troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Cool Old Guy
He's been awesome for a long time, True Believers.

"Anyway, I'm not a cliché,
I hardly own any ties.
I may be old but at least I'm not
like all those other old guys."
Five Iron Frenzy, "At Least I'm Not Like All Those Other Old Guys"

The effectiveness of a cast member is often determined by his distance from the median age of the cast. Deviations up or down will always be coupled with a lack of effectiveness. The Cool Old Guy is an exception to this. At some point, if one character is much older he swings the meter back to 'totally awesome'. In a lot of anime and video games, this makes him somewhere around middle age and the only non-clean shaven guy. Expect him to be greying, a loud voice, but in peak physical condition and unafraid of anything. For reasons that should be clear enough, this trope frequently overlaps with Bald of Awesome.

He usually won't have any special powers but that's only to marginally keep him from intruding on the others' limelight. He usually either has a dated and dramatic but lovable personality or is a complete no-nonsense hardass, depending on how the other characters act.

In Japan, this trope is called the Oyaji, written 親父 or オヤジ, which means "daddy". Can often stray into Even the Guys Want Him or Stupid Sexy Flanders territory. Wise Beyond Their Years is a younger version (usually no younger than late 20s at minimum) that has many of the same characteristics.

See also: Old Master, Older Sidekick, Badass Grandpa, Eccentric Mentor, The Obi-Wan, Dirty Old Man, Evil Old Folks, Token Adult. See Cool Old Lady for the Distaff Counterpart. Contrast Grumpy Old Man.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • No Fukumoto series is complete without one- a lot of the time they're complete nutjobs too though. Just to name a few, Ichikawa in Akagi, Ginji in Gin to Kin and Akagi in Ten.
  • Bear from .hack//SIGN was an older man comfortably pals with a teenage girl, Mimiru, through their shared love of virtual reality online gaming.
    • Phyllo in Roots. He sits on the bridge in Mac Anu all day, talking to anyone who's interested and becoming close with Haseo. In real life he's an old man, widowed and with two cats. As he tells Haseo, he's just there to kill time, and dies of cancer at the end of the anime.
  • In Akagami no Shirayukihime, we have the heroine's father, who is the leader of the vigilante-ish mercenary group, the Lions of the Mountains.
  • Yukiatsu in Ayakashi Ayashi (Ghost Slayers Ayashi), a special case, since he's also the protagonist.
  • The protagonist's grandfather in Beyblade may be getting up there in age - but that's not gonna stop him from dancing on the tables in Vegas!
  • Scary Black Man Dutch from Black Lagoon. Given that he's a Vietnam vet, and roughly contemporary setting of the show, he must be at least in his fifties.
    • Apparently, he lied about being a Vietnam vet. Who knows how old he really is...
  • Bleach: Old Man Genocide Yamamoto is the Badass Grandpa of the series and the kind of cool old guy that could turn you into a charcoal biscuit if you disagreed.
  • Jet from Cowboy Bebop (although almost all of the main characters are hardened ultra-cool characters).
    Jet: Wait a minute! First of all, I'm not old enough to be your father, all right? Why, if anything, I would be your boyfriend...note  No, wait, that would be bad, wouldn't it? Open foot, insert mouth. I mean, I'd be more like your older brother...
  • Watari, acting as L's assistant, proxy and Battle Butler in Death Note.
  • Early on in Dragon Ball Master Roshi filled this role, even defeating the main character Goku at the end of the series's first tournament arc, where he actually blew up the frickin' moon! Unfortunately, Roshi's power level remained fairly constant throughout the series, while the younger characters became vastly stronger every arc, to the point where, by the start of Dragon Ball Z Roshi was relegated to being the comic relief.
  • Axel Thurston, grandfather of Renton Thurston in Eureka Seven. Robot mechanic extraordinaire and full of determination, even if a bit grumpy. Not to mention that he does a near-suicidal stunt to make possible for Renton to get an indispensable device and lives through it.
  • Lt General Grumman of Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • Old Man Fu and Dr Knox as well.
    • Fuhrer King Bradley aka Wrath, who despite being at least 60 and regularly complaining about feeling his age is one of the most badass characters in the Fullmetal Alchemist universe.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Andrey Kalinin, who admittedly plays mostly a support role, but is still a tough old soldier who still has some fight in him, made especially obvious during the Behemoth arc.
    • Gauron could be considered this. His Ax-Crazy, nutty ways and apparent immortality have made certain parts of the fandom feel that he's completely awesome.
  • Master Asia from G Gundam.
  • Gangsta features Chad the police officer and Monroe the mafioso.
    • Worick and Nic are in their 30's so technically they are too.
  • The old guy from Gantz.
  • Chief Daisuke Aramaki, the Mission Control of the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
    • His brother, from what little we see of him, would also count.
  • The Claw from GUN×SWORD.
    • For a heroic example, every member of the El Dora V.
  • Gundam00 gave us Sergei Smirnov. Despite being not very bishounen (and obviously older) that most of bishounen/bishoujo protagonist cast, he has a crapton of fans for being a Colonel Badass Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Andrew Waltfeld from Gundam SEED; the show's director specifically referred to him as a Cool Old Guy, and this fact, combined with the director's being friends with Andy's Voice Actor, are often credited with his Never Found the Body return from the "dead" later in the series.
  • Walter C. Dornez, the butler of the Hellsing Family is also a prime example of a Cool Old Guy.
    • While he's alive, anyway.
  • The Principal in Hidamari Sketch.
  • Initial D has three: dr. Toshiya "God Hand" Joushima, Kozo "God Foot" Hoshino, and Bunta Fujiwara himself. All three are top-tier racers, and nobody has ever beaten Bunta. Even when he's not serious.
  • Joseph Joestar from Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Not only does he fight vampires and telekinetic bad guys alongside the younger heroes, but he collects comic books and has a wickedly awesome sense of humor; the latter two are especially put into play in the finale chapter. After being killed by Dio and having his blood drained, Joseph is brought back to life with a blood transfusion from Dio's remains. He pretends to be possessed by the vengeful spirit of Dio as a prank on Jotaro, and barely saves his skin from his angry grandson by stating his personal interests. Namely, that he collects comic books, that he knows Bo Derek starred in Tarzan, and that "Weird Al" Yankovic sang "Eat It". Jotaro relents, because "only he would know such stupid things".
  • Dan'l Baboon from Kimba the White Lion.
  • Technically count, Shiba Hiroshi in the sequel Kotetsushin Jeeg. While he is a cyborg and still looks like a normal adult, the sequel takes place 50 years after the original, and his girlfriend already has a grand-daughter as a reference of his age. His age doesnt affect his Badassery though.
  • Master Tiellagory of Le Chevalier d'Eon is one of the best fencers in France and possibly all of Europe, as well as having more experience with court parties and often wittier repartee than his younger companions.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes has Fleet Admirals Merkatz and Bucock from the Empire and Alliance respectively.
  • In One Piece, Silvers Rayleigh would most definitely count. The dude fights an Admiral to a standstill!
    • Not forgetting Vice-Admiral Garp who laments that he's gotten weak in his old age after throwing cannon balls like baseballs and topping off his attack with a huge flail whose ball is the size of freaking battleship, Whitebeard who ate the Quake Quake Fruit and can create tidal waves large enough to destroy Marine HQ and take on several admirals at once, Ganfall who can fight aerial battles against chosen warriors of God, Tom-san who was strong enough to break his chains after being harpooned through the chest, Admiral Kizaru, who kicks around major characters, and so on! Oda freaking loves this Trope!
      • That's only if you compare it to other stuff. Here they need it to do their job.
      • No, Whitebeard is a super Cool Old Guy. Garp's pretty good, too, even if he is a horrifically abusive guardian, considered seriously.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, there was Dr. Albert Zweinstein. (An Expy of Albert Einstein, who would likely fit this Trope too.)
  • Yanagi from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. (But also a little loony.)
  • Max Jenius in Macross 7. He might be 52, but he can still pretty much wipe the floor with everybody in the show, both in cockpit and with his bare hands, and he's the heroine's dad. Ah, BTW, he's also the fleet military commander.
  • Gil Graham of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. A kindly old English gent who also happens to be one of the most experienced and powerful mages under the Space-Time Administration Bureau's employ. Though he turned out to be a Treacherous Advisor who was very reluctantly planning to seal the Book of Darkness together with Hayate once the book turns Omnicidal Maniac, the cast didn't blame him too much for it considering the complicated circumstances.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, while about half of Nagi's group could potentially count, Takahata-sensei and Graf Wilhelm are likely two very good examples. Takahata counting as old mostly because almost 90% of the cast is between 9 and 17. While god knows how old Wilhelm actually is. Takahata's teacher Gatou likely is one too but we rarely see him do anything but smoke in flashbacks.
    • Hell, almost every old guy in the series could qualify, especially the (currently middle-aged) members of the Ala Rubra.
  • Dr. Juzo Kabuto from Mazinger Z. When Dr. Hell sicced an army of Humongous Mecha on him and his colleagues, he managed escaping alive. Afterwards he spent several years building the titular Humongous Mecha, an eighteen-meter-tall One-Man Army robot. When one of the henchmnen of Hell blew up his mansion, he got half-buried under several metal rafts, but in spite of he was moribund and trapped in an underground basement, he managed surviving several hours until his grandsons showed up and he could hand Mazinger over to the eldest (Kouji Kabuto). Also, he saved his son's life by turning him into a cyborg after he nearly got killed cause a lab experiment gone wrong. And in the manga and Shin Mazinger he overlaps this with Crazy Awesome.
  • Dr. Reichwein from Monster.
  • Professor Itsuki from Moyashimon. He's rather laid back for a college professor, referring to nearly everyone with the informal honorific "-kun". Though he does get rather passionate about fermented foods and his research into bioremediation.
  • Third Hokage in Naruto, a very kind, very awesome old man who cared for the people in his village. Just watch the scene where he visits the Academy class to talk to them about the village and the people he cares about. Watch Naruto and his contemporaries' memories of him at the funeral. Everyone has a memory about something awesome he did for them.
    • There's also Jiraiya, and the Tsuchikage seems to be showing signs of this.
      • It's implied the Tsuchikage was less harsh in the past since Gaara's question seems to perturb him, and over the years he just grew more cynical with the shinobi world. With the world's constant militarization, and the fact that every major village had at least one tailed beast or dealings with Akatsuki by the beginning of Shippuden, he became cynical to match the times. What with the Magnetic Hero and Gaara, his protege, he's softening again.
    • There's also the original Ino-Shika-Chou trio, aka the fathers of Team 10, although they're all in their forties.
    • The fact that Sarutobi Hiruzen was one in the real Uchiha massacre, even if he wasn't happy about it, has caused many fans to adopt a very cynical view of him, even though he is probably the single biggest reason Konoha isn't insane like Mist or as cruel as Sand. The fact that he runs a society of professional murderers who start before they hit puberty is kind of a reality check problem when compared to the actual events of the show.
      • Except that he'd gone through great lengths to try and prevent the Uchiha massacre from happening, and even Itachi pleaded with him that he protects Sasuke. Also, every village has been running a society of mercenaries before they hit puberty, possibly since around the time of the First Hokage himself.
  • Zelretch from the Nasuverse (all of the works). When he was younger, he beat down and killed the "ultimate" being, Crimson Moon Brunestud (and in the process singlehandedly stopping the moon from falling into the Earth), only because of a minor dispute he had with it. He's also one of only five "True Magic" users — his magic? Operation of parallel worlds, which lets him do pretty much anything involving alternate universes.
    • He pops into the "main" universe every now and then to take apprentices and screw with them until they're near useless from shock and trauma.
    • Or until they become Badasses. Whatever comes first.
  • Just about any elderly person from Rave Master, but especially Shiba.
  • Hiko Seijuuro from Rurouni Kenshin is in his forties when the main series takes place, but the man is easily in superhuman condition with strength light years beyond anyone.
    • Subverted because Seijuuro looks significantly younger than his actual age; when Yahiko and Misao learn that he's 43, they're shocked and conclude that "Hiten Mitsurugi is the secret to eternal youth!!"
    • Ditto for Kenshin, who also looks significantly younger than his thirty, despite quite a turbulent life.
    • Played somewhat straighter with Okina, who is old and LOOKS it. Upbeat and always ready with a bad joke, he's not afraid of chasin' some young skirts. He's also quite powerful in combat, being nearly a match for Aoshi...
  • The highly skilled but aged and wearily bitter Shimada Kambei of Samurai 7. Quite possibly the reason Kirara surprisingly fell for him. Alas, his hardass nature solidifies when he coldly rejects her feelings before she can even get them out.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Katsuhito Masaki/Yosho is a mustached old man who can still kick ass. In the original OVA, he's actually physically younger than he appears, but in the Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo series, he's genuinely old and a straighter example of the trope. Nobuyuki Masaki is this at times too.
  • Kanchou/Skipper from The Daughter of Twenty Faces certainly fits this trope to a t; even his death is cool. An argument could also be made for Muta, even though he's more The Stoic.
  • The Prince of Tennis has two: Ojii, the Rokkaku coach, and Banda Mikiya aka Banji from Yamabuki. Taro "Itte yosh" Sakaki of Hyoutei is still a bit young compared to them, but he's heading there.
  • Old man Ichiryu from Toriko definitely counts. It's been determined that he was the apprentice of the creator of the current age, which was over five hundred years ago and he still looks like he's in his late 30's. He might also cross into Eccentric Mentor territory at times, but he can still throw fully powered Toriko around like a pizza. To top it all off he has a Badass Mustache that he can move at will.
  • 20th Century Boys loves its Cool Old Guys.
    • Since it starts its characters around ten and takes them up to a prematurely-aged forty-something, yeah. Later-appearing Kenji is pretty good with this, especially considering his scruffy chin, but last-stage Shogun wins. A lot.
  • Lief the Lucky might have only appeared during the flash back arc of Vinland Saga, but he still came off as a cool old sailor who liked to tell kids stories about his journeys amongst the skraelingar.
  • Oboe from Violinist of Hameln manga is revealed to be this near the end. Whenever he decides to show his (really good-looking, despite the obvious signs of age) true form, an epic battle ensues.
  • Grandpa Tanaka in Yandere Kanojo. He smokes, drinks, speaks informally, and it's implied he sleeps around with younger women (though not too young - when asked to charm a high school girl he was highly reluctant to do so). He's also good natured and friendly to just about everybody, and dispenses useful advice often. His grandson who lives with him, protagonist and arch-stoic Manabu, has a huge inferiority complex about it though.
  • Genkai from YuYu Hakusho, although she is female, follows this trope better than Cool Old Lady. Oh, and also discounting the fact some of the teenage-appearing cast is Really 700 Years Old.
  • Lord Yupa from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind has traveled widely, is one of the most knowledgeable members of the cast, and is universally recognized as the best swordsman around.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's short-lived Alpha Flight revival featured an elderly superhero called Centennial, a little old man in a sweater who came out of a coma thanks to extremely delayed Puberty Superpowers identical to Superman's. He was played mostly for laughs, but when the team needed someone to give them a good kick in the pants for motivation, he was always ready to provide.
    • Marvel also has Roger Aubrey (the Destroyer) and the Thin Man, and they did have Iron Cross, who was still active as a hero in the present day despite being old enough to have seen service in World War One, until he sacrificed himself to save the world.
  • Astérix: Getafix the Druid, maker of the magic potion, speaker of Gothic, one of the calmest and most sensible inhabitants of the village, and Badass Grandpa with Magnificent Bastard tendencies. No wonder the Romans are after him.
  • Batman's butler Alfred is pretty darn cool, a magnificent example of the Servile Snarker, and dangerous when pushed.
    • Batman becomes this whenever the timeline allows for it (usually in Elseworlds). The most famous example being The Dark Knight Returns. For an animated version, see Batman Beyond (and the Batman Beyond version of Old Bruce guest-stars in a time-travel episode of Justice League Unlimited... and proves to still be a downright scary interrogator, even moreso than his younger self!)
  • Douwe Dabbert, a comic book series revolving entirely around a very old man.
  • ElfQuest has a few examples.
    • Likewise, after some initial misunderstandings have been cleared up, Lord Voll of the Gliders, who is even older, endears himself to the Wolfriders in much the same way. Unfortunately the trolls kill him.
    • Then there's Ekuar, the wizened old rock-shaper, who retains his charm and wit despite having survived centuries of mistreatment by the trolls.
  • The Justice Society of America is more or less built around this trope, along with that of the Legacy Character. Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and Wildcat are pretty much the coolest old guys in the entire DC Universe.
    • In fact, Jay Garrick is so cool that he's the guy Nightwing (the original Robin) wants to grow up to be.
    • While not the Trope Namer, Garrick is referred to as "One cool old man." By Jack Knight in JSA #2.
    • Wildcat slept with Wonder Woman's mom. That is all.
  • Nick Fury, who's been standing up to supervillains since World War II and whose only power is his longevity and is a badass in every sense of the word. He was born in 1920.
  • Scrooge McDuck — pick anywhere in the world, and he's been there. Pick any type of adventure, and he's done it.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Uncle Chuck, who, despite being the one that built the roboticizer in the first place, still serves as a viable and reliable role model to his nephew.
  • The Punisher, depending on the writer. Mainstream writers tend to downplay his age, but people who write the more hard-edged MAX stories acknowledge that he's in his late fifties. He is still a bigger badass than anyone else he faces.
  • The Transformers: Kup, as is franchise-standard. He manages to yell at Optimus Prime and get away with it, and is one of the few Autobots to survive the series' constant Kill 'em All situations without so much as a scratch.
    • He's also this in IDW's Transformers works. Prowl even notes this when he has Kup turned into a Manchurian Agent, since it means Optimus Prime will listen to what Prowl has programmed Kup to say.
  • X-Men: Charles Francis Xavier.
    • Wolverine, whose healing factor slows down his aging immensely. He was born in the late 1800s but has looked like he's in his mid-to-late 30s since his introduction.
    • Cable and Magneto also count, though Depending on the Artist means both are subject to suddenly being white-haired 20-year-olds.
      • Magneto is actually physically in his 40s or so, having been de-aged and re-aged by one of his many experiments. And seeing as Quicksilver was born white-haired, it might just be genetic.

