He's making a list, and checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming... for you!note
Christmas needs saving; who's up to the task?
Why Santa, of course! There's just no need to ask!
If you stop and think about it, Santa Claus
isn't that much different from Superman
. Both have amazing powers that defy the laws of physics as we humans know them. Both can fly around the world with no problem. They both like the color red, they both have their headquarters hidden in the Arctic Circle, and they both
starred in movies that involved producer Ilya Salkind. The two characters even met once!
So it is not surprising, really, that there are so many instances in fiction where Santa is a Big Damn Hero
, defending the Spirit of Christmas from Humbugs
. This kind of Santa Claus doesn't really need help Saving Christmas
, though there may be trouble if an Evil Twin Bad Santa
Action Santa is a common variation: he's merely playing Nice Guy
for the sake of the kids, but when it's time to fight, boy, does he know how!
Action Santa usually reveals that his bag of toys holds whatever weapon he needs, his sled comes equipped with
naughty-seeking missiles, and he himself is a Genius Bruiser
underneath the red coat.
Often overlaps with An Ass-Kicking Christmas
. By necessity, comes with Badass Beard
and Badass Grandpa
, as well as Acrofatic
if he pulls any kung fu stunts.
Not to be confused with, but similar in style to, Kung-Fu Jesus
. When they team up... run.
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Anime and Manga
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has a Santa with a six-pack that survived a direct hit from a missile and could shoot ki blasts. And what does he say, in place of oh, kamehameha? What else "Meerrrrryyyyy CHRISTMASS!!!!" He still loses the fight against a small catgirl though - but in his defense, Kyouka is as powerful as she is intelligent.
- In Haruhi-chan, we find that the eponymous character's mental image of Santa is of a secret clan of ninja who have near perfect stealth and are trying to shut down the SOS Brigade. That's not a good thing, considering she's a reality warping god of a fairly Lovecraftian bent.
- In JLA, Plastic Man tells his kid a bedtime story where Santa Claus has heat vision for some reason.
- This. Santa the Barbarian.
- Also this. The story features the supervillain Rhino dressing up as Santa, implying a Bad Santa scenerio but as it turns out, Rhino was volunteering to hand out toys to kids.
- One DC Comics Holiday Special features a strip in which Santa Claus breaks through the formidable defences of the Polluted Wasteland Apokalips in order to deliver to its ruler, the evil god Darkseid, a lump of coal for being naughty. It's implied he does this every year. And then he escapes to do it again next year. And what makes this especially badass is that the Santa who does this is just the traditionally jolly, friendly old man version. Knowing Darkseid, that coal was very well deserved.
"He's made it past our atmospheric defenses! He's here..."
"On the planet's surface?"
"In the room!"
- The British Sonic the Hedgehog comics continuity had a similar case happen to Dr Robotnik, combined with elements of A Christmas Carol.
- Specifically, Santa leads Robotnik to realise on his own just how alone he is and how little he actually has despite ruling Mobius. On the other hand, Sonic the Comic's Father Christmas' badassery stems simply from his ultimate pacifism. He won't involve himself in the fighting, but by the same token it proves utterly impossible to even touch him in anything but good will. Swipes and weapons go straight through him and automated defences just quietly stop working while he's around.
- The Dec. 2008 one begins with what seems like a retelling of Superman's origin story... only son, sent from a dying world, raised by good, honest people, goes off to decide how best to use his power, sets up a Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole... only the Fortress of Solitude is a workshop, and he decides to bring peace to the world by delivering presents to everyone, one day a year. X-Ray Vision explains how he knows if you've been bad or good... he's always watching...
- Lobo's Paramilitary Christmas Special featured Lobo being hired by the Easter Bunny to whack Santa Claus, and a Badass Santa getting into a machete fight with the alien bounty hunter.
- A Donald Duck comic So Many Santas has Santa (along with some elves) beat the crap out of The Beagle Boys using sports equipment, bare fists and badass one-liners.
- Howard the Duck Holiday Special evoked high-tech combat elves with Santa as his leader, after a little talk with Howard first.
- There have been several Christmas Specials where The Punisher dresses up in a Santa costume to gun down mafiosi.
- A Christmas The Badger episode featuring a huge biker-like "Klaus" in his rocket sled. He delivers weapons to the Lebanese Christian militias and machie guns ivory poachers as well as his normal stuff. Oh and beats up a troll who tries to take over the workshop.
