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Badass Baritone

He is a manly man, and he has a manly voice to prove it.

A character of this sort must fulfill two criteria:

  1. Obviously, the character must be a badass.
  2. The character must have a deep voice of baritone register. Bass register is also possible but is rarer and almost always overlaps with being evil.

Such a character may range from Cool Old Guy to Testosterone Poisoning.

See also Evil Sounds Deep, Guttural Growler, Power Makes Your Voice Deep and Voice of the Legion. The Distaff Counterpart would be Contralto of Danger. Contrast Tenor Boy.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece: Crocodile is a former boss of a mass criminal syndicate as well as being a former Shichibukai. He has one of the deepest (if not THE deepest) voice(s) in the series to boot.
  • Souther from Fist of the North Star has a voice that might well be deeper than is actually naturally possible. Oddly enough, Toki the Kung-Fu Jesus has his own Badass Baritone going on. The main character, Kenshiro, prefers high-pitched "A-TA-TA" sounds.
  • Whenever English dub Version of Goku goes Super Saiyan 3, he invokes this trope by lowering his voice an octave to show he means business. And let's not get started on the badassery that is Super Saiyan 4...
  • Jotaro Kujo of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the most straightforwardly badass of the Joestar lineage, is invariably cast with a low baritone despite being merely a teenager.
  • Captain Levi of Attack on Titan is provided a pretty awesome baritone by Matthew Mercer. As for the Badass credentials, Levi is supposed to be humanity's strongest soldier, and he proves this by absolutely wrecking the extremely powerful Female Titan all by himself, after it slaughtered the rest of his squad.

    Comics 
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye has a moment when Whirl tries to imitate Optimus Prime (See Western Animation below) and fails. He lampshades it.
    Whirl: "How can anyone's voice be that low?"

    Film 
  • The 1937 edition of King Solomon's Mines featured Paul Robeson, professional baritone singer, as Ignosi. Ignosi is a brave warrior who returns to Kukuanaland, defeats the usurper King Twala in battle, and reclaims his throne. Since he's played by Paul Robeson, he gets to sing a couple of songs too.
  • Many incarnations of Batman have him lowering his voice while in costume to sound more menacing.
    • In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane has a voice amplifier that gives him an extremely peculiar contrast between the trope (in vocal range) and jovial, eloquent word choice and mode of speech, in comparison with Tom Hardy's fairly nasal voice.
    "You think darkness is your ally, but you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man. By then, it was nothing to me but blinding!"
  • Christopher Lee sometimes plays this when he isn't playing villains. His voice is perfect when he plays the Discworld role of Death, since Terry Pratchett has always described Death's voice being deep and foreboding like the slamming of a coffin lid. Also, whenever Death speaks in the novels, his lines are rendered completely in upper-case. And who else, but Christopher Lee knows how to speak in capital letters?
  • Thorin, as played by Richard Armitage, in The Hobbit. Warrior, rightful king returning, general monster-killing badass, and a baritone. He even gets to sing a song perfectly suited for his voice.
  • Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Darth Vader is the more villainous example, but he's still one of the most badass villains on the screen.
  • Kevin Grevioux has an incredibly deep Basso Profundo voice, which led many people watching his character Raze in Underworld to assume it had been altered in some way. He's also a Genius Bruiser, having degrees in microbiology and genetic engineering and having come up with the idea for the movie in the first place.
  • James Bond. With the exception of Pierce Brosnan, all of Bond's incarnations have a deep, manly voice that perfectly suits a Casanova super spy, with Sean Connery's version arguably providing the deepest and manliest voice of them all.
  • Atticus Finch, as played by Gregory Peck, a Badass Pacifist and incorruptible attorney who fights to the bitter end to save an innocent black man's life.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Benedict Cumberbatch's John Harrison delivers Badass Boasts in a deep, chilling bass voice.
  • Heimdall from the film version of Thor has one, courtesy of Idris Elba. It gives him a very fitting air of gravitas.
  • Likewise Elba's character Marshall Pentecost in Pacific Rim. When he talks about cancellin' the Apocalypse, you believe him!

