->''"If the crew doesn't hate the [[NumberTwo XO]], then he isn't doing his job."''
-->-- '''Col. Saul Tigh''', ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''

This is a type of ensemble, in which the top authority figure rules in a more refined way and the under boss in a more straightforward way. That is, TheCaptain will be an OfficerAndAGentleman and AFatherToHisMen. When he needs to intimidate he will use subtle means like a DeathGlare. By contrast lower level bosses like a FatherNeptune, a SergeantRock or, if the crew is unlucky, DrillSergeantNasty will be harsh and direct in their method of rule.

In villainous organisations, a BigBad who is WickedCultured, AffablyEvil or otherwise [[NonActionBigBad physically non-threatening]] is likely to have a more aggressive and in-your-face {{Dragon}} to put [[VillainousDemotivator the fear of god]] into his {{Mooks}} and the good guys alike; see TheHeavy.

This is to some degree TruthInTelevision. Not only is it a holdover from class differences, but it reflects the fundamental difference between the two roles: The officer must concern himself with the big picture, providing direction to his unit in the form of plans and orders, while the NCO's business is in the details, enforcing discipline, maintaining the unit's proficiency, and personally directing his soldiers in battle. It can also be a useful psychological trick that bears relations with GoodCopBadCop; the unit NCO (or executive officer, in a naval command structure) serves where necessary as the generic "bad guy" so that the officer commanding can retain the role of "good guy", which helps to maintain command authority, and also reserves the harshest of consequences for those cases where they're genuinely merited.

Readily capable of subversion, as that refined top figure [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking is the boss for a reason]] and [[LetsGetDangerous might be very dangerous]] if his full attention is called for.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Taki and Klaus of ''Manga/MaidenRose'' fit this trope, although their positions are more analogous to "colonel" and "captain" respectively. Although Klaus is shown to have a lot of concern for his subordinates in action, he is distastefully viewed by Taki's compatriots as wild and rough-around-the-edges, and he is very frank with orders. In contrast Taki is idolized by his troops who see him as someone who can never do wrong, and the DeathGlare is the most he will exercise on his own men. At one point Taki does come closer to the "rough" side however, when he uses training to vent his own frustration, resulting in him ruthlessly beating soldiers (one of whom was already injured) foolish enough to try their luck against him.
* [[EnsignNewbie Shiro Amada]] and [[SergeantRock Karen Joshua]] of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam''.
* [[TeamMom Lieutenant Filicia Heideman]] and [[HotBlooded Sergeant Rio Kazumiya]] of ''Anime/SoundOfTheSky''.
* Minna and Mio of ''Anime/StrikeWitches'' are a Wing Commander Smooth and a Lieutenant Commander Rough.
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' has the mother-like Captain Takamachi Nanoha and the gruff FieryRedhead Vice-Captain Vita. However, do not try to push your luck with Nanoha. [[MilitaryMaverick Risk the safety of the team by ignoring her advice and orders enough times]] and you will learn why [[FanNickname fans call her]] [[GoodIsNotSoft the White Devil]]. Their partnership proves so successful, in fact, that they seem to have made it a permanent arrangement in ''[[Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid ViVid]]'' and ''[[Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce Force]]''.
* Erwin Smith and Levi Ackerman from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' could count as this, with Erwin as the charismatic commander of the Recon Corps and Levi as his icy, bitter, and sometimes downright brutal second-in-command. This might be a subversion, though - Erwin can be just as dangerous as Levi in his own way.
* The Blue King, Reisi Munakata, and his second, Seri Awashima, in ''Anime/{{K}}''. Munakata is always rather genteel, while Awashima is always the one to suggest more drastic measures.
--> '''Munakata:''' I want all our eyes and ears on this. \\
'''Awashima:''' Of course. And if our eyes and ears don't quickly produce results, we shall eliminate them.
* In ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'', the Principal and Vice-Principal of Verone Academy are like this, in that the Principal is more laid-back while the Vice-Principal often scolds and lectures the students.
