He was so deadly, in fact, that his enemies would go blind from overexposure to pure awesomeness!
"Ah! My eyes! He's too awesome!"
How can you make rainbows come out of zombies? Juliet:
Sometimes a character is so overflowing with the awesome that they don't actually have to do
anything for it. They are not just awesome; they kind of have awesomeness as a power. All they have to do is walk into the room, or in in the most extreme cases, stand there
. Their simple existence alone radiates an effect of awesomeness that causes tangible physical harm to their enemies, and makes men and women fall in love with them. And all we can do is watch.
"Whoa... Dude, that guy is awesome..."
"What do you mean? He isn't doing
anything — whoa, he is
Characters can be made of it. Groups can be made of it. Scenes can be made of it. Entire movies can be made of it. If Pure Awesomeness didn't exist, how could anything ever be so cool it can be used as a laxative?
This trope (in case the multiple uses of the word "awesome" as if it has an objective meaning didn't tip you off) is by its very nature almost completely irrational and often used for comedy. Do not
try to ruminate over the meaning of this trope. Either accept the physical manifestation of Rule of Cool
, or watch a more logical show.
Not to be confused with something awesome happening off-screen
, where the awesomeness's effect was probably justified by something tangible actually happening.
of It Runs On Nonsenseoleum
, Rule of Cool
A Super Trope
to Awesomeness Is Volatile
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Anime & manga
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann takes this Up to Eleven :
- Kongou Banchou invokes this trope in front of every normal person he meets.
- One Piece:
- Especially powerful individuals can strike weaker ones unconscious with their mere presence, through the power of "Haki" (Ambition). Two other types of Haki (that can be learned) enable users to gain split-second precognition and harden their defenses or strengthen attacks to harm immaterial or Haki-using enemies, but only one in a million inherently awesome people can use the Conqueror's Haki.
- Whitebeard is also a walking 18-foot tall pile of refined, 101% awesomeness.
- Gold Roger, the man who started the "Great Pirate Era", definitely qualifies.
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple does this on occasion such as this instance, which actually knocks Kenichi unconscious, just because his masters are that awesome. Sakaki, in particular, is able to utilize the power of awesomeness. In Chapter 18 he makes a charging delinquent stop and fall on his butt retreating just by looking at him, and in Chapter 30 he apparently shoots a Hadouken from his fist (probably just a visual representation of the force of his punch).
- In Naruto, a number of strong ninja, like Zabuza, Orochimaru, and Sasuke with Orochimaru's power, are capable of giving off a "killing intent" so strong that it paralyzes weaker enemies, despite apparently not being an actual jutsu of any kind. This is taken to ridiculous levels with the First Hokage, who can literally cause the room he's standing in to crack just by flaring his chakra.
- Medaka Box has Hinokage Kudo, whom no one knows, remembers, or even notices despite his large size. Why does no one notice him? Because he's so damn powerful people subconsciously repress the memory of his existence out of absolute fear. His unnotability has not earned him the nickname "Mr. Unknown." He hasn't earned this nickname 'cos no one knows who he is and therefore can't address him as anything in the first place. Except Zenkichi for some weird reason.
- In Hunter × Hunter, Nen users can kill non-users through sheer force of
- Gildarts from Fairy Tail has this and it brings Natsu to tearsnote .
- Played for laughs in Kaitou Saint Tail: when Asuka jr. bragged he had been assigned to capture Saint Tail by the mayor himself and Rina shouldn't butt in, her pointing out she's the mayor's niece caused her to be surrounded by an aura of awesomeness that blinded the presents.
- Reiatsu in Bleach tends to come off this way, even if it is given an explanation.
- Cosmo sometimes works like this in Saint Seiya. Prime offenders would of course include Gods whose mere presence and aura will paralyze anyone and repell attacks, but even main characters can be included, such as Phoenix Ikki whose mere aura can slap silly some enemies and more, but the most clear instance of this is when a wounded and armor-less Seiya is cornered by three Silver Saints, about to be killed, when the Sagittarius Gold Cloth comes to his rescue covers his body for the first time. This prompts a Mass "Oh, Crap!" for every enemy involved on the scene, followed by a Cosmo discharge that gives the three Silver Saints (not the weakest ones either) a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- The Former Trope Namer is Kung Fu Panda, where the legendary warrior's pure awesomeness alone is sufficient to blind enemies. At least in his dreams. Also, the Sword of Heroes is so sharp you can get cut just by looking at it. An extreme case of Audible Sharpness.
- TRON: Legacy:
- During the battle at the End Of Line club, the good guys are getting thoroughly trounced by Clu's Black Guards. At least until Kevin Flynn walks into the room, kneels and touches the floor. Simply being there is enough for Kevin to completely turn the tide, thanks to his Physical God status in the Grid, by being a User with possession of the master disk.
- As they are leaving, several programs are shown on their knees, praying, and Kevin Flynn walking out, holding his hands in a Christ-like manner.
digitalcrypt: As someone who has worked in IT and software for two decades, it is one of my favorite moments in any movie, anywhere. Little collections of ones and zeros think they can go off and misbehave how they want and have their fun...and along comes a human: "I think that's enough chaos for today." :-) (Too bad the job isn't always THAT easy. But the end result is the same, even if it takes a lot more time and work sometimes.) ;-)
Live action TV
- The Badass Boast that makes any enemy tremble and flee in terror? "I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the Universe. Look me up."
- And from the same series, "I'm River Song. Check your records again."