- ...And then there's the Ultimate Warrior Christmas Special. It's ... really "special".
- Optimus Prime has donned a Santa costume on occasion◊.
- Last Christmas featured Santa Claus in a post apocalyptic world fighting zombies.
- In the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen universe, Santa Claus is an elderly shaman who lives alone in a little hut at the North Pole, dresses in freshly-flayed reindeer skins note , and uses astral projection to travel around the world every year on Christmas. He also controls an army of mischievous imps (his "little helpers") as his familiars, and he apparently used them to kill a few representatives of the Coca-Cola company when they tried to buy the rights to his image.
- In C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series, the White Witch's curse traps Narnia in a state of "Always winter and never Christmas", and the first sign of reversal is Father Christmas showing up. Father Christmas is presented as an archetypal opposite of the White Witch, providing gifts and encouragement (in contrast with the Queen's message of sameness and hopelessness). His gifts consist largely of weapons.
- The Hogfather in Discworld is that world's equivalent of Santa Claus, and like our Santa is partly derived from old pagan gods...just a little more literally. As they say, You'd better watch out...
- And when Death fills in for the Hogfather, you know he's Badass then. And heartwarming.
- J. R. R. Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters (originally written to his children) depict a version who leads armies of Elves to war against Goblins at the North Pole. Also a case of Really 700 Years Old, as Tolkien depicts him as being literally as old as Christmas itself (about 1,930, at the time).
- In the All Myths Are True universe of The Dresden Files, a lot of creatures not normally considered 'fairies' are part of the local version of The Fair Folk. In the first book, Storm Front, just after introducing and explaining the concept of using a magic circle to summon and trap a faery, Harry makes an offhand remark indicating that this also includes Santa, but that he doesn't know anyone crazy enough to try summoning him that way.
- Bonus points for Harry himself being crazy and desperate enough to summon the Erlking, who's on par with Santa power-wise, in Dead Beat.
- Santa (going by "Kringle") finally appears in person in Cold Days. He stands taller than Harry, who is 6'9", with bear-like proportions. And he is quite knowledgeable about Time Magic. He's a Winter fae lord on par with Summer fae lord Erlking and leads The Wild Hunt alongside him at the climax of the novel; the ending implies he's an aspect of Odin. Unlike others in Winter, he is a far more kind soul.
- "Santa Claus Vs S.P.I.D.E.R.", a short story by Harlan Ellison, reimagining Santa as a secret agent. He's got rocket-assisted boots, machine-guns and flamethrowers up his sleeves, that red nose is a grenade, the beard is an incendiary plastic explosive, and the fat belly is really a life raft. "Ho, ho, ho...."
- The Guardians of Childhood has Nicholas St. North, a swordsman and outlaw who becomes one of the early members of the titular group when he has his first encounter with the Nightmare King Pitch.
- In Legacies, Repairman Jack dresses up as Santa to kick the living shit out of a sleazebag who'd stolen a bunch of Christmas presents from a children's AIDS clinic.
- In the Star Trek New Frontier novel Gods Above, it's revealed that when Odin retired from godhood, he took the identity of Santa Claus.
Live Action TV
- Santa fighting a grizzly bear to the death armed with only a knife, cutting Elvis Costello out of the godless beast's stomach? Has to be Stephen Colbert's Christmas Special. According to the special, Santa Claus is also Stephen Colbert.
- In the Santa Claus 1959 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Santa shows up in Deep 13 and challenges Pitch to a fistfight. Notably, he also invokes Chew Bubblegum when he shouts "I'm here to eat candy canes and kick ass, and I'm all outta candy canes!"
- In the MST3K episode featuring the above-mentioned Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Joel and the bots make several jokes implying that Santa fought in the war in Vietnam, and may in fact be concealing weapons during his stay on Mars.
- The Good Eats cookie recipes episode had one that could qualify. He wears a bandanna under the cap and manipulates the the time stream and the episode begins with him saying in a bad ass manner, "Here's Santa." On a cooking show! But this is the same cooking show that had both an Igor and the lady of the refrigerator.
- Earlier episodes of Dai Sentai Goggle Five features a Santa who used to be a Heel wrestler, thus he is formidable on his own. Too bad this being an earlier Super Sentai series, he can only take down maybe two mooks before he is taken down by himself. But at least, he did participate in a Fastball Special attack with Goggle Black...
