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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/askick_3479.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Not quite your standard [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi mook]].]]

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

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

In the real world, soldiers are usually promoted for their leadership and management skills, not for their fighting prowess. If anything, senior ranking soldiers tend to be worse at fighting than the rank-and-file, because they are generally older, and they do not train as much because they are not expected to actually engage in combat. There are exceptions, but they usually don't put themselves InHarmsWay. In fact, in the US military, Special Forces officers rarely are promoted as high as General (or Admiral in the Navy) and tend not to rise any higher than Colonel (or Naval Captain).

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

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

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

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

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

* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking/AnimeAndManga
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking/{{Literature}}
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking/LiveActionTV
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking/TabletopGames
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking/VideoGames


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

[[folder:Card Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The game varies with its use of the trope, usually depending on creature or organization. It's rare for the highest-ranked ruler in charge of a race or faction to be the most physically powerful, but it does happen--the [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=136146 three]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=207915 legendary]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=5233 Slivers]], for example, are all much bigger than even the largest of the rest of the species.
** Although whether they're ''physically'' powerful or not, most leaders do have extremely powerful abilities.
** Let's also not forget [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=78594 Lord Konda]] is more powerful than many dragons in combat and, thanks to a stolen child deity, is indestructible.
** The players themselves are also the ultimate authority on their side of the field and have the power to back it up. A massive assault on a player with tons of monsters can be casually dismissed by some of the most trivial spells in the game. Even PhysicalGods and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s can be eliminated by a variety of spells.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In superhero comic books, a surprising number of superheroes and supervillains are also heads of state. Doctor Doom, the ComicBook/BlackPanther, [[ComicBook/TheInhumans Black Bolt]], [[ComicBook/SubMariner Namor]], Lilandra, ComicBook/{{Aquaman}}...
* Zig-zagged in ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX''.
** Played straight with Frank Castle and Wilson Fisk; the former was a Captain in the USMC during his final tour of duty in 'Nam, the latter is a Mafia Don, and both are definitely among the more lethal characters in the series.
** ''Brutally Subverted'' with the eight Generals. Despite their ranks, not a single one of [[ArmchairMilitary them has ever seen any real combat before]]. And they all immediately cower in the presence of someone like [[TheDreaded Nick Fury]].
** Ditto for Barracuda. The man was a Sergeant Major in the US Army, and is every bit as hardcore as Frank Castle.
* Marvel's ComicBook/TheKingpin is, on the surface, a tremendously fat man with a head for crime and a mean streak wider than he is. But he's also the {{Leader}} of TheSyndicate, and a DiabolicalMastermind besides, so he's got heavy-duty {{Charles Atlas Superpower}}s - enough to take out low-level heroes (and a room full of ninjas) in hand-to-hand combat; he could crush his nemesis Daredevil with his bare hands. Note that he does, in fact, work out, and some incarnations interpret his portly frame as being solid ''muscle''.
* In a similar vein, ComicBook/LexLuthor always keeps himself in excellent physical condition, and can at least competently spar with heroes without super-strength. These days, anyway. When first introduced, and right through the Golden and Silver Ages up until he came up with his first purple-and-green combat outfit, Luthor was overweight. Similarly, in his initial post-Crisis appearances, Lex was suffering the ravages of an over-lavish lifestyle. In both cases, after having his backside repeatedly kicked (literally and figuratively) by Franchise/{{Superman}}, he wised up and shaped up. It helped that he got a young, cloned body after his first one got cancer from Kryptonite exposure, which he saw as a second chance to stay in shape.
* In ''ComicBook/ElseworldsFinestSupergirlAndBatgirl'' Franchise/WonderWoman leads the Justice Society. Before the arrival of ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'', she was the world's most powerful hero.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica:
** In one issue, Cap is sent to a German concentration camp run by an SS Colonel nicknamed "The Butcher", a man missing half his face due to an encounter with a bear when he was thirteen - an encounter which ended with him ''breaking the bear's neck''. He even gives ol' Cap a good run for his money.
** Interestingly, Cap himself inverts this. While he has a special ranking in the US military and is probably the strongest and most experienced soldier (to say nothing of the most skilled) in the military, he is still outranked by many military leaders. Conversely, he often takes a leadership role when teaming up with other superheroes due to his military experience and charisma, despite being at "merely" peak-human physical condition, a lightweight compared to the likes of Thor or Iron Man.
** Played straight during the ''ComicBook/UltimateMarvel'' storyline "Divided We Fall, United We Stand", in which Ultimate Captain America is made President of the United States and his first duty after being sworn is to kick everyone's asses and get the US restored, starting with Wyoming.
* Tsar Alexander III in ''ComicBook/AssassinsCreedTheFall'' manages to [[CurbstompBattle utterly annihilate]] Nikolai Orelov with very little trouble. By the way, Nikolai is a master assassin. See RealLife down below.
* Funnily enough, inverted with ''ComicBook/TheAuthority''. Kicking as much ass as they do (and from an inter-dimensional spaceship, no less) [[ComesGreatResponsibility puts them in a position of great power]], and makes the ''actual'' authorities very twitchy. Given that the team will not hesitate to snuff corrupt officials if it makes the world a better place, you can't blame them.
* ComicBook/NickFury could kick serious ass back when he led the Howling Commandos, and he hasn't lost his touch at all now that he leads ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}.
* Played up to an absurd degree in the backstories of the ''GIJoe'' comic book cast, which favorably compares each of the heroic fictional officers who'd go charging first into battle and prove their authority with asskicking to the pansy sort of military officers who'd just sit back and draw up battle plans (even if that's a far more realistic and sensible use of their skills).
* ''ComicBook/{{Darkseid}}'' doesn't rule over Apokolips because of charisma, he rules because he's the strongest and most evil god on a planet brimming with powerful, evil gods. Even disregarding his Omega Beams, he has the physical strength to put down pretty much anyone who may dare rise against him. And when Darkseid's father Yuga Khan briefly returned from his imprisonment in the Source Wall, the latter [[TheWorfEffect quickly overthrew his son]], thus upholding the trope. This is shown perfectly in the penultimate episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited''. {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} was killed three seasons before and Apokolips is in the middle of a CivilWar for who will take his place. After getting resurrected, he returns to Apokolips in the middle of a battlefield, halting the war completely. Usually, on a planet full of [[TheStarscream starscreams]] and after being dead for a few years, you would think that someone would try to rebel. In this case however, Darkseid doesn't even have to say anything. He just stands there and everyone immediately bows down to him. Darkseid Is indeed.