* In ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', Hijikata Toushirou is maintaining order and discipline and is viewed as ''Demonic Vice-Commander'', so Kondou Isao can be Shinsengumi's beloved commander.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica occasionally features this during his WWII adventures, with the Sergeant usually being Sgt. ComicBook/NickFury, but his first mission featured Bucky as the Sergeant Rough as seen in ''[[{{Wolverine}} Wolverine Origins]]''.
* The comic version of ''Film/ThreeHundred'' had a '''King Smooth and Captain Rough'''. Leonidas was usually very calm and stoic while his Captain was brutish and violent.
* ''ComicBook/DeffSkwadron'' inverts this as much as possible with both being orks: Uzgob is the Skwadron Kommanda, cheerfully ordering his boyz to fire on (vaguely) friendly targets (and personally trying to shoot [[TheStarscream Raznuts]]), while his smartboy navigator Gimzod is the one telling the story. And then there's Killboy, who despite ''not'' being a smartboy actually manages to sound high(er)-class than any other ork.
--> '''Uzgob:''' Killboy! Ain't you dead yet?\\
'''Killboy:''' Minor wounds, sir. Nuthin' the mediks and a few more bionik bitz can't fix. 'Avin' survived the destruction of my own bomma an' liberated this 'ere enemy aircraft I wuz just about to take off an' re-kommence attackin' the target when you blew it up, sir!

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5382984/1/Big-Human-on-Campus Big Human on Campus,]]'' the new captain and vice-captain of the Enforcers, [[spoiler: Tsukune and Ranma respectively]], tend to fall into this category.
* ''Fanfic/{{Legionnaire}}'' has the officers of the titular legion be at least a tiny bit more civilized than the enlisted, if only for the sake of brass and dignitaries.
* Telny and Keffiyeh practically embody this trope in ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/racer-and-the-geek Racer And The Geek.]]''
* Lieutenant Philip Holtack, a Britsh Army officer stranded in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' with part of his unit in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6159511/1/Slipping-Between-Worlds Slipping Between Worlds]]'', has cause to reflect on this and is thankful his platoon sergeant has slipped with him. Holtack also muses on the various types of Universal Sergeants based on several familiar Discworld characters.
* The titular Dusk Guard from Fanfic/TheDuskGuardSaga has an inversion. Captain Steel is a stern, no-nonsense officer, while his second in command, [[AwesomeAussie Lieutenant Hunter]], is an easy-going individual.
* {{Inverted}} in the ''Fanfic/BaitAndSwitchSTO'' SharedUniverse. Captain Kanril Eleya is a {{Ladette}} with a blue-collar upbringing and a [[SirSwearsALot foul mouth]], whereas her crew members tend to be more typically genteel Starfleet personnel. {{Justified}} in that Eleya originally came UpThroughTheRanks and transferred to Starfleet from a different military service (the Bajoran Militia).

* Inverted in ''Film/ThreeKings''. Here it's actually [[TheCaptain Captain Doug Van Meter]] who's the resident hardass, while Sergeant First Class Troy Barlow is the more laid back and easy going one.
* ''Film/{{Glory}}'': The commander is an OfficerAndAGentleman while the two sergeants are rougher and less refined. One is a SergeantRock and the other a DrillSergeantNasty.
* ''Film/{{Zulu}}'' In this, the sergeant is a fairly good natured fellow, but has an "unpolished" feel to him. The Captain is an upper class Dandy and GreatWhiteHunter portrayed by Michael Caine.
* In ''Film/TopGun'', Tom Skerrit (Viper) and Creator/MichaelIronside (Jester) are Trope Codifiers.
* Ironside gets his chance to be the Captain Smooth in ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' to Creator/ClancyBrown's Sgt. Zim, who is the Sergeant Rough.
* Optimus Prime and Ironhide in the ''Film/TransformersFilmSeries''.
* In ''Film/GIJane'', Command Master Chief John James Urgayle is Captain Smooth (only once does he ever bark at a trainee), while his two subordinate instructors jointly fill the Sergeant Rough position.
* In ''Film/WeWereSoldiers'', Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore and [[OldSoldier Command Sergeant Major Plumley]] fit this trope.
* ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'''s Captain Miller (Creator/TomHanks) and Sgt. Horvath (Tom Sizemore).
* John Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy":
** In ''Film/SheWoreAYellowRibbon'' and ''Rio Grande'' Creator/JohnWayne plays the commanding officer while Victor [=McLaglan=] plays his loyal sergeant. In the first film ''Film/FortApache'' Henry Fonda is the commanding officer and Ward Bond as the Sergeant-Major.
** In ''Film/FortApache'' this trope is even discussed in a scene where the young lieutenant O'Rourke seems embarrassed as he is about to train a platoon of recruits, the sergeants comment that young O'Rourke is a gentleman and training recruits is not a job for a gentleman. And then they take it over.
* A non-military example occurs in ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'', with Warden Norton filling the role of Captain Smooth and Captain Hadley being the Sergeant Rough. These roles are apparent in the dressing-down of the new meat.
* In ''Film/TheThinRedLine'' Captain Staros is the smooth one and 1st Sgt. Welsh the rough.
* At the end of the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' movie, the roles are flipped. [[TheKirk Kirk]], a former JerkWithAHeartOfGold and MilitaryMaverick, is in the command chair with cool, collected [[TheSpock Spock]] as his first officer. Note the original Kirk was not rough around the edges in any sense, but was an OfficerAndAGentleman despite sharing certain traits (such as womanizing and hubris) with his AU counterpart.
* ''Film/XMenApocalypse'' features a paramilitary group variation--this is [[Characters/XMenFilmSeriesProfessorCharlesXavier Professor X]]'s and Mystique's dynamic with the X-Men in the final scene. Xavier is AFatherToHisMen who looks after his protégés as individuals, while it's Raven's duty as the SergeantRock to discipline the team so that it functions smoothly as a unit. It suits not only their roles, but their personalities as well: Charles is very sentimental and enjoys being affectionate, whereas Mystique was influenced by Magneto and she had adopted his mindset that the successful completion of a mission is much more important than sentiment.
* Although both are officers, ''Film/VonRyansExpress'' has Colonel Ryan and Major Fincham. Ryan is a self-declared "90 Day Wonder" who was drafted in to serve as an Army pilot, earning his rank of colonel due to age and education. Fincham is a major but has lived his whole life as a battlefield soldier, and obsesses over discipline and adhering to a code of behavior that Ryan can't fathom. They clash early and often over every step Ryan implements, with Ryan proved right some times and Fincham proved right at other times.
* In ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'', Blondie (the Good) and Tuco (the Ugly) are captured by Union soldiers and brought to a harsh prison camp (they were both wearing Confederate uniforms at the time and Tuco had foolishly shouted some pro-Confederate remarks just before being captured). There are three officers shown to be running the camp, and the two most prominently shown are the extremely brutal Corporal Wallace and Angel Eyes (the Bad). The commandant is actually a decent guy who tries to get the two brutal officers to treat the prisoners fairly. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, he's dying from an infected wound, and unable to stop the two officers from taking prisoners inside a building just so they can beat the crap out of them.]]
* ''Film/TheDeparted'' has another non-military example. Creator/MarkWahlberg's Staff Sergeant Dignam is much more coarse and rough when compared to Creator/MartinSheen's diplomatic Captain Queenan.
* ''Film/{{Gettysburg}}''--and ''The Killer Angels'', the book it was based on--features Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his sergeant Buster Kilrain. Chamberlain is [[BadassBookworm an academic and a professor]], Kilrain is a rough, sarcastic, out-and-out career soldier. Between them they keep the 20th Maine up and running for its CrowningMomentOfAwesome at Little Round Top.
* ''Film/{{Utu}}'' features the upper class British officers Lt Scott and the villainous Col. Elliot, an English aristocrat with a love of sherry and fox hunting. The loyalist Maori enlisted men are led by NobleSavage veteran Corporal Wiremu.
* {{Inverted}} in ''Film/CrimsonTide''--[[TheCaptain Captain Ramsey]] is the hardass in contrast to the more reasonable [[NumberTwo XO Hunter]].