- In Ultraman, Santa Claus was once revealed to be the Father of Ultra, who at the very least would count as a Retired Badass. Sure, it's not revealed whether or not he always does this, and in this instance he doesn't do anything amazing, but this is the guy that lead the Ultras to overthrow a monster army that once took over the Land of Light.
- In The Librarians 2014, the Big Guy is played by Bruce Campbell, and he gets into a barfight because he is the reincarnation of Odin.
- The Arrogant Worms have the song "Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass" after having a really crappy year. The reindeer and elves are in an equally bad mood.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic made a song called "The Night Santa Went Crazy" you can find an animated version here. Santa destroys his factory, kills most of his reindeer and holds his elves hostage.
- The pill-popping, rent-a-cop fighting Mall Santa from the music video for Skillex's Ruffneck- Full Flex.
- The Badass Santa theme song: I am Santa Claus
- In parts of Germany and Austria, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) is accompanied by a Knecht Ruprecht / Krampus, a demon who was tamed by the saint and now helps him punishing naughty kids. Hm, if Santa can take on a demon, that'd definitely make him this trope.
- The original Winter Solstice gift giver is none other than the Norse God Odin.
- Inverted in the table-top game Santa's Soldiers. Santa is quite formidable, but really naive. Therefore, it's your crew's job to protect the big guy from his many enemies, but also from realizing he has them. The paramilitary elves are headed by Mrs. Claus, whose stats make Chuck Norris look like a wimp.
- Spirit of the Season, a holiday-themed spinoff of Spirit Of The Century, has Nick Saint, the current incarnation of the Spirit of Giving, who fights evil with his rocket-powered sleigh and cadre of highly skilled Reindeer Men.
- This Nobilis campaign featured Santa looking like this◊ and greeting visitors to the North Pole with cruise missiles.
- Parodied in Kingdom of Loathing. Uncle Crimbo is a lazy-ass, alcoholic Bad Santa who is nonetheless great at making toys. His brother, Father Crimbo, was a Bad Ass and made good toys, but that's not such a good thing when robots have reanimated his corpse.
- Also, there's one point where the Penguin Mafia takes over Crimbo (as Uncle Crimbo failed to pay them the money he owes them). At one point that year, you fight Don Crimbo, who now wears the magical Crimbo hat. It is impossible to beat him, no matter what level you are.
- Santa-Fu. As the name suggests, Santa knows kung-fu, enemies include gingerbread men, elves, and naughty children, and bosses include Turbo Man, Rudolph, and Jesus himself.
- Killing Floor has Bill "Baddest Santa" Weeks.
Bill Weeks didn't think he could stoop any lower than a part-time job as the Mall Santa. But the little girl weeing on him screaming "He's the Baddest Santa Evuh!", followed by being fired, took it down yet another notch, so Bill went down the pub to drown his sorrows. Coming out to the next morning he had no job, a filthy headache and a truly evil temper. And the world was full of monsters. Bill picked up a handy shottie and waded in. "I'll show you the Baddest Santa, you BEEEEEEEEP"
- In Secret of Mana, Santa Claus is the true form of the boss Frost Gigas. See, Santa was frustrated by children no longer believing in the true meaning of Christmas, so he tried to create an amazing Christmas tree by planting the Mana Seed of Fire. This doesn't exactly work out, and the Seed's power turns the jolly old elf into an insane hulking giant with amazing snow and ice magic. Yes. This is a thing that actually happens.
- In a Team Fortress 2 update's backstory, they explain the origin of Australian Christmas being started by Nicholas "Old Nick" Crowder. He was sailing to Australia, got disgusted at the sight of it, and sailed away on a personal mission to conquer the South Pole instead. Every December he comes to Australia to judge if children have been naughty or nice. The nice ones get the greatest gift of all: not being kidnapped and enslaved by Old Nick and being forced to build hats for him. He sells the duplicate hats online "practically giving them away."
- Hyper Princess Pitch gives us Mecha-santa. On the harder difficulty setting his attacks become Bullet Hell level, of particular note is Death Metal Disaster Zone, anyone that can pull off an attack with such a name is automatically badass.
- Ghouls Vs Humans used to have Santa Claus as one of the classes for the human team. You have to admit, Santa vs. a bunch of giant floating carnivorous killer heads is quite badass. The class was removed for being The Scrappy, however.
- The premise of the Doom Game Mod XMAS DOOM. Santa takes on the role of a gun-toting demon slayer to fight back The Legions of Hell that have invaded his workshop.
- One of the playable fighters in Clay Fighter is Sumo Santa.