    Fanfiction 
  • Lezaford of The Tainted Grimoire. He has a pet Thundrake, is skilled in magic and provided a temporary place to stay for Clan Gully.
  • Major-General Adiemus of the Holy Order of Juno, retired missionary and mercenary guild leader in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune. Over sixty and still going strong.
  • Master White-Beard the Grey, Mentor to the Great and Powerful Trixie in An Extended Performance. He's gone now, but she reveres his memory, and he is one of the origins of Trixie's strange but very real code of honor.

    Film 
  • Many characters played by Anthony Quinn in his last years.
  • Virtually any character Edward G. Robinson played in his later years.
  • Any character played by Jackie Chan in the later part of his career. The guy still does all his own stunts and appears exclusively in films with high kicking action sequences.
  • Tim's dad from About Time.
  • Preston Whitmore from Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
  • In The Avengers, the Badass Bystander who stood up to Loki who was only credited as 'Old German' after Loki's 'born to be ruled' speech''.
    Loki: In the end you will always kneel.
    Old German: Not to men like you.
    Loki: There are no men like me.
    Old German: There are always men like you.
  • "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future films.
    • Especially his over-engineered gun in Back to the Future III. Admit it, you wanted one too.
  • Shlomi's grandfather in Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi. He is the only person in the house who genuinely likes Shlomi. He also sabotages Doron's amp.
  • Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
  • Lord Willoughby in Captain Blood. He may be an old English windbag at first, but anyone with only a silver tongue and some good news as leverage who can turn a pirate crew who scoff at sailing for the King into loyal fighting sailors for the British Navy in five minutes is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Walt Kowalski from Gran Torino. "Get off my lawn" never sounded so badass.
    • Clint Eastwood in pretty much everything he has been in since about 1992. note 
  • From The Dark Knight Saga
    • Lucius Fox, Batman's snarky go-to guy for gadgets.
    • Alfred Pennyworth, who like his comic book self is something of a Battle Butler.
  • Desmond Llewelyn's portrayal of Q in the James Bond franchise.
  • Pai Mei from Kill Bill Vol. 2.
    • On that note, Bill himself. Not to mention Hattori Hanzo from Vol. 1.
  • Indiana Jones becomes a Cool Old Guy in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • John McClane becomes one by Live Free or Die Hard, similarly to the trilogy creeps of Indiana Jones and Rambo series.
  • Raiden from the Mortal Kombat movie.
  • The Emperor of China from Mulan. Doesn't lose his cool even in the face of Shan Yu, and delivers a wonderful Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving bit.
  • Multiple SIDosis is an amateur short film in which Sid Leverents, who was 62 at the time the film was screened, plays the song "Nola" for the camera. As he breaks out more and more instruments the film breaks out into more and more split screens, until there are 11 different Sids playing and singing. This was a factory worker, making a movie by himself. Pretty cool.
  • 2 of 9. One hundred percent.
  • Malcolm Beech from Oblivion (2013) is this. His first scene is him smoking a big cigar and somewhat hammily interrogating and giving exposition to a captured Harper. He also mentions having fought on the war and having survived the devastation of Chicago. His biggest desire is down there on Foreshadowing. Jack helps him fulfill his wish.
  • Captain Teague on Pirates of the Caribbean. Not only is he the Keeper of the Code and Jack's Dad, he's also badass enough to shut a room full of brawling pirate captains (including Barbossa) up by merely entering the room.
    • Granted, he shot one of them to punctuate his entrance. And when Jack asks if the Pirate Lords won't keep to the code, all it takes is a loud discordant guitar twang and a Death Glare to get an entire room full of Bad Ass pirates to sit down and shut up.
    • Of course, being played by Keith Richards doesn't hurt.
    • Barbossa himself is a bit of one.
    • And Blackbeard, who is into his 70's. Also Teague's crew in At Worlds End, who all look to be quite tough.
  • Roy from R.I.P.D., which makes it funny that his alternate appearance is a hot young blonde woman.
  • Sal Bandini in Ready To Rumble.
  • Secondhand Lions: Hub McCann. So, so much.
  • Mako's character Mr. Lee from Sidekicks.
  • Arnold Joseph from Smoke Signals.
  • Spock Prime. from the most recent Star Trek movie. Also Captain Pike.
  • Practically all of the Enterprise crew in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Obi Wan from Star Wars. Make that all of The Obi Wans. Yoda is more of a Badass Grandpa.
    • Palpatine initially comes across as a Cool Old Guy to Anakin, even though we in the audience already know of his true personality.
    • Count Dooku. He's evil, but he's awesome. In Episode II, at least. Played by Christopher Lee, who was 85a and did around 80% of his own stunts. But not running.
      "I couldn't do the running. I was eighty! I said to George Lucas, I can do the swordfighting, but I can't run!"
  • The Wiseman/ Bus Driver from Sucker Punch.
  • Splinter, at the very end of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
  • The Hunt for Red October: Marko Ramius crushes his political officer's windpipe in one blow, falsifies his orders and burns the real ones, takes a nuclear ballistic missile sub to defect to the U.S., and evades detection by the entire Soviet Northern Fleet before blowing up a much more maneuverable Soviet Alfa-class attack submarine with its own torpedo and an American sub as a distraction. And he does all this successfully, without his own crew ever suspecting him.
  • Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid
  • Sam The Lion in The Last Picture Show.
  • Any character played by Sean Connery lately. 'Cause he's incapable of ever not being awesome, even when the movie itself isn't (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
  • Rafiki from The Lion King.
  • Anthony Hopkins as Don Diego de la Vega in The Mask of Zorro.
  • Howard (Walter Huston) in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. He can identify fool's gold, talk Spanish to the Mexican natives, save a child whose life is in limbo after nearly drowning, shoot a gun just as good as any younger man (and at bandits, at that), has been on several gold hunting quests in his heyday, and of course, he guided them into the Sierra mountain range. Made even better in the fact that Huston was the father of John Huston (the director) and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role, alongside his son, who won for Best Director. This role was young Huston's gift to his father, who had asked him to, "find a good role for his old man."
  • Basil from The World's End.
  • In Thor, Odin is the Badass Grandpa variant.
  • Virgil Earp, as portrayed by Sam Elliot in Tombstone.
  • Sheriff Woody from the Toy Story films. If he was made in the 1950's, then he's roughly 60 years old in Toy Story 3.
  • Jetfire from Transformers.
    Jetfire: My father was a wheel! The first wheel! Do you know what he transformed into?
    Sam: ...no?
    Jetfire: NOTHING! But he did it with DIGNITY!
    • Sentinel Prime initially appears to be this to the other Autobots and their human allies, until he shows his true colors.
  • Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy, who despite being an Technical Pacifist, demonstrates that he's badass enough that all he needs to do is enter a room and he can shut down everything currently inside simply from his presence. Doesn't hurt that he's a Physical God in this world... after all, he built it.
  • In the first TRON film, Walter Gibbs and his digital counterpart Dumont fall into this territory. Gibbs was the guy who founded Encom, but was more interested in scientific development than money. He invented the laser that got it all started. He was also the only person on-screen who dared to tear Dillinger a new one to his face over the way things were run. His counterpart, Dumont, was the one who allowed Tron to get in contact with Alan via his tower and download the upgrade that eventually destroyed Master Control. Sark's forces eventually catch him, and he's remarkably snarky and sarcastic to them, even in the face of certain de-rez.
  • Vitruvius from The Lego Movie. He' an extremely talented Master Builder, and is able to take on a small army of Lord Business's minions with nothing but a makeshift walker/nunchucks. He's also voiced by Morgan Freeman.
  • Carl Frederickson from Up crosses into this territory near the end, even though he starts out in Grumpy Old Man territory, even going into Badass Grandpa territory. Though it might not apply because he's the main character.
  • Another Sam Elliot portrayal is Sgt. Maj. Plumbley from We Were Soldiers. May cross into Badass Grandpa, but as the character tells a large group of young ruperts: "If anyone of you sumbitches calls me gram-paw... I'll kill ya!"
  • X-Men:
    • Charles Xavier has an almost grandfatherly sort of relationship with his students during his older years.
    • Wolverine. While he looks forty, he's over 150.
    • Beast from X-Men: The Last Stand, is much older than Storm and Jean, but as destructive as Wolverine.
  • Both Old Fred and Lord Mayor from Yellow Submarine.

