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Badass Arm-Fold
The caption text (and a bunch of space monsters) just fled in terror.

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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • 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:
    • 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
  • Lyrical Nanoha
  • Naruto has a habit of doing this when he's feeling particularly confident, or after having accomplished a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Madara in the Fourth Great Shinobi War also holds this as his default stance when he's not in combat. He also enters this when using his Susano'o, as he no longer needs to move his body at all to fight.
  • 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).

    Comicbooks 
  • One of The Phantom's standard poses.
  • 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.
  • X-Men:
    • 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.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.

    Theater 
  • In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni does this in "You Just Can't Win" after pushing Ash away from him.

    Video Games 
  • Ryu from Street Fighter gives us the classic 'wind blowing' win pose, which involves this. M. Bison is also fond of this pose, as is Sagat.
  • Kazuya Mishima from Tekken likes folding his arms in front of him, whether it's opening sequence, or it's winning pose. He's been doing this since his debut.
  • In Guilty Gear XX, whenever Sol Badguy fights a certain people (eg: Dizzy, I-No, Slayer), he folds his arms, fire comes out around him.
    • And let's not forget that Justice loves doing these as well.
  • Amongst the three rulers in Dynasty Warriors, Cao Cao is the most ambitious. Thus, he is prone to be portrayed in this pose (especially his DW 5 official art).
  • Kira Daidouji from Arcana Heart is also highly ambitious and condescending and her fighting stance has her striking this pose. Her ambitions comes from her desire to, you guessed it, Take Over the World.
  • In City of Heroes, your character does this during his/her/its idle animation every cycle. It fits, because you play as a Comic-Book style Superhero.
  • Shadow from the Sonic the Hedgehog series folds his arms on a regular basis.
    • Sonic does the same thing when he's bored.
  • Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII frequently poses like this.
    • Montblanc from Final Fantasy XII always does this fold. If not he only lets his arms open for a few seconds, then he does it back. He is The Captain of Clan Centurio after all...
    • And in Final Fantasy X, both Kimahri and Bahamut, a seven-foot-tall lion-man and a twelve-foot tall metallic dragon respectively, do this when standing in place, radiating Badassery. Wakka too, sometimes.
    • Kain from Final Fantasy IV does this for his Victory Pose in Dissidia Duodecim.
  • Yuffie in Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy VII.
  • Bang Shishigami, the hot blooded Ninja turned superhero from BlazBlue does this.
  • Hotsuma in the PS2 Shinobi folds his arms when standing or walking. As does his successor, Hibana.
  • Falco in the Super Smash Bros. games.
  • Both Franziska von Karma and her father Manfred do this in the Ace Attorney series. As does Apollo.
  • Commander Shepard in Mass Effect is rather prone to doing this. During the first game, they tend to switch to a Reverse Arm-Fold when speaking to superior officers or the Council however.
  • During the Dark Side ending to Knights of the Old Republic Revan does this while looking out over the assembled Sith armies.
  • As mentioned earlier in the anime and manga section, Master Asia is fond of this, as seen here in Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 even domon indulges in it.
  • In the Touhou fighting games, this is the neutral stance of Gensokyo's resident Time Master Ninja Maid, Sakuya.
    • Amusingly, it's also the neutral stance of the fairy Cirno; no doubt an attempt to look stronger than she is.
  • Legendary ninja Fuma Kotaro's default stance in Sengoku Basara. Takeda Shingen does it too, when he means business. And Date Masamune rides his horse sitting like this.
  • Kratos Aurion in Tales of Symphonia does this quite often.
    • Succeeding him in Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2 is Gaius, who's almost always doing this when he's idle. He even does it in battle while he's participating in Rowen's Dual Capriccio link arte (Which has him take a short ride atop a magically produced air glider).
  • Ansem (or Xehanort's Heartless) has this as his battle pose in the Kingdom Hearts series, mainly because he lets his Guardian Heartless do all the work. His previous persona Terra-Xehanort also had a badass arm fold. To add they also both examples of Power Floats
  • Liquid Snake did this a lot in Metal Gear Solid.
  • It's Disgaea's very own main character's default pose. Laharl seems to be quite aware of its indication, as the trope description suits him really well.
    • Kurtis is doing one in his Disgaea 3 and 4 character portrait, and in his cut-in portraits starting from 2. Despite being a Prinny, it's still effective.
  • Duke's Idle Animation in The Kingof Fighters Maximum Impact is to slowly fold his arms. He's an SNK Boss.
  • Shuma-Gorath is known to bust out a Badass Armfold with tentacles ever so often in the Marvelvs Capcom series.
  • Doctor Doom has this as his idle pose in Marvelvs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds along with his signature cape. And it is awesome.
    "Turn and run now, and I will mercifully pretend this never happened."
  • In Rift, this is the default idle pose for a male bahmi character on a tartagon mount.
  • There's two variants of this in City of Heroes. One is a sort of casual random pose your character will perform if you leave the controls alone for a while. The other is a slightly wicked take, with your legs together and your character staring slightly downward. Look GREAT if you're hovering!
  • As might be expected from the large number of badasses in the franchise, Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage has quite a few of its characters do this, especially after Musou attacks. Most notable is Souther/Thouzer, whose Badass Arm Fold and Evil Laugh are both weaponized as part of his Nanto abilities.
  • Luigi of the Super Mario Bros. series does this as a victory pose. Granted, he grins happily when he does it.
  • Asura's Wrath has a few characters that do this, like Yasha, Augus, and Asura himself. Asura even does this when in outer space , very similar to Nono and even does it on the tip of his personal flagship similar to The Original gunbuster.
  • In Brain Dead 13, Lance makes a pose like this in resurrection scenes and in the final confrontation, showing that he is brave in the face of certain death.
  • Izanami default pose when fighting her first form in Persona4.
  • In The Wonderful 101, Supreme Overlord Jergingha does this in the first portion of his final fight segment.
  • Albedo from Xenosaga in one image. You can find it in the Image Links.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Firebrand pulls it at the end of the 11/11/12 livestream video in Tribe Twelve. "YOU'RE FUCKING WELCOME."

    Western Animation 
  • Kim Possible: Ron Stoppable does this at the end of "So The Drama", when Dr. Drakken remembers his name.
  • Robin and Cyborg from Teen Titans do this from time to time.
  • In The Legend of Korra this pose is favored by Avatar Korra, and is the stock pose she sports on her character page at nick.com, all the better for her to showcase that Sleeves Are for Wimps.
  • On Regular Show, Mordecai folds his arms at Rigby to show that he is pissed off at him. He even does it slowly just to show he means business.
    Rigby: Don't you dare!
    Mordecai: Too late. It's already in motion.
  • The title character of Danny Phantom does this at the end of the theme song. Once in a while he'll do it in the show as well.

    Real Life 
  • This is the typical stance of the bouncer, making them look more intimidating and impassive to your puny attempts to scam your way 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.


Asskicking PoseBadassAsskicking Equals Authority
Atop a Mountain of CorpsesStock PosesBicep-Polishing Gesture
GunBusterImageSource/Anime & MangaMobile Suit Gundam

alternative title(s): Gunbuster Pose
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