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Ambadassador
"I'm the damn ambassador of I'll fuckin' kick your assador"
The Vandals, Euro-Barge

Basically, a character whose primary role is some sort of ambassador/diplomat, but when the peace talks fail whips out a can of badassery. May be a Hidden Badass. Contrast Ass in Ambassador.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics character Monet St. Croix (code name "M") is the daughter of an ambassador, but is also very adept at ass-kicking. Being a Nigh Invulnerable Flying Brick helps quite a bit.
  • Wonder Woman is technically an inverted example, as her Badass work as a superhero is her primary focus, with her work as an ambassador to "Man's world" as a secondary but (usually) still important focus.

    Fan Works 
  • Children of the Atom features Jessica, who has all the charisma and intelligence she could possibly need. But lacks in the firearms department compared to Boone and Cass. Not to say she can't kick ass when she has to, though...
  • Ambassador Udina in No Gods, Only Guns, a Mass Effect and Borderlands Fusion Fic. In a setting where everyone needs to be a badass considering how crazy humanity is, he manages to stand out (unlike his canon version) by both having a robotic arm and an eyepatch. In his introduction to the story proper, he manages to singlehandedly disarm a badass bandit leader, uppercut him into the air, and blow him up midair with a single shot from a pistol.
  • Discworld fanfic example: Pieter van der Graaf, Ambassador to Ankh-Morpork from the Republic of Rimwards Howondaland. The intended target of an assassination attempt by agents of sworn enemy state Kwa'Zululand, he not only shrugs it off but takes command of directing his Embassy guards to find the assassins. He also stares down and says "no" to his own country's feared secret police, and on top of this maintains a mutually cordial friendship with his Zulu peernote , agreeing that two men both far away from Home should do everything they can to prevent misunderstandings between their nations exploding into all-out war. This Ambadassador appears in Why And Were.
  • Honor for the Enemy: Drakkar and Megin are certainly these, being introduced as leaders of a raiding party.
  • The Scottish ambassadors in the Medieval II Total War fic A Scotsman In Egypt are pretty much all this, being Scotsmen first and ambassadors second. Even Gordon of Edinburgh gets a moment when an audience to the Pope turns into a Reason The Doge Of Venice Sucks Speech that gets Venice and England excommunicated.
  • In Origin Story, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Power Girl crossover, Ben Grimm carries diplomatic credentials given him by France. They are ignored by the SHIELD agents sent to arrest him because they don't think the credentials are real. This is something that comes back to bite them in the ass later.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • The Jedi are extremely adept warriors, but they are first and foremost diplomats and peacekeepers.
    • Princess (and former Imperial Senator) Leia Organa and General Luke Skywalker. They of course are taking after their mother — Padme Amidala was in the thick of it at the Battle of Theed, the Battle of Geonosis, and several engagements of the Clone Wars. Leia's adopted father, Bail Organa, also wasn't a slouch in the butt-kicking department. Given how pathetically incompetent security details seem to be in the Star Wars galaxy, it's probably one of the unwritten qualifications for being a senator.
    • Palpatine could be considered an evil version before The Reveal, being Naboo's representative on the Senate. (Of course, no-one actually knew what he was capable of then.)
  • Raiden from the Mortal Kombat films serves as a mediator between mortals and the elder deities, eventually fighting alongside mortals.
  • Thirteen Days:
    • Adlai Stevenson's exchange with Valerian Zorin.
    • During his final meeting with Robert Kennedy, Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin also shows himself to be a good man at heart who doesn't want a war anymore than his U.S. counterparts do. As he assures Bobby, "there are other good men".

    Gamebooks 
  • Some of Lone Wolf's adventures start out as outwardly "diplomatic missions", like the voyage to Vassagonia in Book 5, Shadow on the Sand. Of course, Lone Wolf being a real Doom Magnet, it always turns quickly to Aggressive Negotiations.

    Literature 
  • In Star Trek novels, Worf was one of these for quite awhile, and Spock continued being one of these from his TNG era days. See the Star Trek examples in Live-Action TV below.
