A Badass Family, even if they're not related. This will turn up a lot when discussing the SuperheroTeam, The Squad, and the Five-Man Band. And a fair number of Sci-fi shows set aboard a ship, since normally, even the baddest hero can't run a whole Cool Ship on his own. This isn't a requirement though.
Some general conventions that apply to almost all Badass Crews are:
A Crew typically has a recurring and more-or-less permanent roster; you can reasonably expect to see the same members over and over. Which is why this trope is a fixture of TV shows, comics, and other media which is made of recurring installments. You see this less in movie series, since they're often built around a central character who may have different supporters in each movie, e.g. Die Hard or James Bond. This is probably because it's easier to sign one actor for a film rather than three or five.
Most heroes have some sort of support or backup, but in a Badass Crew, everyone must be capable of a Moment Of Awesome. In fact a given episode may involve the leastbadass character doing something so awesome the jaws of the others drop in unison.
There's usually one person who acts as The Leader of the bunch.
In actual combat, on the battlefield, their combined badassery is indispensable. Not so much in their day-to-day applications on the home front; in fact, since they may also deal with lower-level antagonists that don't directly affect the other crew members, it can be downright messy and embarrassing. This is why, when not on the battlefield, they have to really watch what they tell each other.
Most important: the crew must have a certain loyalty toward one another. Like a family. If one of them is hurt/kidnapped/killed the others will bring holy hell on those responsible, even (and especially) if it means violating orders. For this reason, all Badass Crews are a form of True Companions.
Since, unlike a Badass Family, none of the members were born into the Crew (though some of them might be blood relatives), some writers will use the story of the Badass Crew's formation as an interesting origin story. In most Action/Adventures and Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories, the badasses came together to foil a Big Bad and/or save the world.
The members of the Crew may not have even liked each other at first or even been outright enemies, but they come together and join forces because a) none of them can defeat the Big Bad and his plot without total cooperation, b) they worked out their differences, c) they see the badassness in each other and recognize a kindred spirit, or d) all the above.
The Badass Crew may be or have been a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. Amazon Brigade is an all-female variation of this. The logical extension of this is the Badass Army where they are essentially a gigantic Badass Crew. Almost invariably a Caper Crew doubles as a Badass Crew.
Also see Misfit Mobilization Moment, which is often an origin for the Badass Crew.
The Lagoon Company of Black Lagoon, oh ho ho, borrowing the charisma of Cowboy Bebop with a bickering crew of badasses who start off as rather typical, but unleash wave after wave of terror on their opponents with each episode. And Balalaika's Vysotniki. As described by Benny in their first announced appearance: "They have enough talent to fight and win World War III."
Naruto's Akatsuki consists of elite and pure badass-to-the-bone characters like Itachi Uchiha, Kisame, Orochimaru, Pein, Kakuzu, Sasori etc, all having Badass Longcoat. Also Team 8, Team Gai, and especially Team 10 all remain a close-knit family. Asuma even mentions this, in a flashback, when he gives all the members of his team earrings as a symbol of sticking together. And every single member of the Konoha 11 has their awesome moments (however short lived and/or superfluous it may be), even Ino, and especially Sakura, Shikamaru, and Naruto himself.
Colonel Mustang's crew from Fullmetal Alchemist. They're so badass that when they made their move on the Promised Day, a platoon of five soldiers engaged with Central's forces without killing anybody; 60 injuries, no deaths.
The Elite Four from Kill la Kill, each member being hand picked by Satsuki to join her inner circle to plan her coup d'état against her Mother, Ragyo. Now extended to the entirety of the Nudist Beach and Honnouiji Academy Alliance and their quest to save the world.
All versions of the Getter Team are like this, but special mention goes to the Go team. Go, Sho/Kei and Gai get along MUCH better than Ryoma, Hayato and Musashi/Benkei.
Gravion has the Gran Knights, who are badass (in their own ways) in an out of titular mecha. The sequel bring us the Gran Troopers, who are the same, so much so that the leader of the first Badass Crew congratulates the second Badass Crew at one point.
One Piece is a series about maritime pirates, so every pirate ship in the series is usually staffed with a colorful, closely-knit, and, of course, badass crew. In fact, the manga on the whole is FILLED with badass crews and is pretty much entirely about them. Some particular examples include:
The Straw Hat Pirates, a.k.a. the Protagonist Crew. One Image Song even mentions that even though they aren't related, they are still like a family.
The Whitebeard Pirates (pictured above) fit the criteria, even if they don't get as much focus as the Straw Hat Pirates.
...and lots and lots of others. In fact, the Straw Hats usually fight another Badass Crew at least once an arc.
The Z-Senshi of Dragon Ball. By the end of the Manga, each and every one of them is strong enough to blow up entire planets with their fingers! With the highest-tier ones (The Super Saiyans) reaching stellar-busting levels and beyond.
Ala Rubra, which had at least two members who are essentially invincible and a number of other members who aren't quite invincible, but still incredibly Bad Ass.
Negi's group, Ala Alba, is well on it's way to this, as almost all the girls are drifting in an Action Girl direction. If one chooses to focus on the primary combatants (Negi, Kotaro, Setsuna, Kaede, and Asuna) it essentially is a Badass Crew with a bunch of people working the backup support positions.