    Literature 
  • P. G. Wodehouse's novels have Uncle Fred and the Honourable Galahad, who regularly helping their younger acquaintances out of trouble, often with rather impressive Zany Schemes. Uncle Fred gets extra points for knocking the hat off the pompous barrister Sir Beefy Bastable with a slingshotted Brazil nut.
  • A Tale of Two Cities: Mr. Lorry. He is a 75 years old businessman, his business include being a banker, hostage negotiatior, and help refugees to flee the country.
  • Fraa Jad in Neal Stephenson's Anathem. This avout of the millenarians is a master of pithy one-liners, and has the ability to wander between parallel time tacks.
  • Most of the disciples of Aldur in David Eddings' Belgariad universe, but especially Belgarath and Beldin.
  • Brother Cadfael.
  • Khlit of the Curved Sword (aka Khlit the Wolf) from the Cossack stories by Harold Lamb is already retirement age when he first appears in a story. He chooses not to accept mandatory retirement and goes on walkabout through Asia instead, having many exciting adventures. Along the way, Khlit becomes both Kha Khan of the Tatars and Koschevoi Ataman of the Cossacks (but not at the same time). He's often underestimated by people who don't realize how tough a Cossack had to be to reach an advanced age. Even when Khlit relinquishes the protagonist role to his (adoptive) grandson Kirdy because he's no longer able to wield his famous sword effectively, Khlit remains a cunning fox, and quite capable of licking twice his weight in mooks.
  • Cohen and his Silver Horde, of Discworld fame. Not one cool old guy, but seven (eventually six, but in their most recent story they pick up a Cool Old Lady).
    • Commander Samuel Vimes fits this in his most recent stories. After all, he's over 50! (When Night Watch threw him thirty years into the past, the version of himself he met there seemed to be only in his late teens, and he describes a 51 year old vampire as 'not a lot younger than him' in "Thud".)
    • Vetinari. About as old as Vimes (if not older). Not only a political mastermind skilled at manipulating people to act in his favour but a former assassin of incredible skill.
    • Ridcully, especially when he has a crossbow in his hand.
      • One of his predecessors, Galder Weatherwax, was almost as good, but lost it, after going against fate by trying to capture Rincewind.
    • And, lest we forget, Lu Tze the living embodiment of (if not inspiration for) Rule 1: "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men." The one and only master of Deja Fu, with a reputation that makes men who know of him wet their pants (literally in at least one case) if they learn they have crossed him, and he kicked the ass of the new anthropomorphic personification of Time itself.
    • Also Reg Shoe, I mean he's not much older than Vimes, but he's 30 years dead (dies at the end of Night Watch).
    • Various other Zombies and Vampires would fit if 'cool' could be used to describe them.
      • The old Count Bella de-Magpyr in Carpe Jugulum is, as is Lady Margalotta.
    • Alberto Malich, the Wizard who started UU. 87 years old when he blew himself into Death's Domain, and it's been almost 2,000 years since.
    • Dios from Discworld/Pyramids. Okay, maybe not actually cool, but old can't be used to describe him, he's a freaking stable time-loop.
  • Abraham van Helsing from Dracula.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2D, the protagonist's father C. J. teaches them all how to use guns. He also does all the cooking.
  • Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter. And after he dies, we get his brother, Aberforth, who is very nearly as cool as he is. Too bad their relationship was, well, rather troubled.
    • There's Mad-Eye Moody, too. Leaving aside that much of the cool stuff we actually see him do is a Death Eater impersonating him rather well, he's annoying and insane but pretty cool.
  • About ninety percent of persons in the Honor Harrington series. Honor herself is 65 in the most recent stories. Yes prolong makes everyone seem younger. But prolong has been around only about 2 generations so there are few people over 120 yet.
  • Nestor from Homer's Iliad is one of these, he is the oldest man in the Greek army and was a young adventurer contemporary with the previous generation of heroes, including Hercules, Perseus, Theseus, and Achilles' father Peleus, he says that all of these previous heroes were stronger fighters than any of the Greeks attacking Troy, including Achilles. He is the frequent source of advice, counsel, and long monologues about the olden days. He is an old badass, because he is still gearing up and fighting with the young men on foot and on chariot - and he is a better fighter than most of them! The fact that he survived to old age without being killed in Greek warrior society is taken as a testament to his great wisdom.
  • The Mariner from the Keys to the Kingdom. He has a magical harpoon so powerful it hurts others just to use it (he calls his 'friend'), and a ship that can sail through suns.
  • Woodrow Lowe, age 108, from James Thayer's Man of the Century.
  • Popsy in the eponymous story Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King. He is the little vampire boy's grandfather and kills Sheridan for even trying to do so.
  • Cristobal Junta from Monday Begins on Saturday.
  • In the Petaybee books, Whittaker Fiske is not only cool but far more progressive than his son- he's completely open to the idea that Petaybee might be sentient when few off-worlders are.
  • Raptor Red brings us a Cool Old Dactyl in the form of... the white dactyl. Old even by dactyl standards, he has bowed out of the great play of reproduction and chick-rearing, choosing to instead spend his golden years dicking around with the other predators.
  • Huang Zhong in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Dynasty Warriors video game.
  • Lord Varano from Samuel Shellabarger's Prince of Foxes, a historical novel of the Italian Renaissance. This upright old knight teaches cynical Guile Hero Andrea Orsini the meaning of honor. Lord Varano's Crowning Moment Of Awesome scene, in which the folk of Città Del Monte elect to fight for him despite believing they are doomed to defeat by Cesare Borgia, is among the classic examples of both tropes.
  • Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz from 1632: Over sixty years old but still besting swordsmen half his age, and winning the heart of a twentieth century woman with wit and panache.
  • Captain Flint from the Swallows and Amazons series is the only adult the protagonists seem to take entirely seriously.
  • Zedd in the Sword of Truth saga.
    • Though Nathan is even older and in most cases even cooler. Someone who can serve as estrogen brigade bait (in-universe, anyway) at nearly a thousand years old, be one of the only existing prophets in the world, and be such a powerful wizard and (implied) swordsman to boot definitely deserves a mention here.
  • Li Kao from Barry Hughart's The Chronicles of Master Li series falls under this.
  • Giles Corey from The Crucible.
    • And from real life. The part about his death was true.
  • Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower series is not only is he several decades older than the rest of his ka-tet and the epitome of The Gunslinger, but he is also possibly several hundred millennia old, due to his having repeated his life over countless times after reaching the Tower. He's totally unaware of that last fact, though.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Shiro from Death Masks as a Japanese Knight of the Sword who, while looking like somebody's grandfather, manages to kick Denarian ass. Even Nicodemus, leader of the Denarians, is afraid of this guy. The RPG states that he has plot device levels of swordsmanship, which says it all really.
    • Harry's mentor Ebenezer McCoy fits also, although he's a wizard and not a Badass Normal.
    • The entire Senior Council. The Merlin held off an army of vampires and Eldritch Abominations with a single ward, and is pretty much based on Christopher Lee. Listens to Wind is a nice old medic and shaman. He also once shapeshifted into a bear the size of a minibus to beat the crap out of an Eldritch Abomination /Physical God of fear. Simon Pietrovich had a death curse powerful enough to wipe out several Red Court nobility and their allies. Aside from Cristos, all other Senior council members qualify by default.
    • Michael Carpenter by the time of "The Warrior". A half-crippled former knight takes on a much younger former Marine and beats the crap out of him.
  • Professor Henry Armitage of H.P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror; a university scholar in his 70's who takes it upon himself (and a couple other professors) to get bitch-slap the earthborn spawn of Yog-Sothoth.
  • Bodger the old bull terrier from The Incredible Journey. He's a dogfighting veteran who spent his younger days terrorizing the local cats with his right-hand cat and best friend Tao the Siamese, and in his golden years is a loveable goof who simply wants and gets lots of love from humans.
  • Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings. His impressiveness isn't just because he's a wizard, but because most of the hobbits he's friends with usually describe him in grandfatherly terms.
    • Also deserves a mention for The Movie, as he's played by Sir Ian McKellen. Old guys don't come much cooler than him. Except for Sir Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, and who was still badass despite being too old to walk up a flight of stairs smoothly.
    • Most of the elves are pretty awesome, and some of them are older than the kingdom of Numenor. Legolas' age is never directly stated, but estimates range from 500 to about 3,000 years old. Book Legolas refers to the whole rest of the Fellowship, except possibly Gandalf because he was still dead when the remark was made, as 'children.' Movie Legolas is referred to as 'lad' by Gimli, which may be due to their relative ages compared to expected life-spans. The rest of the Fellowship are either young or middle-aged according to their race, though special mention goes to Gimli at 140 and Aragorn at 88.
  • Santiago, the titular old man in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
  • The Railway Series: Edward, Toby, Skarloey, Rheneas, Duke. All of them but Toby were built in the nineteenth century, and all are still in active service. Skarloey and Rheneas would currently be 146 years old. Also applies to Sir Topham Hatt I and Sir Topham Hatt II during certain parts of the series' timeline. Out-of-universe, applies to the original author, the late Rev. Wilbert Awdry, and his son Christopher Awdry who is the current author.
  • Great-uncle Ebbitt from The Seventh Tower combines this with Crazy Awesome.
  • Abraham Setrakian of The Strain, a holocaust survivor that teaches two doctors, an exterminator, and a gaggle of gangsas how to slay some monstrous vampires.
  • Many characters in The Wheel of Time. Thom Merrilin, Rhuarc, Gareth Bryne, Furyk Karede, Noal Charin, and the male Forsaken at least.
  • The short story They Live Forever has a subversion of this trope. The narrator becomes a Cool Old Guy at 25 when he is stranded on a planet where the natives have a life cycle of two years. He is proportionally so old by the end of the story that he realizes his age would be meaningless to them and claims to have forgotten. This mirrors the original immortal of the story who made the same claim about himself when questioned by the narrator.
  • Papa Jan from This Perfect Day.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, this applies not to Lazarus Long himself, two-thousand years old though he may be, but to his grandfather, Ira Johnson. At seventy he was heartbroken not to be able to enlist in the army to fight in World War One, played a mean game of chess, and could kick ass nine ways from Sunday. He also raised his daughter Maureen on the principles of Eternal Sexual Freedom, which had major repercussions on the future of the human race, including Lazarus himelf.
  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He's obviously also a Magnificent Bastard, minus the Bastard part. Hell, one of his responses to an argument is something along the lines of stating "You think you're about to win?", which he only said when he knew he would win an argument, or had a back up plan for what they were about to say. He's the model of a father that every child wants.
  • Noirtier from The Count of Monte Cristo. When his granddaughter is facing an arranged marriage she doesn't want, he foils it by confessing to the murder of the prospective groom's father.
  • Henry Bacon from The Last Dragon Chronicles.
  • Grandfather (not his actual name, but how he is known in history) from Lands Of Ice And Mice, who almost single-handedly brings about the first peaceful contact and cultural interchange between the Greenlander Norse and the Thule.