  • Alaric Morgan is one of these offscreen as Deryni Rising begins: The reason he's absent from that ill-fated hunting trip is that Wencit of Torenth has been trying to annex Cardosa, a key Gwyneddian city that guards a major pass through the Rheljan Mountains between Torenth and Gwynedd. King Brion tells his son Kelson that Wencit has already broken two treaties in his efforts to get the city, and "Morgan is keeping an eye on it." After Kelson summons Morgan back to the capital because of Brion's last order, Wencit takes advantage of his absence and the valley's uneven run-off patterns to take Cardosa before Kelson can send relief forces, and he's in residence there early in High Deryni.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series, Kel's mother displays this by fighting off pirates after the Yamani's valuable treasures, which is what sparks actual diplomatic progress among the Yamanis. She trained her daughter well.
  • Discworld:
    • Copper Samuel Vimes finds himself roped into diplomatic functions as part of his position as the Duke of Ankh. On the one hand, he despises the nobility and is terrible at being polite to them. On the other hand, when a neighboring nation had its army mustering on the border, after Vimes threatened to send his diplomatic opposite home in an ambulance, the offending army was swiftly redeployed so far from the border as to be threatening a country on the other side of it. So Lord Vetinari keeps sending Vimes on these missions partly because the Duke gets results, and partly because Vetinari finds it all amusing. Through his successes, he has by now commanded immense respect from most races (the only one more respected is Vetinari, and that's partly because he is Vimes's boss).
    • Case in point: in The Fifth Elephant, Vimes is given a diplomatic mission to Überwald. He brings along Cheery Littlebottom (an openly female dwarf) as well as Detritus (an unlicensed troll) as his "cultural attache", then introduces himself to a bunch of fundamentalist dwarves as a blackboard monitor. For reference, this is like bringing a transvestite and Mossad agent to Tehran and lighting a cigar with a flaming Koran (in fairness to Vimes, he wasn't aware of the negative connotations of being a blackboard monitor, which in any case the fundamentalist dwarves of that book don't quite agree with). In the same book Vimes solves a crime that could have plunged the region into war and kills several werewolves with his bare hands.
  • Sten is a former special forces covert operative assassin type-guy, turned ambassador. So Yeah.
  • In Keith Laumer's Retief stories, Jaime Retief is a very effective, badass Guile Hero. Technically, Retief is not an actual ambassador, merely a junior member of the embassy staff, because his unorthodox methods—like actually doing something — tend to keep him from getting promoted in the hidebound Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne.
  • In H. Beam Piper's A Planet for Texans (a.k.a. Lone Star Planet), Ambassador Stephen Silk seems like a fairly average diplomat (albeit an armed one) until near the end of the story when he goes Guns Akimbo on the three mooks that assassinated his predecessor.
  • Arya from Inheritance Cycle is ambassador to the elves, in addition to being a warrior princess.
  • Starfighters of Adumar has Wedge Antilles made into an ambassador and sent to Adumar to try and convince their government to throw in with the New Republic. The Adumari hat is a near-worshipful attitude towards very good pilots, and that's why Wedge was sent — he had no training in diplomacy, but he was the best pilot of his age. In the end, even his traitorous diplomatic liaison underestimated just how good he was.
  • Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings is the Ambassador of the Valar, essentially. Not to mention that Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir are all basically ambassadors to the Council of Elrond.
  • Codex Alera:
    • Skips the "Hidden Badass" part by having Ambassador Varg be a 600-year-old, coal-black, heavily scarred, 8-foot-tall Wolfman. There is absolutely no doubt that this is one big Badass. Even by Canim standards.
    • And Kitai is technically the Marat Ambassador.
  • The Gunslingers of Gilead in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series function as ambassadors as well as police, soldiers, etc. Needless to say, total badassery is a basic job requirement.
  • A prevalent theme in James H Schmitz's works is that Authority = Magnificent Bastardry + Badassery.