The Newspaper Club in Rosario + Vampire has been moving toward becoming this, especially recently. As club president, Gin is technically their leader, but more often than not the de-facto role goes to Tsukune. Even Yukari has had her moments of badass. It's also implied that the club's previous generation was one of these, and a helluva good one if Gin and Sun are any indication.
The four Frenchmen from Le Chevalier D Eon, three of whom are among the best swordsmen alive.
Levi's handpicked elite squad in Attack on Titan is this. Both Eld and Gunther have high titan kills, both in teams and solo. Petra, despite being smallest and one of the younger members, has 48 kills as a team, meaning she has taken part in the most titan killings in the squad, barring Levi. Oluo may act obnoxious and arrogant but he has the highest solo kills (39) out of the squad. And this is not mentioning Levi himself.
The Secret Six. Even the idea of family roles are played with when Bane becomes Scandal's "father". But don't underestimate them; they are villains after all.
Teen Titans. Their whole premise is that they are a family, and they most definitely are Bad Ass. As an example, here are a few members from one of the most recent incarnations.
Impulse, almost immediately after joining the new Teen Titans, gets kneecapped by Deathstroke. After healing, which happens extremely fast and needs to be rebroken multiple times, not to mention that his metabolism is so fast he is immune to anesthesia, he reads an entire library in a matter of hours, and retains everything he read, and proceeds to change his name to Kid Flash and take a level in maturity andA Level In Bad Ass.
Superboy finds out he is a clone, not only of Superman, but also Lex Luthor, and nearly kills everyone while under Luthor's mind control, but then proceeds to go shot for shot with Superboy-Prime for multiple pages, culminating in the Heroic Sacrifice when he destroys the Anti-Monitor's tower by smashing himself and Superboy-Prime into it, impaling himself in the process.
Speedy is HIV positive and still Fights The Good Fight.
The Wreckers in various Transformers comic material. Most groups of Transformers qualify, mind you. But the Wreckers in particular. They're essentially the Autobot special forces who are called in to fight when the chance of victory is slim to non-existent. Despite the frightening rate they burn through their roster, they're incredibly successful at what they do.
"Lost cause? Of course it's a lost cause! that's why we're here."
The Young Avengers; they all are pretty close friends and they are indeed badass (they aren't "Avengers" for nothing).
The band of fugitives in Negation. They want to escape the Negation-verse and get back home, and everyone's after them, so they're forced to rely on each other to survive. Over time, motivations and agendas change...
In the Firefly fanfic Forward, there was a team of mercenaries/hitmen named the "Six Rifles" consisting of a professional group of six killers. Then they met a young Jayne Cobb, and they're not around anymore....
Kung Fu Panda's Furious Five - Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Crane and Viper - are China's top kung fu masters, and both films show you exactly why. By the second film, their Badass Crew is the Furious Five plus Po, who earns his way in after enduring the Training from Hell.
The Massachusetts 54th Regiment as shown in Glory.
The Fellowship Of The Ring. Even those hobbits will bust your ass should you trifle with them or their pals. One of their greatest moments of collective badassitude is in the Mines of Moria when the company find themselves completely surrounded by thousands of Orcs - and are completely ready to take them on.
Oceans Eleven: Daniel Ocean's crew. The precision point schemes they pull off make them Bad Ass, but what makes them family is made clear when Reuben is hurt; they put on a heist not to make a fortune, but just to spite the guy who hurt him.
The VIPER assassination squad in Kill Bill before their dissolution.
The movie version of The Untouchables. Even the nerdy tax accountant (tax accountant for crying out loud!) achieves CMoAs. Even more badass in real life, considering that unlike the film, they all lived.
The crew of Serenity from Firefly In the movie alone, each member shows just how badass he/she can be... although Book's moment of awesome badassery happens off screen.
The crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek most definitely qualifies. Even 150 year old Spock Prime and Team Dad Captain Pike get cool moments. The movie was essentially an Origin Story of how the original Trek Badass Crew came to be.
Even though it's mostly about Sharpe and his Lancer-sidekick Sergeant Harper, the riflemen of the 95th (and to some extent, the entire South Essex Regiment) definitely qualifies. Memorable scenes include Hagman dual wielding a pair of rifles, private Perkins saving Sharpe's life and anything including Captain Frederickson ("A musket ball broke my jaw. I have false teeth. The sawbone stuck on the smile for free, sir. He also stuck on my hair. Hair belongs to a horse, sir.")
The team of Allied commandos assigned to blow up the Nazi cannons on the Greek island of Navarone in The Guns of Navarone.
The Losers, in both the movie and the comics, though the loyalty is particularly pronounced in the movie.
Subverted in MacGruber when the clueless titular hero rejects the appointment of (the qualified) Piper in favor of assembling his own team. He spends the next five minutes recruiting enormous burly dudes played by WWE wrestlers to accompany him on his mission. He then promptly kills them when the van they were in explodes due to his negligence.
The Expendables: Not just Stallone's team, everybody in the whole friggin' movie.
The Avengers. Yes, they do take some time to get any traction....but when they do, they beat the shit out of gods. (Well, the Captain would say there's only one God and he really doesn't dress like that.) The Hulk would merely say "Puny god!"
In Gathering the Enchanted it would be our main crew. You've got fire hot enough to melt bullets mid-shot, deadly poison breathing, and magical leg armor just to name a few.
The Jack Ryan novel Rainbow Six gives us Rainbow, headed by John Clark (Rainbow Six) and happens to be a multinational force of some of the baddest asses from the world's most deadly special forces units, albeit presented in a very realistic and very mortal fashion.
