Gee Willickers! This guy means business!
This character type appears in child-friendly works. They are supposed to be a supreme Badass
, but are unfortunately hampered by their target audience. They are as much John McClane
as can be squeezed by the censors, and they are often much tougher than their companions. Still, they are usually not allowed to smoke, drink, bed numerous people, swear, or do too much fighting or killing, and that is quite a list of hurdles to making them a rough-edged Mister Falcon
Expect huge amounts of Gosh Dang It to Heck!
and Never Say "Die"
, although they will use the worst euphemisms they can get away with and "curse" more often than their companions. Their favorite phrases are "kick some butt/tail" and "Shoot!" For some reason, this type of character tends to be Totally Radical
The Badbutt tends to use Family-Friendly Firearms
. When they are wielding a sword, expect plenty of the Inverse Law of Sharpness and Accuracy
Expect them to sound like Clint Eastwood
, Bruce Willis
, Arnold Schwarzenegger
, James Cagney
, Joe Pesci
, or one of many other "tough-guy" actors. (Occasionally it will be the genuine article, but more often they'll have a really
good voice actor do an impersonation
Not to be confused with a Badass character who happens to be from a kids' show, movie, etc. (e.g. the cast of the Star Wars: Clone Wars
shorts). Has nothing to do with Gasshole
Compare Clueless Aesop
, another trope where being kid-friendly can get in the way. Rule-Abiding Rebel
is when a character doesn't even try to come off as this. This character may also use Parenthetical Swearing
and/or Unusual Euphemisms
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Anime & Manga
- Seto Kaiba in the 4Kids dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!! suffered this, or at least to the degree that someone who plays children's card games can be Badass. The heavy censorship in the show prevented him from beating people with his apparent martial arts skill or jamming guns with a card tossed in the air (among other non-gaming related badass deeds).
- Most, if not all serious characters of the Pokémon anime. List includes Giovanni, Cyrus, Hunter J, the Iron-Masked Marauder, Lawrence III, as well as Ash's rival Paul (to an extent).
- Mister Stuart in Sonic X. He is the teacher of Chris who can give a group of agents a beating. This was cut out by 4kids, but the Mister Stuart in the Japanese Version is an all-around Badass.
- Whenever Marvel Comics does a family friendly book featuring Wolverine (such as Wolverine: First Class) readers are treated to the sight of a berzerker with foot-long, razor sharp, metal claws that never sheds any blood. This is usually accomplished by having him only use his claws on inanimate objects like doors and cars, and punching living creatures instead (how robots fare depends on how family-friendly the book is supposed to be - i.e. "all ages" or "for kids only" - and how human-like the robots are). Having Wolverine constantly retract his claws during combat does have the side effect of allowing them to have Wolverine constantly extend his claws, which is his equivalent of dramatically cocking a gun. Wolverine also never drinks or smokes in "family friendly" books, though he rarely smokes in regular comics anymore these days either.
- Nova - sure, he can get quite violent with his powers (and there was that time he killed Annihulus by reaching down his throat and ripping his internal organs out), but it's acknowledged and even lampshaded that he hates swearing and doesn't seem to like smoking or drinking either.
- The Moopets from The Muppets. They're presented as seedy, lowlife thug types, but don't drink, smoke or swear (although we do see Miss Poogy sharpening a knife at one point, for unknown purposes).
- Courageous is an interesting example in that being a Christian film, the cops are often shown doing pretty spectacular things (even with both stun-guns and real bullet-guns), minus the profanity and the smoking, drinking, etc. Except at the picnic where they do drink, just responsibly.
- Kelly Leak in the remake of The Bad News Bears somewhat comes off as this, despite the movie being PG-13. In the original film he smoked cigarettes, drove a motorcycle, and initially bullied some of the Bears. In the remake, however, he doesn't smoke, doesn't really have much of a bad attitude towards anybody except his former coach, that which is understandable, and his motorcycle is even replaced with a dirtbike.
- Latin American dubs of North American movies tend to turn out this way because those countries have stricter censorship standards than the United States or Canada when it comes to profanity. Due to the still strongly Catholic nature of those countries, the Spanish-language dubs can't have the characters blurting "Jesus Christ!" (Partly because of this, anf partly because the "ˇJesucristo!" is not an expression in spanish.) whenever they get flustered - so instead you'll hear really bad dudes shouting "Cielos!" ("Good heavens!") Even "Jiminy Christmas!" sounds too close to the real thing for some Latin American censors, and tends to be replaced with something even more absurd.