* Also true for Odin, father of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]] and ruler of Asgard who up until his death was always ready to show exactly why he held that position whenever a challenge arose that his son could not defeat.
* In the generally disappointing, plot hole-ridden ''Nightcat'', heiress/drug lord/real estate tycoon Amanda Gideon turns out to be a better fighter than four ninjas (whom the heroine beats without breaking a sweat) or her bodyguard, [[TheDragon Mr. Krak]]. Also, she fights in what appears to be her underwear [[FanService for some reason]].
* In ''ComicBook/IronMan'', Tony Stark runs a multi-billion dollar company, and personally snuffs out bad guys with [[PoweredArmor his suit]].
* In the ''PlanetHulk'' story arc, the planet Sakaar is ruled by The Red King, considered the strongest being on the planet due to his use of PowerArmor. He's eventually [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority deposed and replaced by the Hulk.]]
* In ''ComicBook/ThroneOfAtlantis'', [[BigBad Ocean Master]] is the king of Atlantis and is a force to be reckoned with. Having equipment that allows him to control [[MakingASplash the seas]] and [[ShockAndAwe the storms]] also helps. [[spoiler:Aquaman becomes king when he fights his brother until he yields]].
* Justified in ''ComicBook/{{Nova}}'', where being higher-ranked in the Nova Corps means one has access to more of the Nova Force's power.
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'':
** [[TheEmperor Emperor Haghendorf]] has maintained his position as supreme monarch of the Empire of Lynn by nearly constant warfare. He also rides the biggest dragon in the empire into battle.
** [[EvilSorcerer Haazheel Thorn]], the leader of the [[ReligionOfEvil Black Moon]] and the forces of evil, is easily one of the most powerful mages in the world.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': The Chief Judge is primarily a bureaucratic role since (s)he's supposed to both manage the Justic Department as a whole and lead the discussions of the Council of Five, so it depends on the person. When the situation calls for it, like a major crisis that threatens the survival of the city itself, Chief Judges will usually be out in the fray along with the rank and file Judges. Of course, they all tend to be veterans with decades of service.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Avalonís Royal Family are {{Physical God}}s with all it entails, and all of them undergo military training because they are duty-bound to protect their subjects.
* A very common trope in the roleplay game ''Fanfic/InTheBeginningThereWasMan'' involving the God Emperor of Mankind and His Primarchs.
* In ''FanFic/TheThreeKingsHunt'' the Three Kings were the most powerful mages of their era and were also the rulers of Egypt. In the current era it's hinted that not only are they very powerful [[spoiler: to the point of stopping the genocide against the mages]] but that eventually they're going to be in charge of the mages.
* In [[Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak Prison Island Break]] Vector is at the top of a criminal empire and he's just as dangerous if not more so as his subordinates. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] because he had to climb his way to the top, he wouldn't be in that position if he wasn't badass.
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** There's Celestia and Luna, as always, who in this setting are {{Physical God}}desses with tremendous power. However, we find out they're only two out of a large group of Alicorns (though they're the only ones who rule ponies directly) and later meet ''their'' {{Big Good}}s, Their Parents, the Father of All Alicorns and Fauna Luster, who are described as being so powerful that they're not even capable of manifesting directly in the mortal plain (though they can use Avatars). Discord also turns out to be one of a group of Draconequi (though he's the only one who's actually evil and the strongest) who answer to their own [[TopGod Elders]], Havoc and Entropy, who are on the same level as the Alicorn Elders. Havoc himself entered a war between the two groups using an Avatar with only a faction of his power, that was ''still'' far stronger than [[RealityWarper Discord is]]! The one time we actually see them fight [[spoiler:they completely demolish four beings specifically intended to kill them.]]
** There's also Queen Tiamat, the ruler of the Dragons and what seems to be their patron Goddess. When the Dragons were considering quitting the Dragon-Hooviet War due to taking too many losses, Tiamat herself stepped in and {{Curbstomp|Battle}}ed the ''entire'' Hooviet army, leaving half the country burning ruin and willingly stopping just short of burning their capital to the ground. It should be noted that she did this [[MamaBear because she considers all Dragonkind her treasure]] and was supremely ticked off at what the Hooviets had done. Her husband, King Bahamut, is equal in power and authority.
** Shining Armor qualifies, being a very powerful when it comes to his shield magic (though he's a ''horrible'' shot). Same can be said for Master Chief Spartan (the leader of the Air Naval Calvary of Cadence's guard), who went on a FoeTossingCharge during a fight with the Hooviets.
** [[BigBad General-Admiral Makarov]], the Supreme Marshal of the Imperial Armed Forces for the Hooviets and second in command of the Hooviet Empire (officially, in actually his superiors are pretty much {{Puppet King}}s to him). He's also a SuperSoldier with tremendous magical power and nearly [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown beat Shining to death during their first fight]]. [[spoiler:Justified, as he's actually [[HumanoidAbomination Equineoid Abomination]] the Hooviets accidentally let loose from PandorasBox.]]
* In the ''Manga/MedakaBox'' fanfic ''Fanfic/WorldAsMyth'', ''every'' committee chair, captain, and vice-captain introduced is able to hold their own in a fight. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for the athletic club leaders. [[WorldOfBadass Less so for everyone else.]]
* Played with to an extent in the crossover story, ''FanFic/TheBridge''. On the Equestria side, the ruling alicorns (particularly Luna and Celestia); are a good deal stronger than a vast majority of their world's inhabitants and leagues ahead of most ponies. On the kaiju side however it's a bit more debatable. Leader of the more benign kaiju and titled ''King of the Monsters'' by humans, the grown up Godzilla Junior is certainly a powerhouse. However, some in his faction do exceed him in a few categories (i.e. Mothra [[BeamSpam has better ranged attacks]] and Anguirus [[MadeOfIron is more durable]]), but he's a better [[JackOfAllTrades all around]] fighter and probably is the strongest in their ranks.
* The trope is subverted in supercrossover military fanfiction series, ''FanFic/TheTerminatorsArmyOfLegend'', as [[PresidentEvil President Barry Mabao]], the driving voice behind the ''Maxia'' Regime and the Second American Civil War, was brought down in seconds compared to his [[CoDragons generals]], supersoldiers General "Necro", General Mason, and the "Shade King".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' {{fanfic}} ''Osama's Last Stand'', UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden can [[spoiler:stab Kim Possible in the stomach in the middle of her monologue.]]
* Used in the Sonic fanfiction ''Fanfic/TheMobiusChronicles''. The higher in rank Amadeus gets the more ass kicking he does, also the Overlander second in command is one of their most talented fighters.
* In ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'', Maledict is far more powerful than any of his subordinates. Justified considering he's literally both {{Satan}} and a PhysicalGod. Also, Astorath is much stronger than his Nephilim brethren.