  • In Thomas Kyd's Hieronimo Part One, the prequel to his good play The Spanish Tragedy, the character Don Andrea is shown to be this trope in Portugal.
  • In David Weber's ''Mission Of Honor'', Honor gets to play peace ambassador to the Republic of Haven. Of course, she is also the single highest-ranking currently-serving officer in the RMN and the commander of the only fleet with the longest-possible-range Manticoran Missile Massacre (read: unstoppable superweapon). Not to mention a eighth-dan in the hardest martial art in the galaxy. And an expert sword fighter. And gunfighter. And conducts the peace talks with said fleet hanging over the Havenite homeworld.
    • Mind you, the Havenites are led by Eloise Pritchart, who before the war was a revolutionary against the Legislaturalists, and her right-hand-man is Admiral Thomas Theisman, who personally removed Haven's previous dictatorial regime from power. You don't stay on top in Havenite politics for very long unless you are very hard to kill.
      • At one point in the negotiations, Pritchart fantasizes about using Honor's badass abilities to eliminate a rather troublesome senator.
    • Manticore likes to use former officers as diplomats. All the way back in The Honor of the Queen, their ambassador to Grayson is a retired Marine, and the head of their treaty delegation, while technically wearing a business suit, is referred to by everyone — on both sides — as "Admiral".
    • But not all of Manticore's Ambadassadors are military. Dame Estelle Matsuko, who appears in the first novel, On Basilisk Station, and again in the Saganami Island Talbott Quadrant-centric sub-series, is a diminutive Badass Bureaucrat who can scare the pants off Solarians. In reflection of her badass, by the time she shows up in The Shadow of Saganami, she's Lady Dame Estelle Matsuko, Baroness Medusa.
  • In the Hell's Gate series, also by David Weber, we have a pair of Sharonan diplomats. One is a psychic cop who can tell when you are lying. The other is a only an ambassador part-time; his day-job is Imperial Marine!
  • Horatio Hornblower was this on occasion, notably when he visited the Czar's court.
  • As of the last two books of the Time Scout series, Skeeter Jackson is the ambassador from the downtimers trapped on TT-86 to the uptime world. He also kicks ass during riots, fights off downtime bandits, and captures trained uptime assassins. And takes a girl on a date.
  • Miles Vorkosigan in several of the stories in the series, including Cetaganda, and Diplomatic Immunity.
    • Ivan in a downplayed version in Cetaganda, Brothers in Arms, and the end of Captain Vorpatrils Alliance. At the end of the later he is considering changing careers and going into diplomacy full time.
    • Alys Vorpatril though she seldom does much asskicking is worthy of honorable mention for the sheer style with which she organizes diplomatic events at court, not to mention how she plays "baba"(matchmaker) for The Emperor.
    • Ghem-Colonel Benin, is a contact of Miles' in Cetagandan Security and he twice helps stop an interstellar crises. In the end of A Civil Campaign he represents Cetaganda in Barrayar at the wedding of The Emperor.
    • In Memory Simon Illyan tells one old story of how negotiations were stalled until a foreign diplomat could be bribed. The bribe he wanted was not mundane sex, power, wealth, or revenge but an elephant, even though there was not a single elephant on Barrayar forcing them to scrounge it on a far away planet and transport it secretly. But if an elephant was what he wanted Imp Sec would get him an elephant.
    • Emperor Gregor himself played the Ambadassador in The Vor Game, as did Aral.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Firefly: Inara often functions as the ship's ambassador. She's also fairly adept at swordfighting and archery.
  • Worf becomes an Ambassador at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. You don't get much more badass than Worf. Especially given that he's long since overcome his TNG-era jobbing streak.
    • Also, from what we've heard anyway, Curzon Dax would probably qualify. There has to be a reason that three of his closest friends were legendary Klingon warriors Kor, Koloth and Kang. And that said warriors allowed him to join their Blood Oath of revenge against the Albino.
    • Ambassador Spock from TOS is pretty handy in a fight, too. Just because he doesn't like fighting doesn't mean he's not good at it.
