tough. He makes decisions efficiently; he pushes his emotions aside, and so his decisions are not overly affected by them. He may be TheStoic, or he may be perfectly normal emotionally. Either way, his ''mind'' is never shoved aside when his emotion is. It is always thinking, a weapon as sharp as a sword. Characters with Nerves of Steel aren't intimidated by screams from those with a HairTriggerTemper, won't get upset if his EvilPlan is foiled (this is a morality neutral trait), he isn't likely to burst into tears when it turns out TheHero is NotQuiteDead and got better, and very probably won't even raise his voice to the man who murdered a BusFullOfInnocents unless the sound of his righteous ass kicking is loud enough to require it. Even happy news and emotions aren't likely to cause exaggerated reactions of joy (though he probably enjoys a nice hearty laugh every now and then). When captured, [[DefiantCaptive they are defiant]] and likely planning their escape.

Reasons for this demeanor vary. He's probably SeenItAll, is naturally [[TheSpock Spock-like]], has an iron-clad StepfordSmiler facade (though on the inside they probably ''are'' banging his head against his cage) or emotionally ''can't'' be made to feel extreme emotion, such as the TinMan. This doesn't count if the character is an EmptyShell, since there isn't anyone home to excite. The ExtremeDoormat may count depending on the individual case (some are just too listless to care at all, not requiring any emotional control at all). AffablyEvil villains and TheChessmaster are always composed as a result of everything [[JustAsPlanned going according to plan]].

Even if this person doesn't have PsychicPowers; their control over their OWN brain often makes them resistant to those who do.

In short, someone with NervesOfSteel is immune to the HeroicBSOD, VillainousBSOD and VillainousBreakdown. God help us all if [[NotSoStoic this proves untrue]].

A good trait for a BadassBookworm to have, at least if they want both halves at the same time. Note that nerves of steel may be hard to distinguish from TranquilFury at times. Showing a StiffUpperLip is a good way for a character to convince ''other'' people that they have NervesOfSteel. Compare HeroicSafeMode, where the emotional/thinking part of the brain "shuts down" to allow for instinctual survival mechanisms to work unclouded by emotions. PostDramaticStressDisorder is when a character ''fakes'' having NervesOfSteel, but breaks down as soon as the danger passes. Contrast NervousWreck.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* Girge from ''Manga/BreakBlade'' doesn't seem to be afraid of anything. He deliberately handicaps 10 enemy's golems [[OneManArmy alone]], [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome destroys an elite troop of five with a handicapped golem]], and finishes it off by [[spoiler: [[IAmSpartacus stepping up and proclaiming to be someone who was going to be executed]] with a smile.]]
* Johan Liebert from ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' serves as a villainous example.
* Nico Robin of ''Manga/OnePiece'' should qualify. She's the one on the upper right of a previous page image not losing her cool.
** Zoro and Sanji both probably count as well. Sanji's been shown to be very efficient at dealing with a rapidly crumbling situation and saving his fellow Straw Hats, Zoro ''never'' loses his cool ([[RuleofFunny except at the other Straw Hats]]), but he's a little too [[BloodKnight happy]] to pick a fight with other swordsmen, and tends to consider options that are too extreme to be plausible, to qualify fully for this.
* Miyata Ichirou from ''HajimeNoIppo''.
* Zero from ''GamblingEmperorLegendZero''. Even the narrator mentions how the more pressure is on him and the more dire the situation is, the sharper his mind becomes.
* ''{{Mazinger}}'':
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': TheProfessor Gennosuke Yumi. Eighteen-meters-tall killer robots are advancing towards his Institute? Mount Fuji is about of erupting and burying them under burning lava? Squads of armed soldiers are besieging them under the threat of set off an earthquake under their feet if they do not surrender? A spy is aiming one gun towards him? He has been captured and is being used like hostage? It happens all the time! Basically Yumi is a scientist, hence he refuses panicking and instead of it he uses his analytical mind to study the trouble and find a solution quickly. He is so good keeping his cool he can come across like cold and aloof sometimes. Usually he only expresses emotion when one of the kids -Kouji, his daughter Sayaka or their friends- are in serious and immediate danger.
*** Usually you would not associate Kouji Kabuto with this trope since he is a HotBlooded character, but he is ''surprisingly good'' keeping his coolness when he needs thinking quick to save himself or someone else.
** ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'': Prof. Umon also plays this trope. He can be incredibly calm in the worse situations (or his anime version is. One of his manga versions... not so much).
* A trait common to most, if not all, Contractors of ''DarkerThanBlack.''
* Homura Akemi of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. [[spoiler: Horribly averted when we see her back story. Many tears are shed, both by her [[TearJerker and the viewer]].]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** When Uryū lost his powers, he learned that the only way to regain them was to have a giant flaming energy arrow fired into an exact location 19mm to the right of his heart. This could only occur while he was putting his life on the line so that both his body and spirit were stretched to the absolute limit. In other words, not only did he have to be shot in a location that would kill him if it was off by a hair, but he had to be a ''moving target'' for it to work. His father, [[StepfordSnarker Ryūken]], who had to perform the shot, made it look easy solely because he didn't turn a hair when doing it. Later on, when he leaves the room and lights up a cigarette to relax, the moment strongly indicates it wasn't easy for him at all, he was simply that good at disciplining himself when it mattered. FridgeBrilliance perhaps as Ryūken is also an extremely talented surgeon, a job that requires nerves of steel every day.