Any X-Wing squadron led by Wedge Antilles. Rogue Squadron boasts twelve of the absolute best pilots in the New Republic, who capture the enemy capital planet as part of one mission, then take a break to wage a guerrilla campaign to liberate another world. Wraith Squadron is a bunch of oddballs and misfits who can get the bridge of their support vessel blown off, smash a capital ship in half with a sucker-punch, and continue infiltrating the enemywithout breaking cover. And Red Flight is nothing but four comrades with the combined skill and experience of a starfighter wing.
The four stormtroopers in Survivor's Quest, Unit Aurek-Seven of the 501st. Cloud, Grappler, Watchman, and Shadow. They are unspeakablybadass.
Delta Squad probably takes the cake for the most Badass Crew from the Galaxy far, far away.
The Animorphs from the series of the same name, a crew of badass shapeshifters.
Vimes, Carrot, Angua and Detritus, and the rest of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch form one of these.
The Silver Horde. Seven very old men. Six of them are Barbarian Heroes, the most dangerous occupation on the whole Discworld (and considering what some people do for a living, that's saying something.) They're primary skill is NOT DYING. They're made quite a habit out of it, and don't plan on breaking that habit.
The Wizards of Unseen University are NOT the sort of people you want to find yourself squaring off against, either. It doesn't matter how you might try, either.
Mystic And Rider has this - the True Companions formed around Senneth is made up of two elite fighters, two shapeshifters, a mind-reader and Senneth herself, who is not only the most powerful mystic ever, full stop, but is so good at sword-fighting that she can beat the Lirren boys. All of them can hold their own in a fight, and then some.
The leader can bend reality to her will, and once gave the time traveler the ability to fire lasers from her eye while filming a movie. The next character is a data-manipulating android that can't be killed, even with 6 spikes and 2 energy tentacles the size of a ship's mast through her body. After that, we have a ESPer, who can move into alternate dimensions created by the leader, usually to fight her inner demons. Following that, we have a time-traveller, who grows up to become The Chessmaster that jump-started the events that implanted the ideas of aliens, time travelers and ESPers into Haruhi's mind. The last character is completely normal, as verified by 2 factions. However, said character managed to blackmail one of the factions into not terminating his friend.
The condensed version: You piss off anyone of them, and chances are, someone will come in and kick your ass. Or head, as the Computer Club President realized.
The first and second Order of the Phoenix. They are the best. Veteran aurors, the youngest ever auror (before Harry Potter), some of the most powerful wizards of their generation (Sirius Black, James and Lily Potter, Remus Lupin) and Albus Dumbledore - the only wizard Voldemort ever feared.
Orcs by Stan Nichols. After defecting from Jennesta's army, they decide to wreak holy hell on everyone that gets in their way, invading underground cities, defeating crime bosses, launching a raid into an UNDERWATER city, laying down the smack on church militant army and sending demons screaming back to hell. The sequel novels get even better, with them annihilating an army using...cows. Styrke and his Wolverines = Badass Crew
Bridge Four in The Stormlight Archive started out as the unluckiest of a very unlucky group of slaves and disgraced soldiers. Then Kaladin got a hold of them...
The guardsmen of the Tanith First-And-Only. When you're the last 2,000 survivors of a planet destroyed by Chaos, you have to be badass.
Time Scout: The residents of time terminal eighty six. You can find an expert in every little thing, and even the food vendors know how to survive if a random Time Portal opens into the middle of the Battle of Orléans.
The Nancy Drew Files and The Hardy Boys Casefiles were a Darker and Edgier version of the stories that took both series Up to Eleven, making both of their respective casts a Badass Crew. They also had a crossover Spinoff, the Nancy Drew-Hardy Boys Supermysteries, in which Frank, Nancy, Joe, and various combinations of Bess, Chet, George, Biff, Tony, etc., taking down everybody from corrupt CE Os to terrorist cells.
The titular Oathsworn in Robert Low's viking series.
Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, Jace Herondale, Simon Lewis, Clary Fray and Magnus Bane in The Mortal Instruments.
Every version of Star Trek features a version of this:
The brave, loyal, and hypercompetent crew of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek: The Original Series. Always ready, willing, and able to do whatever their Captain requires of them to complete their mission, no matter how crippled their ship or desperate their circumstances. The senior staff become True Companions and remain this throughout their careers, and even the hapless Red Shirt crew members never waver in their duty.
On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, thanks to the phenomenal Character Development, even supposedly minor characters wind up kicking ass at some point. In "The Way of The Warrior", for example, the station has to fight off a small fleet of Klingons. A montage shows minor recurring characters engaging in one-on-one fights with the Klingons, Ax-Crazy Gul Dukat beating them up with a bat'leth, and Garak (the freakin' haberdasher) picking them off with a phaser.
Stargate SG-1: The titular SG-1. Entire alien races have attacked Earth just to kill O'Neill, Carter, Jackson, and Teal'c. The four of them have probably saved the planet more times than even they can count.
Dr. House's team. All extremely competent doctors, all competitive, all willing to bend rules to save a patient. And though it sometimes seemed they hated each other, their loyalty has actually lasted even though they've all gone their separate ways.
As mentioned above, the crew of Serenity in Firefly.
The Scooby Gang of Buffy the Vampire Slayer became this eventually. They are a handful of humans and vampires that keep all the nasties in the Hellmouth from overrunning the world.
