Indigenous people tend to be, well, poor. Indigenous people also have a tradition of war, unlike the rest of the world
. So of course they're badasses. No matter what era you're in, if you live in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, indigenous people will be badasses. Rarely seen in the rest of the world, though. The American version of the Badass Native has costuming and prop elements as well. Will often be magical
. Overlaps with Noble Savage
or The Savage Indian
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Anime & Manga
- Tatanka of Eyeshield 21 is the best high school linebacker in America mainly because he's a whopping 6'10. He also wears his hair in a long braid and wears war paint the field.
- Sandman of Steel Ball Run decided to run the titular Epic Race on foot, whereas everyone else has a horse, and routinely places in the upper echelon. His Stand, In A Silent Way, is the second in the series to weaponize Written Sound Effects, and is just as deadly as Echoes.
- James Proudstar a.k.a. Warpath from X-Force is this, when written right. Recently, he has often been the Jobber.
- His brother John, a.k.a. Thunderbird, tried to be this trope as one of the early X-Men, but his extreme temper (he was the resident hothead of a team that included Wolverine) led to him dying on his second mission.
- The DCU has the Super-Chief, whose magical meteorite necklace gives him the "the strength of a thousand bears, the speed of a thousand running deer, the keen senses of the wolf nation, and the power in his legs to leap higher than the tallest trees in the forest"...but only for an hour. In 52, that last tidbit dooms the latest Super-Chief since his enemy has the power to manipulate time.
- Joshua Brand, the hero of Shaman's Tears; chosen to be the champion of Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit of the Sioux.
- Wind In His Hair in Dances with Wolves.
- Billy Bear in Predator.
- Red Blood has a whole tribe of them take on the mob.
- Victor Joseph subverts this trope; he has a "stoic face" to look badass.
- The Fetts, and by extension the Clone Army. George Lucas probably chose Temuera Morrison to play Jango just to invoke this trope.
- The entire cast of Thunderheart.
- Transamerica has Toby talk about how his father's an Indian and a millionaire, only to learn that his father's really a Jew for Jesus who wants to become a woman.
- Hunter from Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.
- Mani from Brotherhood of the Wolf, complete with martial arts.
- Gooch, a huge ex-con just released from prison at the beginning of Dance Me Outside, is certainly playing up to this trope.
- Oberon in Adam R. Brown's Alterien is a Lakota Indian with superhuman strength, superhuman speed, a healing factor and can engage just about anyone in hand-to-hand combat or close-quarters armed combat (knives).
- Sherman Alexie likes to play with this trope:
- The title character in "The Toughest Indian In The World" plays it straight, but is gay.
- Victor Joseph deconstructs it: He has a "stoic" face which involves looking like you just killed a buffalo (because you don't want to look like you just killed a salmon), and he's best friends with Thomas Builds-the-Fire, a gothic-looking storyteller who can't shut up.
- Arnold in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a Memetic Badass for a day. This despite being a nerd and excessive Ho Yay.
- In Flight, Zits enters the body of a Sioux boy, and he tries to prevent Little Big Horn, but... On the badass side of things, his father is compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger, he meets Crazy Horse, and he's in the most badass tribe in North America. He later meets his father, who is not a badass at all.
- Moon in At Play in the Fields of the Lord.
- The Fremen in the first three Dune novels.
- Uncas and Chingachgook from James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans.
- In The Dresden Files, Joseph Listens-to-Wind. He's the Nice Guy on the Senior Council, sure— but he can also turn into a bear and go toe-to-toe with demigod-level Eldritch Abominations. Also, the fact that he is on the Senior Council means he is one of the seven most powerful and skilled magicians in the world.
- In the Time Scout series, this is the general consensus on downtimers. Don't mess with them; they'll probably kill you. More specifically, the downtimers on-station, Skeeter's Mongolian family, and Jack the Ripper.
Live Action TV
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had Tommy Oliver. Played with because he was raised white and it didn't come into play until late season three of MMPR (and was revisited during Zeo).
- Deadliest Warrior has had the Apache and Comanche featured in episodes, demonstrating just how lethal and badass they were in real life.