** To everyone's surprise, [[spoiler: Mizuiro]] turns out to have these. When he wakes up in a town that's been thrust into the spirit world and is therefore practically a ghost town, he reacts by stocking up on essentials - rations food, tasers and other weapons. When attacked by a being that can literally vaporise things at the touch, he nonchalantly throws a bottle at him to test the enemy's capability. Upon realising that the rumour about this being vaporising things is true, he doesn't bat an eyelid and coolly throws a ''Molotov cocktail'' at him instead. He's only mildly surprised that it doesn't work and, for a moment, his companions are actually more nervous of ''him'' than they are of the BigBad.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Itachi Uchiha. Every move is carefully calculated, and he never loses his cool. That SanitySlippage from a couple years ago? [[spoiler: He totally faked it so Sasuke would kill him]]. And then [[spoiler: after being freed from Kabuto's control when he's resurrected, he helps Killer Bee and Naruto fight the resurrected Nagato and calmly figures out how to beat Nagato's then-unbeaten gravity attack. He then, still calm, announces he's going to go defeat the resurrection technique itself.]]
* Gendo Ikari from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. He only expresses emotion when his surrogate daughter Rei is in mortal peril [[spoiler:or about to abandon him.]] He calmly assesses and discusses options about the situation while his ''actual'' son might be being boiled alive, or trapped in a dimensional pit, or about to attempt to attack him with a giant robot because he's tired of his dickery. At one point he's half-coated in blood by an Angel duel happening ''right in front of him'', and he doesn't even ''flinch''. It's not that he doesn't care; he does, deeply. He's just... very inexpressive. There's a certain amount of self-loathing there as well.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' has a number of characters who are remarkably good at keeping their cool under pressure, with Chang as probably the main example. He remains perfectly calm and collected even while a psychopathic killer is trying to kill or keep him pinned down with a machine gun.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed'': Lacus Clyne. The girl is never visibly shaken by anything that happens in the series, always maintaining a calm and cheerful demeanor... even when informed that [[spoiler:her father has been assassinated]], she carries on and does what needs doing. The only time she shows any loss of control is in a private moment near the end with Kira, where she breaks down crying from everything that's happened and hugs him. One scene later and she's back to her usual unshakable demeanor.
* Haman Karn from ''MobileSuitGundamZZ'' is famous for her [[IronLady iron composure]], not even blinking when facing meters-long blades punching right at her face (because she knows that Judau would never kill an unarmed opponent). She loses her cool precisely once, after [[spoiler: she shoots Judau's sister]], and Judau responds with a [[PsychicPowers gigantic phantom of pure psychic rage]], causing her to break and run away as fast as she can.
* ''{{Akagi}}''. His inability to become scared or upset about ''anything'' eventually drives the BigBad (whose playing style is partially based on frightening his opponents to a point where they begin to play desperately) into a VillainousBreakdown.
* Soldiers using the 3D Maneuver Gear properly in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' need to be able to react and change directions in an instant to avoid disaster while maintaining perfect balance. Levi, who is the WorldsStrongestMan, is consistently stoic and calm that it's near impossible to break him from that state.
** '''Erwin Smith'''. There is a reason that he is Commander of the Scout Corps. Threaten him with execution? He will stand there and relay his entire plan to you so you can complete it when he's dead. Titan limbs flying around sending others scrambling for cover? He will stand there and watch without batting a lash. [[spoiler:A Titan bites into his arm and drags him off? ''He will continue to yell orders to his troops'', then show up later ''missing an arm'', to save the day himself.]] He doesn't have a single nerve ''not'' made of steel.
* Despite not being as smart as others on this page, Goku from ''{{Dragon Ball}}'' rarely losing his cool and remains calm even when the situation appears completely hopeless. While even Piccolo can succumb to panic or despair, Goku is usually seen thinking of a plan or even humoring how things seem hopeless while smiling. Among his group of friends he is often seen as the person to look to when things go really bad even when he is not currently the strongest fighter.
* Jotaro Kujo of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' can maintain the world's greatest poker face in any situation short of having a steamroller dropped on top of him. This ends up being his greatest asset in his [[AbsurdlyHighStakesGame Absurdly High Stakes Poker Game]] with a soul-stealing CardSharp, as he manages to bluff the man into outright insanity.
* The shogun Shigeshige of ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' is pretty much the only character who never, ''ever'' loses his composure. [[ButtMonkey Which is saying a lot when considering all of the abuse he tends to take whenever he shows up.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Albert Cleary of ''ComicBook/DamageControl'', who serves overdue bills to ''Dr. Doom'' without showing any outward signs of duress.