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

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', Arius sees little action. But at the end of the movie, he ends up presenting a far more significant challenge to Matrix than his entire army was, with the exception of [[DragonInChief Bennett]].
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'', the president is a former Air Force fighter pilot who leads the air attack at the end of the movie that destroys the alien mothership.
* ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'' includes a scene in which Creator/RobertRedford participates in a dangerous river crossing. Even though he is a Major, he does a great deal of the asskicking personally. In later interviews, Redford would point out that his character would have been directing the maneuver, and would have only actually fired his weapon in an emergency.
* In ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'', [[TheDragon Brandt]] fails to live up to his BadassLongcoat despite fighting Preston to a standstill in an earlier training match.[[note]]There was supposed to be a closely fought final duel between them but Brandt's actor was unavailable for an extended shoot so the scene was shot as a CurbStompBattle instead[[/note]] By contrast, [[spoiler:Vice-Counsel [=DuPont=]]], the real leader of Libria, is a bureaucrat who seems harmless without his complement of bodyguards... but actually has GunKata skills almost on par with Preston himself and the ensuing final duel lasts longer than most of Preston's skirmishes with the FacelessGoons. Then again, there was foreshadowing in that [[spoiler:[=DuPont=] is earlier glimpsed ''teaching'' a class of gun-kata students.]]
* In ''Film/RikiOhTheStoryOfRicky'', the toughest opponent Riki fights in the prison is the warden because as everyone knows "The warden of any prison has to be the very best in kung-fu".
* In the ''Film/{{Ultraviolet}}'' film, also directed by Kurt Wimmer, the government's leader [[spoiler:Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus]] is the hero's most physically dangerous adversary. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] or {{handwave}}d by the fact that [[spoiler:he was one of the original lab technicians researching and infected by the [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hemophage virus]] and used the abilities it granted him to aid his rise to power.]]
* The movie ''Film/AirForceOne'', [[JustifiedTrope justified]] or {{handwave}}d by the fact that [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent the President was a member of the military]] with an exceptional record. Being played by Creator/HarrisonFord doesn't hurt, either.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Yoda in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' and ''any'' of his appearances that chronologically take place after that. There's a reason why he is called the Master. Mace Windu too, to a lesser extent.
** Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' and ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''. After being a NonActionBigBad in the first two prequel films, he battles Mace Windu and Yoda in two different lightsaber duels as such a formidable opponent that by the latter film, Yoda explicitly warns Luke to not underestimate him.
* Apparently being Secretary of Defense in the live-action ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie provided enough badass to try blowing away an alien robot with a shotgun.
* In ''Film/BigGame'', the chief of Moore's security detail, Morris, is expert shot, tracker and fighter.
* In ''Film/ShaPoLang'', the Triad boss Wong Po turns out to be even faster and tougher than TheDragon, his personal assassin Jack. Not only can he throw down with the main character, who can literally ''punch people stupid'', and take him and two of his partners at the same time, but he can [[spoiler:survive getting over-the-head body-slammed into a giant tower of beer bottles and drinking glasses and then stand up a minute later to throw the hero out the window]]. Of course, the guy's played by Sammo Hung, who is known for his kick-ass action roles in the Hong Kong scene.
* Played for laughs in ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}''. The President of the USA is a hulking pro-wrestler with a fondness for automatic weapons.
* Seen in the finale of ''[[Film/XXx xXx: State of the Union]]'', where after easily subduing in hand-to-hand combat a few dozen marines, a couple squads of EliteMooks, and a TheDragon Navy SEAL, the hero finds himself being outmatched by the 60-year-old Secretary of Defense.
* In ''Film/MenInBlackII'', [=MiB=] leader Zed, despite being a 70-year-old administrator, nevertheless manages to deliver a rapid series of improbable flying kicks to the face of the main villain.
* Subverted in the climax of the film ''Film/{{Wanted}}''. Although [[spoiler:Sloan]] is briefly shown to have the same superpowers as the other master assassins, he's too smart to actually confront the hero directly in a fair fight (the hero, for his part, is also too smart to fight fair).
* In ''Film/CurseOfTheGoldenFlower'', the Emperor > you. Both in kung fu and {{magnificent bastard}}ry.
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', Batman utterly owns everyone he fights pretty much instantly, including (leading up to the final fight) 4 ninjas in full body armor who presumably have the same training and skills as he does. However, Ra's al-Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows and Batman's BrokenPedestal mentor, is able to match Batman blow-for-blow and ultimately "wins" the fight, despite Batman wearing a high-tech suit of hardened combat armor, and Ra's [[BadassInANiceSuit wearing what's essentially very nice formal wear]].
* ''Film/JamesBond''
** Bond's official rank in Her Majesty's Navy is Commander, making him a moderate example, although very little of his career in the Navy has been shown onscreen.
** ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'' ends with Film/JamesBond and [[spoiler:Dominic Greene battling on a collapsing catwalk inside an exploding building which is also ''on fire'']]. Greene doesn't exactly do ''well'', but he puts up a much longer and involving fight than you'd expect a 5-foot tall, physically unimpressive corporate suit to do so against the world's most famous British murder machine, especially considering how Bond dispatches mean-looking, highly-trained professional killers ''much'' more quickly on several occasions earlier in the film.
* General Miura from ''Film/IpMan'' throws down with three guys in his first appearance and takes them down without much fuss. Ultimately he is the only one who actually manages to land real hits on our hero.
* In ''Film/{{Scanners}}'', Revok is not only the leader of the evil scanner underground, but also one of the two most powerful scanners in the world -- which is, of course, how he started the underground in the first place.