- Santa is a member of The Wonderful 101, as "Wonder-Santa". His weapon is a hammer made from present boxes called "The Big Present". Amusingly, his civilian name and occupation are both given as "Santa Claus".
- Bayonetta 2 has Rodin in a Santa costume. You will believe in Santa◊.
- In the Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts II, Sora, who's otherwise a pseudo-vampire in this world, wears a black Santa hat and jumper over his clothes and eyepatch whenever he is in the Christmas Town sections of Halloween Town, making him a pseudo-version of this trope. The real Santa does appear in the game, but is not really a badass himself.
- Gender Flipped in the Saints Row IV DLC How The Saints Save Christmas. Santa's not a slouch by any means, but Mrs. Claus is the true badass at the North Pole.
"Wow...respect, Mrs. Claws" The Boss
- In the online strategy game League of Angels, Santa is a recruitable Enigma Hero (a group of very powerful NP Cs that can only be recruited with crests obtained at events; that status can change, occasionally). His class is Mage, and his designation is Striker - support.
- There's this strip of Full Frontal Nerdity.
- In d20monkey, Brett is secretly the Son of Santa. All the Kringles (Santa, Brett, and his uncle Klaus) are pretty bad ass when they need to be.
- This arc of Pv P.
- The Santa v. Bun-Bun fights in Sluggy Freelance. Santa here is particularly powerful because he can use his ability to slow down time (in order to deliver all the presents in one night) to fight in Bullet Time.
- He's also an alien overlord, which does give him an edge.
- O in Commissioned believes Santa is actually the Jolly Red Roof-lurker, a violent supernatural psychopath that steals cookies.
- This◊ Killroy And Tina guest strip shows Santa as a retired evil alien warlord who dosn't appreciate active evil alien warlords ruining his season.
- This VG Cats strip contains a bit different version...
- In this Beaver and Steve strip (plus the following one), Santa saves Steve from no other than Count Dracula.
- Virtual Shackles plays with this, and makes the Skyrim version of Santa an ancient magician, capable of speaking Dragon tongue.
- Can Santa destroy the sun?
- Santaman. That is all.
- Ask a Ninja had, as their first Christmas special, a telling of the story of "Red Death, the On Fire Paindeer". Part of the plot is that Santa, his elves, and his "Paindeer" are all ninja.
- Vendetta: A Christmas Story
- Of course, the Finnish people know where Father Christmases really come from and also, you really, really want to be nice around them. (And the prequel will hit the movies soon.)
- One year on FurAffinity, the Christmas banner showed the site's mascot beating up Santa Claus. After many complaints, the following year's banner did not include Santa himself, but a group of angry, muscular reindeer. Guess there're more than one reasons no one should mess with Santa.
- Two words. Santa. Christ.
- A series on Newgrounds is all about Zanta Claws, a fake zombie santa who is eventually killed for good by the real Santa and some random guys.
- When Tom Ska tries to cancel Christmas, you know it's serious.
- Anytime Let's Player Markiplier voices him, it's either this or Bad Santa.
- Defied in 20 Haunting Halloween Facts by Matt Santoro. Matt says that the Headless Horseman could kick Santa's ass, because he couldn't get punched in the face. He adds that Santa is fat, and so would probably be bad at fighting.
- We Are Our Adventuring Avatars: Santa Karn is based on the combination of Santa Claus and Karn the Silver Golem. With the power of Glistmas Cheer, he can fully power Urabrask's Revenge, a tank given to them by Urabrask.
- There is no Santa Claus who is more of a Bad Ass than Santa from South Park. He gets into a huge fight with Jesus in the South Park debut short "The Spirit of Christmas," goes totally Rambo in "Red Sleigh Down," brutally slaughters the demonic Woodland Critters with a shotgun in "Woodland Critter Christmas," and wields a huge axe against the forces of Evil Imagination in "Imaginationland."
- In an episode of American Dad!, Steve accidentally kills a mall Santa (In reality, the real Santa). His elves heal him and, in retaliation, Santa goes to kill the Smith family using a huge array of snowmen, elves and reindeer.
- In the Christmas episode of Earthworm Jim, after recovering from a mind-control chip implanted by Queen Pulsating Bloated Festering Sweaty Pus-filled Malformed Slug-for-a-Butt, Santa tears open his red suit and reveals that in his previous job he was "Woden, Norse god of judgment!" In the ensuing Battle Discretion Shot, Jim remarks, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he kicks butt!"