* Post-Parallax members of the ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' Corps tend toward this, since they are now selected not for their lack of fear, but their ability to overcome it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In the MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic ShipFic ''Fanfic/TwilightsList'', Rainbow Dash thinks Twilight has these because she acts so cool and unperturbed in the face of Rainbow Dash's anxiety over the date. Unfortunately, this was because Twilight was actually asking Rainbow Dash out on a ''practice'' date, and as such, doesn't have any reason to be nervous. When Twilight realizes what has happened, she freaks out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
* ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'''s title characters displays this at least once in every work in the franchise.
* In ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', Captain Ramius demonstrates this perfectly while eluding a torpedo following the vessel.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': This is half the reason that Jedi are so damn awesome. Often leads to AwesomenessByAnalysis.
* Stephen Maturin operating on himself in ''Film/MasterAndCommander''
* Charles Morse in ''Film/TheEdge'' shows impressive self-possession while stranded in the Alaskan wilderness.
-->'''Charles:''' You know, I once read an interesting book which said that, uh, most people lost in the wilds, they, they die of shame.
-->'''Robert:''' What?
-->'''Charles:''' Yeah, see, they die of shame. "What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?" And so they sit there and they... die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would save their lives.
-->'''Robert:''' And what is that, Charles?
-->'''Charles:''' Thinking.
* ''Film/XMenFirstClass'': Sebastian Shaw knows how to keep his cool and respond logically to every new threat he faces.
* '''Nobody''' is braver than [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger Captain Steve Rogers]], not [[WesternAnimation/TheInvincibleIronMan an Invincible High Tech Cyborg]], nor [[TheIncredibleHulk A Humanoid Tsunami Who Can Punch Through Mountains]], or even [[TheMightyThor The Literal God Of Thunder Himself]], and hence it is he, but a mere mortal, who leads ''Film/TheAvengers'' to a crushing victory against an army of Godlike Alien Invaders.
* John Russell (Creator/GeorgeCScott) in the 1980 {{horror}} film ''Film/TheChangeling''. The guy's [[NervesOfSteel impossible to scare]].
* This is most likely a requirement for [[HumongousMecha Jaeger]] pilots in ''Film/PacificRim'', considering with [[{{Kaiju}} what they fight against]]. One notable example is the Russian couple Aleksis and Sasha Kaidanovsky who calmly walk away when Gipsy Danger's plasma caster inadvertently activates. ''When the plasma caster is directly in front of them point blank''.
* This is described as the most important trait of a great gunfighter in ''{{Unforgiven}}''.
* ''Film/{{Elysium}}'': Carlyle [[spoiler: is impressively composed when his Bugatti SSTO is shot down, and even sets an ambush, immediately after crash-landing, for Max and Julio by sending only one of his droids out to kill them, and waiting for them to leave cover before deploying the second.]] However, he (like Delacourt, and, it's somewhat implied, many Elysians), seems slightly robotic, which may be the source of his imperturbability. Mind you, he still had the occasional small spazz and yelp. It's still impressive that he wasn't screaming and flailing.
* Ford Brody from ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}''. It takes brass balls to stay calm when the Mutos starts their rampage.
* Leonardo in ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'', is the best at keeping his head cool in the middle of battle, showing why he's the leader.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* HoratioHornblower : He displays these in war and in gambling. For example, at one point a lit explosive lands on the deck at his feet. He reaches down and calmly pulls out the fuse. He looks up and sees that everyone else had dived for cover, and they are now staring at him like he's the bravest man on the planet. He manages to be exasperated, because no other course of action had even occurred to him.
* Paul Atreides in ''Literature/{{Dune}}.''
* Scheherazade in the ''Literature/ArabianNights''. She spends nearly three years telling story after story after story, always ending on a cliffhanger, knowing that if it isn't a good enough cliffhanger, she will be executed in the morning.
* Shows up, appropriately enough, in ''Nerves'', where nobody really loses their cool despite a breeder reactor blowing up, producing an isotope that could destroy everything within thirty miles at any moment and the one guy who knows enough to stop it going missing. Interestingly, it slightly {{deconstruct|edTrope}}s this trope, showing just how hard it can be to keep calm and carry on.
* In the often overlooked Creator/FrankHerbert novel, ''The White Plague'', a character takes great pain and care to describe the titular illness in its every gory, incurable, detail, knowing that no one trying to cure the white plague can possibly do so. The reason this character has such intimate knowledge of the plagues effects is because ''she's dying of it''.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden is normally exhausted, bleeding, in spiritual if not physical agony, angry, terrified and running out of magic with the fate of the world on his shoulders - none of which ever stops him from ''thinking'' and finding the answers he needs.
** This trope is actually deconstructed in a side story from Murphy's perspective. The fact that he is completely unfazed by everything (among other reasons) is grounds for Murphy to be worried and/or scared shitless in itself.
* Multiple characters in the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series -- notably among the uptimers Mike Stearns and Jeff Higgins. Taking examples from the first book alone:
** When Mike Stearns realizes that there are soldiers coming to attack the Abrabanel's carriage, he intentionally stands out in the open with a semiautomatic pistol to draw their fire away from the carriage -- and doesn't stop firing even when [[ClothingDamage one bullet rips through his sleeve.]]