* Creator/GeorgeMacDonaldFraser's ''Literature/McAuslan'' series about life in a Highland regiment circa 1947 has this in spades. Best-illustrated by Lieutenant [=MacKenzie=], the son of a baronet and "politically somewhere to the right of Louis [=XIV=]", and Sergeant [=McCaw=], an ardent Communist and former labour union agitator, who run their platoon like a well-oiled machine despite a tendency to (loudly and sometimes violently) argue politics with each other in front of their men.
* Creator/HarryTurtledove is fond of this trope in general.
** ''Literature/OverTheWineDarkSea'': Menedemos, the captain is the MagneticHero while Diokles the FatherNeptune type oarmaster, bellows at the men. Menedemos even describes to his cousin Sostratos the synergy between his method and that of Diokles.
** Another use is the relationship between refined Roman tribune Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and his SirSwearsALot centurion Gaius Philippus in the ''Literature/{{Videssos}}'' series.
* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'':
** In one scene, a bosun beats up a recalcitrant sailor. Hornblower is grateful that he is a Captain and too exalted to do such things as he is probably not a good enough fighter.
** Hornblower and his loyal first officer William Bush fit this trope quite well. Though Bush is in no way unusually rough for his time -- it's rather that Hornblower has very modern views about discipline and punishment.
* Inverted in the book ''Literature/EndersGame'', and Ender even has a psychological reason for it: mercy and good consequences should come from his troops' immediate commanders, discipline and bad consequences from he, Ender, as the overall commander, mainly so it bonds his squads into tighter units willing to protect each other.
* In Creator/RobinHobb's ''Literature/LiveshipTraders'' trilogy, it's mentioned a few times that the captain gives the orders and the first mate beats the men into line when necessary.
* Captain Roenel and his First Mate, Pelez, play this very straight in ''Literature/TheReynardCycle''.
* In first two novels of ''[[Literature/TheRiftwarCycle The Serpentwar Saga]]'' by Creator/RaymondEFeist, The aloof half-elven Captain Calis with super-human strength and senses, and the rough, foul-mouthed Sergent [=DeLoungeville=] are an obvious fit.
* In ''Literature/WatershipDown'' Hazel is the Captain Smooth, and Bigwig is the Sergeant Rough. Inverted with their Efrafran counterparts: General Woundwart is a brute who rules by force and Captain Campion is a calm-headed strategist.
* The Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' has [[EnsignNewbie Lieutenant Blouse]] as the soft, inexperienced "Rupert" with [[SergeantRock Sergeant Jackrum]] as the experienced, conniving, shouty NCO who [[ChessmasterSidekick actually makes the decisions]].
** In the Night Watch, the roles are reversed. People tend to respect Commander Vimes, but everyone seems to genuinely ''like'' his second-in-command, Captain Carrot.
** Averted in Eric, where the captain is TheNeidermeyer (his training being in composing victory odes and heroic poses) and the sergeant is SergeantRock (''his'' training consisted of 50+ years of fighting and not getting eaten by the various horrible creatures the Discworld has to offer).
* The main character of ''Literature/CodexAlera'', Tavi, is the calm, refined, [[GuileHero highly intelligent]] and [[TheCallPutMeOnHold singularly unpowered]] [[TheCaptain captain]]; his primary lieutenants are the absurdly powerful BoisterousBruiser Maximus and the cynical, grizzled veteran centurion Valiar Marcus. This is one of the subversions, though-- Tavi is probably [[BadassNormal the most dangerous of the lot]], due to a combination of intellect, [[CrazyEnoughToWork creativity]], training, and sheer [[RefugeInAudacity badass audacity]].
* ''Literature/TourOfTheMerrimack'' has this sort of contrast between John Farragut, the smooth captain of the ''Merrimack'', and TR Steele, the rough colonel who leads its SpaceMarines.