    Live Action TV 
  • Game Shows:
    • The Price Is Right: Bob Barker, who remained an icon to many before his retirement at age 83. College kids who were young enough to be his grandchildren pined at the chance to meet him and play a pricing game with the TV legend.
    • Jeopardy!: Alex Trebek, now 74 years old, fits the trope and is virtually synonymous with the show. (By comparison, original host Art Fleming was in his mid 50s when he hosted his final Jeopardy!)
    • Wheel of Fortune, at age 67, Pat Sajak is still going strong, and a majority of today's contestants weren't even born when he took over for Chuck Woolery (also pretty cool in his old age) in 1981.
  • As Time Goes By: Rocky, Lionel's octogenarian father, who likes to "boogie" at the Hard Rock Cafe, frequently travels the world on adventures with his new wife Madge, and is constantly encouraging the gang to "Rock on!"
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined):
    • Bill Adama, Saul Tigh (2000 years old, as a matter of fact), and Dr. Sherman Cottle
    • Evil/Frakken' Sinister Old Guys: John Cavil a wangsty teen with mommy issues in an old man's body, which happens to be modeled on "mommy's" old man, and also slept with "mommy"; Tom Zarek who was probably pretty bad before the Caprica-shattering-kaboom and dared to pull a mutiny on Galactica.
  • Blue Heelers: Tom Croydon has his moments, but special mention has to go to Superintendent Adamson. One episode has him on a raid to flush out a group of dangerous criminals. After the police hold their ground as their car speeds towards them as they are shot at with automatic handguns and rifles, one of the cops manages to disable the vehicle with a shotgun, before a number of police from both stations swarm in. What makes this cool is one of them resists and break away from the officers only to run into Adamson (and Inspector Fawlkner, also aged in his sixties). They both flatten him, making them not only Cool Old Guys but the scene their Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Requisite Mutant Enemy reference: Rupert Giles. He wasn't actually old, being only in his mid-forties at the start of the series, but that's still more than twice the average age of the main characters (Dawson Casting notwithstanding). Plus, the fact that he started out as a geek and became progressively more badass over the course of the series means that he actually got cooler as he got older.
    • The vampires don't get to apply, even if Spike is cool. He doesn't look or operate old.
  • Castle: Captain Roy Montgomery, Beckett's boss. Driven home in "Kill the Messenger" when a big-name political family tries to interfere in their investigation and Montgomery very politely tells them to get stuffed. The guy threatens to get the police commissioner involved. Montgomery's response?
    Montgomery: Say hi to him for me. And tell him I could really use a raise. I think we're done here.
    (Blake Wellsley leaves)
    Castle: That was awesome!!
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Special Agent David Rossi starts out looking like a Grumpy Old Man, but his coolness becomes apparent pretty early on, and he just gets cooler from there.
    • Agent Gideon: he's a cool character, he's played by Mandy Patinkin and he's Inigo Montoya.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: Larry David wears sneakers, is regarded as cool by his younger black friend Leon, had an attractive wife who was at least 20 years younger. He's regarded as not having grown up properly by most of the characters.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor. Especially his first incarnation, who was created precisely with this trope in mind. William Hartnell doesn't take lip from anyone, young man! Hmmm hmmm! But let's also remember the character is very very old, even when he doesn't show it physically.
    • One of the best examples being in The Space Museum, when the First Doctor pretends to be unconscious after three Xerons grab him and then knocks out one of his captors when the other two leave the room ("It was like a whirlwind hit me!") and then hides in a Dalek casing in the museum.
    • Also, the Third Doctor's frequent demonstrations of Venusian karate.
    • Roger Delgado's Master is an evil Cool Old Guy.
    • Ahem. Wilfred Mott, anyone? Among many other feats of badassery, he took on a Dalek with a paintball gun. Sure, it only worked temporarily, but mad points for style and cojones. Also doesn't hurt that Bernard Cribbins is an amazing actor whose apparent mission in life is to break our hearts.
    • When we meet Wilf for the first time, having no idea who he is (he's Donna's grandad, but she didn't mention him last Christmas, and won't return until the next episode), it's as the only person in town. We think the plot is about to revolve around what made London a ghost town at Christmas, but we learn from Wilf that everyone else has fled, having gotten Genre Savvy (the Christmas Special is always blockbuster, so by season three, everyone clears out of London around the time, as history has proven that the shit is really going to hit the fan on the 25th.) However, Wilf refused to leave and stood his ground, never leaving the newsstand he runs.
      • Plus, he is a very cool-tempered Brit.
  • ESPN's football College GameDay has this in Lee Corso, who combines this with Crazy Awesome through his antics—most famously, his tradition of announcing his pick for the winner of the day's featured (8:00 Eastern Time) game by donning the headgear of the piked team's mascot. This has led to some fairly ridiculous situations, like the time he dressed himself as a tree and danced around the set to pick Stanford over USC (October 29, 2011). It also usually gets a big response from the people around him: the show is transmitted from the campus of the home team for that day's game, and there is usually a crowd of students and other fans behind the set, so they see his pick, and cheer or boo accordingly.note  Less absurdly, but just as amusingly, he calls everyone "sweetheart". Also, this. (It's a bit exaggerated, but...).
  • Farscape:
    • John Crichton becomes one of these in the alternate timeline featured in the episode "The Locket". According to Ben Browder on the DVD commentary for this episode, the Cool Old Guy effect carried over into real life when he found he could get away with a lot of things while dressed in the rather convincing aging makeup.
    • Crichton's dad, Jack Crichton, played by Kent Mc Cord of Adam-12 fame, definitely fits the trope, even when he's being impersonated by an alien.
  • Firefly:
    • Shepherd Book. He's religious so he practices Thou Shalt Not Kill, but acknowledges that The Bible is "a mite fuzzier on kneecaps."
    • Until Serenity, in which he's forced to shoot down the Alliance ship destroying his colony before he dies from his injuries.
      • That wasn't very Christian of him.
    • Also Murphy from the Firefly episode "Shindig." He expertly puts a Rich Bitch who's tormenting Kaylee in her place, then spends the entire evening talking about engines with the latter.
      • Speaking of Shindig, Sir Warwick Harrow.
    • The film Serenity implies that Mal is actually 50.
  • Martin from Frasier. He is really a wise person to look up to.
  • Richard from Friends.
  • Game of Thrones: There's quite a few. Rodrik Cassel, loyal affably retainer to the Starks. Lord Umber, boisterous Modest Royalty and fiercely loyal to the Starks. Qyburn, something of a morally dubious Mad Doctor who's nonetheless effective, respectful, and intent on wiping out diseases, even Cersei, who hate's most other characters, admits to being fond of him.
  • Highlander: The Series: Methos through his age and general coolness factor. In fact, general fandom often refers to him as the Really Old Guy. A Subverted Trope exists in the fact that, as an immortal, he looks really young. Joe Dawson also qualifies.
  • Hustle: Albert (Robert Vaughn).
  • JAG: Admiral Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) and Admiral Boone (Terry O'Quinn).
  • Jeopardy!: One current game show host who fits the mold is Alex Trebek (born in 1940). Trebek gets bonus points for chasing down a burglar and helping catch her. [1]
  • Knight Rider: Devon Miles from the original show. Among his more awesome moments are escaping two prison camps in WWII and Mac Gayvering a bomb, kicking down a steel door and getting into a fist fight with a psychopath.
  • Las Vegas: "Big" Ed Deline is arguably cooler than the show's main character.
  • Law & Order: Lennie Briscoe. When a 60-something year old man is the most popular character in a cast full of Fair Cops and Hello Attorneys, you know he's doing something right.
  • Leverage: Both James Whittaker III on Hustle and Archie Leach, both played by Richard Chamberlain.
  • LOST: John Locke. Subverted Trope when we discover just how pathetic and needy the guy is, though he's definitely starting to work back up to a traditional Cool Old Guy. Double Subverted. Turns out he is just a pathetic and needy loser.
  • Lost Girl: Trick aka the Blood King.
  • M*A*S*H: Col. Potter.
  • Merlin: In the 1998 series, the titular wizard gradually becomes one of these as the film progresses, and can be seen telling his story to the younger generations in the present. Also of note is the Mountain King, an ancient Time Abyss voiced by James Earl Jones who casually talks about the dawn of time. "If I can remember that, it means that I'm an old man!"
  • Merlin:
    • The current (2007-present) TV series also has one of these in the character of Gaius.
    • Uther has a claim, too, despite technically being kind of the villain. Gaius is pretty morally compromised himself.
    • Merlin himself in his disguise as the elderly sorcerer "Dragoon, The Great!". Later becomes on for real in the series epilogue, which reveals Merlin is still alive in the present day.
  • Mortal Kombat: Conquest: Raiden. His characterization was based on that of the movie's Raiden, which explains a lot.
  • NCIS: Gibbs, his father, Eli David, Ducky, and Tony's father.
  • Revolution: Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson in episode 5. He's the last surviving rebel of the group in his town. Subverted Trope, when he reveals that his rebel wife was killed by the Monroe militia and that he's so obsessed with Revenge Before Reason that he is willing to blow up a train with Danny Matheson in it, and stab Nora Clayton in the gut when she tried to stop him.
  • Scandal:
    • Cyrus starts out as one, but the trope is actually deconstructed as he proves himself to be Olivia's Arch-Enemy.
    • The madam in episode 2 is morally ambiguous, but proves herself by the end.
  • Smallville: Jonathan Kent is pretty cool, as he's probably the Only Sane Man in the cast a lot of the time, as well as a Badass Normal Papa Wolf who goes out of his way to protect his son. And then there's a villainous example in Lionel Luthor. Already pretty darn cool as the Love to Hate Trope Codifier for Magnificent Bastard, Lionel's eventual Heel-Face Turn let him establish Intergenerational Friendships with the rest of the cast, mock his Big Bad son Lex, and go right on being cool.
  • Spellbinder: Regent Correon. The oldest and toughest of the Spellbinders, over the course of the series he manages to survive a trip through the Wasteland, takes command of the fanatically anti-Spellbinder Marauders, and trumps Ashka's plans for world domination with just a video camera and some very loyal decoys.
  • Star Trek:
    • Doctor McCoy had elements of this trope, even though he didn't really get to interact with many kids.
    • In many ways, he was Kirk's father-figure, with Spock as the competing "cool uncle". Thus, while Spock could shame Kirk, only McCoy could outright scold him to his face. In one or two episodes, for medical reasons, McCoy did the equivalent of sending Kirk to his room!
    • He's not exactly a domesticated red junglefowl of the growing season in most temperate climates in Encounter at Farpoint, but has lost none of his coolness.*
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Jean-Luc Picard showed enough combat and survival skill in his 60s that he could easily have been a one-man commando unit.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • General Hammond could've been the trope namer. Col. Jack O'Neill aged into this trope during the 10 years of the series.
    • Brought-out-of-retirement Jack in the Stargate movie started out as this trope, especially to the kids of Abydos. As well as the Death Seeker with some Knight Templar and 'that military guy who always follows his orders even if they're wrong'...they got a new actor and changed his character a lot for the show. Apparently Daniel gave him an epiphany.
      • Yeah...jut look at season one or two Jack and go, "there's a guy who tried to commit suicide by nuke a couple years ago." Break your brain.
    • Bra'tac, who's even older then those two.
  • Supernatural:
    • Bobby manages to be the Only Sane Man (although not without his issues) and completely and utterly awesome at the same time.
    • Even if he did have only one scene in season three, the fandom reaction to Rufus was so overwhelmingly positive that they brought him back for appearances in seasons five through seven.
  • Teen Wolf: Dr Deaton. He doesn't even flinch when an Alpha Peter Hale comes after him.
  • The Class: Yonk Allen.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Jesse Duke, the Duke family patriarch, is a very no-nonsense old man, and everyone gives him proper respect. He was one of the best moonshine runners in his heyday, and he's no slouch when it comes to helping his kin get out of trouble. He's also one of the only people who can keep his nephews under control.
  • The Equalizer: Robert McCall may be ~50 years old, but he knows kung fu (or something) and can handle any gun.
  • The Muppet Show: Statler and Waldorf from this show and its spin-offs, movies and specials could be considered this.
  • The Professionals: Cowley.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Brigadier himself. That's Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart to you.
  • The Walking Dead: Hershel Greene; he's pushing seventy, but can still hold his own in a firefight. He just doesn't like to....
  • The West Wing: Jed Bartlet and Leo Mc Garry. Admiral Percy Fitzwallace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • The Wire: Lester Freamon. One of the smartest characters in the entire show and probably the most effective cop. Cool Lester Smooth.
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: The group of old soldiers and hunters in Africa led by Frederick Selous (Paul Freeman) that Indy meets and help him blow up the "Phantom Train of Doom".
  • Top Gear: The presenters.
  • V: Abraham Bernstein is a Holocaust survivor who figures out exactly what the Visitors' real agenda is and does everything he can to fight them, including teaching some kids the proper way to deface a Vistor propaganda poster.
  • Vintergatan: Peo Persson from this Swedish sci-fi children's comedy show. Began as a Grumpy Old Man, ended up a Cool Old Guy who could really rock a saxophone and smoked his pipe in big huffs.
  • Warehouse 13: Artie. "And that...is one of 23 ways that I could have escaped."
  • Wheel of Fortune: One current game show host who fits the mold is Pat Sajak (born in 1946).

    Multiple Media 
  • In Noob that is set in a MMORPG, most of the cast seems to be in its twenties to early thirties and a recurring subject matter is the generational gap some players get into with their parents or other people of the older generations due to their prejudice about video games (an immature hobby at best, an anti-social serial killer maker at worst). However, one of the players from the Player Killing-oriented guild is a sweet old man who can pull his weight in battle in the comic and mentions he's not the only one playing in his retirement home in the webseries.

    Music 
  • Many musical artists from the 1960s and 1970s such as Fleetwood Mac; Chicago; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and James Taylor are still going strong today. As are both of the surviving Beatles – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Chuck Berry's music dates from the '50s and he's still going strong.
  • Ditto for Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind, & Fire; and Lionel Richie.
  • Frank Sinatra was like this in the second half of his career. (In fact, he was probably even cooler than he was when he was younger.)
  • Same goes for countless country artists, with George Strait being the most successful of the lot (currently, at least from a radio and album sales standpoint). Others are way too numerous to mention, although guys like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Hank Williams, Jr. immediately come to mind.
  • And for 1970s and early-1980s hard rock and metal musicians, who are past 50 (some of them even pushing 60) by now, like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and the aforementioned Aerosmith.
  • The Rolling Stones. Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are 70, and the band's been touring for more than 50 of those years. Do they seem like they're gonna stop any time soon? Very probably not.
  • Jazz singer Tony Bennett. After his career tanked in The Sixties, he's staged an amazing comeback, keeping light bouncy jazz alive and kickin' since 1994 (and has no intention of retiring, according to The Other Wiki).
  • Little Jimmy Dickens is in his 90s, but that doesn't stop him from making humorous cameos around Brad Paisley. At one time, he was brought out during an awards show to make a joke pertaining to Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift.
  • The original panel of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue all became this some time during the nineties. Special mention goes to the late host, Humphrey Lyttelton, who told some of the filthiest jokes on the radio well into his eighties.
  • Leonard Bernstein introduced kids in The Fifties and The Sixties to Classical Music through his TV specials, and also did a special on pop music in 1967.
  • Nomeansno singer and bassist, Rob Wright, was pushing 30 when they put out their first album, which meant he was older than most punk musicians at the time and he turned middle aged shortly after they developed their cult following. In fact, the cover art to their compilation album, The People's Choice, depicts graffiti on a restroom stall that reads, "How fucken [sic] old are Nomeansno? Give it up, granddads." Drummer John Wright added and signed his own graffiti beneath this: "That's 'great granddads' to you, fucker!"
  • Ed Cassidy, drummer for 1960s LA rock group Spirit. The guy was about 20 years older that the others and was the stepfather of guitarist Randy California, yet managed to take a genuine liking to the band's music. Plus, he was no slouch when he came to drumming.
  • Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. Their dedication to their fans is legendary.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • In Professional Wrestling, any wrestler in his late 40s and beyond who can still kick ass and take a beating definitely counts.
    • The most recent examples: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. WOW. Three men over 40 (and in Steamboat's case, almost 60 and had been retired since suffering a career-ending back injury in a match against "Stunning" Steve Austin"- from a bump on the apron, not from something Austin did- back in August 1994) showed up practically everyone under 40. And throw in Jimmy Snuka, still wrestling at the age of 69, and Mae Young, who was a WWE Diva practically until her death in 2014 at age 90, and was in every decade of professional wrestling from the 1930s to the 2010s.
    • And oh yeah, we forgot one more: TERRY F'N FUNK!
  • This is pretty much what Rowdy Roddy Piper's current gimmick is all about. He is the awesome old-school guy who shows up every now and then when the young bucks get too big for their britches or forget what wrestling is supposed to be about, and sets them straight.

    Radio 
  • Bob Kingsley, at age 74 and still going strong as host of Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40. He is best known for his 27-year stint helming American Country Countdown. Not counting the times he was substitute host of ACC, Kingsley has been a fixture on country radio for 35 years, introducing the biggest hits from George Jones and Tammy Wynette (in 1978, the year he started) to Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift (today's top singers).
  • Casey Kasem, host of American Top 40 (and its spinoffs, American Top 10 and American Top 20) was a weekly presence on radio for 39 years – from his late 30s through late 70s! His voice had noticeably changed by the early 2000s, but it was still Casey, and it was cool to many to hear a 77-year-old radio host introduce artists such as Katy Perry, Lifehouse, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Pink, Fergie and many other urban, contemporary pop and rock artists of the late 2000s decade. (And to think, many people half Kasem's age won't think of listening to any of the above listed artists' music. Kasem – old enough to be some of these artists' great-grandfathers, was still making their music cool.)