- Hawk from Twin Peaks is this trope.
- Criminal Minds has John Black Wolf. He's the de facto leader/police of his reservation, and when a group of armed men come with the intention of murdering their children to start a race war, he beats the crap out of them with his bare hands and a knife for self-defense. And he doesn't kill a single one outright.
- Iron Maiden's song "Run to the Hills" has this, though it also outright says that the US Army won because of superior numbers.
We fought him hard, we fought him well. Out on the plains, we gave him hell!
But many came, too much for Cree. Oh will we ever be set free?
- Johnny Cash's "The Ballad of Ira Hayes"
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse has two extant tribes consisting mainly of American Indians in the present day. The Uktena are Magical Native American, whereas the Wendigo are pretty much this trope down to the core. They're one of the major warriors tribes in what's already a Proud Warrior Race, were quite active in AIM in the Sixties, and still have a bit of grudge with the Europe-based tribes.
- The vampire tribes of Zendikar were designed with this trope in mind.
- This trope is taken advantage of by the Imperium in Warhammer 40,000 - with countless worlds within its galactic borders and varying conditions and technologies on them, there are some which are so harsh that the world's inhabitants will be at Stone Age technology. Having individuals who survive harsh conditions and prosper with little more than their own strength, they are commonly used as recruits for the Adeptus Asartes.
- The Eldar Exodites, the descendants of those who saw the terrible depravity and hedonism of the Eldar before The Fall, and fled to the uncivilized backwater worlds on the edge of their empire, places where they'd be forced to work hard to survive. Basically, they're Amish dinosaur-riding cowboy Wood Elves IN SPACE. They tend to keep to themselves, but they're more than capable of schooling anyone who is stupid enough to try and conquer their worlds. In one Black Library book, the Imperium launched an assault on one of the Exodite worlds, and while the Exodites lost eventually, the Imperium needed three Space Marine legions to get the job done. Yes, you just read that right: not "chapters", but legions. Pre-Horus Heresy legions.
- Soloha Salawa, a celebrated Hopi Ace Pilot from Crimson Skies.
- Gala from Burn:Cycle belongs to a terrorist cell of computer-hacking Natives. In the future.
- Pictured above is Nightwolf, from the Mortal Kombat series.
- Thunder Hawk from Street Fighter is probably the single tallest playable character in the series ("probably" because Hugo doesn't have an official height and they've never been in the same game). Let's just say this affords him an intimidating presence).
Goku Soaring Eagle in Whomp 'Em.
- Chief Thunder
- Vulcan Raven. Genius Bruiser, Inuit Shaman, prefers to fight with a 20 mm rotary fighter cannon.
- Tommy from Prey. Long hair, leather jacket, mechanic, first seen getting in a bar brawl with some rednecks before he takes on the alien horde. Also crosses over with Magical Native American.
- Badu from Septerra Core. He's actually an Underlost mutant from Shell 7, and looks like a xenomorph with knives. He's one of the party's more effective fighters, taking the role of the Mighty Glacier.
- Connor aka Ratohnhakéton, the lead character in Assassin's Creed III, is the child of a British soldier and a Mohawk woman.
- Natan in Shadow Hearts: From the New World.
- Soloha Salawa, a celebrated Hopi Ace Pilot from Crimson Skies. He flies an appropriately badass◊ fighter plane.
- Tau and Atahua from Battle Arena Toshinden 3.
- Chief Scalpem from Sunset Riders. Despite his unfortunate sounding name, he is universally considered far harder than any other boss in the game, including the last boss. Flipping about the screen at breakneck speed and raining throwing knives on your posse, the level of difficulty in this fight is worthy of a Bullet Hell shooter. Even seasoned players end up burning at least one coin on this guy.
- King of the Hill's John Redcorn double-subverts this. At first, he averts it, but when Big Mountain Fudgecake is introduced, he plays it straight until he realizes he can make more money with children's songs.
- John Thunder, the Native American member of the Centurions.
- Jefferson Trueblood from Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends.
- Nathan Explosion of Metalocalypse is only half native american, bit he fits the trope none the less
- Injun Joe the Superchief from the Looney Tunes short "Wagon Heels".