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, headmaster Albus Dumbledore and deputy headmistress Minerva [=McGonagall=] fit this pretty well. Dumbledore is the EccentricMentor and generally doesn't seem to care much about school rules being enforced. [=McGonagall=] is a serious SternTeacher, although she is occasionally NotSoStoic. In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone Philosopher's Stone]]'', Dumbledore catches Harry out of bed after curfew and his response is to have a nice mentorly talk with him. Later on in the same book, [=McGonagall=] catches Harry and friends out after curfew and her response is to dock a shitload of points and give them all detentions.
* In the ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'', Belisarius has Valentinian as his personal enforcer. When someone disobeys orders in the middle of a battle, Valentinian [[OffWithHisHead handles it very efficiently]].
* ''Literature/HaloGhostsOfOnyx'':
** Invoked as the difference between [[AFatherToHisMen Kurt]] and [[DrillSergeantNasty Mendez]]:
--->'''Kurt:''' Chief, I'm sorry that order had to come from you.\\
'''Mendez:''' I understand, sir. You're the CO. You have to inspire and command their respect. I'm their drill instructor. I get to be their worst nightmare.
** Later when the Sentinels start to attack, the Spartans (on a training exercise) wonder if they're hearing artillery strikes. They conclude that while Kurt wouldn't use artillery against them, there's a good chance that Mendez would.
* According to various Warhammer 40k novels and video games, it is a normal relationship between CO's and commissars.
** In [[Literature/CiaphasCain Ciaphas Cain]] novel series almost everyone in Valhallan 597th is a surprisingly nice person. When dealing with some uncooperative civilians however, colonel Kasteen is the one being polite, while commissar Cain and major Broklaw are the ones threatening them with violence and/or prosecution.
** Jarran Kell and Ursakar E. [[{{SayMyName}} CREEEEEEEEED]] deserve special mention, as they basically embody the trope among [[{{BadassArmy}} Astra Militarum]] named characters.
* As expected in ''Literature/{{Destroyermen}}'', Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy is the calm and calculating captain of the USS ''Walker''. Chief Bosun's Mate Fitzhugh Gray, his NumberTwo, is a typical senior NCO who yells at the crew to do their jobs to avoid attracting Reddy's wrath. [[spoiler:Brad "Spanky" [=McFarlane=] takes over after Gray is killed saving Reddy and tries to fill Gray's shoes]].
* In ''Literature/StarksWar'', officers are notably fancier in their speech and manners than the gruff and forthright Sergeant Stark. Unlike a lot of examples of this trope, though, the smoothness of the officers is a distinctly negative trait they're not so much OfficerAndAGentleman as they are [[PointyHairedBoss Pointy-Haired Bosses]] in uniform, addicted to a military version of management-speak and unwilling to listen to "impertinent" enlisted personnel who actually know what's going on. The officers stay unflinchingly smooth and urbane even as they [[GeneralFailure get vast numbers of their troops slaughtered]].
* ''Literature/TheUnknownSoldier'' has the SugarAndIcePersonality Lieutenant Koskela (who's also the TeamMom) and the BoisterousBruiser Sergeant Hietanen (who's also [[AllLovingHero the all-loving]] [[TheHeart heart]] of the team).

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Inverted in ''Series/DadsArmy'' where Captain Mainwaring is a oafish but brave amateur and Sergeant Wilson is a suave aristocrat with extensive military experience. Mainwaring's (and Wilson's) intense awareness of the class inversion was a comedy goldmine. Only in the last episode was it revealed that Wilson was indeed a genuine Regular Army Captain Smooth from the previous war. He was filling in as sergeant so that Mainwaring could be Captain if he wanted to; having been a real captain he had no intention of squabbling over who should be a Home Guard captain at his time of life.
* In ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', Hunt is the captain smooth, while Valentine bears some traces of sergeant rough.
* In ''Series/BostonPublic'', Principal Steven Harper is smooth (shaved head!) and tactful, while Scott Guber, the Vice Principal, is a strict disciplinarian with a knack for intimidating...and the funny thing is that Steven is just a scowl away from being a ScaryBlackMan, while Guber is a short, slim, and normally unremarkable white guy.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Robb Stark and Greatjon Umber in Season 1. Robb is acclaimed as The King in the North during the War of the Five Kings and despite his young age, he commands great respect and is AFatherToHisMen. Greatjon Umber is Robb's chief northern advisor and is a formidable and proud bannerman of House Stark but can be a DrillSergeantNasty when commanding the men.