    Literature 
  • Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files is very much a badass, and is described as having a resonant baritone.
    • Also, Sanya. Knight of the Cross with a nice Basso Profundo voice, and the only person manly enough to make Dresden feel inadequate, being roughly of a height with Dresden and muscle-bound enough to make Michael, who is notably strong, look puny, whereas Harry is all wiry muscle.
  • Death from the Discworld is described as having a voice like a lead coffin lid slamming, even if his voice is more felt than heard. It is rendered as All Caps.
  • Private Kolya Vlasov from David Benioff's City of Thieves. Quick-fisted fighter of cannibals who sings in a "strong, confident baritone".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural: Castiel. Also, Jensen Ackles noticeably starts using a deeper voice in any extended conversation with him. It's like they're trying to out-badass each other. Misha Collins has said that he regrets it- he thought he would only be a guest star and was just trying to sound Bad Ass, but when he was brought back to be a major supporting character he was forced to keep it, and finds using the voice so much to be annoying, difficult and mildly painful.
    Misha Collins: So in the first episode that Castiel shows up in, um — he's trying to communicate with Dean, and in so doing, his voice, his angelic voice, is exploding television sets and breaking windows — and so I, consummate guest star that I am, thought - oh, you know, I'm gonna do this [deepens voice], really deep, gravelly, commanding, kickass, kind of window-breaking voice... And I may be running into medical problems now. It has been brutal on my throat.

    Music 
  • Trace Adkins is a Country Music singer known as much for his bass-baritone voice as for his very tall, muscular stature and often masculine songs (e.g. "Hot Mama", "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk", etc.). Bonus points for having had a pinky finger reattached after an accident, and having survived getting run over by an off-road vehicle.

    Theatre 
  • Les Misérables: Inspector Javert. Baritone or bass-baritone required, and he's badass enough to have his own trope. (Ask Patron-Minette how he arrested seven armed bandits plus a Mama Bear (who counts herself as two) alone.)
  • The indisputably badass Beast from Beauty and the Beast is a solid baritone role, as is the equally badass (though much more arrogant about it) villain Gaston.

    Video Games 
  • Fenris of Dragon Age II has a deep husky voice despite his Bishōnen elf look. But then, one of the things he does on a regular basis is reaching into an enemy's chest and crush his heart.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, Legate Lanius from the base game, Joshua Graham from the Honest Hearts DLC and Ulysses from the Lonesome Road DLC are all badass and have very deep voices. Doubly notable for being extremely cool, competent, and collected and none of them use profanity in a game where it is plentiful.
    • Fallout 2 gave us Frank Horrigan, an enormous, mutated high ranking member of the Enclave, with a voice as deep as the ocean. He also fits the Badass criteria VERY, VERY well.
  • Big Band, from Skullgirls, is a Large and in Charge Cyborg with brass instrument-themed armaments and an incredibly deep voice to match.
  • Vhailor from Planescape: Torment definitely counts since he's basically the avatar of justice and wields an axe so heavy that literary no one else can lift it.
    • Even more impressive than the above-mentioned Vhailor is The Transcendent One voiced by Tony Jay. He's also a Physical God.
    • Dak'kon has a very dark and raspy voice and wields a sword that, if used correctly, can cut a hole in reality.

    Western Animation 
Phil Lamarr: I remember one episode… Everybody was speaking in, like, bass tones. There was Clancy Brown and, I think, Powers Boothe, and Carl [Lumbly] was here, Kevin Conroy was here in the studio.
Andrea Romano: And you. You were there.
Phil Lamarr: Yes, I was doing my low voice… To the point where you were just feeling it through the floor. Like (puts hands over ground) "Was that a good take?"

  • Transformers' Optimus Prime is universally this, with a voice so deep and weighty it would crush the vocalizers of lesser 'bots.
  • Megabyte, the resident Big Bad and Magnificent Bastard of ReBoot. He retained that certain refined bass voice even as he became more feral and dangerous throughout the series, which made him all the more terrifying. Voiced by Tony Jay.

    Real Life 
  • Despite common depictions, this trope is subverted in the two most legitimately badass American presidents: Abraham Lincoln is said to have had a shrill, nasal voice and Theodore Roosevelt had a mid-range voice - his voice was the first president's to ever be recorded and a sample can be found here.
  • General Patton also had a high-pitched, slightly weak voice, George C. Scott portrayal notwithstanding.
  • Steve Blum. With a voice generally considered to be one of the deepest among current voice actors, he's always cast as playing a badass with few exceptions. He was also in a metal band in his youth, although he didn't sing.
  • Johnny Cash, ladies. His voice is very deep and adds to the effect of the music.
  • James Earl Jones is made of this. There is a reason that he is always associated with Darth Vader, simply because the voice is so iconic and badass.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch. Often cast as a Badass Bookworm or military man, with a very, very deep voice. It only gets distorted further when he plays Smaug, as mentioned further above.
  • The late Mark Dailey of CityTV in Toronto, Canada. Originally a crime reporter and good friend of the Toronto police, he frequently did live voice-overs between programs and, by the time of his passing in 2010, he was a regular anchor on the evening news and was considered "the voice" of the channel.

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alternative title(s): Badass Bass
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