      • And his father is the formidable, nigh-legendary Sarek of Vulcan. Who, while he very much would prefer not to, if it comes to that is entirely capable of using the ancient martial art of Tal-Shaya to kill with a single touch.
    • Ambassador Robert Fox is a cut above most of TOS' useless bureaucrats and diplomats. He confronts both Kirk and Scotty head-on, manages to get himself beamed down over the latter's objections, and once the true nature of the situation on Eminiar becomes apparent, he picks up a disruptor and joins the fight. And when it's all over, he manages to negotiate a successful peace treaty between two planets that have been at war for centuries.
      Fox: I've never been a soldier, Mr. Spock. But I learn very quickly.
    • Coming from the other side, Starfleet captains and Starfleet officers in general are taught to be this in the absence of an actual diplomat, as able to negotiate an alliance with The Federation as they are to win a space battle or chart unknown territory.
  • Most of the regular cast in Babylon 5 who are not station personnel (it is a diplomatic station, after all). Notably Delenn, G'Kar, Londo and their respective seconds-in-command, Kosh, the Rangers... the list goes on.
  • Collectively, the role of the titular team on Stargate SG-1, as they specialize in first-contact and other tricky situations. As per their different roles on the team, some members (ie, Daniel) are far more diplomatic while others are more ready to break out the big guns, but all are capable of both talking to and taking out potential allies/enemies.
    • O'Neill is rather phlegmatic, preferring to talk things out. But when someone threatens him and his planet, look out.
  • Ambassador Duvat in the Buck Rogers episode "Journey to Oasis". (Played by Mark Lenard, aka Sarek.)
  • Puck on Glee uses this phrase when he's asked to recruit a new member of the glee club, but... well, he's not as badass that day compared to his usual.
  • Van, one of Hells Kitchen's muscular contestants, took this to the next level.
  • During the second season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Jason, Zack, and Trini had to leave the team. Out of universe this was because their actors had left. In-universe it was because they were selected as US ambassadors to a teen Peace Conference. These are people who spent a good chunk of their non-school hours battling supernatural invaders. Often with their bare hands, so there is no doubt they became this trope. Jason would later return for a while in Power Rangers Zeo badass as ever, and would also demonstrate his diplomatic skills when convincing a gang to stop harassing the beach club Ernie was trying to open.

    Music 
  • Warren Zevon's song "The Envoy" describes such a character.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Envoy Prestige Class in the second edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was specifically a diplomat, who nevertheless enjoyed all the bonuses of its base Paladin class.
  • The Eclipse Caste from Exalted (and their corrupted equivalents, the Moonshadows and Fiends) are meant to serve as diplomats, ambassadors, and envoys, and have Charm sets aimed towards managing bureaucracies, engaging the court, and composing perfect letters. They are just as capable of learning nigh-godly fighting styles as any other Caste, and are capable of writing a Strongly Worded Letter that can kill you.
    • The role isn't limited to the above castes, as demonstrated by Fair-Spoken Rishi, the signature Orichalcum Caste Alchemical.
  • Lorette Strider in the Traveller volume Interstellar Wars. She was a great explorer, and worked to build an understanding between Terrans and Vilani. Sadly, she failed; however, the Third Imperium could be considered the eventual realization of her dream.
  • The Crane and Scorpion Clans in Legend of the Five Rings . Particularly the Crane, who are all poise and diplomacy until a Kakita Dueling Academy graduate is cutting you from hip to shoulder.
  • The Pornomancer concept in Shadowrun has skills in diplomacy and negotiation so high he can convince the guards shooting you to be his bodyguards in the middle of combat.
  • Very occasionally used in Warhammer 40,000. A particularly egregious example was a Space Marine being used an ambassadorial representative to a Tau world, under the basis that his physical presence would intimidate the Xenos into reconsidering their expansion. Unfortunately, the Tau have Ambadassadors of their own and recognized what the marine was doing as a stalling tactic.
