One of the few ways to indicate that you are a Badass
or at least hellishly ambitious. Badasses
tend to fold their arms in front of them. When you see one doing such pose, you know they are Badass
or hellishly powerful, or so calm they got the situation in control or at least harbors a GREAT ambition. It is also a symbol of cockiness. Bonus points if they have impressive muscles.
So basically, if you see people folding their arms, this is a good indication to see that they are Badass
. Even if they're not, they're still showing determination/stubbornness/toughness.
Note that crossing arms below the ribcage speaks a whole other body language, and involves bringing shoulders forward defensively. This tends to denote sulkiness or defensiveness. To cross arms over your chest, one must spread shoulders back, which juts out the chest and straightens the spine, making the figure stand slightly taller, and raises the chin. It's also "closed off" body language, indicating resistance to influence. Each of these elements alone convey confidence, the total posture sums them up to a Badass Arm Fold. If you wanted to add, say, the Kubrick Stare
you would have to consciously lower the chin, but this tends to net more Badass
points than it gives away.
This trope goes excellently
with Multi-Armed and Dangerous
, although more than six arms tends to ruin the effect.
See also Reverse Arm-Fold
. Sometimes combined with I Have the High Ground
. Often leads to Rebel Relaxation
, but this is when they aren't leaning
open/close all folders
- Mr. Clean.
- Much as the Dreamworks Face is seemingly mandated by law to be on every animated movie poster, attempts at a Badass Arm Fold now seem to pop up on EVERY print ad for reality television, even if the subject matter is something like digging up meteorites or running a pawn shop.
- Jean-Claude Van Damme in the "Epic Split" ad for Volvo. While doing his signature full leg split. Suspended between a pair of trucks.
Anime and Manga
- Vegeta is prone to doing this in Dragon Ball Z.
- Mazinger Z: Kouji Kabuto sometimes does this. A good example in an episode in which Mazinger-Z is nearly completely depleted from energy during a battle, the control deck is smoking and giving off sparks due to the strain, the weapons don't work, Prof. Yumi is ordering - repeatedly - for Kouji to retreat because he'll die otherwise... and Kouji simply folds his arms across his chest as he calmly waits for one chance to blast the Beast down! It is hard to convey how Badass he seemed right then.
- Great Mazinger: Tetsuya Tsurugi used this position more often than Kouji due to he was less light-hearted and more serious and angry than Kouji.
- UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke also used the position every so often.
- Saint Seiya: Taurus Aldebaran in the original series and the Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas spin-off. He even fights multiple opponents (and wins!) in this position.
- Volfogg is prone to this in GaoGaiGar. Considering he's a ninja policecar robot, well, it's certainly justified. His VA then went on to do Kamina.
- Getter Robo: This pose is THE signature pose of Getter Dragon, the first Humongous Mecha in using it.
- Subverted in the OVA of Super Robot Wars Original Generation. Only Lamia Loveless have the gall to wait for an exhibition to begin all while folding her arms in front of her. Amongst her group, she probably is the calmest and most Badass (but not the most between the whole cast). Unfortunately, for the rest of the OVA, she never gets to show her Badass qualities.
- The title mecha of GunBuster is famous for it.
- Gunbuster is associated with this trope enough that anime fans tend to refer to it, when combined with the proper leg positioning and facing forward, as the Gunbuster Pose.
- Which is a case of the Weird Al Effect. Gunbuster is a mish-mash of references to Kamen Rider and other super robots, with that pose being a nod to the signature pose of Getter Dragon.
- Lordgenome from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pilots his mecha this way. Also how the SuperGalaxy Gurren Lagann is introduced, in a Gunbuster homage. Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann also does the pose.
- This pose is Kamina's default stance when he's not sitting down, or in his heaven piercing pose.
- Not to mention what Simon does in what's arguably the series' most famous scene.
- Cranked Up to Eleven in the finale with the entire cast pulling this as Simon saves Nia from the Anti-Spiral.
- In Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask often does this as he delivers his prebattle speeches.
- Makoto and Rei also demonstrate this.
- Izumi and Sig Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Ed does it a few times when he's sulking, but he's still just as Badass as the others.
- Special mention goes to Greed/Ling (Greed being dominant) while he descents slowly in the elevator of the government's central building; about to destroy the Amestris' soldiers below.
- Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile does this often in the Pokémon anime (and man is it badass).
- Ash's Buizel has this, no matter if it's serious or relaxed.
- In Pokémon Special, all of Chuck's Pokemon (And Chuck himself) do this, even while fighting. They're quite badass too.
- Two Words Commander Sampson
- Two more Words: Master Asia
- Voltaire of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a tendency to do this, as shown during the final mission in StrikerS. Considering its size and black color scheme, maybe it's a subtle Gunbuster reference?
- Dearche tends to do this often.
- Naruto has a habit of doing this when he's feeling particularly confident, or after having accomplished a Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Naruto, what about Gaara? He pretty much doesn't leave that position, especially not in battle; after all, his ability doesn't actually require him to move unless he's crushing someone, and even then he only needs one free hand. The armfold is practically his signature stance!
- Dynamis from Negima! fights in that position. He still has two hands free, though.
- Several characters from Yu-Gi-Oh!, especially Yami Yugi, Seto Kaiba and Yami Marik, all of them do this most of the time. The three of them do it even on the same screen once (and Jonouchi being only one on the screen who doesn't do it).