The Angel Investigations staff in Angel are the best example of this trope in any Whedon show. Anyone who joins is guaranteed to develop into a Badass within one season. And Gunn's crew.
In Doctor Who, when a bunch of them work together in the new series.
The good people of Torchwood Three from Torchwood..
The Bannerman Road from The Sarah Jane Adventures. Think three (sometimes two; once four) kids, an older lady, a sentient computer, and occasionally a robot dog can't turn you into alien slime? Think again.
God help you if you mess with certain officers, officials, and crewmen of the Battlestar Galactica. Yes, they're an exceedingly dysfunctional crew, and are [literally] at each others' throats repeatedly, but mess with them, and the only question is which one of them is going to destroy you and how flashy that destruction will be. Certain Cylon models exhibit this quality. But that situation is....complicated......
The team from "Soldier of Fortune", essentially the A-Team for grown-ups done by Jerry Bruckheimer. The team was headed up by ex-Delta Force major Matt Shepherd and contained ex-Marine Scout/Sniper Benny Ray Riddle (played by former Ranger Tim Abell), ex-CIA officer Margo Vincent, fomer SAS Staff Sargeant and electronics/EOD specialist CJ Yates with Jason "Chance" Walker (ex-USAF SOAR)as the pilot. The team was run by a spooky government-type called Xavier Trout, himself an ex-military type, when he/the US government needed deniable ops done.
The study group as a whole in Community episode "Modern Warfare," for surviving as long as they did in such hellish conditions.
The Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, doubly appropriate because they're Space Pirates. Also Marvelous' previous team with Akared and Basco Ta Jolokia, the Red Pirates. When you're just three people and is considered to be the greatest threat the Zangyack ever face and having a bounty bigger than the Gokaigers, you have to be one. Not too mention they just started collecting the Ranger Keys when they started their adventure, meaning they face off against the Zangyack without the key's powers.
Any Sentai team would count.
The core team of Knights of the Round Table in Merlin. Sirs Gwaine, Lancelot, Elyan, Leon and Percival took on an army of immortal soldiers...and won. Or at least, survived long enough for Merlin to save them all...
Bones, Booth, and all the squints—increasingly so as more and more of them get out of the lab and into the field.
The Fringe team has faced impossible things together, up to and including fractures in the fabric of the universe itself. They meet every obstacle with good humor, solidarity, and (fairly) calm acceptance. So the world's falling apart again—what's new?
The 1972 Miami Dolphins; who won every game that season, up to and including the Super Bowl.
The 2007 New England Patriots nearly equaled the feat. But they were beaten in the Super Bowl by another Badass Crew, namely the New York Giants.
That team was pretty ordinary, but Strahan, Umenyiora, and Tuck - who harassed superstar quarterback Tom Brady throughout - absolutely count.
If we're talking football, then look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders of the 70s. Not only did they win consistently, they faced off each other for AFC supremacy every year and had legitimate bad blood, leading to extremely physical, emotional, dirty games. The Steelers typically were the designated good guys, due to their classy owner, blue collar roots, and disciplined team ethic. The Raiders were always the bad guys, in part because of their Jerk Ass owner, rowdy fans, and perhaps, even rowdier players. Also note the Raiders were made up of a bunch of guys with Names to Run Away From Really Fast, guys like Jack "The Assassin" Tatum, Ken "The Snake" Stabler, and Skip "Dr. Death" Thomas. Incidentally, both the Steelers and Raiders only achieved full-blown Badass Crew status because they first had to take that mantle from the waning Dolphins, who not only had that undefeated season, but repeated the next year with a team some experts believe might have actually been better than the '72 Dolphins.
The University of Miami Hurricanes football team, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. The Canes, which won five national championships and appeared at several more title games, developed a "Thug U" reputation due to its "Catholics vs. Convicts" rivalry with Notre Dame, the players appearing at a national championship pregame banquet in combat fatigues (and losing to underdogs Penn State the next night at the 1987 Fiesta Bowl), the on-field taunting by the team (which led to the NCAA adding "the Miami Rule" addressing excessive celebration), the team's alleged payments from Two Live Crew's Luke Campbell, and many of the recruited players being from urban areas (unprecedented at the time, now somewhat the norm).
The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, whom, after years of winning the league pennant and always coming up short in the World Series, succeeded in winning the World Series against the New York Yankees. The '55 Dodgers, which included Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges, solidified their legend in baseball. After the 1955 World Series, the Brooklyn Dodgers won one more pennant (but losing in seven games to the Yankees in the World Series) before moving to Los Angeles.
The 1990 UNLV basketball team, led by Jerry "Tark the Shark" Tarkanian. They dominated basketball, beating Duke to win the championship, while their coach defied the NCAA (he was notorious for saying "The NCAA got so mad at Kentucky they decided to give Cleveland State two more years of probation."). The next year, the UNLV team almost had an undefeated season, but lost to Duke in the Final Four.
The Michigan "Fab Five" teams of the 1990s. They popularized baggy shorts and brought swagger to college basketball, despite being the NCAA runner-up twice. Unfortunately, Ed Martin, a booster for the Michigan team, was found to have provided benefits to the team in violation of NCAA guidelines, and as a result, Chris Webber was found ineligible and the Fab Five title appearances were vacated.