** When Jeff Higgins is defending [[spoiler:the students in the cafeteria]] from a charging band of (dismounted) Croat cavalrymen, he empties his shotgun, reloads, empties it ''again'', and -- not having time to reload a second time -- [[PistolWhipping butt-strokes]] another before finally being struck down by a saber-blow.
* Susan Sto Helit of the Literature/{{Discworld}} thinks logically all the time (well, ''nearly'' all the time, as everyone has their blind spots) when others wouldn't -- which means both in a dangerous situation and, let's face it, most of the rest of the time too.
** In ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', Glenda develops these after she gets out of [[TallPoppySyndrome the crab bucket]]. Angry mobs? Furies? Vampires? The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork? She faced down ''all'' of them. Not to mention got into the palace using only [[FoodAsBribe pie.]]
* In the XWingSeries, Wedge Antilles is said to alternately have cold-space lubricants and ice water in his veins. He just about invariably keeps cool and adjusts to new situations. Certainly Wedge feels emotions, some strongly, but he's well able to analyze and understand them. He's only shown losing control once - when someone uses FantasticRacism to diss one of his nonhuman pilots, who ''just'' died to save the man, he pulls a NeckLift and never mind that the other man is taller.
** Admiral Teren Rogriss, an Imperial fleet commander [[EnemyMine who ends up briefly working with the Republic]] ''Solo Command'', is noted to have these [[WorthyOpponent by his enemies]]. He amply demonstrates by playing chicken ''with [[MileLongShip kilometer-long capital ships]]''. His ''Interdictor''-class cruiser isn't much in a fight but can prevent a HyperspeedEscape by Warlord Zsinj's flagship -- as long as it remains in range. Zsinj sends several vessels against him but can't beat the ''Imperial''-class Star Destroyers backing up Rogriss's ship, so he decides to set one of his cruisers on a collision course to force the (smaller and lighter) ''Interdictor'' to turn aside. Zsinj [[OhCrap starts worrying]] the second he identifies the officer in charge, since he knows his own captain will flinch first. In the end, that captain is killed and the burning hulk of his ship is locked into its course. Rogriss stays ''past'' the last second, maneuvering out of the collision using a canny modification of his ship's systems, but also willing to take the risk that it wouldn't work to allow his allies time to keep fighting Zsinj.
* Creator/PGWodehouse's Literature/{{Jeeves|AndWooster}}; under the most strenuous conditions, he might be prompted to elevate an eyebrow an eighth of an inch or so.
* InspectorJavert from ''Literature/LesMiserables'' is a really interesting take on this. No danger can shake his cool, calm reserve: he'll arrest an armed gang with a [[TechnicallyASmile grin]] and a barrage of [[DeadpanSnarker pithy one-liners]], stare down the barrel of a gun and (accurately) predict it will misfire, duck hurled paving stones, and face his execution at the hands of angry revolutionaries with equanimity. Show him ''mercy'' when he's not expecting it, though, and it's a [[HeelRealisation whole]] [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity different]] [[DrivenToSuicide story]]...
* The prologue-only Waymar Royce from ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', book 1: ''A Game of Thrones'', in spite of being something of an UpperClassTwit, did not panic upon coming face to face with one of the Others. He calmly drew his sword and dueled the icy fiend, actually holding his own. [[spoiler: He lost and wound up a wight, but still]].
** Stannis Baratheon is somewhat infamous for being dogmatically stubborn and cool under pressure. The fact that he doesn't seem to emote or react like most people do not help his already terrible PR.
* Ender of ''EndersGame'': despite the enormous pressure piled on him by the teachers and his almost complete isolation, he never loses his temper and keeps on studying and winning the games; even when he's confronted by an entire gang of bigger boys out for his blood, or when the teachers stack the games completely against him, he still doesn't panic and wins with brutal efficiency. In the final stages of his training he's so worn out he's one step away from going insane but he still ''keeps on winning every battle''.
* ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'' has Roman's secretary Gina. Without even being able to fight, she waltzed into a castle overrun with superpowered psychos from [[ReligionOfEvil Abolish]] and riddled it with eavesdropping devices, then spent weeks holed up listening to the bug feeds (which often include the sounds of Abolishers gruesomely killing people) and feeding info to her allies. All while knowing that at any time a curious Abolish reaper might spot her soul and bring the supervillains down on her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': In spite of the worst that can be thrown at him, almost nothing phases Jack Bauer.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Mr. Morden. Gotta hand it to him; not even being arrested, threatened by most of the cast or coming face-to-face with [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Ambassador Kosh]] seems to unnerve him. [[spoiler:The fact that two equally advanced aliens constantly watch over him may have something to do with that -- when Londo kills/chases them off, he finally cracks.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Oz. He's ''not'' a man easily shaken by anything.
* ''BurnNotice'': Michael Weston.