* In ''Series/UltimateForce'', Col. Aidan Dempsey (Miles Anderson) is the Captain Smooth, while Ross Kemp's SSGT Henry 'Henno' Garvie fits the Sgt Rough trope to a T.
* To a lesser extent, Gustavo and Griffin of ''Series/BigTimeRush'' fit this trope. Griffin (who owns the record company) is smooth and collected, while Gustavo (who works under him) yells a lot.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'': In the reimagined series, Admiral Adama and Colonel Tigh. [[AFatherToHisMen Adama]] knows the name and face of every single member of his crew by heart, has demonstrated that he will go to war over every last one of them, and has a DeathGlare with [[http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Adama_Glare its own page on the Battlestar Wiki]]. [[ColonelBadass Tigh]], on the other hand, openly states in the pilot miniseries "If the crew doesn't hate the XO, he's not doing his job" and does no small amount of ball-busting to enact Adama's orders.
* [[OfficerAndAGentleman Winters]] and [[BloodKnight Speirs]] on ''Series/BandOfBrothers'', kind of. Also TruthInTelevision. Inverted in the first episode. Captain Sobel is the DrillSergeantNasty while Lieutenant Winters is the nice officer the men like.
* ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' inverts this: Malcolm Reynolds, who keeps his Sergeant Rough from his war days, calls himself a captain. His [[TheLancer Lancer]], Zoe, is calm, cool, and collected, even when she's about to ''end'' you.
* Inverted in the remake of ''Series/HawaiiFive0''. Despite being in charge, Steve is the biggest wildcard on the team and is known for his inventive interrogation techniques, while Danny is much more by-the-book and civilized.
* Sharpe and Harper in ''{{Sharpe}}'', though Sharpe is somewhat less refined than most officers.
** Sharpe himself fulfils this role for a couple of his commanders, notably [=McCandless=], Lawford and Wellington himself.
** The first two (chronological) novels also give us the Heel version in Captain Morris and Sgt. Hakeswill. They're both devious, conniving villains, but Morris is a suave social climber who uses Hakeswill, a horrible thug, to do his dirty work. Hakeswill later returns as a sidekick for Wyndham, although Wyndham is a genuinely decent officer who only sees Hakeswill as a model sergeant and isn't aware of what he's up to.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' invokes this trope from time to time, with [[AwesomenessByAnalysis Aaron Hotchner]] as Captain Smooth and [[CoolOldGuy David Rossi]] as Sergeant Rough.
* Captain Sisko and Major Kira of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. Sisko is rather more polite and refined about his orders. Kira is ''not'' refined, nor does she pretend to be. Her preferred manner of dealing with problems is to yell at them until they go away and/or resolve themselves. If this doesn't work, she resorts to fists.
* Captain Picard and Commander Riker in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' - Picard is the diplomatic and distant leader, while Riker leads the away missions and is usually the one to get into the rough-and-tumble situations. Riker is also the one who deals with most of the crew discipline and assignments.
* Shows up in ''Series/GenerationKill'', while commanding officer Godfather as Smooth and Sergeant Major Sixta as Rough. Also, to a lesser extent, Lt. Nate Fick as Smooth for Hitman, and Sgt. Brad Colbert as Rough, though both of them are usually calm and collected when leading. A scene added to the end of the TV series that was not in the book implies that Sixta intentionally cultivates anger towards himself as a way of keeping the men unified.

* In ''Radio/RevoltingPeople'', the redcoats are represented by the polite and charming Captain Brimshaw and the obnoxious, cynical Sergeant [=McGurk=].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The [[WizardingSchool Circle Tower]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is shared by the Circle of Magi and the [[ChurchMilitant Templars]], with a First Enchanter and a Knight-Commander usually sharing the duties. In the game, Knight-Commander Gregoir is "Rough" and First Enchanter Irving is "Smooth," and the two of them butt heads much more often than one would usually see in this situation. Of course, the fact that the Templars' duties include [[ShootTheDog killing rogue Mages]] might have something to do with it...