The mid-70s Philadelphia Flyers, aka "The Broad Street Bullies." Were the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup (winning it twice in a row), became beloved in Philadelphia and loathed by traditional hockey fans for their success through intimidation and violence. They were also known for their skirmishes against the Soviet "Red Army" teams.
The early-90s Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 1991, led by coach "Badger Bob" Johnson. Sadly, "Badger Bob" died of cancer shortly after winning the Cup, and he was replaced by the season by legendary Blues/Canadiens/Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman, who, in his first of two seasons as their coach, led the Penguins to their second consecutive Cup.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, in spite of their current state of mediocrity, fielded a few of these in their heyday.
The 1960 Pirates that upset the Yankees in the World Series after Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run in Game 7.
The 1971 Pirates, who defeated the Phillies in September using an all-black starting lineup, before winning the World Series a month later. Chuck D claimed that this was the reason he fell in love with the team and started the trend of wearing a Pirates cap. The team included Roberto Clemente, one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, as well as Dock Ellis, more well-known for his LSD no-hitter the previous year.
The 1979 Pirates, who won the World Series between the Pittsburgh Steelers winning two Super Bowls.
Other 1970s Badass Crews in baseball included
The 1972-1974 "Swingin'" Oakland A's, which included Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Rollie Fingers, winning three consecutive World Series
The 1970s Cincinnati Reds, aka "The Big Red Machine," including Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey Sr., led by Pete Rose. They appeared in four World Series (losing one to the aforementioned A's), winning two in a row (beating the Red Sox and Yankees)
The "Bronx Zoo" Yankees of the late 1970s, known for conflicts between players, then-new owner George Steinbrenner, and manager Billy Martin (repeatedly fired and rehired by Steinbrenner). The team not only consisted of Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter, who both played in the Swingin A's, but also pitcher Thurmon Munson and Bucky "insert Boston-appropriate language here" Dent. Narratives of the team including The Bronx Is Burning depict the Yankees lifting the morale of a city crippled by an economic shutdown, the Son of Sam killings, and crime lingering in the city then. The Bronx Zoo era, which included the Yankees winning two consecutive World Series (beating the Dodgers twice), ended in 1979 after Munson was killed crashing his private plane.
The New York Islanders ice hockey team, which won four straight Stanley Cup titles between 1980 and 1983.
Several Montreal Canadiens teams accomplished similar feats in several decades.
The Canadiens won five straight from 1956-1960, and four straight from 1976-1979. However, the Islanders played in an expanded league (the Canadiens of the 50s played in a six-team league; by 1980, when the Islanders finally won, the NHL had 21 teams) and had to win more games to get to the finals, which is why those Islander teams hold the record for most consecutive playoff victories (19). Also in the Islanders' favor is the fact that no team since in any of the four major North American professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) has won four consecutive championships. (They reached a fifth straight final)
The Islanders dynasty itself was ended by another badass crew, the Edmonton Oilers, led by Wayne Gretzky. The Oilers won the Cup four times with "The Great One" and won a fifth time after Gretzky was traded (Gretzky himself never won the Cup again after the trade).
The 1996 Chicago Bulls, with their 72-10 winning streak and fourth NBA championship, would qualify. Notable players, led by Phil Jackson, included all stars Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen and Tony Kukoc, as well as a certain guard from North Carolina.
Shaq and Kobe's Lakers, particularly the 2001 team. The Lakers were Badass with 3 straight titles, but the personality clashes between Kobe and Shaq didn't exactly make for a good working environment.
Magic Johnson's Lakers.
Isiah's Pistons. Like the Broad Street Bullies that terrorized the NHL in the 1970s, the "Bad Boys," which also included Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, and Joe Dumars and coached by "Dream Team" coach Chuck Daly, were beloved in Detroit and despised by traditional basketball fans by winning two consecutive championships through violence, intimidation, and lack of sportsmanship (when the Pistons lost to the Bulls in the 1991 playoffs, the Pistons players refused to shake hands after the game).
2006 Miami Heat.
Tim Duncan's Spurs.
The 2008 Boston Celtics.
The 1983 Philadelphia 76ers who only lost 1 game on the road to the championship.
The 1986 Boston Celtics championship team, featuring 5 future hall of famers (Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Dennis Johnson and Kevin McHale).
Ahem. The Dream Team. Forget any city's team, forget the All Star game, this is the crew sent to compete at the highest level in the Olympics. The first one especially, consisting of Magic, Bird, Jordan, Robinson, Ewing, Malone, Barkley, Stocktonand others, is considered the greatest team in basketball, maybe even in any team sport.
The Geelong Cats, an Australian football team, from round five 2007 to the 2009 grand final, which is seventy three matches by the way, they lost seven games in total and became the only team to win eighteen or more games in three consecutive seasons. Some commentators have called them the greatest team of all.
The SANFL team the Central Bulldogs, they've won all but two grand finals since 2000 and came second in the years where they lost.
The English Rugby Union team of 2003. Wilkinson, Dawson, Johnson...
The Liverpool football team of the late 70's/80's. Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Hansen etc.
Brazil's national football team that won the 1958, 1962, and 1970 World Cups. Not only had the best player ever (Pelé), but also a full roster of talented players: Garrincha, Zagallo, Tostão, Gerson, and more. The 1982 team is also considered to be one of the best teams in Brazil's history, even if they didn't win the WC that year (contrast with the teams that won in 1994 and 2002, both considered very inferior to the others).