     Religion 
God, obviously, seeing as how he's the all-powerful creator of existence.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Elminster from the AD&D Forgotten Realms universe. He loves jokes and riddles. He's an accomplished dancer who loves ice cream and sliding down banisters. He's possibly the game's most powerful character, probably the most powerful wizard. (Actually, Elminster is the type who's Really 700 Years Old, but for all intents and purposes, he fits the Trope.)
    • Similarly, King Boranel of Breland in Eberron. Also, possibly, Kaius of Karrnath, but since he's a vampire, he may not count.
      • If the spoilered example counts, Vol absolutely must get a mention here.
      • In a twist, Boranel is painfully aware of this trope — his coolness and the situation the country was in when he rose to the throne has made Breland unusually dependent on him... which wouldn't be so much of a problem if he had a equally cool heir or wasn't pushing it in years.
  • For different reasons, Archangel Michael and Archangel Yves in In Nomine. Michael is the classic version of the trope, the Archangel of War who's older than every being but Yves and could kick the ass of anything in creation. Yves is the quieter one, the pleasant old man whom everyone loves (except Michael) who *looks* like a harmless old man but as Archangel of Destiny possesses the secret knowledge of the universe and is feared by most of Hell because they don't understand him.
  • Sebastian Crenshaw from Mutant Chronicles. Pushing sixty in a world where average life expectancy is forty. One of the solar system's best swordsmen, martial artists and assassins, still highly active in his profession, and a stern but fair mentor and father figure to many young trainee assassins. He is also a good-looking, distinguished gentleman, the life of every party and quite the ladies' man. Oh, also he's implied to be Scottish.
  • Although he's 42, Ezren from Pathfinder is the oldest of the iconic player characters and a very cool guy.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Logan Grimnar, Chapter Master of the Space Wolves.
    • Any space marine, Chaos Space Marine, Necron, Eldar, or Titan princeps. A universe of cool old guys.
    • Aun'shi of the Tau. One of the few examples of this trope to be only about 38, due to the Tau getting shafted on life expectancy.
    • Given the fact that human life expectancy, depending on planet, social status and wealth, can be hundreds of years, it would seem that in 40k, it's a little harder to qualify as cool old guy. Most players will come up with someone from their own army who is cool and old. Abaddon, Vect and so on. Still, there is one cool old guy who every 40k player can admit to being the coolest old guy who ever cooled. Yarrick.
      • Failaddon is hardly cool, really. He's just bark and no bite. Yarrick, on the other hand... Even Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!, who also kicked mucho ass while ostensibly in retirement, did it only once (at least what we know about). Yarrick... Yarrick did it THRICE. With Power Klaw and Eye Beams. Being 200 years old.
      • Abaddon only failed the majority of the Black Crusades due to infighting amongst the forces of Chaos, not due to his own incompetence
      • People, are we seriously going to forget Eisenhorn? The man The man lived to be over 300 (which even with drugs and implants is about the oldest a man gets without being a Space Marine or a Champion of Chaos). Then he gets both of his kneecaps blown out with a bolt pistol by his oldest friend. Meanwhile, the Big Bad is preparing to unlock an ancient daemonic superweapon which he will use to conquer the galaxy. What does the good Inquisitor do? He gets his legs rebuilt, and while doped up on painkillers and very slowly dying of his injuries, proceeds to challenge the villain (who, by the way, is a psychic powerful enough to kill a man by glaring at him and exists in an indestructible metal body that can use all of its limbs and its cloak as lethal weapons) to a SWORD FIGHT. And fights him to a fucking standstill. Then, when it becomes obvious that he can't actually win, he pulls the greatest Indiana Jones reference of all time, pulls the MacGuffin out of his pocket, and rips it in half.

    Theme Park 
  • Epcot has had two over the years: Dreamfinder from Journey Into Imagination, who flew around in a Cool Ship collecting thoughts and ideas to create all sorts of new things, and served as The Obi-Wan to his creation Figment until the attraction was overhauled to remove him. Then there was the Sage of Time from the Tapestry of Nations parade, an aged immortal that tried promoting human unity through his Great Millennium Walk that involved lots of cool puppets and Crowning Music of Awesome.

    Video Games 
  • Advance Wars: The old series had Sensei, who is rumored to be Yellow Comets former legendary commander. The new series have Forsythe, another war hero returned from retirement.
    • Sensei's coolness is slightly reduced by the fact that he grows weaker in each game. In Super Famicom Wars, where he was still known as Yamamoto, his units were all nigh unbeatable by being a massive 40% more powerful than any normal unit. In Advance Wars 2, his debut as Sensei, only his infantry and battle copters retained his original abilities - and even then only in offensive power, with defense being reduced to average - though he also gained some cool super powers, that still couldn't match his original strength. In Advance Wars: Dual Strike, his infantry had also become total weaklings.
      • On the other hand, his CO power in Dual Strike summons a hell of a lot of them, making him arguably a Game Breaker on some maps. He is going just a little senile though...
    • Also, Javier, a Don Quixote wannabe who can still kick plenty of ass and has the best lines in the game.
      • "Charge into the toothy maw! For now is the time for a glorious hindspanking!"
      • "This day shall be the greatest of days, unless tomorrow is even greater!"
  • Odin and Tor Anderson in Alan Wake might be crazy, but that's part of what makes them cool. The other part is that they're retired rock stars from the band Old Gods of Asgard. They still have a stage with working pyrotechnics at their farm, they have a Viking longboat in their barn, they changed their names to Odin and Tor, and they make their own moonshine.
    • At one point, Odin comments on the events in Bright Falls and their own craziness, saying "It takes crazy to know crazy!"
    • Not crazy, but still cool is Pat Maine, the town's radio host and a retired cop, who calls out FBI agent Nightingale on his reckless pursuit of Alan - while on the air.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Mario Auditore from Assassin's Creed II. Ezio's uncle acts as The Obi-Wan and is the one who teaches him how to be an assassin and helps him throughout the entire game.
    • Ezio himself can count for this by end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. He's 49, likely the most skilled assassin in Italy and Grand Master of the Assassin Order in Rome in a time where the life expectancy was within the late 40s to early 50s. By the time of the sequel, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, he definitely counts as a cool old guy.
    • Revelations also features Altair being the Memetic Badass we've come to know him as well into old age.
  • Augus from Asura's Wrath.
  • Baldur's Gate's Keldorn. Probably in his 50s at least, greying, a bit creaky, yet goes out and smites evil arse with a 2 handed sword and plate mail (his default equipment).
    • It is hard to be lawful good and cool at the same time, but he manages it perfectly. The fact that he is the only NPC that can use the uber-paladin sword Carsomyr is just gravy.
    • His interactions with Anomen (lawful neutral, thinks he's lawful good) frequently take the form of a Take That at Knight-Templarism and/or Lawful Stupid, the basic message being "if you're not awesome, you're doing it wrong".
    • Gorion, too. Admittedly he's dead for most of the time and as such mainly appears in various flashes of the past, and his big Dead Man Writing is ruined when he's apparently retconned to have lied about the PC's mother. But the picture gathered from other characters is that he used to be an active adventurer who probably saw a lot during his life, and had even faced a dragon and lived to tell the tale, leaving it with a few scars. And apparently he used to tell Imoen and the PC stories about everything between heaven and earth, and would hang out with canon über-characters like Khelben Arunsun and Elminster Aumar. When we actually see him for a moment at the very beginning, he defends his foster child against the Big Bad and his minions and ultimately sacrifices himself, unwaveringly telling them to step aside if they want to remain unhurt and then eliminating all the three minions in about one round each before facing off hopelessly against the Big Bad himself until he's cut down.
  • Bastion is a good example of this, featuring Rucks as a badass cowboy/former special ops, with a voice that can only be described as audio erotica.
  • Master Naguri from Bujingai. He's first introduced as he tosses a stone column at his student, Lau, to test his skills. He then proceeds to dodge all of Lau's attacks, calling them terrible. Keep in mind, Lao is capable of Dual Wielding Big Fancy Swords, casting magic, and gliding through the air.
  • The Castlevania series has Julius Belmont, who is noticeably older than the cast of the rest of the cast of both Sorrow games. Technically, Arikado/Alucard is much older. He lampshades this by commenting to Soma that "Growing old is a terrible thing," when he is too winded to fight after breaking a dark barrier. This still doesn't stop him from kicking ass in the bonus Julius Mode of both games.
    • Better still, in his fight in Aria of Sorrow, he can use the Grand Cross and it makes parts of the castle crumble, and claims to have been holding back despite being That One Boss for some people, and this is only using subweapons after halfway into the fight. In Dawn, he is bested by Dario, some fire punk foe, but only because he can't seal his dark power. The badass part is that Julius has dealt with sealed enemies before, except he's just beaten the shit out of them before they can regenerate. That's how awesome he is.
  • Dragon Age:
  • Garth from Fable II. The first time you see him, he's fighting against the frakking Commandant. And he's not doing too badly.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout features Harold, a 90 year old mutated human known for his sense of humor and ability to survive. Harold makes appearances in Fallout 2 and 3 as well.
    • Fallout 2 has John Cassidy, who is in his sixties at the earliest, has a heart condition, a metal plate implanted in his head, a missing eye, and is covered with scars and wrinkles. Nevertheless, he's an outstanding marksmen and easily the strongest companion available to the player. His daughter, Rose of Sharon, can fight alongside the player in Fallout: New Vegas.
    • Fallout 3:
      • Owyn Lyons, Star Paladin Cross, Fawkes, and of course, your father, James. All four have dedicated themselves to helping humanity, though in different ways. There's also Desmond Lockheart in Point Lookout, but it's really up to you if he qualifies as cool or is just a jerk.
      • Herbert 'Daring' Dashwood is one of the few people in Tenpenny Tower who isn't a jerk, and his terminal and radio show reveal he had quite a past. If you release the feral ghouls into the tower, he manages to take some down before being overwhelmed by numbers.
    • The Remnants in Fallout: New Vegas, a squad of Enclave veterans with high-tech gear and a shared shady past (of having been in the Enclave) who kick massive amounts of ass once reunited.
  • Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VII have characters named Cid, both of him fall under this trope. The VII version is a complete jerkass, though.
    • Cid from VII rolls more as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He does have some redeeming qualities, after all.
    • In a slight subversion, Cid from VII isn't even the oldest member of the main cast (he's 32, Barrett is 35, Red XIII is 48), but he acts more like an old man than the other two.
      • Barrett also counts more than Red XIII, as he definitely acts older than anyone save for Cid.
    • Auron, of Final Fantasy X fame, fits this trope to a T. He is in near superhuman physical condition, unshaven, and a no-nonsense hardass. However, most of this is fairly unimportant compared to the fact that he's already dead in the first place.
    • The most imbalanced playable character in the Final Fantasy history: Cidolfas Orlandu, the Thunder God Cid is pretty cool - and pretty old.
    • Maat from Final Fantasy XI, the one NPC who will beat you into the ground when you first fight him. In Wings of The Goddess, you can see him hold off advancing Beastmen armies by himself.
    • Cyan demonstrates that not every RPG swordsman is a wangsty teenager, Word of God puts his age around 50-something. Strago could also count, but he's old enough to be more of a Badass Grandpa.
    • Galuf from Final Fantasy V is a 60-year-old man who was one of the four Warriors of Dawn, who had sealed the Big Bad prior to the game. Not only is he a strong warrior and a king, but he's not above making fun of his younger friends and spouting horrible, wonderful puns. Not to mention the fact that he may be the only game character ever to have been able to continue fighting while at 0 freakin' HP, right before a Heroic Sacrifice!
  • The resident Bad Ass Mayor of Final Fight, Mike Haggar is the epitome of this trope. Pushing 60 and he is more than able to throw down with Pro Wrestlers, Super Villains, Evil Dictators and even Galactus!!! When was the last time your mayor fought off the eater of worlds?
  • Fire Emblem games will always have a couple of Cool Old Guys. Often they'll be an Old Retainer to the protagonist or an Older Enemy General who eventually gets recruited to the protagonists cause.
    • Athos the Archsage from Fire Emblem 7. More than 1000 years old and still quite the Eccentric Mentor, aside of being one extremely powerful magic user.
    • In FireEmblem 7 Marcus(in his 40s) is not only thought of as one badass Cool Old Guy ingame, but he's also viewed as practically required for getting a high ranking in the games hard mode. Despite being a Jagen character, Marcus also has high enough growths to remain serviceable throughout the game. In Fire Emblem 6, Marcus(now in his 60s) is more of a classic Jagen but is still needed to beat the games Hard Mode.
    • Basilio gets treated this way in Fire Emblem Awakening by the army, even to the point of being nicknamed "Gramps". Yet, Basilio only looks like he's in his 30-40s at most.
  • Front Mission has Alder Weiss, a good mercenary who's a little full of himself and yet a no-nonsense character.
  • Malcolm Corley in the LucasArts Adventure Game Full Throttle: Not only is he the owner of Corley Motors, the last remaining domestic motorcycle manufacturer, but he's spent a significant amount of his youth on the back of a motorcycle, and gets along particularly well with his customers, sharing anecdotes from the 'glory days'. It's a shame to see him die at the hands of his greedy second-in-command about a third of the way through the game.
  • General Luft from the Galaxy Angel gameverse.
  • Gears of War: Colonel Hoffman has only a Vague Age, but he's definitely aged. He still is capable of kicking ass like a boss.
  • Golden Sun:
  • In the Growlanser series Hien and Dixon from Wayfarer of Time and Alfred Burns from Dual Darkness embody this trope.
  • Jolee Bindo in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He is a very Cool Old Guy , who feigns deafness and senility but who is still a competent fighter and dispenser of sage advice.
    • And he's voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
    • Also, Masters Vrook and Vandar.
    • And Sion (still can whip your ass with a lightsaber at around 1,000 with a barely functional body. Just imagine him in his prime).
    • And three of the five lost Jedi Masters (Atris and Kavar don't look old enough).
    • Canderous Ordo also counts. As of the first game, he'd been kicking ass for forty years. Second game, he's pushing 65, is the only humanoid in the party Exile can't cross-class (and doesn't NEED to), helps put the smack down on two Sith Lords, and is still kicking righteous ass as Mandalore the Preserver, setting the stage for his people to become Republic 'allies'' for the next century or two. All with a bone-dry wit, and surprisingly poetic descriptions of his past battles.
  • Bill from Left 4 Dead, an old Vietnam war vet who constantly has a cigarette hanging from his mouth and a witty remark ready for his younger, upstart fellow survivors. One of the lines you can hear him say as you mow down zombie after zombie is "I'll see peace back on Earth if I have to kill every single one of these bastards with my bare GOD DAMN hands!"
    "I was too old for this shit fifteen years ago."
  • Mass Effect:
    • Wrex and Mordin are both cool and deadly guys old by their species' standards. Wrex is a bit over 1,000 (the natural krogan lifespan is, you guessed it, about 1,000; however, as the game gladly points out to you, very few krogan die of old age). Mordin is over 40, which is rare for his species.
    • Zaeed Massani and Admiral Hackett are human examples, both having quite the lot of badassery under their belts. Zaeed is somewhat younger than he looks though.
    Jacob: If they make old guys any tougher than that, I'd like to see it.
  • Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid 4 is depicted as a badass graying elder, capable of kicking as much ass as he did in earlier games. Although he isn't actually that old, he has supposedly aged prematurely because of the primitive cloning method used to create him.
    • In a twist on the trope, he's still the main character, and the sort of new generation he'd be a supporting cast member to in a more normal execution are secondary characters.
    • Then again, the games do have a very high concentration of cool old guys. Revolver Ocelot is in his sixties and the best gunslinger and plan user in the world. An extreme example is The End, 'the father of modern sniping', who's over a hundred and looks it, but is still capable of leaving a man a third his age in his dust, while carrying a sniper rifle.
  • Ōkami has a dojo in 3 areas, all run by the same guy, who goes by Onigiri Sensei. He barely looks like he's capable of anything at first, but then he pulls a 180 (rather literally) and becomes a kickass old instructor.
  • Dallas from PAYDAY: The Heist is the oldest robber of the crew, being in his mid forties. During his time, he managed to turn two mob groups against each other so he could profit from them and then managed to evade both groups for several years after they discovered they were tricked. Dallas also staged a heist on a freight liner containing weapons once he came out of hiding. Once he teamed up with the rest of the crew in the game, he can fend off waves of cops and SWAT units while robbing banks, jewelry stores, and a senator's apartment while not being slowed down by his smoker's lung.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue: Professor Oak. Wait, what? Well, in the Adventures/Special manga, at least - Oak actually competes in the Pokemon League, and beats Blue, and without his lab-coat, he looks surprisingly fit for someone his age. The games themselves note that Oak was a top-class trainer before switching professions, roughly around the level of the Elite Four, since he was friends with Agatha.
    • With the use of a cheat device, or a branch of the Mew Glitch, you can unlock a Dummied Out battle with Professor Oak, where he has some of the most powerful Pokemon in the game, his strongest equaling Mewtwo and their levels on average being the same as the Champion's if not higher. His Pokemon? Tauros, Exeggutor, Arcanine, Gyarados, and the fully evolved starter that wasn't picked. All of them are amongst some of the most powerful Pokemon of the first generation. The guy's a straight-up badass.
    • Also, several Gym leaders from the anime are cool old guys. Blaine/Katsura, Pryce/Yanagi (once he gets defrosted when his long-lost Piloswine returns), Juan/Adan and Spenser/Ukon come to mind...
    • Pokémon Colosseum introduces a Trainer type called Fun Old Man. Eagun qualifes too (more so in the sequel).
  • The kooky mystic in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando.
    • While we're on the subject, it would be criminal not to mention Orvus and Azimuth. Both majorly cool characters, both capable of incredible things— they are, respectively, former Senior Caretaker of The Great Clock note  and a Four-Bolt Magistrate for the Lombax Praetorian Guard and an Elder Councilman for the Center for Advanced Lombax Research.
  • Both male teachers from the Rival Schools series, Hideo Shimazu and Hayato Nekketsu, qualify for this by simply being Badass Teachers.
  • Zimos from Saints Row: The Third. He is the oldest pimp in Steelport, has Autotune on his voice box, and even manages to get one of the DeWynter sisters in bed. For an old guy, he sure has a lot of swag.
  • The first two Shadow Hearts games play this straight with Zhuzhen and Gepetto, who are eccentric but powerful mages, and provide invaluable information on the occult to Yuri and the Naïve Newcomer female leads. From the New World plays with it, by making its Cool Old Guy character a quite possibly insane ninja/US Secret Agent who, despite technically fitting the trope, isn't cool in any imaginable sense of the word.
    • Yes he is.
    • Not to mention Roger Bacon and Albert Simon, though not playable, are still way cool.
  • Soul Calibur
    • Edge Master.
    • Also, Voldo and Cervantes.
  • Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher, an ex-Navy SEAL working as an international spy, acts as this. That is, despite starting the series as a fourty-seven year old Navy vet, he still has the capacity to prevent world wars:
    Grim: It looks like a laser grid just came online.
    Fisher: Lasers? Lasers are so—
    Grim: Nineties?
    Fisher: I was going to say Seventies. Can you please stop making me feel so old?
    Grim: Got bad news for ya Sam: you are old.
    Grim: Welcome to the wi-fi era.
    Sam: Remember: you're saying that to a guy from the era of hi-fi.
    Grim: Hi-fi? As in, like, high in fiber?
    Sam: Ugh... Don't put me in adult undergarments yet, kid.
  • Gouken from Street Fighter IV.
  • Suikoden has TONS of badass old guys (and women). Georg Prime grows to be a badass old man in Suikoden II. For Suikoden III, Geddoe's main party consists of mostly old badasses (himself, Joker and Ace). Suikoden IV has Elenor and Lino, while Suikoden V has Galleon and Raja. And these consist of the generally self-proclaimed old. This game has a fruitful bounty of badass adults.
  • Lt. Colonel Daitetsu Minase from Super Robot Wars Original Generation captain of the Hagane. Also Major Kai Kitamura.
    • Kai isn't actually all that old, however, Rishu Togo definitely counts, being an old swordsman who designed the Type 0's sword, and trained both Zengar and Bullet, and also on at least one occasion cut bullets out of the air. You even get to use him as a pilot in one of the PS2 OG games.
  • A playable 20-40 throwing the 15-18 Competence Zone out of balance is a staple of the Tales series.
  • Most of the characters from Team Fortress 2, with the exception of the Scout and possibly the Pyro, appear to be in the late 40's, early 50's range, making them an entire cast of Cool Old Guys. It's lampshaded by Heavy in the Mann vs. Machine mode:
    Heavy: I am getting too old and too giant for this.
  • Heihachi from the Tekken games. By the fifth one, he's a grandpa who can punch Terminators in half and survive an explosion that hurls him several kilometers away. Without any medical attention, mind you.
    • And he launches enemies into space on a rocket. Not only is the guy impossible to kill, he's got style.
    • No mention of Wang? He's 104 in 5 and 6, and is in perfect fighting condition. He's also one of the good guys, unlike Heihachi. He even gets the respect of Feng with his skill.
  • Saisyu Kusanagi in The King of Fighters '98. He has much of Kyo's overconfidence but greater knowledge of combat, so it's justified.
  • Joel, the main protagonist of The Last of Us. His hair and beard may be starting to gray and he's a little past his prime, but he's still a tough-as-nails survivor who certainly knows how to bash teeth in, from human and infected alike.
  • Elder Keeper Artemus of the Thief series. He's more of a Non-Action Guy and The Obi-Wan / surrogate father figure to the protagonist, but he's a Badass Bookworm and master of stealth nonetheless.
    • Specifically, Artemus is able to outsneak the protagonist, who is able to outsneak basically everyone in the organization that prides itself in never being seen.
  • Uncharted's Victor "Goddamn" Sullivan, or Sully for his friends. By the time of the third game he is sixty years old, and he can still run, climb, fight, shoot, and woo as well as a man half his age.
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume has enough Cool Old Guys to make them a subject of an amusing scene in Seraphic Gate.
  • Anduin Lothar from the Warcraft franchise. Not only was he a Badass Grandpa who led The Alliance in a world war, but he serves as a kind of Big Brother Mentor to Khadgar in Warcraft: The Last Guardian, showing much more level-headedness and wisdom than his own King.
  • In World of Warcraft, Tirion Fordring. A retired man living in a hut until the player shakes him up, at which point he reforms an order of paladins, redeems an army of death knights, and leads an army to some godforsaken corner of the world to bring judgment to a Physical God who threatens all life. Also, he carries a huge magical sword forged from the shard of a dead Energy Being angel with one hand.
    • Drek'thar in the same game. He's so old he needs a wheelchair, he's blind, he has seizures...and he can STILL kick a raid group's ass. Even if you ignore the Alterac Valley version of him, he still predicted the Cataclysm and yelled at the people who ignored him.
    • Cairne Bloodhoof. Despite dying he still almost kicks the ass of the son of one of the most famous heroes of the Horde, and he arguably would have won if Magatha hadn't poisoned Garrosh's weapon.
    • Archbishop Benedictus. Old man, looks weak and decrepit, is a non-fighting priest. That doesn't sound cool at all, right? Well, in Cataclysm, he allies with the evil Aspect of Death, becomes the Twilight Prophet dedicated to wiping out all life, enslaves a blue dragon princess, creates a monster so awful that not even the four dragonflights can take it out without help from Thrall, and eventually faces down Thrall himself and the players to try and recapture the Dragon Soul for his master, Deathwing.
  • Dr. Raymond Shen, head engineer of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Not only is he responsible for building a lot of really cool stuff (the best of which, in his own opinion, is the Firestorm), he's the voice of caution and reason in the Freudian Trio, sometimes coming across as the Only Sane Man in the whole project.