- Every Expy of Kaiba.
- The machine-monster Jinzo is usually seen doing this.
- Stardust Dragon does this in the fifth opening of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds.
- All three Team Shots in the first three anime season openings feature Zelgadis of Slayers doing this.
- Space Pirate Captain Harlock does this from time to time, especially when he's behind the Arcadia's ship's wheel.
- Ranma ˝: In the manga, Ranma Saotome does this on a regular basis.
- Kirino's pose on the cover of the first volume of Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai! is more tsun-tsun than badass, but it's enough to undergo Memetic Mutation as seen here (NSFW).
- Doctor Doom does this all the time.
- Green Lantern Guy Gardner complains that he isn't able to do to fold his arms when he turned in a woman (with a physical trait common with most comic superheroines) in an issue of issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior.
- The Silver Surfer did this to Mephisto.
- Several characters in the X-Wing Series comics do this, including Wedge while pondering The Chains of Commanding.
- Commonly done by Superman, who stands and/or floats with arms crossed with a derisive look on his face after his opponent's attacks have failed to even make him flinch.
- Also done whenever he's chiding a crook for acting like a Jerkass, usually with a "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed" attitude. Being Superman, this is really effective.
- Black Adam uses this all the time. All. The. Time. Normally while hovering a few inches off the ground. Alexander Luthor one time called him on it, saying that his constant hovering was creeping people out.
- Cyclops is prone to this when he's doing the Team Leader bit. Also, he has that "impressive muscles" part down to an absurd degree.
- The genocidal supervillain Apocalypse can often be seen looking superior in this pose.
- The Mighty Thor does this (or something very similar) when he is facing down Tony Stark on the subject of Ragnarok (aka Clor)and the superhuman registration act. Tony wildly underestimates how powerful Thor actually is, and hits him with the full power of his repulsors when Thor refuses to play ball. When the dust clears, Thor is shown unharmed, and a mix of angry and disappointed with Tony. He then proceeds to beat the crap out of Tony while chiding him for not acting as a friend should.
Films — Animated
- Nod on the cast poster for Epic.
- Jafar from Aladdin can pull this of well, like the scene where Prince Ali visits.
- In Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Jafar comes out of the lamp as a huge red genie, folds his arms, hovers hugely and ominously, then leans in really close, scaring Abis Mal.
- Chernabog's awakening in Fantasia. Seriously, that's what criminals see when Batman emerges from the shadows.
Films — Live-Action
- Downplayed by CIA Agent Snow in Lockout. When being asked to perform the movie's main mission (go into space, save the president's daughter, yadda yadda yadda), Snow sits with his arms crossed, badass style, as he enumerates why the plan is stupid. It would be quintessentially badass, except he is in some ways powerless in the situation. He is seated, under arrest, surrounded by standing men who tower over him and are demanding that he perform a mission that he "would rather castrate myself with blunt rocks" than do. As such, Snow's badass pose (combined with his couldn't-give-a-shit demeanor) are the only things indicating bad-ass in a scene full of other potential bosses. HOWEVER, this ties into the entire movie in that Snow himself is somewhat incongruous to the world he finds himself in, and he doesn't give a shit.
- Top Gear: When not driving, The Stig is only ever seen with his arms crossed over his chest or with his hands on his hips.
- Lampshaded in the episode where he was forced to take public transport. They wheeled him on using one of those Hannibal Lecter gurneys so he wouldn't break his cooler-than-thou pose.
- In Doctor Who, the Ninth Doctor was fond of doing this.
- Captain Jack Harkness often folds his arms in Torchwood, usually when he's in the Torchwood hub.
- Just take a look around the Stargate wiki. Weir summoning this trope simply reeks of awesome◊.
- Kamen Rider Odin tends to be in this pose most of the time.
- Xena: Warrior Princess, especially effective when combined with her Kubrick Stare.
- Captain Marvelous' default stance.
- Leads to a great moment in the first episode: Everything is exploding, the scenery is falling apart, and the rest of the team is ducking for cover. Marvelous? Standing unfazed, not giving a damn.
- The opening credits sequence for Iron Chef America shows all of the program's chefs assuming this pose, in a visual Mundane Made Awesome gag.
- Dr. Perry Cox from Scrubs has a tendency to do this whenever he's about to kick some ass or go off on a rant. Amusingly enough, it is paired with a quick nose rub which actor John C. McGinley admits he borrowed from Robert Redford.
- Everyone does this in the opening of Pawn Stars (it's not quite as impressive when Chumlee does it, though).
- Taz did this during in-ring introductions in ECW, not so much in WWE.).
- Jazz used to do this, combined with never speaking. It helped her stand out as a badass at a time when WWE pushed women purely on how sexy they were.
- In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni does this in "You Just Can't Win" after pushing Ash away from him.
- Firebrand pulls it at the end of the 11/11/12 livestream video in Tribe Twelve. 'You're fucking welcome.'
- This is the typical stance of the bouncer, making them look more intimidating and impassive to your puny attempts to scam your inside.
- Athletes such as Mixed Martial Arts fights and Rugby players' pictures are often taken in this style.
- Played with in psychology. This stance denotes one of two things: (a) the person is in a state of deep thoughtnote or (b) the person is in a state of insecurity.note The actual badass (and intimidating) pose would have good posture and hands on the hips denoting the person is purposefully opening themselves up for attack but they're confident enough with themselves to do it anyway.