- A somewhat subtler form of this exists in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Middle-Earth in general was heavily inspired by folklore and heroic sagas. The characters' abilities have less to do with tangible physical characteristics like strength, endurance or skill and more to do with a more amorphous concepts such as "might" or "countenance." Hence, the greatest elves of the elder days could stand against balrogs and dragons simply because they possessed the might to do so. The actual tactics and details of the battles were irrelevant, the outcome was decided by a direct conflict of might.
- In one nice example, Finrod and Sauron "duel in songs of power." Finrod does pretty well for himself, but in the end, Sauron wins.
- The Wheel of Time has the Ta'veren, who bend probability and to some extent even reality, just by existing. The Dragon Reborn, the strongest Ta'veren in the whole of the reincarnating Pattern, eventually becomes able to do it intentionally.
- In an interlude for Brandon Sanderson's Words Of Radiance, Lift describes her use of Stormlight this way. Her spren, who is an extremely serious scholarly gardener, is very annoyed at this.
It is called surgebinding
. You use your investiture
No. It's because I'm awesome.
- Classical Chinese philosophy discusses a concept known as de (德) which is usually translated "inherent character; inner power; integrity" in Daoism, "moral character; virtue; morality" in Confucianism, and "quality; virtue" (guna) or "merit; virtuous deeds" (punya) in Chinese Buddhism. However the actual description of the effects of de, particularly in the most ancient (i.e. pre-Confucian and pre-Buddhist) contexts include de's ability to instil a sense of awe or submission in other people; an amoral and innate quality of leadership, awesomeness or effectiveness that can occur as often or as easily in an evil person as in a good person, and is therefore more like "charisma", "awesomeness", "being chosen" or "being set above others". Later artistic depictions of the quality of de show historical figures of great power and merit subduing barbarian hordes or wild beasts with a mere glance, or even with shere aloofness.
- Montel Vontavious Porter was half man, half amazing and one half the tag team champions. The only man amazing enough to have three halves.
- When asked in Ybor Florida to describe Heidi Lovelace, Solo Darling used non-descriptive terms, such as "She's about this awesome," and gestured with her arms as if it was a physical trait like height...and people immediately realized whom she was talking about.
- In the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, many powers have the mechanical effect of bolstering allies or hindering enemies through the awesomeness of the power or the character using it.
- The Exemplar class lets you pick one skill which can be used to impress people, in a manner so awesome that everyone in 60 ft becomes undyingly loyal to him.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- It overflows with characters that through their sheer presence can invigorate allies to near-invincibility, render enemies catatonic with fear or anything in between, ranging from Tau Ethereals (members of the ruling class), Space Marine Chaplains (Super Soldier Badass Preachers), and fiery incarnations of the Eldar god of War and Murder.
- And then there's Creed, tactical genius, who can use his awesomeness to hide a Baneblade on open ground. Partially through camouflage, mostly through badassery. And the orks - the orks get this a lot.
- This is essentially how the "presence attack" mechanic in the Hero System works for characters with a high enough Presence stat (basically charisma). Presence attacks take no time and don't really require the character to do anything else — although the right kinds of supplemental actions certainly help — and can make other people hesitate, stop what they're doing to listen, or at the highest levels of effect outright surrender, faint, or be inspired to instant loyalty, all from the character's sheer awesome force of personality alone.
- Similar to the above, Exalted has the Presence skill, and its associated special techiques. A Zenith Caste can make armies too awestruck to attack. Actually, almost everything the Solar Exalted do is a case of Awesomeness Is a Force.
- Billy Vs SNAKEMAN:
- If a player manages to obtain trophies (ranging in difficulty from completing low-level plotlines to beating an insanely difficult, once a week minigame eleven times), Awesome points are given out which can be spent on bonus abilities. Also, certain levels of awesome are required for some quests.
- In the game's story, Awesome is ninja culture's name for the metaphysical source of free will.
- In Fate/stay night, the mere presence of the Servants has a little bit of this. And when a character like Lancer gets serious, the pure awesome makes both you and the air freeze in fear. The most extreme example of this is Gilgamesh, who nearly makes Shirou shit himself without even showing any killing intent. Justified in the fact that Gilgamesh is one of the most powerful beings in the Nasuverse and can defeat Berserker without even trying and is in possession of a weapon capable of Earth-Shattering Kabooms.
- The characters of Sengoku Basara regularly cause huge explosions from the presence of their sheer manly awesomeness. Yes, even the women.
- DMK is finally defeated at the end of the MS Paint Adventures series Problem Sleuth, solely due to the eponymous character's glowing personal charm. Sepulchritude, the most powerful attack in the whole comic, runs on awesome.
- King Radical's secret master plan in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja turns out to hinge on this. He's trying to make the Doctor's universe too awesome for lame people to exist, thus sacrificing them to summon refugees from the dying Radical Lands.
- Common when people achieve a certain degree of celebrity status, such as music stars. People used to lose their shit over Michael Jackson just standing on stage. And before him, Elvis. And before him, Frank Sinatra. Sinatra's early career subverted this, as the girls in his audience who were really, really losing their shit and fainting in the aisles were hired plants put there to create hype.
- A group of men once tried to rob a house, tying up the owner's wife. After taking one look at a picture of the owner, they dropped everything, untied her and ran. This needs reiteration. They didn't even see the woman's husband. They saw a picture of him. And you can bet those men are spending the rest of their lives in a state of pure terror. Who was in the picture? Dolph Lundgren.