* At the climax of ''Film/{{Cliffhanger}}'', effete villain John Lithgow (!) proves to be a match for musclebound Sly Stallone.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** In addition to the times the source material uses this trope, the fight with the Uruk-hai at the end of ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' shows the Fellowship effortlessly mowing down the Uruks, until the [[{{Leader}} orc chief Lurtz]] shows up. Lurtz fatally wounds Boromir with his arrows, and he's only defeated after a drawn out, one-on-one fight with Aragorn, King of Gondor. Of course, Lurtz also had the InverseNinjaLaw on his side.
** Legolas is an elven prince. He also [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome quite memorably]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=132WIdxvgdo brings down an Oliphaunt singlehandedly]].
* Played painfully straight in ''Film/RedSonja''. Nowhere in the preceding scenes did the Evil Queen show any kind of martial skill, but when she and Sonja face off, it's a battle royale, apparently just because the film needed a cathartic climactic final fight.
* In ''Film/FistOfLegend'', the Japanese general is an incredibly powerful martial artist.
* In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' [[ColonelBadass Colonel Quaritch]] has his dropship severely damaged when [[spoiler:Jake Sully]] throws a missile into a turbine. Despite this, and having his shoulder on fire, he climbs into a mech as the dropship spirals out of control, pats out the flames, and jumps out of the dropship to land safely as it crashes in a hulking flaming mass behind him. Half of this he does while holding his breath. Earlier in the film, he kicks open a door without an oxygen mask and unloads an assault rifle and a pistol into an escaping gunship. And finally, in the final battle he fights hand-to-hand (albeit in a mech) with two Na'Vi and one palulukan, and again a portion of this is done holding his breath.
* Frank D'Amico in the climax of ''Film/KickAss'', as foreshadowed by earlier scenes of him practicing martial arts, although he also has a couple of factors tipping the balance in his favor, such as the fact that he's, you know, fighting a ten-year-old girl. Hit Girl previously mows down his Mooks by the dozen in a firefight, but she runs out of ammo by the time she faces D'Amico and is forced to resort to kung-fu fighting him, getting completely thrashed in the ensuing fight.
* The main villain is the only one in ''Film/TheTransporter'' to test the hero in a one-on-one fight. And he's even nicknamed "Wall Street", making it seem like he's just a corporate suit. So, for the final fight, both fight without their suits.
* In ''Film/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'', Metalbeak and Nyra are able to hold their own in battle, and will fight alongside their armies.
* The Emperor from ''Film/TheMummyTombOfTheDragonEmperor'' was a prodigy in every skill, surpassing all his teachers in [[ElementalPowers elemental magic]], martial arts, military strategy and pretty much everything else. How he lost to Brendan Frasier and co is a mystery.
* In the 1989 film of ''Film/HenryV'', as in the original play, King Henry leads his men into battle at Harfleur and Agincourt. In the film, Henry is shown at Agincourt kicking all kinds of French ass.
* ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers2011'' briefly shows [[MagnificentBastard Cardinal Richelieu]] sparring with three {{Mook}}s at once. Possibly partly RealLife, since he received a military training before becoming a priest, and was still known as a good rider and fencer twenty years later.
* ''Film/ResidentEvil'' film series places badass Albert Wesker as the chairman of Umbrella Corp, thus implying that he was given his superhuman abilities at his own order.
* In Creator/RomanPolanski's adaptation of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' the eponymous character just destroys a bunch of mooks trying to kill him.
* ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'':
** Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., jumps out of an out-of-control helicopter and shoots down a plane carrying a nuclear warhead with an unguided anti-vehicle rocket, among other things. His subordinates are not nearly as impressive, with some exceptions of course.
** Likewise, when ComicBook/CaptainAmerica orders police officers to get people to safety and set up a perimeter, they initially question why they should be taking orders from him... until he quickly disposes of some attackers right in front of them.
* General Hawk from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
* [[spoiler:Aldrich Killian]] in ''Film/IronMan3'' is the most dangerous foe to the title character, despite the fact that most of his {{Mook}}s are veteran soldiers who have been enhanced by the Extremis SuperSerum, while he himself was [[spoiler:a cripple until recently]]. Despite this, he survives what some of his Mooks don't. He can also [[spoiler:[[BreathWeapon breathe fire]]]].
* The French General Delatombe in ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'' spends most of the film sitting around. However, when necessary, he shows that he handles a sword ''very'' well for an old man and nearly dispatches one of the brothers. His aide-de-camp is also pretty good, despite not looking it.
* In ''Film/TheWolverine'', Shingen is by far the best swordsman out of the entire Yashida Clan, [[spoiler:with the possible exception of his father.]]
* In ''Film/WarCraft2016'', pretty much everyone in position of authority is a badass. Lothar has probably the highest kill-count in the film, his brother-in-law king Llane leads the army and kicks serious amounts of orc ass, and warchief Durotan and SorcerousOverlord Gul'dan resolve their differences in a [[DuelToTheDeath mak'gora]].
* Played for comedy in ''Film/BlackDynamite'', where Black Dynamite's greatest physical test is his final martial arts showdown with ''Richard Nixon''.
* In ''JurassicWorld'' it is first inverted, because the "alpha male" of the pack of Velociraptors is a human. But later it plays straight, because the [[http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Indominus_rex Indominus Rex]] the new alpha male is.
* In ''KickAss2'' it is inverted and playing straight. It is playing straight at the "superheros" of "Justice Forever" because their leaders, Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl, are by far the strongest fighters among them. Likewise was Colonel-Stars-and-Stripes, the former leader of the strongest fighters among them.
** With the "supervillains" of "Toxic Mega Cunts" but it is inverted. Red-Mist is a weak fighter and buys other criminals to fight for him. Probably could defeat him almost any of his followers in combat.