    • On that note, the Tau Water Caste. In a universe with Everything Trying to Kill You, the very act of survival for a diplomat who is not a trained warrior (in contrast to the Imperium) would qualify them for this trope, but the Water Caste take it a step further. They've evolved to be highly receptive to behavioral nuances, so they can quickly talk down alien aggressors who haven't actually opened fire yet, even if they know only the most basic parts of the aliens' language.

    Video Games 
  • Any of the protagonists in the Shin Megami Tensei series when engaging in negotiations with demons. As any given demon has the caring capability of a turnip, all of them require a significant gift with speech to ensure cooperation. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's Player Character and that of Shin Megami Tensei IV somewhat cheat by incorporating negotiation Apps into their arsenal, which increase the probability of the demon being more receptive or supportive to your cause.
  • The diplomats in Evil Genius, while useless in combat, can use their diplomatic skills to make even the most elite of heavily armed soldiers defect, and when placed in the field can engage in everything from heists to assassinations.
  • Arguably, the "Mediator" Job Class of Final Fantasy Tactics—their attacks consist of Talking the Monster to Death, and they are the only class (besides Chemists and special character Mustadio) who can wield guns. Granted, guns aren't the strongest weapons, but they're easily the most versatile, allowing the wielder to shoot anywhere in a large area around themselves.
  • Sacrifice has Ambassador Buta, the rotund emissary of Pyroborea. Buta is a powerful wizard in service of Pyro, god of fire, and thus doubles as one of Pyro's generals.
  • In the Civilization series, the diplomat/spy is capable of all sorts of nasty things from sabotage and stealing technology, to outright bribery of enemy towns to join your empire.
  • All Krogan ambassadors are expected to be this, since Krogan society is based around Asskicking Equals Authority, so what better way to get other clans to respect you than by sending the most badass warrior you have to represent you?
    • Commander Shepard is probably the best example, in practical terms. Especially the Paragon path, which involves a lot of patient, kind-hearted diplomacy. But push him/her too far, and you'll ALL end up dead, Mecha-Cthulhu or not.
      • Especially by Mass Effect 3 where s/he's tasked with creating alliances with many species that hate each other. S/he never stops kicking ass along the way.
    • Lampshaded when Shepard asks Hackett why they've been chosen for this task, despite having no background in diplomacy or interest in politics, Hackett basically says that's why they are the perfect ambassador. Everyone knows that Shepard is a soldier first and fully prepared to fight alongside any forces they send into a warzone.
    • In Mass Effect 2, Tali's loyalty mission has Shepard serve as her Badass Lawyer when she's put on trial for treason. After hearing the charges, Shepard demands that the trial be put on hold, so that they can retake the Alarei from the Geth occupying the vessel, to ensure the safety of the Quarian fleet and find evidence that will prove Tali's innocence. After retaking the ship, the Paragon and Renegade options give Shepard the option to provide no evidence, but instead browbeat the admirals into dropping all charges against Tali instead.
    • Tali, if she survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2 and Rannoch in Mass Effect 3, becomes an ambassador for her people, while maintaining all of her badass cred.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, House Telvanni is a strongly feudal magocracy, and its mage-lords do not bother to gather themselves when they need to negotiate with each other (like the other Houses do). Instead, they send ambassadors called Mouths. If you join this house and advance to the rank of Master, you get yourself an Ambadassador who undertakes dangerous missions for you in addition to his usual work.
  • Mike Haggar in Final Fight. The mayor of Metro City, when his daughter Jessica gets kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang, he doesn't submit to the gang's demands, but instead decides to take up his pro-wrestling skills once more to assist Cody and Guy in kicking the gang's ass.
  • Beatrice Wankmeister in Space Quest V. Demands answers from Star Con as to who is dumping sludge on the planets she's representing, evades capture when The Corruption has taken over the Goliath and escapes, crippling their warp drive in the process. She also isn't bad at an ambush, either.
  • The unnamed main character of The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet.
