[[caption-width-right:280:Haven't I seen you before?[[note]] From top left: ''VideoGame/TooHuman''[='=]s Baldur, Cole [=McGrath=] of ''VideoGame/InFamous2'', ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV''[='=]s Nico Bellic, Sam Fisher of ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'', ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity''[='=]s Robin, Starkiller from ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheForceUnleashed'', ''VideoGame/{{Turok}}'', Tomas Sevchenko from ''VideoGame/KillZone'', Desmond Miles of ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'', and ''VideoGame/BinaryDomain''[='=]s Dan Marshall.[[/note]]]]

-> ''[[Videogame/{{Doom}} Doom's]] blank slate character paved the way for the generic leads seen in what feels like most modern games; a shaven-headed average joe designed to tread the path of least financial risk.''
-->--'''Stuart Brown aka Ahoy''', ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A4-SVUHQYI RetroAhoy: Doom]]''

One example of the ActionHero. With the emphasis on ''one''.

You know this guy, because you have seen him a thousand times. He has the lead role in almost every action movie and video game and, like Creator/BruceWillis or Creator/WillSmith, has a single role that he repeats over and over again.

Unlike the FeaturelessProtagonist, he does have fixed attributes, and they are usually the same:
* Male.
* Almost always American (and almost always Caucasian at that. And if not, ButNotTooBlack and/or ButNotTooForeign will usually be {{invoked| trope}}.)
* Born to blue-collar parents.
* Buzz-cut, fade, bald, or fauxhawk (if the story is set after 2000) black or dark brown hair. [[note]]In video games, this is generally because short hair is much easier to model and animate. Even female characters in these games may have their hair in a tight bun.[[/note]]
* And shaved, usually with PermaStubble. GrowingTheBeard means developing personality.
* Usually a former soldier or police officer, very rarely in active service.
** Can be an ex-convict instead of, or in addition to any of the above.
** When he was in the military he was overwhelmingly [[SergeantRock The Sarge]], and is probably still called "Sarge" by his military pals.
** In 1980s media, he will probably be TheVietnamVet. In 1990s media, this was updated to [[UsefulNotes/TheGulfWar Gulf War]] veteran. Nowadays, it is, of course, TheWarOnTerror (probably Iraq) he fought in.
* Uses {{handguns}} as his signature weapon. Rifles and submachine guns are always immediately discarded after using them.
* Almost always uses GoodOldFisticuffs as his fighting style, and if matched up against even an elite martial artist, will prevail.
* [[CombatPragmatist Will fight dirty.]]
* Chances are good his name is a monosyllabic simple name like Frank, Jim, Jack or John.
** Or he goes by an equally monosyllabic RedBaron title like Dutch, Duke or Spike.
** Or the world is permanently on LastNameBasis with him.
* Has a dead relative, a dead friend or is only in the action hero business because he has to [[SaveThePrincess save a loved one]].
* Has no respect for authority, but his boss secretly admires him for this trait.
* A tendency to use [[OneLiner One-Liners]] of varying quality.
* Usually [[SmokingIsCool smokes]] and [[TheAlcoholic drinks heavily]].
* Typically drives a CoolCar or TheAllegedCar.
* [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Usually voiced by]] Creator/NolanNorth.

This character has become immensely popular as the protagonist in video games in recent years. The difference from a FeaturelessProtagonist is that those characters are left without real characterization to let the player project their own ideas onto the character, while the Action Genre Hero Guy follows a very specific set of traits as listed above.

If you can remember a character's name, he is probably not an example.

Compare ASpaceMarineIsYou. For a common alternative, see TheAhnold.

* Jake Sully from ''Film/{{Avatar}}''.
* Justin Timberlake's character Will in ''Film/InTime''.
* Creator/JasonStatham. In fact, this trope could be named after him and still make sense.
* Most of Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger's characters. The ones who aren't cyborgs, anyway.
* Most of the film characters played by [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]]. In real life and in the ring he was very charismatic and easy going.
* StoneColdSteveAustin now that he's forayed into the B Action genre. His ring persona was also this.
* Creator/BruceWillis, especially his John [=McClane=] character in the ''Franchise/DieHard'' films.
* Creator/VinDiesel

* In ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'', former Marine protagonist John Rumford fits every item on the checklist, except that he isn't fighting to save a loved one, but his country. He is a somewhat unusual variation in one respect, however, in that he is also a (working-class, one-liner-touting, ex-military) self-taught ''[[ThePhilosopher well-read intellectual]]'', which makes for [[SophisticatedAsHell some funny lines]].

* G. Callen from Series/NCISLosAngeles, where his mysterious past is actually a subplot. G. isn't his initial; ''that's his name''.
* Dean Winchester from ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
* Jack Shepard from ''Series/{{Lost}}''.
* Bodie from ''Series/TheProfessionals''.