* This is a constant in the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' books. The highest-ranking officer in any group will have the strongest combat stats. Each of the heads of state Lone Wolf eventually has to confront (Zakhan Kimah, Baron Shinzar, High Warlord Magnaarn, Archdruid Cadak...) is certain to be either a MidBoss or FinalBoss (and likely ThatOneBoss too). And the Darklords are among the toughest customers around, of course. To say nothing of Lone Wolf himself after managing to get the Kai Order restarted.
* ''Starship Traveller,'' an interactive novel in the ''Literature/FightingFantasy'' series, has this in play. When in combat, non-security personnel have a penalty to their skill rating. The exception is you, the ship's captain. "Your own fighting skills are equal to your professional skills, as befits a true hero."

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

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

* ''Roleplay/DragonBallAfterTheEnd: {{Invoked}} amongst the Exiles, where only a Clans Lord, Scion(heir) and Patriarch/Matriarch is allowed to possess the Super Saiyan transformation, and more critically, only they know how to reach its full potential.
* ''Roleplay/ThereIsNoGATEWeDidNotFightThere'': Kytheus Rhavenfell's entire family tree, maternal and paternal. In particular, his grandfathers, Kryton and Aslan, are two of the most exceptional, and some might even argue the greatest, warriors ever known to the Empire, while serving as the Lord Exemplars of their domains.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'': In "Operation: Tiger Bomb", exploring Flippy's backstory, the [[FourStarBadass Tiger General]] came to blows against [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Fliqpy]] and actually gave him the toughest fight in the entire series.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': There is a [[DiscussedTrope conflict]] between General Ironwood and the Beacon staff because Ironwood believes in closely associating authority with the amount of arsekicking that authority is capable of. It's why he insists on bringing an army to Vale for the Vytal Tournament. By contrast, Ozpin, Qrow and Glynda fear such displays will backfire rather than be helpful. The lesson the Beacon teachers seem to teach their students is that authority requires leadership ability rather than combat skill, something that Ozpin makes a point of telling Ruby to make her take responsibility for her position as team leader and a lesson she passes on to Jaune, for the same reason.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Mayor from ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' may not be much of an actual fighter, but she's clearly ''not'' someone to [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1300/fc01269.htm mess around with]].
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** The webcomic is a rare example of this rule being used by {{mad scientist}}s. Most of the Sparks that have appeared in the comic so far have proven to be quite competent fighters - part of this may be justified by them often having a DeathRay or two in their pockets, but even in unarmed close combat, several Sparks have demonstrated high levels of skill. [[OverlordJr Gilgamesh Wulfenbach]] demonstrated an ability to smack a BIG [[SuperSoldier Jäger]] around while injured (but [[BerserkButton flipped out]]). Baron Wulfenbach has also had action hero-level fighting skills, but that may be attributed to his past adventuring with the Heterodyne Boys. The Heterodyne Boys themselves may also, technically, be said to use this, seeing as they were the hereditary rulers of Mechanicsburg. Agatha "doesn't fence", but she's [[WrenchWhack quite the slugger]] with a 3/17 Occipital Left-Leaning Heterodyne Wrench. Or [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070629 any]] heavy [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110711 wrench]], for that matter.
** Justified in that the magical intelligence boost that allows the sparks to create military wonders and various supersoldiers also increasingly makes them impatient and crazy enough to install said wonders and perform said experiments on themselves or their loved-ones. It is at one point suggested that should Gil prove faulty (i.e. less than perfect in every way) his father will simply take him apart and try again, and no one seems to find this particularly implausible. Baron Wulfenbach has visibly performed various surgeries on himself and augmented himself to the size of a small tank. The heterodynes casually drink from a spring that, in a very dilute and weakened form, turns ordinary soldiers into near-invicible superstrong jagermonsters.
** Additionally, the paranoia the spark brings isn't really unjustified, as few sparks actually survive to adulthood due to the usual torch-bearing mobs and the danger of their own creations. Even a spark in the rational state is liable to see some advantage to augmenting themselves being the toughest thing in the immediate vicinity at all times. If not for the law that dying causes one to lose one's properties, most of Europa's rulers would probably be undead abominations by now.
** There's also the strong implication that the Baron experimented on himself to keep going in his adventures (much like Othar), and there's the possibility that Gil inherited some of those... improvements.
** Don't forget the Jager generals. On the Castle Wulfenbach one take a crashing plane head-on. When they fight, even the lesser Jagers don't want to be around. Later [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120427 Oggie thought]] that being "detatched" is a sufficient reason to disobey Mamma Gkika -- see the result on the next page. Presumably, you get to be a Jager general by being tougher than any other Jager around you.
** And then they get [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120521 to]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120523 the]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120525 actual]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120528 fighting]]...
** Opinion is divided as to [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091125 how much]] of Tarvek's "[[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091130 spoiled aristocrat]]" image [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110425 was]] ObfuscatingStupidity.
* [[spoiler: Raizel]] from ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'', who is the True Noblesse, the leader of all [[OurVampiresAreDifferent nobles]]. He won EVERY FIGHT he got into, which all ended in a CurbStompBattle. This is later downplayed; While Noblesse is an important title, it is not for the leader of the nobles; nevertheless, the actual leader, titled the Lord, is nothing to sneeze at either. And the Lord's seconds-in-command, titled the Clan Leaders, are also much stronger than normal nobles. Their enemies, the Union, also follow the same hierarchy, with the leading Union Elders being scarily powerful. [[spoiler:Made worse by the fact that one of those Elders is actually a Clan Leader who defected.]]
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'': The Rankers are ranked solely on their performance while they climbed the Tower. Which is kind of a big deal. Rankers move on to become agents, bureaucrats and test administrators, positions of great authority. So yeah, being a test administrator equals major asskicking abilities.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' has almost everyone using various forms of SuperSoldier "boosts", but there are some clear examples:
** Captain Tagon is no slouch: a trained, experienced, and highly skilled soldier, he isn't someone you'd want to cross. Still, in a fair fight, he'd probably be creamed by any number of his enlisted beings. [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20030511.html Good thing]] [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20080427.html he cheats]].
** Kevyn, the second in command, isn't all that tough physically; but between the antimatter-bomb epaulets and just being the MadScientist, everybody reacts like he ''could'' kick their asses. Also, he and his sister are good enough at it to surprise the unarmed combat instructor.
** The trope is used even further when Xinchub, a fat general who is mostly into politics, manhandles a bounty hunter. He explains that he has "boosted" (meaning enhanced in various ways) more than she has, probably because he has the political clout to get away with it.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'' the higher level your chief warlord is, the higher a bonus your troops get. This means that chief warlords are almost always the most powerful speaking unit around, Which makes people wonder why Parson ever becomes chief warlord
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', being promoted to aristocracy makes a normal demon at least larger and much more powerful, and becoming a Demon Lord grants NighInvulnerability and a fiery BattleAura as well as, apparently, SuperStrength.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Subverted when Roy mistakenly assumes that Lord Shojo is a high-level paladin when he is, in fact, a non-combatant aristocrat.
** Later played straight with his nephew, Hinjo, who is a ''very'' capable paladin [[spoiler:and becomes the leader of the Sapphire Guard and exiled Azurites after Shojo's death.]] And then Hinjo goes on to somewhat subvert it later in the story. While he's focused on trying to keep the survivors of the Azure City battle together, looking for a place to settle them, and dealing with treacherous aristocrats, some of his fellow paladins are fighting against villains and other hazards and continually getting stronger. Eventually Hinjo admits that he's fallen well behind them in level, and when a few paladins are needed for a task vital to saving the world, he opts to remain behind, leaving the job to his more powerful subordinates while he concentrates on keeping his people afloat. He still kicks ass, just not as much as some of the people below him.
* [[http://fancyadventures.com/2008/12/08/page-44/ It's demonstrated]] in ''Webcomic/TheFancyAdventuresOfJackCannon''. Who knew Principals had so much power? It's implied that the General is also powerful, but we have yet to see him in action.