** He even makes a comment about this is another episode. Stating how one can never tell if someone does have NervesOfSteel. Where a trained soldier could crack easily under pressure but a father who's son was kidnapped can have ice water in his veins.
* ''TheCityHunter'': [[ActionGirl Na Na]] displays these. It's a necessary part of her job, as she's a professional bodyguard and government agent.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In the episode ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E4TheFaceOfEvil The Face of Evil]]'', Leela's "fight or flight" response doesn't have a "flight" setting.
* ''{{Firefly}}'':
** Simon Tam displays this in "Ariel". River does in "Objects in Space".
** Simon operating on Kaylee in the pilot episode with (as far as he knew) the possibility that he and River might be killed or turned over to the Alliance hanging over his head.
*** Also, directing Zoe in operating on him in ''Objects in Space.'' Including warning her when he's about to pass out.
** It's InTheBlood.
*** Simon is a classic {{Kuudere}} and is [[TheStoic stoical]] a lot of the time. River had an even harder time in "Objects in Space". She had her amygdala torn out after all and thus is flooded with emotion
*** Wash is able to go from the funny sarcastic guy to completely calm and in control in mere moments as well, as best seen in the Pilot in where he shows us just WHY Malcolm and Zoe have such trust in him and provides us with one of the best Crowning Moments Of Awesome in the series by outmaneuvering the Reavers without losing that stoic calm.
**** Also in the [[{{Film/Serenity}} Movie]], outmaneuvering the Reavers while flying directly into the thick of an Alliance armada. When Mal panics and tries to direct him, "No, no, no, ''no!''" Wash simply matches his tone, "Yes, yes, yes, yes!" and keeps his bearing.
*** Zoe walks into the room where her husband and her oldest friend and comrade are being tortured and cuts the villain off before he can even finish presenting his impossible dilemma, all without changing expression. When she gets given Wash and Mal's ear, she calmly accepts both, then returns to the ship and puts the ear on ice before heading back out for the rescue mission.
**** her response to [[spoiler: Wash's death]] in Serenity is almost equally flat. She freaks out initially, but no more than a few seconds later, she is coolly walking off the ship, checking her weapons, and telling the others that "he's not coming."
* ''GreysAnatomy'': The season six finale is a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Cristina. [[spoiler:Derek's been shot, and lockdown has left no one but her to operate on him. If she doesn't, he will die. A few minutes later, the shooter comes in and sticks his gun in her face, ''demanding'' that she stop operating and let Derek die. She's scared, she's crying, but her hands don't shake because dammit [[HonorBeforeReason she promised she would try to save her best friend's husband.]] She keeps. On. Operating.]]
-->'''Cristina''': Derek's a mess, Meredith's a mess, you're a mess - that leaves ''me'' in charge! Now ''go. Scrub.'' '''In.'''
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Clayton Webb has NervesOfSteel. While he can be annoying the only picture of him panicking was in a flashback in one episode. In other times he is never fazed.
* In ''PersonOfInterest'', all the main heroes (and most of the villains too) are stoic in the face of deadly danger, but Sameen Shaw takes it right over the top. She has a mood disorder that means she might be genuinely incapable of feeling fear.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Julia Neville reveals herself to be in possession of these in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E10NobodysFaultButMine Nobody's Fault But Mine]]". She remains calm and states calmly that she's not the type to beg for her life...and this is while Miles Matheson is holding a sword to her throat.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** John Watson. In the first episode, Sherlock mentions this trope by name while analyzing the [[spoiler: man who shot a serial killer]]. At that exact moment, he catches sight of John and realizes who he's describing.
** Sherlock has his moments, too. In the fourth episode, he's being threatened at gunpoint and is told that if he doesn't come up with a piece of information he ''doesn't have'', John will be killed. Despite this clearly concerning him, he still remains relatively calm and thinks fast enough to [[AwesomebyAnalysis deduce]] [[CrowningMomentofAwesome the information he needs]].
*** It helps that Irene gives him a vital clue at that moment by [[spoiler:looking down at herself]].
** And both of them handle the finale of the first season ender pretty well - particularly the last few moments.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** Spock displays this.
** Kirk often does, too.
** In a ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek: TOS]]''[=/=]''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''[=/=]''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' crossover novel, ''The Return'', Dr. Bashir was doing some very delicate operation and the Red Alert klaxons went off. Data was sure that the patient was dead because the noise would have startled Bashir, but no, he kept his scalpel very still. Then he contacted the bridge. "Turn off the alarms in sick bay. I held myself still once but I don't think I could do it again."
** And of course, Data does this. Though "Fiber optic nerves" would be more accurate in his case.
* ''Series/TheWildWildWest'': Jim West is basically unflappable under any circumstances.
* Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott from ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' was able to keep his nerve when trapped in a room with [[TheDragon Goldar]] ''without his morpher''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role Play]]
* In ''RolePlay/YuGiOhEastAcademy'', every single one of the East Academy duellists shows an almost mind-boggling amount of courage, standing firm in the face of horrors that most war veterans would [[GoMadFromTheRevelation break down at.]] bear in mind that these kids are all underage schoolchildren who never asked for this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'', the "Nerves of Steel" trait means a player doesn't get any penalties from being surrounded by opposing players while handling the ball.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' has a character trait called ''nerves o' steel,'' but this Trope is more effectively represented by the ''level-headed'' advantage: the cool-headed [[GratuitousSpanish hombre's]] lack of panic usually results in more flexibility with initiative in a combat round than others possess. Used well, a ''level-headed'' character can almost choose when to act in a round, representing a mind that is constantly looking for the perfect time to strike.
* {{GURPS}} has the Unfazeable advantage, which means that the character in question never has to make Fright Checks.
* The average ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' SpaceMarine has the rule "And They Shall Know No Fear", which lets them regroup automatically. (Provided, of course, they haven't run off the battlefield.)
** The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Fearless]] special rule takes this one step further; while And They Shall Know No Fear means [[HeroicSecondWind the squad is always ready to come back for another go]], Fearless characters and squads are never subject to Morale tests in the first place and cannot be broken, driven back, or suppressed. They can even be Tank Shocked (i.e. run at by an enemy vehicle) without ill effect, swiftly dodging out of the way and returning to their formation without losing cohesion.
** Nerves of Steel is a talent in ''DarkHeresy'' and ''RogueTrader'', which allows you to re-roll pinning tests. A ''true'' Nerves of Steel character is better represented by the Fearless talent or the From Beyond trait, which make you completely immune to fear or pinning, or [[InsanityImmunity having an unhealthy amount]] of [[SanityMeter Insanity Points]].
** Averted with Khornate berserkers (they of the "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!" chant), who literally have no fear (thanks to crude lobotomies), but it manifests as frothing [[AxCrazy Ax Craziness]]. They also serve a god who doesn't particularly care who wins, as long as there's lots of bloodshed. So you end up with heavily armored madmen running directly into your guns and hacking away without a care in the world, and nothing you do will scare them off.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* The Batter from ''Videogame/OFF'' definitely counts, apart from when he's purifying spectres.
* JC Denton is ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', when playing stealthily. "You mechs may have copper wiring to reroute your fear of pain, but I've got nerves of steel."
* The protagonist in ''{{Metro 2033}}'' is resistant to psychic anomalies. At least a few times in the game, he and several others are attacked by something indescribable and unnatural and he's able to resist it. This is also why he's able to withstand the Dark Ones's psychic communication without going insane.
* The [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Warrior of Light]] from ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' almost always keeps a cool head no matter the situation. He's only shown losing his calm demeanor once, [[spoiler: when Cosmos sacrifices herself to shield him from a horde of Manikins near the end of ''012''.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has Jade Curtiss as the StepfordSmiler version of this. His ability to be unfazed by any situation is occasionally lampshaded by the younger characters as something that freaks them out.
* Agent Francis York Morgan of ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'' reacts to the DarkWorld simply by lighting a cigarette and proceeding forward with hardly any reaction. It helps that he's already [[CloudCuckooLander crazy]] [[SplitPersonality in his own way]].
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** [[PlayerCharacter Commander]] [[{{Badass}} Shepard]], especially if the SoleSurvivor background is chosen. Keeping his/her cool while the rest of his/her unit panicked under attack from nightmarish Thresher Maws was what got him/her noticed enough to be considered for the Spectres. Ditto his/her feat in the War Hero origin, where Shepard effectively stared down an entire invading army until reinforcements arrived.
** [[AcePilot Joker]]'s performance in general, and at the end of the first game in particular; he isn't even nervous trying to land the Mako APC in a ''fifth'' of the normal minimum landing zone, just intent. It's a stark contrast to [[NonActionGuy his attitude outside of the pilot's seat]], though.
* Dante from ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry''. This guy's reaction to things like giant demon birds threatening him, a three headed ice dog trying to block his way, or a demon snake trying to eat him? Dodging or no selling whatever they try and taunting them.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', famed for abuse of the SanityMeter, lacks the meter during Pious Augustus's chapter. Simply due to being before the meter is introduced to gameplay? Being the only battle hardened professional solider among the player characters? [[TheChosenOne Or is it because the ancients decided to preserve his sanity?]] After all they aren't so bad to look at by default, [[MindRape they choose to make those who look at them lose it.]]
* Shu Shirakawa in any ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games where he's present is this. Doesn't matter even if he's already on the verge of being defeated, his expression will not budge one bit.
* A questline in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' has Trevor helping a pair of lunatics threaten and arrest anyone they think is an illegal immigrant. The last mission starts with Trevor running into one of their previous victims on the street, and is informed that the man's family as been living in the US for two hundred years. Trevor tries to play it off, but the argument escalates until Trevor is pointing a gun at the man's head. He doesn't flinch, and tells Trevor that if he wants to make things right, he'll take care of the men he had been working with. He then tells him that he won't pay him a single penny for doing so. Trevor, easily [[AxCrazy the most psychotic and violent GTA protagonist]], can do nothing more but honor his demands.