* The topic of [[http://pc.ign.com/articles/117/1177915p1.html this article]].
* Chris Redfield from the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series, who fits all criteria except for the buzz-cut. Jake Muller in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'', though, hits the look hard and fast.
* And Alex Shepherd from ''VideoGame/SilentHillHomecoming'', who fits the trope to a T. [[spoiler:Except for the military background, which turns out to be a delusion to shield himself from a traumatic event.]]
** Murphy Pendleton from ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' seems a close enough match, with a status as a convicted killer serving as his hard-ass background.
* Dan Marshall from ''VideoGame/BinaryDomain''.
* The default Commander Shepard from ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has the looks (and the name; John), but can develop a personality depending on how you play him, and is also [[ManlyGay potentially gay]] [[BiTheWay or bisexual]]. He's also in active military service at the beginning of the first game.
* Jimmy Hopkins from ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' is a school-aged equivalent, having a tough, no-nonsense personality, an ''extreme'' dislike of authority, common "J" name and a shorn noggin. The hardass characterization stays pretty constant, but you can at least give him a different hairstyle later on.
* Both Mercury and Jacknife from ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge''.
* Nathan Hale from ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}}''.
* Preston Marlowe from ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany''.
* Solid Snake from the ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' series started as one, but did develop a very detailed and unique personality as the series progressed.
** Same goes for his buddy Gray Fox, whose actual name is Frank Jaeger.
** Snake also keeps his [[TheEighties Eighties]] [[EightiesHair Action Mullet]], being [[OlderThanTheyThink the Eighties hero]], after all.
* Galen Marek/"Starkiller," the protagonist from ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed''.
** Though, funnily enough, the only reason he has the look down is because he was visually based off his voice actor, SamWitwer
* Nathan Drake from ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' fits ''almost'' every characteristic, except that he hasn't lost a loved one (he does what he does because he's a naturally curious adrenaline-junkie) and has sufficient charm to overcome his (deliberately) generic design. Played with, though, in that he looks kinda like Nathan Fillion. ''[[VideoGame/Uncharted3DrakesDeception Drake's Deception]]'' reveals that [[spoiler:Nathan Drake isn't actually his real name. He's just some orphan who was a fan of Francis Drake.]]
* Jet Brody of ''VideoGame/{{Fracture}}''.
* {{Deconstruct|ion}}ed to hell and back with [[TragicHero Captain Martin Walker]] from ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine''. He definitely [[https://i.imgur.com/hrBqCBB.jpg looks]] and acts like one, and [[WrongGenreSavvy seems to start off thinking that he's a straight example.]] And [[HeWhoFightsMonsters boy is he wrong.]]
* Despite his inclusion in the above article, and his name being as nondescript as John or Jack in his native Serbian, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'''s Niko Bellic has a [[GrowingTheBeard beard]] as thick as his layered personality, the latter of which is fleshed out (with the [[VideoGameCaringPotential player's]] [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential help]], of course) as the game progresses.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/FarCry3''. While Grant Brody might fit much of the bill, both in background (ex-US Army reserve), personality (motivated by a want to protect his family), and appearance (short brown hair and slightly grizzled), he is not the PlayerCharacter, and he is killed off already in the tutorial level.
* John "Soap" [=MacTavish=] in the ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series (though you don't actually get to see his face until ''Modern Warfare 2'', you'll just have to take our word for it in ''Call of Duty 4'').
* Sam Fisher from the ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' game series.
* ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive5'' newcomer Rig has the appearance of one but his [[FightingGame genre]] is cut from a different cloth, ultimately. Series regular Bayman was also redesigned in ''5'' to have a more "action genre guy" appearance (up until then he had unusually "soft" facial features for someone in his line of work).
* William Carter of ''VideoGame/TheBureauXCOMDeclassified''.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' is a deconstrutive version of this trope combined with a bit of FilmNoir protagonist mixed in. Max's facial features were originally based on the squinty-eyed visage of Remedy lead developer Sam Lake but in ''The Fall of Max Payne'' he got a more unique look. By ''3'' he basically turns into a washed-up, fat version of this (especially when he goes bald).
* The majority of the classes in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' share the traits, including the buzzcut or short hair, the PermaStubble, and the tendency to give the OneLiner.
** Probably the straightest example is the Soldier, though he still seems to be a parody of this. He's got the buzzcut and [[OneLiner One Liners]] down, but never served in the military[[note]]He was so dumb that they wouldn't take his ass in during ''UsefulNotes/WorldWarII''[[/note]], favors [[SplashDamage rocket launchers]] over handguns and rifles, and his first name is (supposedly) [[GenderBlenderName Jane]].
* While most of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''[='s=] protagonists are too soldierly for this trope, [[MilitaryMaverick Sergeant John Forge]] from ''VideoGame/HaloWars'' fits the bill almost perfectly, right down to the shaved head and Nolan North voice.