* Played with in ''Webcomic/ErrantStory''. The most skilled members of the Ensigerum, a group of [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot warrior/monk/time-mages]], are generally the highest level initiates and newly raised monks as the older members lack recent combat experience and have grown too dependent on magic. The trope is played straight for their leader, Imperatrix Anita, who is without a doubt the deadliest member of the order.
* ''Webcomic/MSFHigh'': Any teacher at MSF High has this. Any Legion Queen has this, with access to all ten Legion 'facets'. Principal Kasumi? Don't even ask. Keiri is not to be messed with as well.
* Justified in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', as Sburb is effectively a video game and thus needs to provide some bosses for its players to defeat. The Kings and Queens of Derse and Prospit aren't very strong on their own, but they are all provided with items (rings for the Queens, scepters for the Kings) that provide power boosts which elevate them far above the rank-and-file. Like many things in the medium, these power boosts are tied to the prototyping of the player's Kernelsprites. The Black King of the Troll's session was prototyped a whopping twelve times and proved an absolute monstrosity to defeat.
** The White Queen in [[spoiler: the Alpha session]] has been shown to be able to beat down [[spoiler: Jack Noir]] , with little effort.
* Mr. Verres of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has shown his offensive magical abilities and is relatively high up in the local [[TheMenInBlack paranormal division of the FBI]]. Assistant Director Liefeld, his boss, is an extremely beefy man which means he probably has significant physical fighting prowess even if he is not a magic user.
* ''Webcomic/ZokushoComics'': If Clash is anything to go by, Master Byron is quite capable of opening up a rather large can, despite his age.
* [[EvilRedhead Ro]][[BigBad yce]] from ''Webcomic/HeartCore'' fits this trope, considering how he almost killed the protagonist of the story without using his full powers. Being the king of demons and fiends does help, though.
* Played straight in ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'', by the Basitin people. On one side we have a new General, who fought and bested every challenger for the right to take the position. On the other side we have the King, who was presumed fatally injured and has been noted as incredibly ill for months. When she asks him if he wishes to challenge her decision [[http://twokinds.keenspot.com/archive.php?p=582 he pales and backs down.]]
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': U8 King Cold, who is inexplicably far more powerful than Cold as depicted in the original manga, is the strongest fighter in his universe.
* Magical Rulers in ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' tend to be quite formidable thanks to several things. [[SuperpowerfulGenetics Powerful linage]], YouKillItYouBoughtIt and because [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve they personify their subjects hopes/dreams/fears]].
* Everyone in the Galactic Union, the government of pretty much the whole universe in ''Webcomic/LuminaryChildren'', seems to be very strong, and very cruel.
* ''Webcomic/LsEmpire'' has a literal example, where the king or queen of Kayoss is granted the ability of StrongAsTheyNeedToBe.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': Because the Godmodder is one of the highest-leveled godmodders on the Internet, he is insanely powerful.
* Used in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest''. The leaders of the terrorist organization are Danya, and a group of four terrorists directly under his command appropriately referred to as "The Big Four", two of whom are Danya's bodyguards when they're not doing other things. The Big Four play this straight in that they're all elite soldiers, one of them having been a successful professional boxer between leaving the military and joining Danya's organisation, and BadassBookworm Jim Greynolds is the only one of them who isn't more or less a master of hand to hand combat. Also used with the group [=SADD=], whose leader Neil Sinclair is probably the best fighter of the bunch (he certainly lived the longest)
* ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'''s BackStory had the Caesars of the [[{{precursors}} Iormunean Imperium]], who had access to an elixer that boosted their lifespan, physical abilities, and HealingFactor, making them fearsome warriors in battle. Second to them was the [[FourStarBadass High Executor]], leader of the PraetorianGuard, who was armed with an [[AncestralWeapon ancestral sword]] that could double as a ''WaveMotionGun''.
* [[http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/hes_barack_obama He's Barack Obama.]]
* Xandus, the most powerful villain in the ''Roleplay/AvatarAdventures'' universe, doubles as the Prime Minister of Canada.
* It is revealed in ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'' that [[spoiler: Kevin Baugh could teleport and use a sword.]]
* In the [[http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=118771 Armageddon]] web-novels, this is how both Hell and Heaven operate - rank and power are equal, with Satan and Yahweh being on the top of the heap. When Michael managed to kill Yahweh with the assistance of his conspiracy, he not only increased in power, he gained the ability to confer power on other angels.
* WebVideo/FiveSecondFilms: [[http://5secondfilms.com/watch/keeping_you_safe Tom]] [[http://5secondfilms.com/watch/keeping_you_warm Watson]], MP for West Bromwich East. Keeping you safe from mutant shark men and heats your home to boot!
* Lord Opticord in ''Film/{{Sockbaby}}''.
* In ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'', it's either played straight or [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority inverted]] with Masters and Elites. They are regarded as the strongest characters and usually have or are granted many prestigious titles and responsibilities. Can be subverted or even averted for Padawans, Apprentices, and Trainees that roleplay have a high title.
* Entry #23 in the Cracked photoshop contest "[[http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_489_23-rejected-final-bosses-from-famous-video-games_p23 Rejected Final Bosses from Famous Video Games]]" proposes [[spoiler:Chalres Darwin, author of the theory of evolution, as a possible final boss for the Franchise/{{Pokemon}} franchise (which deals with "evolution" as a major game mechanic).]]
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' features Lung, leader of the Azn Bad Boys, whose power amounts to [[OneWingedAngel turning into a dragon]], compared to minions' powers of teleporting and making bombs. This is commonly averted throughout the rest of the novel; the most powerful members of the Slaughterhouse Nine and Cauldron ([[TheJuggernaut Siberian]] and [[StoryBreakerPower Contessa]], respectively) are TheDragon rather than the BigBad.
* In ''Roleplay/ThereIsNoGATEWeDidNotFightThere'', Kytheus Rhavenfell's entire family tree, maternal and paternal, is this. This is especially true for his grandfathers, Kryton and Aslan, two of the most exceptional, and some might even argue the greatest warriors ever known to the Empire, while also being the respective Lords of their provinces.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** The show uses this with [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]], and [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass King Bumi]] (and to a lesser extent, Azula and Zuko). The Earth King on the other hand couldn't fight at all, and was being controlled by his EvilChancellor since he was four (though apparently Earth King authority ''used to'' equal asskicking). The warden of "The Boiling Rock" [[spoiler:was a bit of a pushover as well, but at least had [[KillUsBoth the attitude]].]]
** Nearly all of the main characters qualify. While not a really a major authority at the time of show (being gone for a century while people were suffering does not help to endear) the Avatar is considered a sort of King of World and past ones always seemed able to boss around the other rulers a lot. Sokka and Katara are more or less royalty by virtue of being children of the Southern Water Tribe Chief (even though poverty makes them little better than peasants) while Toph is a definitely noble ranked high up in the Earth Kingdom pecking order. Iroh, Pakku, Jeong-Jeong and even Piandao are also either royalty, nobles, generals or aristocrats. Even Suki, essentially the only member of Team Avatar who can't be construed as anything other than a lowly peasant, is still the commander of her island's warriors by virtue of being [[BadassNormal an asskicker]].
** And dare we even mention [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Toph's daughter]]? Lin Beifong, chief of police in Republic City, after all of her other metalbending cops are knocked unconcious, still goes after [[BigBad Amon]] anyways, through use of her metalbending. The only person to aid her was [[BackToBackBadasses Korra herself]] -- and she saved Korra on multiple occasions throughout the fight.
** Amon himself. The leader of the Equalists and the most skilled of them all. Although this is thrown into doubt when [[spoiler: we learn his ''physical'' fighting prowess is rooted in his bloodbending: he can 'read' people's muscle movements and use slight tugs of bloodbending to throw enemies off their game]].