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Meredith is a lot more hard-line and brutal than her more diplomatic and practical second-in-command Cullen.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', [[TheHero Paragon Shepard]] tends to be Captain Smooth towards either [[HotBlooded Ashley]] in the first game, or [[DefrostingIceQueen Miranda]] in the second. [[{{Jerkass}} Renegade Shepard]] inverts this, with [[OnlySaneMan Kaidan and/or Jacob]] being the more reasonable subordinate.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Captain Keyes and Sergeant Johnson in ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved''. Johnson later also has this dynamic with Keyes's daughter Commander Miranda Keyes.
** The UNSC ''Infinity'' has this dynamic with Captain Lasky and [[SuperSoldier Spartan-IV]] Sarah Palmer; Lasky is something of a gentleman, while Palmer is sarcastic and sharp-tempered.
** ''VideoGame/HaloWars'' has Captain Cutter and Sergeant Forge.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'' Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, Guild Leader Wigglytuff and his second-in-command Chatot work as this!
* The Cavalry in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' are led by the gentlemanly Brigadier General Cid Raines, and his more rough-and-tumble subordinate Rygdea.
** Lightning, being an actual sergeant, literalizes this trope. Her solution to everything is to crack heads open, while her cooler-headed superior officer Amodar suggests she try to stay out of the business of Cocoon's leaders.
* From ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', we have Captain Varrot (who is Welkin's direct superior and overall commander of the militia) and Largo (whose rank is unspecified but presumably that of an NCO). Formerly squad mates in the previous war, they still maintain a rather tenuous relationship, due to Varrot's inability to get over the death of her lover and Largo's unrequited feelings for her. [[spoiler: In the end, she gets over it and settles down with Largo after the war.]]
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'', where [[TheHero Raynor]] is a Cowboy and [[TheLancer Matt]] is a boyscout. Matt technically is a Captain, but he's also the subordinate of Raynor.

* Inverted in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', where the eponymous Sergeant is easy going and friendly, even a little childish, while Captain Tagon is a tough, grizzled mercenary not afraid to shout at his men.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Lieutenant J.T. Marsh and his second-in-command Sergeant Rita Torres in ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' probably qualify, though they are less extreme than the usual description. Also, Nara Burns and Torres after Marsh [[spoiler:is promoted]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' gives us Captain Rex and Commander Cody, with Rex as the Sergeant Rough to Cody's Captain Smooth.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' has Ultra Magnus, a fair and ethical leader [[spoiler: for the most part.]] His second [[spoiler: and successor]] Sentinel Prime is a complete {{Jerkass}} who abuses his authority up, down and sideways.
* ''Colonel'' Crumb and Sergeant Blast from ''Private Olive Oyl'' (a feature from the ''The All-New {{Popeye}} Hour'').

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As noted above, this trope largely originates from the time when most of the officers were from aristocratic families, while [=NCOs=] were generally low-born grunts who had survived previous campaigns long enough to learn the "tricks of the trade" through personal experience. Today, officers and [=NCOs=] go through completely separate training programmes and promotion from one group to the other is rare (as they do different jobs, it's more of a career change than a promotion). In the modern era, it's also fairly common for sergeants to have a higher pay grade than their commanding officer, for this reason. Yet it's still an effective chemistry, sometimes invoked a bit, but always lampshaded.
* Most American high schools have the vice-principal as the chief enforcer and disciplinarian.
* Before {{conscription}} was eliminated in Romania, all newly drafted individuals with a university degree would be enlisted into an academy that would train them into officers. While high ranking officers oversaw the education, the sergeants were still responsible for keeping them disciplined, leading to an inversion of this trope. On graduation day however, the trope would end up being played straight, with the students getting promoted, and outranking the sergeants who had been bossing them around for six months. The sergeants, of course, never participated in such events to avoid the humiliation.
* In various parliamentary systems (as in the UK and the US), each party has a leader and a "whip" among its representatives, where the latter's job is to enforce party discipline by (almost) all means.