In the 2006 World Cup, Italy was this. Won the Cup, without ever losing a match. In the 2012 European Cup, they even managed to tame the ultimate Badass Crew of this generation of association football, Spain, with a draw.
...However, in the final of the tournament, they got crushed by Spain, with a 4-0 as result.
Right now regarding association football national teams, Spain takes this trope Up to Eleven. Current winner of the European and World Cups, beaten the former Badass Crew Italy for an incredible 4-0 in the 2012 European Cup finals held in Kiev, Ukraine, and the under-21 national is currently the European champion, beating Italy for a second time. Ouch.
Not scared enough? Their nickname is The Red Fury. Very fitting nickname for a Badass Crew like that.
2010-2012 FC Barcelona. They trampled everyone in the Champions League; they made their biggest rival Real Madrid their bitches in several occasions; and the match against Santos in the FIFA World Championship is considered to be one of the most one-sided games in the history of the tournament (even counting games against African, Asian, North/Central American and Oceanian teams, usually weaker than South American/Europeans ones). When you take the best South American team and keep the ball under your control for 72% of the game time, you're being some badass indeed.
Most Dungeons & Dragons adventuring parties. Groups of (traditionally four) people who depends their lives on each other, fill specific roles, fight violent monsters, and generally perform superhuman feats of heroics (or villainy, as the case may be). Upon reaching a certain level of power, dying doesn't become so much a worry for these people as an inconvenience.
By necessity, any crew of 'Runners in Shadowrun will usually end up becoming this once they survive their first few 'runs together.
Exalted perfect circles tend to fall under both this trope and Five-Man Band at the same time. Which character is occupying which role in the latter tends to vary with the situation.
Sentinels of the multiverse has a badass crew in the form of the heroic Sentinels. Unlike most heroes, teh Sentinels have one hero deck and four hero character cards. Many of thier cards help protect and support the entire team.
The villainous La Capitan has also has a Badass Crew, one she assembled from people whom hail from different time periods, due to her time traveling pirate ship. As per any Badass Crew, they work well together.
On a lesser note, The Crackjaw Crew also are a Badass crew, though not as badass as the Sentinels or La Capitan.
Every Persona game stars one, with the Persona 4 version being a very notable example. The Demon Tamers led by the hero of Devil Survivor are also worthy of mention.
In Planet Alcatraz, the Vampire reconnaissance and sabotage team. To elaborate, they are 4 guys who are dropped into a planet inhabited by prisoners with no equipment and support, then kill everything in their way to complete their mission. Also, they are only cadets fresh out of the academy. Successful completion the mission will make them eligible for consideration to promotion to Private.
By the end of Princess Waltz, Badass Normal Arata Fukamori is leading a Badass Crew consisting of the titular princesses. And yes, they do smite ungodly amounts of ass.
In Utawarerumono, every single retainer of Hakuoro is an utter badass. So much so that when he returns to his original form as a stupidly powerful Physical God and begs them to destroy his insane side forever, they proceed to punch out the equivalent of Cthulhu meets Godzilla to honor his final commands as their commander.
Halo's Spartan-IIs. Members see their fellow Spartans as their only family (they were recruited at the age of 6 and trained together ever since). Possible slight subversion in that they are slightly more numerous than the norm - there were over thirty of them at the program's height.
They become a more typical Badass Crew after most of them die towards the end of the Human-Covenant War, reducing their numbers to a small group of five.
In Halo 3, the Master Chief, Cortana, Sgt. Johnson, and the Arbiter also count as a Badass Crew, as the Chief is the muscles, Cortana is the brains, Johnson is the sniper, and the Arbiter is the stealth-specialist.
This concept also figures into gameplay with the franchise's various co-op modes, with particularly tight Gameplay and Story Intergration with regards to Halo 3 (where each player is a different character; the Chief, the Arbiter, and two special forces Elites) and Halo 4's "Spartan Ops" campaign (where up to four people play as the Spartan-IVs of Fireteam Crimson).
Delta Squad are often split up into pairs, but when the four of them get together, they're practically unstoppable.
The 26th Royal Tyran Infantry, or "Two-Six RTI", which is the regiment that many of the main characters were part of, including Marcus and Dom. Known as "The Unvanquished", they have yet to prove that name wrong.
That's the way most RPGs work: if at first the heroes are a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits at first, by the end of the game and after taking several dozenslevels in badass they usually end up at being roughly 50% of the world military power by themselves.
Though she never actually does go through with her plan, Tohsaka in the True End of Heavens Feel in Fate/stay night has a plan like this. It goes like this: Wait a few years until all necessary materials and abilities are gathered. Then, take her with Zelretch's sword, Shirou's Reality Marble, Sakura with the power of the Grail and Rider with... being Medusa and having an infinite mana supply. Then they'll go and enter tournaments for huge cash prizes because jewel sorcery is not for the poor. And roflstomp everyone because that combination is essentially all powerful. And yes, they are all most definitely capable of stand alone. It's too bad the story ends before she can go through with it and the sequel eats continuity for breakfast.
The Embryon from Digital Devil Saga are so badass they reunite in the afterlife to defeat God.
The Asari, from Mass Effect. They lack the numbers to field a true Badass Army, but their individual special operation units are repeatedly stated to be the most lethal fighters in the entire galaxy that don't include anyone named 'CommanderShepard'.