- Machete in the Spy Kids movies was about as badass as Danny Trejo could be allowed to be with the PG rating. This was later turned around, though, once Robert Rodriguez gave Machete his own, very R-rated movie, where he was very much not this trope.
- Bad Cop from The LEGO Movie; he's the tough as nails Dragon to Lord Business, and yet he never uses anything worse than "Darn" when voicing his frustrations at not being able to catch the heroes. Justified in that the story is being told by an 8-and-a-half year old boy who is engaging in his play at home, where presumably parents would be able to hear if he used actual profanity.
- Played for laughs with Truckle the Uncivil in Interesting Times. Mr Saveloy insists that he cut down on the bad language, and gives him a list of acceptable alternatives. He finds it doesn't work; even when Truckle uses a milder word, what you hear is the word he means.
Live Action TV
- Dean Moriarity on Wizards of Waverly Place wears a leather jacket, kisses lots of girls, and is a temporary tattoo artist. Real badass there.
- The Fonz from Happy Days started out as a tough guy, but grew into this after he became a Breakout Character.
- Much talk was made of how Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World was such a badass in high school, but this was ultimately a kid who didn't lose his virginity until well into college, never smoked or did drugs, and got drunk like twice in his life.
- Most Sixth Rangers on Power Rangers are this, though a few graduate to full badass.
- There is a Disney XD sitcom called I'm In The Band that is constructed entirely from this trope. It's kinda like Van Halen starring in Full House.
- The titular character of ABC Family's The Middleman, although it's an interesting, tongue in cheek example of the trope. He's known for colorful euphemisms to replace swears (The saltiest he's been heard saying is "Coming in hotter than the devil's wedding tackle.") and in fact admonishes his sidekick for swearing. (It's censored with the tell-tale bleep and a censor box.) He also beats information out of a mook by repeatedly hitting the guy's head against a car... while reaching for a tall, cool glass of milk. It builds healthy bones.
- Jay and his group in Degrassi were supposed to be the school's dangerous crowd of at-risk teens, but when the worst thing they did was break into a vending machine in the school, Boycott The Caf (and the rest of the fandom) dubbed them "The Candy Bandits".
- The Disney Channel Original Movie Radio Rebel is a gender inverted, Badbutt re-imagining of Pump Up The Volume.
- Hevisaurus, a Finnish metal band for children. Scary-looking dinosaurs in leather and spikes, playing Heavy Metal, with completely kid-friendly lyrics.
- Star Fox 64:
- Falco Lombardi is as hardcore as a fighter pilot in a game with an E rating can get. His favorite pastimes include kicking some tail and sarcastically calling you "Einstein".
- Wolf O'Donnell with his dramatic "What the HECK!?"
- Spyro the Dragon and his sidekick, Hunter, both fall into this in the original trilogy. They get away with as much attitude as the game ratings will allow. Unfortunately, lines like "You kicked their darn butts!" tend to send their lines into narm territory.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is famous for his attitude. Though everyone, especially Shadow, got to go to swearing and a large body count in his game. By extension, each and every Mascot with Attitude is portrayed to be tough, but only enough to appeal to big kids.
- Final Fantasy VII's Cid Highwind, when in the Kingdom Hearts series. In the original game he's a chain-smoking Badass Grandpa with the filthiest mouth ever burned to a CD-ROM. In the jump to Kingdom Hearts he replaced his cigarette with a strand of grass and spends his time tending a shop instead of killing people with phallic objects.
- In Kingdom Hearts, this is inverted for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy when they appear in the series. Although they were no stranger to violence in their early cartoons, they started being known for being harmless characters that mostly appeared in Lighter and Softer kiddie fare (the preschool show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse being the prime example). With Kingdom Hearts geared towards an older audience (but still family-friendly), the trio was effectively allowed to not only return to violence, but to act as warriors/mages and genuinely kick some ass alongside Sora. The same goes for Mickey's appearance in Epic Mickey.
- Sharla Rae Norvell, the leather-jacket-wearing rebel from the Purple Moon games, is designed to still be sympathetic, so she couldn't really be that rebellious or the parents would have complained. Her Freudian Excuse is played up, her vocabulary seems a little strained, and when she's introduced in Rockett's New School cutting class, the locker feature emphasizes that she's only pretending to smoke cigarettes.