  • Quercus Alba of Ace Attorney Investigations, an ambassador who previously served his country in war, even if he's past his prime. While certainly putting the Ass in Ambassador, he manages to kill a man half his age in a fight while barely getting scratched while said man came at him with a knife longer than Alba's. Also, being able to fend off Edgeworth's arguments for so long and having his own Objection! clip despite not being a practitioner of law has to count for something, right?
  • S'taass in Star Trek Online, who takes on Jem'hadar with his bare hands and claws.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
    • The Jedi Consular is one of these, chosen because they'd already proven their badass cred by taking down 4 masters addled by a Dark Side plague and forcing a peace deal among the squabbling noble houses of Alderaan. Their companion Zenith is also one of these, Kicked Upstairs into a "envoy" position after a Republic-friendly government is installed. He eventually challenges this and ends up as Opposition Leader of the planet's government.
    • Vector Hyllus, a companion of the Imperial Agent, was a member of the Imperial Diplomatic Service whose final assignment was an embassy to the Killik Hive Mind—to carry out his duties, he became a Joiner (joining said hive mind), which is probably what allows him to go toe-to-toe with the Jedi in close combat after he falls out with his nest and joins the Agent.
  • In the Dragon Age series:
    • The Grey Wardens of Dragon Age: Origins are supposed to stay politically neutral, but they are forced to get involved in both the Ferelden Civil War and the Orzammar succession crisis, as they need both countries focused on repelling the Darkspawn instead of petty in-fighting.
    • Hawke in Dragon Age II is forced to become one in Act II, being the only one in Kirkwall that the Arishok deems worthy enough to parley with. In Act III, they mention they've occasionally been called upon in their role as Champion of Kirkwall, to "rescue" visiting foreign heads of state, from having to put up with Knight-Commander Meredith for too long.
  • The Hero in the Quest for Glory series fills this role once or twice:
    • In Quest for Glory III, the Fighter, Paladin and Magic User visits the Leopardmen to help negotiate the return of stolen relics that are one of the catalysts for the brewing war.
    • In Quest for Glory V he must negotiate peace with the Tritons to put an end to their attacks on shipping around Silmaria. The Fighter basically beats them into submission, the Wizard can calm the hostile Tritons and proceed past them, while the Thief can even swim stealthily to sneak in and charm Queen Hippolyta. The Paladin has two options of his own based on the powers he's earned up to this point: Either using the Peace ability, which has a similar effect to the Calm spell, or Awe to send everything hostile running from his aura of sheer badassness.

    Web Comics 
  • In Schlock Mercenary, ex-Admiral Breya Andreyasn functions as the United Nations of Sol's ambassador to the Fleetmind. Definitely Bad Ass, both for her accomplishments prior to appointment, and for some of the things she did AS ambassador.
  • Ambassador Ichiro of Tsuiraku, seen here, complete with commentary here.
  • Prince Tramennis of Jetstone, in Erfworld. As a diplomat, his father dispatched him to a relatively useless area... and Tramennis returned with a powerful alliance and peace offerings. As a Chief Warlord, he's been able to match wits with Charlie and keep up with Parson's unconventional strategies.
  • This essentially seems to be the function of the Imperial Overseers in Drowtales, an all female group of women who serve the Chelian Empress and visit clans on her behalf, as well as breaking out a can of whoopass when necessary.
  • Larima Torbern is renowned for her diplomatic skills in Pacificators and to top it off, she is an Elite-ranked T-Pacificator (the highest rank obtainable).
  • In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger Rangers have to be First Contact ambassadors as well as explorers and frontier lawmen. Of course they are intentionally given no diplomatic training because the Empire has found that smooth-talkers had a tendency to get dissected in such situations.

    Western Animation 
  • Zozo and Waldo from Galaxy Rangers were ostensibly "Two peaceful aliens [who] journeyed to Earth, seeking our help..." However, they could and often did accompany the Rangers on missions, and were capable brawlers. In the pilot episode alone, they single-handedly rescued Zachary from a shipful of pirates, making a daring escape with the wounded Zach in a stolen shuttle! Zozo, surprisingly, was much more apt to pick up a blaster and was at least an honorary (if not full-blown) Galaxy Ranger in his own right.