- íMucha Lucha! had a fight between Santa Claus and the evil Rudo Claus.
- Codename: Kids Next Door had a Santa Claus as a parody of Professor X from the X-Men who with his X-Men parody elves, helped defeat the Delightful Children from down the Lane.
- Parodied in Pucca, where Santa once was a badass ninja thief but then pulled a Heel-Face Turn and became Santa... and the Butt Monkey.
- Fairly OddParents - Santa was like this at the end of Christmas Every Day and Have a Merry Wishmas. He was fighting the other holidays in CED and in Wishmas, he used it on Jorgen Von Strangle because Jorgen Von Strangle tried to replace Christmas with Wishmas. He was using Christmas magic.
- In the Rugrats Hanukkah special, there was mention of a Christmas movie called Santa Vs the Alien.
- Futurama has an evil robotic bazooka-wielding Santa. Not nice, but definitely Bad Ass.
- Heck one song they sing about him is called "Santa Claus Is Gunning You Down."
- My Life as a Teenage Robot "A Robot For All Seasons", Santa defends the North Pole using his skills as an ex-ninja, complete with cookie shuriken.
- One of Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah! Cartoons was Super Santa, which showed what Santa Claus does for the rest of the year: he fights crime with his Emma Peel-inspired wife.
- Robotboy features a Santa who seems pretty standard at first, but when the Christmas of one child is threatened, he ties his hair in a ponytail, takes off his red suit to reveal a six-pack and a Rambo-esque outfit, switches to his rocket sled, and goes on a rampage with a variety of insanely destructive weapons.
- An episode of The Simpsons featured a video game commercial around Christmas time: Two children are bored playing a bloodless knock-off of Mortal Kombat, when Santa's sleigh (pulled by two snarling reindeer) bursts through their living room wall. Santa is bulging with muscles and is heavily armed. "YOU WANT EXCITEMENT?!?! STICK THIS UP YOUR STOCKING!!!" He fires a video game cartridge via RPG into their port. It is an incredibly bloody Beat 'em Up and the children (and Bart) are instantly enthralled. He closes the commercial saying "TELL YOUR PARENTS TO BUY YOU BONESTORM, OR GO TO HELL!!!"
- Robot Chicken has the Full-Assed Christmas Special, opening with Santa going on a Casino Royale-like assassination against a particularly naughty child. The kid even plays the part of the big bad perfectly (periodically flashing back to Santa's fight with The Dragon, his mom), right up to pulling a handgun from his bedside table, only for Santa to have already unloaded it.
- Santa Claus from "The Fight Before Christmas" The Powerpuff Girls Christmas special. We might not see him fight any baddies, but the verbal beat down and Cool and Unusual Punishment he gave Princess was made of win.
- "I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' LIST TO TELL ME WHO'S NAUGHTY OR WHO'S NICE! WHY?! CAUSE IIII'M SANTA CLAUS! CHECK IT!"
- Regular Show's rendition of Santa. A no-nonsense and serious Santa who nevertheless enjoys his job and ensures everything goes okay and safely. He doesn't hesitate to track down his former employee who has a a dangerous gift. In fact, he reveals that he has a six-pack (hidden by a seix-pack and presumably the thick layers of clothing.)
- Badass Santa
- St. Nicholas, upon whom Santa is based and greatly resembled him physically◊, was actually fully capable of being badass. Examples include an incident of Nicholas whacking Arius at the Council of Nicaea, or when he raised three brutally murdered children from death, or when he rescued three men sentenced to death and scared the Prefect who had sentenced them into confessing to taking a bribe.
- A recent examination of his relics disclosed a healed fracture in his cheekbone, close to his nose; at some point, this guy took a roundhouse punch in the face, but given the evidence, no doubt he could give it back in spades.
- He could also have received it while a prisoner of the Roman empire. Bishops were not treated very nicely.
- You knew Cracked would have something to say about it eventually.
- Whether or not this is factual is uncertain, but apparently there is little to support outside of legend. None of the records of the council even directly mention Nicholas' presence, despite almost certainly being present as Bishop of Myra. This page isn't the best, but links to useful pages: http://rosecreekvillage.com/shammah/archives/814
- Italian policeman uses a Santa disguise to catch a mafioso
- Heimdallr, who may be one of the inspirations for Santa Claus, was known as the White God and had an ice fortress at the north pole; at yule time, he would descend into the deep and take the treasures of the dwarves (grave goods) and give them to the just and noble.