    Web Comics 
  • Mr. Bear from Achewood, a sharp-witted old pub owner with a broad range of knowledge, who in one story arc handily beat all the younger characters in a contest to see who was the most Badass.[http://achewood.com/index.php?date=06082006]
  • In Commander Kitty, Morris edges into the "mentor" variant of this trope when he helps Mittens find his self-confidence. Subverted when he realizes that Mittens' newfound hyper-competence threatens to obviate every other single member of the cast.
  • Donovan Deegan isn't as old as some of the other guys on this page, but he probably qualifies, considering he's the father of 3 full-grown men. And he's certainly cool, always upbeat and sociable. Plus he's an awesome swordsman who's pulled some pretty badass stunts (such as slicing his initials into one Jerkass's pant seat). And he can play an electric guitar (which is actually a normal guitar powered by lightning magic, which is all sorts of badass).
  • Baron Klaus Wulfenbach from Girl Genius.
  • Thaco from Goblins. He is literally old enough to be the other characters' father. He '''''is''''' the father of one of them. In his first introduction, he was sitting in the 'retirement hut' with two other goblins — one blind from cataracts and one who shakes so much he can't walk without two canes. Not to mention that his name is a reference to Advanced Dungeons Dragons Second Edition, which is apparently a good way in the past in the game world — at least one generation ago — and which he was apparently alive to see.
  • Dr. Disaster from Gunnerkrigg Court. How many teachers' dramatic entrances are greeted with cheers from the students? Bob Sutton the gardener, who chuckled at Renard's jab about Ysengrin's "terrifying skills of gardening". As we discover later, he's the one who regularly handles some consequences of this — successfully. Also, he always shows good sense of humor and good sense in general.
  • Sul, the main character in Kiss Wood, who doesn't let age get the better of him. He manages to break out of a huge prison complex and walk across a desert whilst caring a child on his back - only to find out he can't save both of them and sacrifices himself.
  • Mob Ties has Papa-san, the head of one of the few decent Yakuza clans in Tokyo. He's friendly, intelligent, devoted to his daughter, and is the first person to truly realize just how badass Sidney Burns truly is, and is the only person man enough to actually confront him about why he is so badass in the first place. Of course, given that Papa-san was quite the badass himself in his younger days, that last part is understandable.
  • Both Tagons from Schlock Mercenary (the captain is well into his 40s, turning 49 in the Credomar plot-arc).
  • Tales of the Questor has the Eldest. He's the oldest Racconan alive and is a fun-loving chap who can not give a tinker's damn what anyone else thinks about anything by virtue of age. He gleefully gets into pie-eating contests and manages to tell old war stories to the youngsters in ways that keep them interested and clamoring for more. He is also one of the few people who is openly and vocally supportive of Quentyn.
    • Quentyn's dad is also a prime candidate, even moreso than the Eldest. Pretty much his every appearance turns into either a Crowning Moment of Funny or Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. Add to that the fact that he can still match his son the professional warrior-mage on the training field in spite of being significantly older and a professional melon farmer and he has some pretty solid Bad Ass credentials too.
  • Dan McNinja, father of the titular character of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • Mrs. Primrose from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!! Seemingly a cute and chubby little old lady, she's an agent employed by an ancient civilization of dragons, and owns a suit of Bubblegum Crisis-style power armor with which she can fly into space.
  • Lord Shojo from the Order of the Stick. Even Belkar thought he was cool.
    • Yeah, but it was mostly because he ordered paladins to clean his cat's litterbox.
      • So? Anybody who orders gets paladins to clean a cat's litterbox has to be pretty cool.
    • O-Chul is probably old enough to count, too. Bad-ass enough to resist torture for months while gathering useful information, then escape armed only with a metal bar, he's another example of successfully being Lawful Good and awesome.
    • General Tarquin, ruler of the Western Continent and Elan's father.
  • Rocky's 'Grampy' from Too Much Information. He's got a black belt in 3 different martial arts, has fought in 2 different wars, has traveled the world as an adventurer-archeologist, and taught English in inner-city schools. While the rest of the cast are stuck working their way out of a Love Dodecahedron, he hits it off with Cool Old Lady and borderline Manipulative Bastard Rosa Cartman - who, other than being RIDICULOUSLY good-looking for her age, owns a multimillion-dollar corporation. While the young 'uns are still trying to figure their way out of Dysfunction Junction, he hooks up with her, gets laid (on their first date, no less), and elopes with her within weeks.
  • Horse-Man from Unwinder's Tall Comics: He's twenty-something while the main cast are high-schoolers. He's also nice enough to treat Unwinder like an equal; Horse-Man is likewise the only person that Unwinder seems to respect.
  • Mr. Fuji from Distortion Nuzlocke; he beats up the protagonist's abusive dad with a shovel.