** Councilmen Tarrlok and Tenzin also count, although the rest of the council, reflecting the demilitarized state of their world, aren't shown to possess any real fighting skill.
** Chief Unalaq of the Northern Water Tribe is an incredibly strong waterbender, and a master of of an arcane skill that lets him corrupt or purify spirits.
** Come Book 4, Kuvira cements herself as a OneManArmy in her first scene, curb stomping two dozen bandits, before declaring herself TheEmperor of the Earth Kingdom two episodes later.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'', the mayor is a professional wrestler in a luchador mask who is always introduced as Johnny "the Mayor" Bledsoe. He doesn't appear to be able to do any actual fighting--the one time he tried, he reflexively started faking his hits.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', the Mayor is usually content to let the Girls be the heroes. ''However'', in one episode, when Fuzzy Lumpkin took over as mayor, and then had the nerve to ''take his hat'', he [[BerserkButton became so angry]] that he wrestled Fuzzy to get his job back - and won.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** True for both sides. Since promotions for the Decepticons seem to be either through murder or treachery, Megatron tends to be one of [[{{Leader}} the most powerful, charismatic and strategic guys around]]. The same goes for Optimus Prime (and Ultra Magnus in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''), although with him it's more that they ''made'' him {{leader}} because he's the best.
** In the animated movie, Hot Rod gets upgraded from a racecar to a futuristic truck when he was promoted to Rodimus Prime by the Matrix. He got about half again as tall, and upgraded from "pathetic" to "successor of Optimus Prime."
** Optimus Prime himself was a small pickup truck type thing when he was Orion Pax, and was rebuilt into the bigger, tougher Optimus Prime. The nice thing about being robots is that you can get an upgrade upon promotion to fit this trope much more easily than with us fleshlings.
** The one time this trope was ''not'' used in ''Transformers'' was a brief period in the 1980's comic series in which the Decepticons were led by ''Ratbat''. Yes, a small purple cassette that turned into a talking bat. He scored the leadership through his popularity and attempted to run the Decepticons with more businesslike efficiency. The comics played it straight aside from that, with leadership landing in the hands of Shockwave, Scorponok, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, and back to Megatron thanks to the superior ass-kicking power of each. The Autobots got into the act, with powerhouses like Grimlock and Blaster trying to take over the Autobots whenever Optimus was absent.
** This seems to be part of the Predacon culture in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' - Megatron leads by fear and intimidation as much as loyalty. When Dinobot first defects to the Maximals, he first tries to do it by challenging Optimus' leadership by force. [=BlackArachnia=], Terrorsaur, and Tarantalus attempt coups frequently. Megatron's stated policy is that he tolerates treachery but not incompetence.
** This seems to be a part of Transformer culture in general. Optimus Primal was fully capable of kicking the crap out of his underlings. Pretty much any given Transformer leader stands head and shoulders above most of his troops, sometimes [[LargeAndInCharge literally]].
** Rhinox is no slouch either. He's smart, devious, and strong. He simply lacks ambition and is content to follow Optimus. When he is infected by a Predacon-made virus that turns him into a Predacon, he also gains ambition and, in a short order, nearly takes over Predacon leadership. In ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', when he becomes [[spoiler:Tankor]], Rhinox nearly causes both Megatron and Optimus to kill each other, while he picks up the pieces.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Dr. Director from Global Justice and Gemini from WEE are the big cheese and the best fighters of their respective organizations. And they're twins.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', Faragonda and Griffin are the headmistressess of Alfea and Cloud Tower, respectively. Both are incredibly powerful sorceresses who can fight if the need arises.
* A memorable episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' pits the Skipper and his crew against a horde of sewer rats in an attempt to retrieve Julien's crown. The rats say they'll hand it over, on the condition that the Skipper fight their leader. Skipper laughs and says he'll try to go easy on the ''mousy'' little guy... who's revealed to be in fact a massive mutated lab rat who resembled M. Bison. Cue the stunned looks of OhCrap! on the penguins faces.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''
** Numbuh 362, the [[{{Leader}} Supreme Leader]] of the Kids Next Door organization, was a top stealth agent before she took command, and she can still kick a very respectable amount of ass when the need arises. This was [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome memorably demonstrated]] in the episode "Operation: I.T." where she [[spoiler:ate her way through a wall of broccoli to take on [[BigBad Father]] and made him break down in tears by threatening to force-feed him the dreaded vegetable]]. Also, in ''WesternAnimation/OperationZERO'' she held her own against a senior-citizombified Numbuh 60. And, just to underline the trope, she is eventually succeeded as Supreme Leader by [[spoiler:Numbuh Five]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'', [[{{Leader}} Jerry]] was easily able to defeat Clover, Alex, and Sam when they were turned evil by the enemy. And in an episode ''previous'' to that one, he was able to beat another villain senseless, causing Alex -- the only witness, who had been turned into an unwilling pawn by said villain -- to comment that even ''she'' was surprised at how good he was. (As Jerry himself told the guy, "There are a ''lot'' of things my girls don't know about me.")
* In ''WesternAnimation/MartinMystery'', M.O.M. is extremely acrobatic and good with weapons and gadgets. She was able to pummel a vicious spider monster on one occasion with her bare hands.
* From ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', Charles Foster Offdensen. Excelling in hand-to-hand combat is a must when you're the manager of the most popular band (and twelfth largest economy) in the world.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'':
** Starfire and Blackfire are both [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses royalty]], and while superstrength seems universal for [[HumanAliens Tamaranians]] (or at least those we see in the palace), the two princessess are apparently the only of their species that can [[{{Flight}} fly]] and shot [[PureEnergy energy blasts]]. (The trope likely applies to all Tamaranian monarchs anyway; seeing as it seems to be legal to assume the throne by defeating the monarch in a fight, one who couldn't fight well probably wouldn't last long.)
** Lord Trogar of the Gordanians in the episode "Go" was able to simultaneously beat Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire in a fight on his battleship. He was also able to take an energy blast from Raven which knocked out his ship and immobilized his guards without flinching. Makes one wonder why he needed guards in the first place...
* Played for laughs in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyGymPartnersAMonkey'', when Adam convinces Mr. Hornbill, a lovelorn rhinoceros teacher, to challenge Principal Pixiefrog (who is, well, a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin pixie frog]]) to a ring fight to prove his masculinity. It turns out this trope is in full effect as Principal Pixiefrog proceeds to wipe the floor with Mr. Hornbill while shouting "who's your principal, Cyrus?!? I said, ''who's your principal?!?''"
-->'''Adam:''' What just happened?!?\\
'''Jake:''' A 2-ton rhino just got his butt handed to him by a 6-ounce frog! Where were you for the past 30 seconds?
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_President Super President]]''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' this holds true with Thundera's King Claudus and his two [[FourStarBadass best generals]] Panthro and Grune, all of whom sport {{Heroic Build}}s and illustrate the ability to mow down multiple foes in one blow, and in Grune's case, defeat a monster many times his own size.
* The original ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats|1985}}'' also qualify as to be recognized as a their full-fledged leader, Lion-O faces a series of trials against his comrades and then is sent to kick Mumm-ra's ass by himself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', pretty much all the leaders seem to be powerful magic users, with Princess Celestia stepping up with laser beams and horn strikes, Princess Luna powerful enough to threaten Equestria with her SuperPoweredEvilSide and Queen Chrysalis proving far more powerful than any of the mooks under her command. The Diamond Dog leaders also proved much more competent than their underlings in a fight. Subverted in Princess Cadance who has never been shown to be particularly powerful in combat, though she manages to be [[BadassPacifist badass]] in other ways. Later on the series has Princess Twilight Sparkle (already a gifted unicorn) who gains the "authority" part when she is crowned the fourth alicorn princess, and still continues to be one of the most capable fighters in the series.
* In ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/Gargoyles Gargoyles]]'' Goliath is the leader of his clan, and also their strongest fighter. Whether all clans play it straight, but it is unknown.