The Wardog Squadron, a.k.a. the Four Wings of Sand Island, in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. They started out as rookie flight cadets that were forced to fight as frontline units in the beginning of the war. By the middle of the war, you all become known as the Demons of Razgriz, and your very presence on the battlefield scares the enemy shitless. The enemy gets a short respite when your unit is forced to play dead, but upon your comeback, the enemy absolutely freaks out, and your unit not only becomes dubbed the Ghosts of Razgriz, but you all fly in a wicked awesome black color scheme. Yes, the Razgriz are a flying unit of badass.
The Resistance Group from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Unlike most of the other games in the series, this one actually gives Hyrule some citizenry who are willing to do something to help themselves instead of relying solely on the efforts of the green-clad Chosen One. They even help him break into the castle toward the end.
In the Updated Rereleases of The Godfather: The Game, you can pick up a crew of mobsters to help you. In the game of Godfather II you can raise a properly customised bunch to help you out.
Yo-Jin-Bo has your team of six bodyguards. The starting team of wanderers Yo, Jin, Bo, and Mon-Mon could also count.
Your crew in Neverwinter Nights Hordes of the Underdark isn't very large, but among the four (possibly five) people on the team are a part-dragon kobold, a former drow assassin, a slightly insane tiefling, and potentially the ghost of an elf paladin. Led by whatever you feel like making the player character. And the player and two of your compatriots get to beat up Mephistopheles in the end.
The final chapter of Live A Live allows you to make a Badass Crew out of the each of the earlier chapter's heroes minus Oersted, who is the villain. A Badass Crew that can include a caveman, a Chinese monk, a demon-slaying ninja, a cowboy, a streetfighter, a psychic delinquent, and a robot.
There is at least one of these in every single Fire Emblem game, but possibly the most standout example would have to be at the beginning of Path of Radianceand after part 2 of Radiant Dawn: the Greil Mercenaries, and their eventual growth under Ike into a Badass Army. Eventually the band of six or seven mercenaries grows into a 50-character strong army led by a more mature, wiser and altogether completely awesome Four-Star Badass Ike, complete with Ragnell, his Wave Motion Sword.
Subspace Emissary has multiple examples in Super Smash Bros., since all the characters for most of the game are separated into groups. Marth, Meta Knight, and Ike were arguably the most bad ass group, though, and the only ones to stop a detonator from going off.
The Pokémon games revolve around creating a six-strong crew of badasses. And at the end you use them to fight against the Elite Four and Champion, the trainers with the strongest crews in the region.
Star Wars: Republic Commando, normal clones are badass, Delta Squad turn badass Up to Eleven, they were born and bred for badassery. Taking out a droid production facility, retaking an acclamator-class ship from a group of trandoshan slavers and then defending said ship against an army of droids, each one of this four man team is crazy awesome, but together they are one badass crew.
The eponymous killer7 of the Smith Syndicate count.
Suikoden III has the 12th Unit of the Harmonian Southern Frontier Defense Force. Consisting of Geddoe, Ace, Joker, Queen, Jacques and Aila, even if the last one is a trainee. None of them are related, and a good number of them argue frequently when they aren't drunk, or even when they are. But, they are all extreme badasses, having fought and won in several wars.
RED and BLU. The mercs get even more Badass when the two join forces to fight Gray Mann's robot army and preventing him from wiping out Mann Co.
The game Sonic Heroes is all about this, giving you the opportunity to play with three characters at a time.
The main cast of Sluggy Freelance has gradually morphed into this over the years. At first Torg and Riff were the only real close friends, and Bun-Bun was the sole Badass, but as time went by the bonds between them grew stronger, as did their individual badass levels. Gwynn acquired some freaky magical powers, Riff showed everyone what a Mad Scientist with too much time on his hands can do, Torg's become a master swordsman, and Zoe has done pretty well against zombies, vampires, and psychotic assassins. The only character without a sheer moment of awesome at this point is Kiki, unless you count her Caffeine Bullet Time being used to fuel a ferret bazooka. Bub-Bun wielding the Ferret Bazooka would be of a "Moment of Crazy Awesome" for both of them.
Looking for Group: A nigh unstoppable warlock, an extremely skilled archer/swordsman, a cleric capable of reviving the dead as long as she has MOST of the ashes, an axe wielding dwarf, and a guy who tackled/wrestled a dragon and is actually smarter than he is strong.
The Midnight Crew from Homestuck is this, even clownish Club Deuce has killed his fair share of adversaries. The main characters are quickly becoming this, as well.
Master Payne's Circus of Adventure in Girl Genius has shades of this. Mainly because they're able to survive in the countryside populated by giant robots, monsters, and God knows what else. By themselves. And the occasional glitchy Death Ray.
El Goonish Shive also has a badass crew who are a very tightly knit group of teens... and they became so in about 2 or so months.
The original Grand Lake Heroes League in the Legion of Nothing. The current team is working it's way there, but it's a little difficult when the badasses in training are also precocious teens.
Team Kimba of the Whateley Universe. They may just be teenagers at Whateley Academy, but they've already taken out The Necromancer. And his Children of the Night. And the mercenaries he hired just in case Team Kimba showed up again.
The League of S.T.E.A.M. take on ghosts, zombies, werewolves, vampires and all manner of supernatural creatures; each member of the team specializes in a particular supernatural entity but all are competent as part of the team.
