Like the Badass Longcoat
in modern settings, a character who wears a long robe in a fantasy setting will invariably be Badass
. Like the Badass Cape
, this can be used to dramatic effect by billowing in the wind
, but it also has the advantage of being potentially All Encompassing
to add an air of mystery. Plus, it looks good with a hood
. Expect many monks to be this.
aside, in a Fight Scene
, a battle can be made so much easier if your movements are being concealed (foot-work, on-coming punches, etc.). Also, there's a sadistic joy to be taken from unnerving an enemy who can't see the damage he does
nor the point he's aiming at. Suffice it to say, a person in a robe is an enigma both in battle and outside of it.
As per Rule of Cool
, this can be used to produce many impressive visual effects: anytime this character jumps (usually from a great height), they'll appear to have wings
; when the character spins
, they'll take on the look of a violently twisting spiral; when they dash or rush forward, they look like a human bullet.
If martial arts are involved, odds are good that the robe will have Dragons Up the Yin Yang
Compare with Robe and Wizard Hat
which is often more oriented to magic-users
and Black Cloak
which is generally worn by evil characters.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Akatsuki of Naruto. ANBU Black Ops sometimes wear these as well.
- And just to show how powerful the Badass Long Robe really is, Akatsuki members tend to die not long after ditching their robes.
- When they take off their badass robes, they go into combat. The only time we see a battle without the main characters, it's because it's relevant to the plot. Which usually means that they tend to die making them Elite Mooks.
- Arguably, the formal garb for a Kage counts. Bonus points for the Nice Hat.
- Minato Namikaze and (briefly) Naruto both sport particularly badass long robes with flame designs on them.
- Naruto's full Rikudou/Kyuubi form has a cloak made of chakra which resembles that of the Sage of the Six Paths. It is so potently Bad Ass that Kakashi thinks he just saw his long-dead sensei, Minato.
- The many characters in Mahou Sensei Negima! tend to fall between this and Robe and Wizard Hat - since the series' slight Genre Shift towards Wuxia and martial arts, most of the wizardly characters qualify for both. In particular,
Albireo Imma Ku:nel Sanders during the Tournament Arc, the protagonist Negi and his father Nagi. Later, we meet the Final Boss whose outfit runs the gamut between this and Black Cloak. Interestingly, the Red Shirt wizards tend more towards All-Encompassing Mantle. In a non-wizard example, Tatsumiya donned one once as a part of her Cold Sniper persona.
- The Miroku brothers of Get Backers.
- Subverted in Ranma ½. Mousse routinely wears long Chinese robes as his signature outfit, and his first appearance makes him out as strong and capable. Then something goofy happens (in the manga, the concrete roller he sliced in half falls on his head and knocks him out, in the anime, he starts wolfing down the bowl of ramen he just did an acrobatic routine with without spilling) and his "Bad Ass Cred" is gone in an instant, firmly establishing him as something of the Butt Monkey. Shinnosuke seems to be a Bad Ass marital artist in a janitor's uniform who is a master of fighting with a pushbroom... but he has such a horrible memory he just keeps making an idiot of himself by, say, stumbling headfirst into his own boobytraps.
- In Pokemon Special, Blue wears one while training Yellow.
- In One Piece, Zoro is now sporting one after the time skip. Somehow it does make him look even more badass.
- Deadman Wonderland has ultra Buddhist priest Genkaku whose robe has flame designs on it.
- In Bleach, the Quincies from the Vandenreich wear all a white long robe.
- Prince Of Orphans of Marvel's Immortal Iron Fist. The second arc was about a tournament between the Seven Cities of Heaven and their Immortal Weapons. Since it happens only once every seventy-seven years, and the weapons themselves aren't immortal (just the title and post, it seems), certain things are expected. However, one of the combatants defies them: he was at the last tournament, and if anything he's even more dangerous, and the heavy favorite. He mostly keeps to himself, and wears an all-concealing, plain, heavy brown robe. May actually be a minor subversion, as while he's certainly still wearing the robe when he fights, he turns into omnipresent green mist that seems to beat the shit out of his opponent from all sides.
- V, of course.
- The Jedi Knights, naturally. Maybe most obvious in The Phantom Menace, although Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Darth Maul all drop their long outer robes before the big fight.
- Neo wears a cassock in the last two movies.
- Badass Longrobes make many many appearances in oriental period action movies Like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero.
- In Fight Club, Brad Pitt is commonly seen wearing a bathrobe and sunglasses and generally being a badass extremist leader figure.
- Ip Man, though he does take it off from time to time.
- Doctor Impossible of Soon I Will Be Invincible.
- While the series tends towards Robe and Wizard Hat, Dumbledore of Harry Potter most definitely counts (impressive for a character who doesn't kill).