- Many of the racers in SSX Tricky possess potent levels of attitude, but they're in an E-rated game. In particular, there's Elise, who has a tendency to shout Gosh Dang It to Heck!-isms really loudly in the habit of one vocally using more potent vocabulary.
- Red Savarin of Solatorobo is a friendly mercenary with a huge ego. He goes around with a Stock Femur Bone in his mouth, yelling "Furballs!" and kicking butts with his custom made Mini-Mecha by grabbing and throwing everything he see.
- X-Pletive from Essay Bee Comics Presents Fusion is a parody of this trope - he is a badass minister with high moral standards. He especially hates swearing. But his powers come from stimulating anger centers of his brain and the best way to get the riled up is to swear, so he swears like a drunken sailor.
- Strong Bad from Homestar Runner is part this, and part Diminishing Villain Threat. An email short, "your edge", is devoted to the subject: a fan points out that Strong Bad seems to be less edgy than he used to be, then Strong Bad counters by pointing out that time he and the Cheat walked past a deflated basketball and consciously decided not to re-inflate it, and that time they threw feathers at Strong Sad, and that time they spread mayonnaise all over cardboard boxes and waited a full half-hour before cleaning it up... "Yeah, okay, we're losing our edge." Note that Homestar Runner, while family-friendly, is mostly marketed to twentysomethings; Strong Bad's Badbutt-ery mostly comes from the fact that he pretends to be Badass when he's pretty much an average joe who isn't.
- This guy raps about being "the baddest of them all", making out with girls, and having "four hundred scars and four hundred guitars".
- The cartoon utilizes this trope often in combination with Mundane Made Awesome for some of the recurring characters, such as Hustler Kid, who sells things like contraband candy to the other kids. One episode revealed that other schools have their own Hustler Kids.
- Every Codename: Kids Next Door member and villain (except the Toiletnator).
- Lobo as he is presented in Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League. He drinks, but the drink is only implied to be alcoholic (it is highly explosive though), he uses only family-friendly swears (the exact same ones he uses in the comic, point of fact), only alludes to serious violence and never kills anyone on-screen, has a family friendly laser gun, only uses his signature meathook to grab things in a non-harmful fashion, and doesn't go much further than a few sleazy comments towards Lois Lane and Wonder Woman on the 'sex' front. He's also shown to have, if not a Hidden Heart of Gold, at least a Hidden Heart of Pyrite or some other almost-precious-looking metal.
- Adventure Time:
- Finn and Jake zigzag around this all the time. The show also uses idiosyncratic slang words and phrases. "Oh my Glob" is probably the most commonly used of these. In the earlier episodes there was some usage of mathematical terms (and the word "mathematical" itself) as all-purpose expletives and/or intensifiers, though this isn't as common in the later episodes.
- Marceline is a half vampire who eats shades of red. The season 5 episode "Red Starved" establishes that she can drink blood, but chooses not to for moral reasons.
- Kim and Ron from Kim Possible, with a healthy dose of Totally Radical at times.
- This sort of thing crops up a lot in the more dramatic episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. While nearly every character has moments, Rainbow Dash and Applejack probably get it the most often, with the former often acting like a hotshot athlete/fighter pilot and the latter being a rough and tumble cowgirl. It's especially evident in the comic, which goes pretty much as far as it possibly can with the "Let's go kick some flank/rump/butt" style storylines as they can manage while still being an all-ages comic.
- SheZow does this. A lot. There are episodes where an unexpurgated version would be a Cluster F-Bomb stream.
- The Punisher shows up in The Superhero Squad Show more than once. Since the series skews even younger than most superhero cartoons, his Badbutt nature is basically unparalleled. In his first appearance, his usual Badass Boast about crime is an Extended Analogy comparing criminals to Brussels sprouts.
I'm out here to keep those stinkin' sprouts off the mac and cheese! Keep them from leaving the store in the first place!
- Dan Vs.: Played With. Dan is often angry and stressed out. His tendency to put Revenge Before Reason leads to fight greater foes (the government, giant vegetable monster, etc.) over petty issues. You'd think he'd swear a lot. But it's a kid show. So he doesn't swear on screen. He doesn't kill people in his revenge schemes either and is disturbed whenever Chris mentions killing even when he just says he'd kill for bacon. But his actions are often played for Black Comedy and he himself does occasionally think about killing the person who angered him as revenge.
Now go find another trope, or we will be forced to verbally castigate you in front of your peers!