In Worm, the Undersiders gain this status somewhere between when they pull off a successful attack on the headquarters of the local superhero teams and when they track down and attack the Siberian — a legendarily invincible supervillain. They eventually become Famed in Story for their power and skill.
The Castle Crew of AJCO grow into one of these. Their leader Nights is a highly skilled scientist proficient in both medical and mechanical fields, her second-in-command Will is a Genius Bruiser with an instinct for machinery, there are no less than four mages - Krauzer, Curls, Blue and Ranger - wielding various types of magic and their youngest member Egg came close to single-handedly taking down AJCO without ever laying a finger on them.
The moment that Nights cracks after a trip into the Friendship Chamber of the Silo they start to break up, however: Egg has finally left for good despite being one of the Crew's founding members and Will and Krauzer are at odds to decide who should be the new leader.
The main group, aka the J-Team, regularly coming up on top versus a number of dangerous opponents and containing some of the most skilled trainers in the RP's universe.
The PEFE Founders, particularly during their takedown of Pokefutures Inc.
The Extras of Orre, a group of vigilantes fighting off Cipher with minimal resources.
The main cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender eventually attains this status; by the end of the show, we have a superpowered KidMessianic Archetype (Aang), a powerful waterbender (Katara), the world's best earthbender and first metalbender (Toph), a powerful firebender and highly skilled swordsman (Zuko), and two Badass Normal warriors (Sokka and Suki). The Order of the White Lotus probably also qualifies.
The Order of the White Lotus. Who retakes Ba Sing Se? A group of epic old men.
In the sequel series The Legend of Korra, The Red Lotus certainly counts, although they are a villainous version of the trope. Their leader is recently turned airbender Zaheer who uses airbending to asphyxiate his victims, the lavabender Ghazan, combustion bender P'Li, and psychopathic waterbender Ming-Hua, who is armless and uses waterbending to create lethal limbs.
Dethklok from Metalocalypse. They may be dumb as a box of particularly dim hammers and they may fight and bitch at each other all the time, but when it really counts, they're thick as thieves (even if they don't admit it). Many of the awesome moments in Metalocalypse double as heartwarmth because they're all at their most badass when they're looking out for each other.
The Galaxy Rangers. The colony worlds love 'em, the core worlds barely tolerate 'em, and they're always just this close to going rogue...but no one's going to argue the fact that Foxx and his Badass Crew are the best weapon the League's got against the Queen of the Crown's superior numbers.
The entire first season of Young Justice was about how you could take a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits and turn them into a hypercompetent fighting team worthy of their mentors' Justice League. By the five-year Time Skip, the team has grown into this full time.
The crew of the USS Enterprise CV(N)-6, the most decorated ship of World War II and the seventh vessel in the history of the US Navy to bear the name. She saw combat in every major campaign of the war in the Pacific and survived the war (though she had to be put in dry dock thanks to a kamikaze strike in the Battle of Okinawa). In fact, she was the only aircraft carrier available to the US Navy for some time after the USS Yorktown and the USS Hornet were sunk at Midway and Guadalcanal, respectively, which meant that she would bear the brunt of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She and her crew held on.
The crew of the naval unit Taffy 3 especially the crews of the USS Johnston and USS Samuel B Roberts. This tiny collection of tin can ships took on a huge fleet of Japanese Battleships and made the Battleships Cry uncle. Particularly of note, is the crew of the destroyer USS Johnston as under the leadership of Ernest E. Evans they took on the Japanese Fleet by themselves TWICE without orders. The second time while heavily damaged!
The crew of Apollo 13. Complete with The Captain, Mission Commander James A. Lovell, Number Two Fred Haise, Ace Pilot Jack Swigert, and featuring the twoCool Ships the Aquarius and the Odyssey. Definitely True Companions, as training to be an astronaut will force you to see the man next to you as family. The crew was so badass, they were able to get back home even after their Cool Ship got busted in mid-flight.
Though a lot of the credit also should go to their Voice with an Internet Connection, the Mission controllers who diagnosed the problem from the telemetry, figured out the rocket burns required to get the crew on a trajectory to return to Earth (using just the Aquarius' engine, since the integrity of Odyssey's could not be determined), developed kludged-together procedures to keep the crew alive, and then worked out how to power the Odyssey back up and bring the crew through re-entry on less power than was thought possible. Badass the crew was, but they were not alone in being badass.
The Zeezura Club devoted to the exploration of the Egyptian and Libyan desert in 1930. Contained many a Badass such as Bagnold, Almasy, and Wingate.
The VF-84 and VF-103 Jolly Rogers fighter squadrons. They are one of the most recognized squadrons in the world, with their sinister skull & crossbones emblem and bold paint schemes. They made the F-14 Tomcat famous, and was the inspiration for the iconic fighter in Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robo Tech.
During the Aleutian Islands Campaign of World War II, the quaintly named 1st Alaskan Combat Intelligence Platoon (Provisional) (aka Castner's Cutthroats) was a unit of just sixty-five men selected to perform reconnaissance missions in the Aleutian Islands during the war. The men—Aleuts, Eskimos, sourdough prospectors, miners, hunters, trappers and fishermen—were chosen for their hardiness and ability to thrive in the harsh cold of the Aleutians. The fact that they survived both the War and the Aleutians (1481 Americans and 4350 Japanese didn't) is testament enough to their baddassery.
Any and all pack-hunting predatory animals. Be it hyenas, Harris Hawks, Deinonychuses...they're all awesome.