* Helena of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6''. Notably, she's just as calm as [[{{Badass}} Leon]] is, even though she's never faced zombies before. This trait leads to her personal CrowningMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:during the battle with Simmons, he flings a very large chunk of debris right at her head, and it misses by inches. ''She doesn't even flinch'', [[BoomHeadshot and promptly returns the favour]].]]
* Phoenix Wright from the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' franchise. He's generally easily spooked or disheartened, but characters note time and again that he's at his best when under pressure and true enough he is pretty much unflappable once he gets going.
* The protagonist from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' has them, even more so should you pick the right dialogue choices. Not to say he doesn't show emotions like confusion or panic, it's just that he manages to stay calm and collected regardless. When emotions run high, he often gets the option to tell the others to calm down. In fact, late in the game, [[spoiler:telling the others this is crucial should you want to avoid the first BadEnding.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* In ''FateStayNight'', Servant Archer is singled out as having these more than any other Servant due to cultivating battle experience as a way to make up for the fact that he had very few natural gifts.
** Servant Assassin also has shades of this. Possibly it's due to his ExtremeDoormat nature, but things like [[spoiler:having his lungs detonated from the inside, being minutes away from death due to Mana deprivation, or being eaten alive]] don't seem to affect his mind much.
*** Kuzuki Souchirou. He's more of an ExtremeDoormat than Assassin, sure, but it doesn't change the fact he's basically a Muggle who faces superpowered Servants without the slightest hint of fear or anxiety. [[TheStoic Or any other emotion for that matter...]]
*** In [[FateZero the prequel]], Emiya Kiritsugu is also an excellent example.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation]]
* Johny, the super mellow teenager, from the Flash series ''WebAnimation/{{Siblings}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Chaz the talking sword form ''SluggyFreelance'' is always ready to neutrally analyse the current situation. He being just a sword, it's not so surprising he doesn't get upset about things, although he can certainly be sarcastic.
* Sam Sprinkles in ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'' shows this off on multiple occasions, such as [[http://zebragirl.net/?date=2004-03-26 when he was caught in an alley facing a pair of werewolves with claws as long as his hands.]]
* It's relatively early in ''Webcomic/OrderOfTales'' that [[TheStoryteller Koark]] first shows his ability to keep his wits about him in the face of danger: when [[spoiler:[[http://www.rice-boy.com/order/index.php?c=122 he has been accused of murder and brought before the Oceanqueen of Tenshells]]]], he is obviously terrified, but [[http://www.rice-boy.com/order/index.php?c=125 speaks easily and eloquently in his own defense]] nevertheless.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* From ''Literature/{{Worm}}'':
** Even in a city full of superheroes and supervillains, Skitter is an exceptionally cool customer. It's particularly evident in her fight against [[spoiler:Mannequin]], one of TheDreaded [[spoiler:Slaughterhouse Nine]] -- she comes up with her plan of attack literally while [[spoiler:he is trying to slit her throat]].
** One of the reasons Tattletale is so ferociously effective is that she doesn't let pain, injury, or threat to life and limb stop her from using her [[TheSmartGirl smarts]], her [[SherlockScan superpower]], and her [[GrinOfAudacity vulpine grin]] to break down any obstacle in front of her.
** Miss Militia from the [[HeroesRUs Protectorate East-North-East]] is also remarkably good at keeping her head in dangerous and chaotic situations.
** Jessica Yamada, introduced in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/interlude-18-donation-bonus-3/ Interlude 18 (Donation Bonus #3)]], is an unpowered therapist specializing in working with superpowered individuals, most of whom could kill her as easily as swatting a fly. Even in the face of intense fear, she maintains a calm demeanor for her patients' benefit.
* The AsHimself version of Creator/DougWalker in "The Review Must Go On". His [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic character]] has, to be blunt, come to life and is scaring the shit out of him by acting like some demonic abusive partner, but he only shows his terror when he's scarfing down tranquilizers alone in the car.
* Rebecca from WebVideo/DemoReel responds to creepers in masks telling her to be scared by reminding them that their car is being towed.
* LetsPlay/{{Critikal}}. That man fears nothing. Even ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'', which is memetic for scaring people, not only fails to scare him, but ''bores'' him to the point he starts telling a story about his teen years to pass the time. Thus far the only thing that's ever scared him was [[spoiler:a leaf falling in his peripheral vision]].
* All of the main cast of ''Literature/ChronoHustle'' fits this, but it's especially notable with Mary Bishop. Jack Masterson is a con artist, and thus is used to thinking his way out of tricky situations. Melinda Summers is a TRD agent, and is thus trained to deal with all sorts of strange things. Mary, meanwhile, is just a simple farm girl from the Old West, who manages to deal with a crew of pirates when she accidentally ends up in that era.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Wildwing of ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyDucks'', once he puts on the "Mask of Drake [=DuCane=]".
* Rocky, [[SpongeBobSquarePants Patrick Star's]] snail that was often mistaken for a rock.
--> '''Squidward:''' Patrick, your snail is a ''rock.''
--> '''Patrick:''' Thanks, I know. He's got nerves of steel!