  • In Wakfu, Joris, the ambassador of Bonta is a tiny, hooded fellow who beats up Sadida guards, holds his own against Rubilax-powered Sadlygrove, and takes on Nox's death machines.
  • Briefly in Futurama. After a lot of brain-switching, the Professor, in Bender's body, while acting as a circus robot named Nonchalanto, ends up protecting Bender in a robot prince's body in a violent sword fight to the death on the floor of the United Nations (it Makes Sense In Context). A young boy watching proudly exclaims "When I grow up, I want to be a diplomat!"
  • The Legend of Korra: Zuko's current calling. He reigned as Fire Lord for some 60 odd years while he rebuilt the Fire Nations reputation and the rest of the worlds... everything. He then retired, abdicated his title and position to his daughter, being the first Fire Lord to do so since... ever. He now travels the world, acts as an unofficial Fire Nation ambassador and helps people out. He's 87.
    • One of the main duties of any Avatar is to act as ambassador, both between nations, and between the mortal world and the spirit world. Since being Avatar also comes hand in hand with a host of elemental powers, they're basically always this.

    Real Life 
  • Often Truth in Television, ambassadors are often retired military, making them Retired Badasses.
    • And, sometimes, they're even chief diplomats. Right, former U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell?
    • Lampshaded by The Rachel Maddow Show: an over-the-shoulder graphic for a story on US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford read "Ambadassador''.
    • Military, Naval, and Air Attaches are active duty officers in their respective service branches.
  • Back in the days of monarchy, rulers were expected to oversee both military and diplomatic policy, which makes sense as the two have to work together (and one can be considered an extension of the other). In other words, they were supposed to be both an Ambadassador and a Warrior Prince.
    • It isn't much different today, except no U.S. President has commanded in battle personally since James Madison in the War of 1812. When the British reached the capital, he took command of a artillery battalion for a couple of hours.
    • And let's not forget the number of former U.S. Presidents who were former officers in the military, many of general rank.
  • Venetian diplomats could live in unusual places hosted by rulers who were prone to erratic behavior, sometimes with the foreign diplomats as a target for their wrath. Venetian diplomats were not only known for their cunning but for their coolness and their skill as Deadpan Snarkers. One example: Venetian Ambassador Giorgio Dolphin was in an audience with Pope Julius II who, in a fit of fury, declared his intent to reduce Venice to a humble fishing village. Giorgio replied that Venice would reduce him to "un curatello qualsiasi" (a humble country priest).
  • The first Japanese diplomatic missions to Europe - sent under the Tokugawa Shogunate - were composed almost entirely of Nobles and Samurai. Likewise many of the first permanent ambassadors dispatched but the post-Meiji-revolution Empire of Japan were (former) Nobles and Samurai, too. Since the end of the Sengoku period, both classes, although still carrying swords and with a strong martial bent, had been broken to bureaucratic tasks by the cautious shoguns, and the Meiji revolution would eliminate their few remaining prerogatives.
  • Hugh Elliot, the British ambassador to Denmark in the 1780s singlehandedly averted a war between Sweden and Denmark in 1788, (the former were already in a war with Russia and Austria, had the Danes joined them it would probably have been a Curb-Stomp Battle in their favour) by going to Sweden, telling King Gustavus III 'Sire give me your Crown; I will return it to you with added lustre', encouraged the Swedes and then bullied the Danes into an armistance. He was helped by the suggestion that the Prussians would intervene backed by the British fleet, even though neither the Prime Minister nor the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carmarthen, had authorised it.
    • Earlier in his career, he was the British ambassador to Frederick the Great's Prussia during the American Revolution, and worked hard to prevent the Prussians from entering the war on America's side. He once allegedly stole the American dispatch box and copied its contents.
  • Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran during the revolution there, deserves mention here. When six Americans escaped when the Iranians stormed the American embassy in Tehran, he took them in and hid them in his residence for weeks while the Canadian government and the CIA figured out a way to get them home. Taylor also scouted landing sites for Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue the hostages. Although Taylor may not have been an action-hero warrior, the courage it took to do what he did definitely qualifies him as an Ambadassador, and his efforts were featured in the film Argo.
  • United States diplomatic facilities are staffed by Foreign Service Officers. The cushy ambassador jobs in friendly countries like England and France go to friends of the President who have political pull. The not-so-cushy jobs in not-so-friendly countries? They go to career FSOs who have earned their position through hard work. It's been said that high-ranking FSOs are equivalent in prestige to high-ranking military officers because of the years and years of hard work involved in getting to that position.
  • Diplomats in the past were often obliged to go on difficult and dangerous journeys. Byzantine diplomats would travel hundreds of miles through untamed wilderness to contact some tribal leader. And as late as the Napoleonic Wars, several of the envoys to the Congress of Vienna were obliged to go through a war zone to their destination.
  • The Indian Political Service was a combination of this and an intelligence agency. Several of it's members were obliged to represent The Raj to Afghan chieftains which is one of the nastiest diplomatic jobs anyone can come up with.
  • Raoul Wallenberg, member of the Swedish diplomatic mission to Budapest, Hungary during World War II. Although an architecture student from a wealthy family, he was also one-sixteenth Jewish and Non-Idle Rich, and set about leading the Swedish effort to help Jews escape Hungary after the German Army deposed the (already pro-Nazi) Hungarian dictatorship in 1944. Even though he had no official authority to do so, he bought up 32 buildings in the city and declared them extra-territorial, giving the buildings and anybody within them Diplomatic Impunity. Through this process, tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews were given papers identifying them as Swedish nationals awaiting repatriation, keeping them from being shipped off to the death camps. He even persuaded local German commanders not to blow up the Budapest Ghetto near the end of the war by threatening to have them prosecuted for war crimes. Alas, he was arrested by Soviet authorities after they occupied Hungary, was accused of being a spy for the West, and disappeared in the Soviet Union; neither his final resting place nor his exact fate after being arrested have been positively determined. He has since been given numerous honors and memorials, including being named one of the Righteous Among the Nations by Israel; been named an honorary citizen in the USA, Canada, Israel and Australia; and the Congressional Gold Medal by the USA.
  • Adlai Stevenson, former governor of Illinois and two-time Democratic nominee for President (losing both times to Dwight D. Eisenhower) was derided as an egghead and nerd due to his intellectual nature and wordy responses to debate questions. However, when he was named Ambassador to the United Nations by John F. Kennedy, he suddenly found himself the administration's point man on the Cuban Missile Crisis. He responded by aggressively denouncing the Soviet plans in Cuba, even going so far as to make the Soviet Ambassador a liar in front of the entire Security Council; when the Soviet Ambassador finally answered his questions and stated that there were no missiles in Cuba, Stevenson pulled out surveillance photos showing the missile sites. He also famously pressed the Soviet Ambassador to answer immediately rather than waiting for a translation to be provided, being well aware that Ambassador Zorin spoke English.
    Valerian Zorin (in Russian): I am not in an American courtroom and I do not wish to answer a question put to me in a fashion in which a prosecutor asks questions.
    Adlai Stevenson: You are in a courtroom of world opinion right now and you can answer yes or no, ambassador. Yes or no?
  • In the Phillipine backwoods women often act as tribal diplomats. On one occasion after a murder set off a feud a Grande Dame from one tribe first went to a local guerilla leader convincing him to stay out of the district for awhile as some of his personnel had local connections that would merge the feud with a Civil War causing bloody escalations. Then she arranged a Fancy Dinner at which the two tribes negotiated the compensation.
  • For a slight variation, US Army Special Forces (often known as the Green Berets), have a role somewhat similar to this in that they are often refereed to as the Peace Corps with guns in that their main job is working with and training local forces rather than engaging in direct combat themselves.

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