    Web Original 
  • The aged Buddhist Shinto priest and Badass Long Robe Kamimura from Broken Saints, who lost his family to the atomic bomb in World War II, making him at least twice as old as any of the other three protagonists.
  • Pretty much every over-fifty on Gaia Online counts to some extent.
    • Johnny K. Gambino, who started out in the plotline as a major villain and is pretty much just Crazy Awesome in general.
    • Edmund, who is BFFs with Gambino, chock full of Battle Butler charm, and suave enough to make perving on Vanessa look gentlemanly. Moonlights as a member of the superhero G-Team whenever the need arises.
    • Old Man Logan, also a member of the G-Team and an obvious Wolverine expy.
    • Uncle Kin in zOMG!, second-in-command of a ninja clan and devoted relative to his Miko niece.
    • And last, but definitely not least, the late Vladimir Von Helson, lord of Gaia's vampires, whose sparkly death scene was easily the best thing about MMVII (unfortunately, even sparklepires couldn't save MMVII).
  • Magus from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is the most powerful wizard on Earth and the heroic defender of the planet from the sorts of supernatural threats usually faced by Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange. He's 318 years old (though he only looks 70 or so), and acts like a Cool Uncle to the rest of his teammates.
  • Some Something Awful Goons:
    • GeneSplicer, 43 as of 2009 (that's old when you're among high school/college students) high school forensics teacher ("Who brought the maggots for the students to 'play' with? Me!"), who even has an avatar of the creepy old man from Family Guy with the legend "Forums Senior Citizen". Has a wedding ring made of meteorite iron and collects (fake) skulls. Has a bookshelf full of sci-fi props, including one of those mind-eating bugs from The Wrath of Khan in a tank. Makes sock monsters in his spare time, which he gives to his students as prizes. Mrs. GeneSplicer also counts, since she got him some of the skulls as a birthday present.
      • Possibly HellBastard, since he mentioned a TV show that GeneSplicer also saw as a kid.
    • 50-Foot-Ant (presumably around 50), excellent writer and author of about two dozen Dungeons & Dragons manuals and claims to have witnessed the Ramstein air show disaster and to have a supremely annoying Otherkin relative.
    • Someone who claimed to be a World War II veteran who registered to praise Humper-Monkey (age unknown and possibly 50-Foot-Ant's creation) during his tales of the haunted German US Army Base that was once used by Nazis where problem recruits are ditched.
    • Tokaii, who was a Chicago cop for a few years during The Sixties. He wasn't a Corrupt Cop, but pretty much everyone else was which is why he left despite loving the job. He's also been on the some form of internet since 1982.
  • Tech Infantry has several, including Admiral Karl Von Shrakenberg, Dr. Icarus Hicks, and Colonel Arthur Clarke. Lwan Eddington also qualifies in the later stories.
  • In The Gamers Alliance, there are several cool old guys such as Harrad, Josiah and Waldheim.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's grandfather. He might have been crazy, but he gets points for being the only family member who Critic has fond memories of.
  • Sensei Ito at the Whateley Academy in the fictional Whateley Universe is a Crazy-Prepared Badass Normal who is a tiny old Japanese martial artist capable of taking down virtually every single superpowered student at Whateley. As he demonstrates at the start of every term, in aikido classes. He also has a bit of Magnificent Bastard in him.
    • Whateley Academy is rife with Cool Old Guy characters, from sixty-ish Gunny Bardue who runs the ranges, to Security Chief Franklin Delarose, to a number of older teachers who you just know used to be superheroes. Charles Xavier's school should be so lucky.
  • Brennen in The Once And Future Nerd. A man of more than fifty years of age who is loyal to a fault and strong enough to beat two men to death using their own skulls as weapons by bashing their heads against each other until there is nothing left but red squishy stuff.

    Western Animation 
  • Iroh of Avatar: The Last Airbender practically embodies this trope. (Though he's not a Badass Normal.)
    • And his group, the White Lotus Society, is a whole gang of cool old guys.
      • "Welcome to Old People Camp!"
      • Plus all five30 or so of them reconquer Ba Sing Se, and at least one of them doesn't even bend!
    • The best part about Uncle Iroh is that you just know that if someone went down the list, and played the "Who Would Win" game, nobody would win against Iroh, because he'd offer them all tea, and they'd end up calmly drinking tea and discussing old people stuff.
      • Iroh was trained up to conquer the world. Although he must have had mixed feelings, given the thing with the dragons happened relatively early in his life, he was doing pretty well at that until his son died. His father died the next day. He suspended all his Badass and sank into sleep mode, doing nothing while his little brother usurped him and then following his traumatized nephew around the world being as annoying as possible. Then, One-Man Army.
    • Monk Gyatso, Aang's Airbending instructor; in his first flashback appearance, he and Aang pie a few of the other monks in order to improve Aang's accuracy, and his skeleton is seen surrounding by dead Fire Nation soldiers (soldiers who had been supercharged by Sozin's Comet), which is even more impressive as Airbending is the least lethal of the Bending Arts.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Fire Lord Zuko, Iroh's nephew, is keeping the tradition alive. Despite being at least eighty years old, he's an incredibly powerful bender and shows no hesitation in hunting down the Red Lotus (season 3's villains), mostly by himself. Oh, and he rides a dragon.
  • Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond.
    • Makes sense, considering he used to BE Batman.
      • USED to be Batman? Tell that to his subconscious!
      • Terry would like to disagree.
      • Batman is Batman is Batman...the Battle for the Cowl in the comics featured at least two, although Machine Gun Jason Batman was out of the running for reader acceptance. Because machine guns.
  • Wildcat in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and in Justice League Unlimited. Both are Badass Normal to boot, and don't even have Batman's level of training or gadgets- just boxing.
  • Grandpa Max from Ben 10, especially after he's revealed to be a former Man in Black who remembers quite a bit from his old job and still has access to his old gear. Generally of the "dated but loveable personality" type, but swings into "no nonsense" when the situation calls for it... In a nutshell, he's a textbook case.
    • He's the same guy who bosses Snake around, making him even more awesome.
  • Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales, serving as a faithful adaption to the comics' glory.
  • Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth from Futurama. For starters, he has a Thug Life tattoo on his back.
  • Ol' Skool from Get Ed, who uses actual old school gear, but can keep up with the kids he mentors, their enemies, and with Mr. Bedlam as well, much of the time.
  • Mosey from Horseland and to a somewhat lesser extent, Shep.
  • Doc from Invasion America fits the bill nicely, though that series was less plagued by Competence Zone than most.
  • Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures, not only is he the Old Master but he is seen kicking ass as it is needed and will bring pain to those who bring trouble, including the main protagonist.
    • One more thing. Let's not forget his totally awesome Catch Phrase, "One more thing!"
  • Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda was quite old when he beat one of the most dangerous known martial artists. Master Shifu probably could have replicated the success 20 years later if not for his sentimental attachment to said artist.
  • Like his Real Life counterpart, Benjamin Franklin of Liberty's Kids.
  • From Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Kai-lan's grandfather Ye-ye.
  • Detective Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov from Stuart M. Kaminsky's series set in Russia. Over fifty when the series started in the '80s, he is lame from a WWII injury involving a tank, but is a champion weightlifter. He once defeated a thug just by holding him in the air, despite all the thug's attempts to get down. (Most of what Rostnikov does isn't brawn but brain, though.)
  • Secret Millionaires Club has Warren Buffett (voiced by himself) as one who's hip to the four students he mentors that form the Club.
    • He also knew Jay-Z and Shaquille O'Neal, and set the Club up to meet them and learn from their business abilitie as well.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always have Master Splinter to come to for advice and for back-up.
    • The TMNT 2012 Splinter advocates Combat Pragmatism and teaches his sons that Honor Before Reason can get you killed. Being a good deal younger than his previous incarnations, this Splinter is much faster and more deadly than in previous series. He even incorporates his mutation into his fighting style, dropping to all fours and fighting like a rat against especially powerful opponents.
  • Plato from The Little Flying Bears.
  • Cap'tain K'nuckles from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He beat 100 pirates alone, carried Bubby on his back and sailed in a storm during a fight against 8-Armed-Willy.
  • Much like the books they are based on, the older engines such as Edward, Toby and Skarloey usually play this straight in Thomas the Tank Engine, though the show's longer run has led to them having more flawed or vulnerable moments than in The Railway Series. Arguably Sir Topham Hatt (aka The Fat Controller) also counts.
  • In ThunderCats (2011)
  • Ito San from Tokyo Mater, who is an old Japanese car who helps Mater race against the villain Kabuto after being rescued from a ditch and brought back to Japan.
  • Jerry in Totally Spies! - on the rare occasion that he's personally called into action, he consistently outclasses the Spies themselves.
  • Most "old" characters in Transformers tend to be cool old guys. Since they don't age like humans, the most common cause of death is war-related and anyone who survives to be really really old probably did so by being really really badass.
    • Ratchet in Transformers Animated is definitely a badass, despite sporting a beer gut. He's also the team's medic, making comparisons to Bones McCoy even more impossible.
    • Kup in Transformers Generation 1 is definitely a cool old guy, like Animated Ratchet but much less grumpy. Also, in "All Hail Megatron" he gets a bitchin' robot cigar to chew on.
      • Even Ratchet's G1 incarnation, who's not really intended to represent any extreme of age the way Kup is, tends to get a lot of this trope. His canon appearances as a competent medic and go-to guy paved the way for his interpretation by the fans. Fandom is especially fond of causing him to bludgeon insubordinate/uncooperative patients with wrenches and other tools, go all Doc McCoy even on Optimus Prime's aft, and generally act in a lovably codger-y manner, even ascribing him Cool Old Guy traits such as extreme shrewdness and a wrathfully protective nature regarding his crewmates (the young twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe tend to be at the receiving end of his lectures and fists, more often than not).
      • Somewhat justified by G1 Ratchet and Ironhide being the same toy with different color schemes.
    • G1 Ironhide was the franchise's original Cool Old Guy . His toy card specifically states how he's the oldest Autobot, the most likely to break down from outdated parts, but too stubborn and orny to give up and quit fighting. The show just made it better by giving him a Southern grandpa accent to match.
    • Vector Prime in Transformers Cybertron is both cool and so old he's made of clockwork.
    • Scavenger in Transformers Armada was mentor to Optimus freaking Prime.
    • And don't forget Revenge of the Fallen Jetfire. When Scorponok erupts from the sand without warning, Jetfire simply stabs him in the head with his cane, just about as quickly.
  • The title character of Uncle Grandpa. Anyone who rides a Giant Realistic Flying Tiger is automatically ten kinds of cool.
  • Master Fung in Xiaolin Showdown started out a mentor-type, but with the introduction of Mala Mala Jeong, proved he still has plenty of awesome fighting skills in him.