* [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Rarity the unicorn]] is a [[PlayingWithATrope fun example]]. She's usually an [[LargeHam overly-dramatic]] DramaQueen, but is also utterly unflappable in the face of actual danger. Her reaction to having her hair [[NobodyTouchesTheHair magically turned into a literal rats' nest]] is to panic and scream for a mirror, but being captured and enslaved by the [[OurTrollsAreDifferent diamond dogs]] results in... mild annoyance, with her eventually freeing herself. Incidents of physical danger are almost invariable treated with reason and calm, while annoyances rate extended wangst.
* ''TronUprising'': Beck is usually pretty cool under fire.
* A villainous example is Lex Luthor in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Lex never once loses his cool, and always stays calm even though he is targeted by [[spoiler: the real Roy Harper]] who is out to get revenge on him.
* In ''GravityFalls'', when a gang of 15-year-olds is held captive by a duo of vengeful RealityWarper ghosts, Wendy is the only one to get scared but not ''panicked''. Even Dipper, who ultimately saves the day, has at least one freak-out.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' Soundwave. ''Nothing'' scares him. Whether it be an Autobot rampaging though the halls of the ship, one of the Wreckers charging him head on, or what was for all intents and purposes a ''Terrorcon apocalypse'', he always handles the situation calmly and efficiently.
* Brock Sampson of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBros'' is a terrifying BloodKnight, but his own reactions are mostly very low-key.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee]].
** The former earned his nickname specifically from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Bull_Run The First Battle of Bull Run]] (a.k.a. First Manassas), when his brigade was one of those that came up to hold the line after the initial attacks of the Union had driven other Confederate troops off in disorderly retreat. While the nickname was a compliment of his courage ("There is Jackson standing like a stone wall"), what makes particularly clear that the trope fits is the ''place'' where his brigade was standing like a stone wall: [[TheStrategist just over the crest of the hill, where the Union artillery fire could not ravage them.]] (What's more, his cannon were placed just ''on'' the crest, meaning the recoil sent them backwards out of the line of fire for safer reloading.)
* This is practically required of all medical professionals across the board. Surgeons work incredibly long hours under high levels of stress where the slightest shake of a finger or hand could cost a patient their life. Virologists and bacteriologists handle some of the deadliest biological agents in the world, the steadiness of their hands and laboratory regulations an absolute must in guaranteeing their own safety. Nurses and orderlies have to care first-hand for unruly, terrified, or dying patients, often seeing them through the most painful (or last) moments of their lives. There's a good reason why the burnout rate is so high in many medical fields.
* Björn Borg.
* Rafael Nadal is an interesting example. On one hand he's fiery and celebrates when a match is going his way and thus he is not stoic like many other examples, on the other hand the man never seems to succumb to pressure, even if the match is not going in his favour. Indeed, in the world of tennis, he's often lauded for his mental strength and composure.
* Joe Montana.
* Former NHL goalie, Patrick Roy.
* Tim Duncan
* Jerry West, they didn't call him [[RedBaron "Mr. Clutch"]] for nothing.
* The Duke of Wellington
** He found his match in Portugal, in the shape of André Masséna.
* Pretty much any sub captain who is reasonably good. Submarine actions are ''very'' slow and unlike some types of warfare, a sub captain cannot keep himself going by mere "Fight or Flight" instinct.
* Fedor Emelianenko
* Try playing professional golf without this...
** Or indeed any professional sport with a large cerebral component - cricket, baseball, snooker, the aforementioned chess...
* In the 23-F coup attempt in Spain, in which troops stormed the Congress of Deputies and ordered all politicians to the ground - weapons pointed at them - three of them disobeyed: Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado, who stood up and ordered the leader to desist (to no avail, but took some balls), Adolfo Suárez, who remained sitting down (also took some balls), and Santiago Carrillo, who remained sitting and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome calmly lit up a cigarette]] showing NervesOfSteel and balls of the same material.
* Stockbrockers are so good at this, that the US Navy considered them a background occupation of choice for Fighter Direction Officers during WorldWarII. It was believed someone who could handle the stress of bargaining on Wall Street is likely to be good at directing air traffic in a carrier battle.
** It was also about having experience in quickly allocating resources.
* Michael Jordan was magic in the clutch because of these. It's really this attribute, more than his other-worldly skills and athleticism, that set him apart from all his peers. Even if he came up short, it wouldn't faze him at all next time.
* An unwritten item on the essential qualifications list for commercial and military aviators, emergency responders and pretty much every other profession you can name where the smallest panic-induced mistake can cost lives.
* TruthInTelevision: Scientists have identified a gene named COMT which has two variants, often called the "warrior" and "worrier" variants. People who have two copies of the "warrior" variant tend to exhibit this trope; their ability to concentrate, reason, solve problems, etc. actually ''increase'' when they're under stress. On the other hand, people who have two of the "worrier" variant tend to perform better than most people under normal conditions, but [[NervousWreck fold like a cheap lawn chair under pressure]].
* The more horror movies you watch the more likely you are to become used to jumpscares and the less likely they are to startle you.
[[/folder]]
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