- Banshees in Discworld appear like this; they're actually folded wings. Also subverted when Mr. Horsefry wears a cloak while sneaking over to the Big Bad, its noted by the Big Bad's servant how conspicuous it makes him look.
- Lord Vetinari himself wears plain black robes, and can convey more Badass-edness with a sharp glance than most characters could with adamantium claws and a pulse rifle.
- Then there are the Wizards of Unseen University. Cross them, and the only chance you have is to sneak away while they argue over what the most appropriate thing to do to you is. If you're unlucky, the Librarian will decide to drop lightly on top of you and try to unscrew your head.
- Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings is one of the better known examples.
- Justified in the Night Watch series. Magical items must be recharged after each use, and the Inquisitors' robes prevent anyone from seeing just how heavily armed they are.
- The Warrior Monk brethren of Mount Angel in S. M. Stirling's Emberverse, especially Abbot-Bishop Dmwoski and Father Ignatius.
- The wizards of the White Council in The Dresden Files tend to dress in these in formal settings, from the Wardens to the Merlin. Harry's, however, is a ratty old bathrobe.
- The Man in Black, Walter O'Dim in The Dark Tower series.
- Mistborn wear a cloak made of multilayered strips of fabric called a Mistcloak. It's partially camoflage, but mostly it exists to look stylish and inform everyone in sight that the wearer is not to be messed with.
Live Action TV
- Despite having a snappy Uniform *and* a Spandex suit, the Red Ranger in Power Rangers in Space still managed to sport a Badass Long Robe, making him one of the best dressed of any of the Power Rangers. He even managed to wear it in the anniversary special.
- Cantus the Minstrel on Fraggle Rock wears a metallic, tie-dyed medieval robe, but the effect is more or less the same, as his badassery lies in his wisdom and quiet strength. He's also got the enigma thing down, many times over.
- Lucien LaCroix of Forever Knight, in flashback scenes. And he's sometime's a Badass Longcoat in modern day. So is Nick Knight, for that matter, but Lucien is so much more badass.
- While Bad Ass is probably not the right word for it, Prior Walter from Angels In America does don a long black robe after the visit from the Angel, revealing him as "the Prophet".
Belize: "You look like Morticia Addams."
Prior: "Like the wrath of God."
Prior: "That is the intended effect."
- Lightning in the very beginning of Final Fantasy XIII sports a long robe, though this is technically subverted in that she is disguised as a victim of the Purge, and everyone around her who isn't a guard is also wearing one.
- Thanos in Fantasia - Requiem of the Abyss and a few concept art pieces of Fantasia - Momento of Grand Finale.
- Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad, Son of No-One of Assassins Creed I is one of the greatest examples of the bird-like visual motif that this trope invokes (which is why they call him "The Eagle"). Badass profession, badass clothing, badass guy, badass name. The trope fits like a hidden-blade gauntlet.
- Same with Ezio Auditore Da Firenze, star of the second game.
- The members of Organization XIII, as well as Mickey Mouse, in Kingdom Hearts II were technically wearing robes, making them this rather than Badass Longcoats.
- The Shaper class in the Geneforge series wear long hooded robes that are open at the front. So do the serviles, but they aren't badass as often.
- In the first Knights of the Old Republic game, Jedi robes are only the rather forgettable sort of tunic-ish things, without the gigantic over-robes. In the second game, all Jedi robes come with over-robes.
- In The Old Republic trailers, this trope is taken up to twelve. There are three trailers with seriously-animated combat, and all of them have all of the attributes of this trope.
- Many of the more expensive robes in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was very pimped-up.
- Members of the Dark Brotherhood in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion are given a moderately badass set of armour. The high-ranking members get robes with extra bonuses to badass.
- Warhammer Online has the Warrior Priests and their Destruction equivalent, the Disciples of Khaine. Being that rare kind of healer that does its thing from melee, they certainly qualify for the Bad Ass denotation.
- An evil example include Dalles from the Ys Series.
- The Hexer class from Etrian Odyssey certainly qualifies.
- Devil Survivor has Naoya, whose attire wouldn't be very noteworthy if it weren't for the robe (or haori) that he wears. It even has a Matrix Raining Code.
- The Judgement Armor in World of Warcraft. Though it is now widely outdated, it's still considered one of the best looking armors in the game.
- Expect to see a lot of these thanks to the upcoming Transmogrification.
- Lucia in Lunar: Eternal Blue.
- Ghetsis/Geechisu from Pokemon would count as well.
- Lezard Valeth from Valkyrie Profile. A bad, bad wizard.
- Shadow Era has two of its heroes, Nishaven (as seen on the homepage) and Eladwen Frostmire, sporting these.
- Death in Castlevania wears one of these. In the Sorrow games, "Death's Robe" is even an equip-able item and one of the best armors in the game.
- The wise and Bad Ass Shinto priest Kamimura from Broken Saints is hardly ever seen without his trademark purple robe.