[[folder: Other]]
* In the German booklets series ''Maddrax'' there are creatures called taratzes. They are huge, mutant rats, the talk and walk upright (there is a certain similarity to the skaves of ''Warhammer''). A taratze is bigger, stronger, faster and tougher than a human, and can be defeated by a BadassNormal at best, if at all. But taratzes are not very intelligent, compared with humans.
** However, there is playing straight with taratze-kings. These are namely still bigger and stronger than ordinary taratzes, and have very often a bright or even white fur. And unlike ordinary taratzes they are as smart as humans, or even more shrewd. This makes them to very dangerous enemies, and they lead a pack of taratzes often.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This is typically the case for social and pack animals, such as wolves and gorillas.
* In ages past it was common for generals to actually lead their troops into battle, but this was really to better direct the troops in an age before radio. The death of a general in battle often ensured his army's defeat, so this tradition was abandoned as soon as distance command became practical.
* In feudal societies, the upper classes had more access to military training and equipment, as well as better diets, so you could expect that the lord could wipe the floor with his peasants.
* Among the lower ranks of real military forces, however, this is most certainly TruthInTelevision. A Corporal or Sergeant Major (etc.) will only hold the rank they do because they climbed the rank ladder from the very bottom upward and will have gained valuable combat experience along the way, but are not yet too old to dish out a good asskicking.
* Part of a senior non-commissioned officer's job is to mentor junior officers. The officers ''do'' outrank [=NCO=]s, but are expected to defer to the knowledge and experience of their senior NCO subordinates. The corollary being that [=NCO=]s must never in any way be perceived as diminishing or being dismissive of the officers' command authority.
* As historically nobility equaled warrior class, worth as a vassal was earned in warfare, and commonplace wars and duels let the stronger take over the weaker. So in the Early Middle Ages, higher nobility had to be highly skilled in combat to stay such, through AsskickingEqualsAuthority effect. The expense of quality equipment helped that end as well. Later relative peace and hereditary nobility ended this.
* Tsar Alexander III was a truly massive man, nearly two meters tall and possessing great physical strength. He was rough and, though his reign was relatively peaceful, was known to train extensively for combat. When his train crashed, he actually held up the roof so his family could escape. This puts the VideoGame/AssassinsCreed example under ComicBooks in perspective.
* During the UsefulNotes/RussoJapaneseWar, rear admiral Rozhestvensky: chief of staff of the Russian Navy (basically the third highest job in the whole Navy, second only to the director of the Department of the of Navy (counterpart of Defense Secretary in US terms, only dedicated to the Navy and not the armed forces in general) and the General Admiral (a rank reserved for members of the House of Romanov) for the first half of the war and commander of the Second Pacific Squadron when the Tzar decided to send ships of the Baltic Fleet to reinforce Port Arthur, was a powerful man who would punch out any undisciplined sailor unlucky enough to be noticed by him. From the same conflict, Heihachiro Togo: commander in chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy and [[WorthyOpponent the one who defeated the best admirals of Russia, Rozhestvensky included]], was a trained samurai and a skilled swordman before the Meiji Restauration and him becoming a sailor.
* Subverted in the case of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. While they did serve in World War I, their state's PropagandaMachine made them into much more than they really were. Hitler did get two Iron Crosses, but that probably had more to do with his near-constant proximity to the Regimental HQ (plus, as a message runner, his decorations would be more for ''surviving'' extremely hazardous situations than for kicking ass during them). He also turned down a promotion, probably to avoid more responsibility. Mussolini's war record, on the other hand, is almost completely unremarkable.
* [[http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/vladimir-putin-earns-black-belt-8th-dan-kyokushin-karate-article-1.2019056 Vladimir Putin]] is proficient in several different martial arts and has been practicing them since childhood.
* In the 1800s, there was a Mexican politician by the name of Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, better known as Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico and "[[NomDeGuerre Napoleon of the West]]". A popular general and leader (he was elected president for eleven nonconsecutive terms), he is most famous among Americans for the time he traveled to Texas to [[FrontlineGeneral personally take charge of the Mexican forces working to put down a rebellion]], including leading the forces that successfully besieged and retook San Antonio and The Alamo. [[SubvertedTrope Of course]], he is also known for being captured at the Battle of San Jacinto, where he was forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco recognizing the Republic of Texas as an independent nation, which probably wouldn't have happened if he had lead from the rear. The Texian leader at San Jacinto, General Sam Houston, would [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority would go on to be President and later Governor of Texas.]]
* General UsefulNotes/AndrewJackson, who led American troops to victory at the Battle of New Orleans in the WarOf1812 and later became the 7th President of the United States, was a highly accomplished duelist who survived numerous pistol duels. His most famous duel was with Charles Dickenson in 1806. Dickenson got off the first shot, striking Jackson in the chest, just inches away from his heart, but Jackson was still able to fire his pistol and kill Dickenson. Against all odds, Jackson survived his own gunshot wound, though the bullet was too close to his heart to be removed and it would give him chronic pain for the rest of his life.
* In TheAmericanCivilWar, Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest was distinguished for his skills as a warrior as much as he was for his leadership. Throughout the course of the war, he was wounded numerous times and killed more then 30 Union soldiers in combat. He also killed one of his own officers in self defense, Lt. A. Wills Gould, after the two of them got into a heated exchange over a transfer order that Forrest had signed. Gould pulled his revolver and shot Forrest, but Forrest still managed to draw his knife and stab Gould to death after being shot.
* Before becoming leader of the Zulu tribe, UsefulNotes/ShakaZulu had a distinguished career as a common soldier in King Dingiswayo's army. At a time when combat between African tribes consisted of fighting mostly by throwing spears at each other from a distance, Shaka preferred to fight his enemies up close with a custom-made spear he eventually named "Aniklwa" in reference to the sound it made when he plunged it into opposing soldiers. He eventually earned a promotion to a commander by defeating a famous warrior of the Butelezi tribe in a one-on-one duel and then leading the rest of the army to victory.
* Marcus Claudius Marcellus, [[RedBaron the Sword of Rome]], went from one Roman consul who fought a war to Rome's greatest of his era when, during a battle against the Insubres, he noticed an enemy with a fancy armour, killed him incredibly fast, and then, [[OhCrap when the Insubres started running as soon as they noticed what he had just done]], realized he had just killed the enemy commander in single combat. The man would go on fighting in the [[UsefulNotes/PunicWars Second Punic War]], in which he single-handedly reconquered the rebelling Sicily with a combination of taking the apparently unconquerable Syracure and an application of [[RapePillageAndBurn the usual Roman policy against rebels and traitorous allies]] [[EvenEvilHasStandards that even the Roman Senate found excessive]] and ''match Hannibal in their five battles'' before dying in an ambush.
* This is a requirement for anyone involved in politics in [[AnarchyIsChaos failed or otherwise unstable states]].
** [[FourStarBadass General]] Adde Musa, then President of the breakaway state of Puntland, in UsefulNote/{{Somalia}}, personally led fifty "technicals" against [[ChurchMilitant Islamist militiamen]] in Galkayo on 2006.