    Real Life 
  • Konrad Adenauer. He had been retired for years, hunted by the Nazis, many times imprisoned, financially broke, and 73 years old when he got elected Chancellor of (West) Germany, supported by all large parties except Communists. Stood for 14 years, throughout the worst of the Cold War, rebuilt the state administration of Germany by himself, practically from scratch, initiated the reparations agreement between Germany and Israel, helped secure the release of the last German POWs from the USSR, and above all gained the entrance of Germany in the nuclear club during the 1950s. It takes some diplomatic hype to ask the cooperation of former enemies in this matter barely 10 years after the War.
  • Kheyr ed-Din, a.k.a. "Barbarossa" (not to be confused with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I), was a Barbary pirate who was still fighting sea-battles in his eighties - and kicking righteous ass, too.
  • Genghis Khan was still commanding his armies at age 72. Considering the average human lifespan at the time, that's pretty impressive.
  • Tony Benn. An ever-present figure in British politics from his start in 1950 until his death in 2014. Even after retiring from Parliament in 2001, had a talk with Ali G once. Mourned throughout the political spectrum.
  • Tom Bergeron, host of The Hollywood Squares, Dancing with the Stars and America's Funniest Home Videos. He's known for being very laid back and "un-Hollywood" off camera.
  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX of Thailand. He's simultaneously the world's oldest, richest, and longest-reigning monarch, led his country to democracy in the 1990s, and is really the one stable constant in Thailand's notoriously shaky political system (the man has seen sixteen governments go by without a single change to his own office). He's also the only monarch in the world to hold a patent (on a water aerator and some rainmaking devices) and an accomplished saxophonist, apparently.
  • John Quincy Adams was nicknamed "Old Man Eloquent" and served as a member of the House of Representatives and an antislavery advocate until his death at the age of 81. He actually died inside the Capitol Building after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
  • John Williams.
  • Jerry Goldsmith.
  • Elmer Bernstein.
  • Norman Borlaug (1914–2009). He was a pretty cool dude right to the end.
    • Though really, internet memes aside, He's responsible for saving the lives of billions of people through breeding of drought-resistant, disease-resistant crops to feed the world. Check out all his life work here on the Other Wiki. Honestly, why his life isn't taught in schools is a downright shame.
  • Michael Caine
  • George Carlin, right to the end of his life.
  • Sonny Chiba
  • William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Kirk and Spock. Also best friends in real life. And despite being well into their eighties now, both are still very active in the Star Trek fandom and the media as a whole. Need we say more?
  • Winston Churchill: Because He Never Surrenders.
  • Dick Clark. Until his stroke, he still looked so untouched by age that he epitomized his "World's Oldest Living Teenager" nickname.
  • Sean Connery, no doubt.
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Jacques Cousteau, the great aquatic explorer who seemed like the Ancient Mariner himself in his documentaries.
  • Walter Cronkite, "The Most Trusted Man in America". Uncle Walter not only brought us "the way it is" night after night, but was a long-time race car driver and expert sailor.
  • Robert De Niro
  • Clint Eastwood is the personification of this trope. At 80-ish years old, he's still awesome, is a Memetic Badass, still makes some of the best movies in Hollywood (now more often as the director rather than an actor, with a distinctive visual style and a good reputation for finishing ahead of schedule and always within budget), and still has a great attitude. As a licensed pilot, he apparently still sometimes flies his own helicopter to the studio to avoid traffic. He's a veteran of the Korean War, and is a former lifeguard. He's also a Friend to All Living Things and has long been involved with animal rescue efforts in California, and he and his wife take care of several rescued animals that they've adopted on their ranch. He's also got a talent for music, and in particular is an aficionado of jazz (and his son Kyle is a renowned jazz musician in his own right), as well as Country Music. He's also been known to practice meditation every morning since the 1970's. And he can still kick your ass easily.
  • Roger Ebert (RIP). Although he died at 70 in 2013, not all that old by today's standards, he battled cancer for the last decade of his life, and lost his voice to it... but still published movie reviews almost to the end.
  • Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
  • The Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe. Anglican priest, member of Mensa, former writer of Extruded Book Products (which made him a figure of minor legend in the UK SF scene), dan-grade martial artist and weightlifter, biker, investigator of anomalous phenomena. All carried out with an enormous zest for life and a great sense of humour. Your only problem, if you're lucky enough to meet him, will be getting him to stop talking...
  • Tim Gunn. To the point where Congress recently declared him a national treasure.
  • Benjamin Franklin was this by the time of the Revolutionary War.
  • Morgan Freeman. Because, you know, he's God.
  • James Harrison, the "man with the golden arm." His unique blood donations have saved approximately 2 million babies' lives, and at 74 he's still donating a pint of blood as often as he can.
  • Mark Hamill isn't that old, but is nevertheless an avid comic book fan since childhood and has voiced everybody's favourite clown psychopath for twenty-odd years now.
    • Even if he wasn't old when he did it, he's still LUKE FREAKIN' SKYWALKER.
  • Werner Herzog. Among other achievements, his most recent documentary required him to climb around in a cave with his camera crew, someone once drove by and shot him with a BB gun and he just laughed it off.
  • Sammo Hung. A legendary action superstar (and friends with Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao) in Hong Kong action cinema. What's even more impressive is that this former Peking Opera player turned actor is now nearing 60, doesn't seem to get any thinner, but could still go toe-to-toe with the likes of much younger action stars such as Donnie Yen and Wu Jing.
  • Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Lloyd Kaufman, who's been making truly independent films for about forty years, and, at 65, he definitely hasn't softened.
  • A 63 year old man named Fred Kemp protected himself and his wife from a robber by getting him in a rear-naked choke. http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/63-year-old-holds-off-robber-with-rear-naked-cho?urn=mma-wp5794
  • Sir Christopher Lee: Just read the article; actor, commando, secret agent,note  heavy-metal singer. That's right—heavy metal singer. At age 87. And it's epic metal about Charlemagne, at that. And then, at age 90, he participated in another heavy metal album, this one focusing on CHRISTMAS SONGS. You truly have not lived until you hear Dracula/Count Dooku/Saruman singing "Little Drummer Boy" to the sound of heavy metal. On top of that, he released ANOTHER heavy metal album on his 91st birthday in 2013.
    • Being Saruman the White AND Dracula.
    • Did his own stunts in the Star Wars prequels, used a stunt double only when he was supposed to run.
  • Stan Lee, as the image on this page indicates. Innovating most of Marvel Comics's major characters and generally being a great guy make Stan Lee absolutely a Cool Old Guy.
  • Kurt Loder for MTV News. Granted he was only 42 when he began to work for MTV, but that was still twice as old as even the second oldest on-screen MTV personality. Despite this he's actually MTV's longest serving personality because of his trustworthiness and popularity with the young adult crowd.
  • Most of the stalwart staff of MAD magazine is pretty well up there but still turning out some top-notch parody. Among them are writers Dick DeBartolo (born 1945), Duck Edwing (born 1934), Mort Drucker (born 1929) and Al Jaffee (born 1921).
  • Sir Ian McKellen.
  • Nelson Mandela, doubled as Badass Grandpa until his health finally failed in the last months of his life.
  • William Marshall. He had multiple chances to seize a throne for himself but his honor and loyalty were stronger than the temptation of power. He also suffered from terminal levels of badassery. His most dramatic moment was the battle of Lincoln, as he put down the rebellion against young Henry III (William was Regent). He led the charge against the rebels and fought in the streets until he captured the enemy commanders, with three dents in his quarter-inch-thick steel helm from the fighting. Not bad considering he was 73 at the time. Immediately after that he rode to Dover and stopped the invading French forces there and negotiated a peace.
  • Michael McDonald. (02/12/1952 - present); 5-time Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter who has worked with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto. It's hard to find a picture of him where he's not grinning his ass off with that youthful sparkle of creativity in his eye, and he's 60.
  • Paul Newman. Aside from being a beloved actor, philanthropist, World War II Pacific veteran, and all-around great guy, he was still racing cars in his seventies.
  • Al Pacino
  • Don Pardo. Kept rockin' the opening announcements for Saturday Night Live until he died in 2014 at NINETY-FIVE.
  • Ron Paul is no doubt seen this way by many.
  • The late John Peel fit this trope when he got older. He never settled into a routine of playing his old favorites on another radio station; even up until the very end, he kept his Radio 1 gig of playing new, upcoming acts and making sure that if a demo tape/CD was good enough, it'd be played on his program, regardless of whether the artist was signed or unsigned.
  • Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband. Still grills at the age of 90, flew over 5,000 pilot hours by the time he turned 70.
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Former US president Ronald Reagan. After being shot, he was wheeled into the hospital...and was still calmly cracking jokes.
    • And most of the other US Presidents who lived past sixty.
      • His Excellency, General and President George Washington was a Memetic Badass within his own lifetime and has continued to be ever since. He survived near-death experiences on the battlefield and rallied the troops to keep fighting for independence. Later, the inability of the first Congress to pay the troops' long-overdue salaries in the aftermath of the war created a situation where angry troops wanted to overthrow Congress and many wanted to convince Washington to lead this coup and become a military dictator, which would have crushed American freedom in its infancy. George Washington refused, and successfully convinced his troops to relent. By doing so, Washington saved the early American republic (for the second time, considering the fact that his military leadership had preserved it during the Revolution), and became the Cincinnatus. Years later, he became the first President and set another important precedent by stepping down after two terms (becoming the Cincinnatus a second time), a precedent followed by all following Presidents except FDR. The early Americans were well aware of Washington's status as "the American Cincinnatus", and one of the first veterans' associations in the United States was named the Society of the Cincinnati in recognition of this fact. This is also where the name of Cincinnati, Ohio comes from. Even Washington's archnemesis, King George III of the United Kingdom readily admitted that by giving up power, Washington would deserve the title of greatest man then-currently alive. That's right, Washington was so badass that his own archnemesis couldn't deny it.
  • Mr. Warmth, Don Rickles. He's 87 years old but he can still kick all those younger stand up comedians and insult comics around the curb.
    • Ditto Pat Cooper, at 84.
  • The late Fred Rogers, Friend to All Children and beloved by generations of television viewers.
  • Many would agree that the late Scatman John qualifies. Not only did he have to overcome his severe speech impediment (during the height of his success, journalists commented that interviews were difficult due to his constant stuttering), he achieved global success with his numerous dance singles. Did we mention that he was releasing dance songs at the age of 54? While not by any means ancient, at the time dance mixes were something almost exclusively created by the younger generation. Worth noting is said speech impediment invariably contributed to his success.
  • Socrates became something of a youth idol in his time, despite being over forty when he began his "gadfly of Athens" phase, to the point that the main charge that led to his execution was "corrupting the youthnote ." (Athenian law was more... flexible.)
  • Shigesato Itoi
  • Ringo Starr, obviously.
    • Paul McCartney as well.
      • Heck, any old rock star guy who is still around in the music business as of 2013 automatically qualifies for this trope, which include but are not limited to Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan. He doesn't even have to be a former Beatle.
      • To name a few, Keith Richards, Little Richard, Robert Plant, Johnny Rotten.
      • Charlie Watts deserves special mention for making a decades-long marriage, clean living and jazz drumming look cool for 50-plus years.
  • Keeping to music, David Bowie has probably been this since he marked his 50th birthday with an all-star concert at Madison Square Garden in 1997, but then he released The Next Day in 2013, which was his first album in nearly 10 years and an international success with critics and music buyers. He hasn't performed live since 2007, so with this feat he effectively made an outright, out-of-the-blue comeback at the age of 66.
  • Jim Steranko. Instantly recognizable at any comic book convention in his double-breasted suits, tinted aviator glasses, and wave of silver hair, Steranko continues a lifetime of being a Cool Guy, having been an escape artist, early rock-n-roll musician, ground-breaking comics artist, and collaborator of Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola. In a recent interview, he revealed that he only sleeps two hours a day and only eats one meal of raw fruits and vegetables. Interviewer Jonathan Ross asked him, "You know how mad that makes you sound?" He replied, "Yeah, I don't give a damn." Ross concludes his article by expounding, "I believe it when he tells me he still runs miles every day, pumps iron, and fornicates blissfully like a man a third his age."
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Ed Sullivan.
  • George Takei. Oh Myyyy!
  • Mr. T, foo'!
  • Tamerlane/Temur Lang/Timur Lenk, the fourteenth century conqueror. Absolutely brutal, but notable for surviving being a great, empire-building conqueror, outliving two and a half (the third son suffered crippling brain damage) of his four sons. When he was about seventy, his favorite grandson stalled out invading India, so he rode out and gave the kid a hand, sacked Delhi, and went back to Qandahar. He died at seventy-four in the process of gearing up to invade China. And he probably would have won, too.
  • Nobuo Uematsu. Singlehandedly wrote and composed ALL the Final Fantasy songs from FFI to FFX. Is also in a metal band called the Black Mages.
  • Norio Wakamoto definitely counts amongst the Seiyuu circles.
  • Many dub voice actors for anime are both old and beloved among their fans, including Wendee Lee (54), Jamieson Price (53), Michael Mcconnohie (63), and Steven Blum (54), who spearheaded the "#BringBackToonami" movement.
  • Tom Waits is over 60 years old, yet has lost none of his grizzled, husky-voiced charm.
  • The one, the only Sir Terry Wogan. For ages, the only reason many tuned into the Eurovision Song Contest, and his radio audience transcended age boundaries (which is why there's a "TYG/Terry's Young Geezers" counterpart to the "TOG/Terry's Old Geezers" fanbase). He too broke new artists on his Radio 2 program, from Katie Melua to the late Eva Cassidy to Jamie Cullum.
  • Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese businessman who lived to be 93, having survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 1945.
  • All the astronauts from the US space program, as interviewed in the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon.
    • Buzz Aldrin in particular. One day, while walking with his daughter, he was confronted by a crazy conspiracy theorist who kept loudly and rudely claiming that the Moon landing had been faked, and called Aldrin "a coward, and a liar, and a thief." Aldrin promptly responded by punching the conspiracy theorist in the face... at the age of 72.
      • Later, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Buzz teamed up with Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli, and Soulja Boy to create the rap single and video, "Rocket Experience." Proceeds from video and song sales went to benefit Buzz's non-profit foundation, Share Space.
    • Once introduced himself at a speaking event as Buzz Lightyear, and also appeared As Himself on The Simpsons in a role where he mercilessly mocked himself.
    NASA Scientist: ...and Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon!
    Aldrin: Second comes right after first!
    (Long pause as everyone save Aldrin looks around awkwardly)
  • Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being, better known as Kirby, won Westminster when he was 8. That's old for a dog. This was the same year he won the canine Triple Crown. However his pure canine awesome didn't stop. When he was 14 he came out of retirement to win (for the fourth time) Papillon Club of America's National Speciality Show. This made him both the oldest dog to win this title and the dog with the most wins of said title. He died two years later at 16.
  • Sir Elton Hercules John.
  • Although he isn't exactly "old" quite yet, as of his recent 50th birthday, Jon Bon Jovi is on his way to becoming this trope. At 50, he's still very athletic (apparently, he still has abs), recently started up the JBJ Soul Foundation to help provide quality food and housing to poor people in his home state of New Jersey, and unlike some rockers, he's still married to his first wife, who happens to be his high school sweetheart. Oh, and he and his band (who are also on their way to becoming Cool Old Guys) can still put on awesome concerts, and generally tickets for their tours get sold out extremely quickly.
  • Baseball's Yogi Berra is definitely this trope. During the 1940's, 50's, and 60's, he was one of the greatest players in the game. He later became a coach, serving as mentor to the new generation of players. Now 88 years old, he still attends the Yankees' Spring Training to dispense wisdom to the current players. He's known for being extremely friendly and gregarious, and lots of people in baseball think of him as a Cool Uncle. Oh, and the many amusing malapropisms he's uttered over the years, known appropriately as Yogi-isms, always result in a Crowning Moment of Funny. In short, Berra is a classy, funny veteran of the game and it can quite safely be stated that he's universally loved by fans and players alike.
  • The late Pope John Paul II definitely counts.
    • As does The Dalai Lama.
  • Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington was still active in both politics and the military up until his death.
  • John Cleese.
  • Lemmy from Motörhead. As of this writing, he's almost 68 years old but still playing kick-ass metal music.
  • William S. Burroughs died in 1997 at the age of 83... but not before becoming an alternative-subculture icon during the early 1990s.
  • The Cardinals' Stan "The Man" Musial is very similar to the Yogi Berra example above (until the last months of his life, attended all the events he could, still gave autographs and replies to fanmail; also univerally beloved) with one extra detail: at age 90, he was the center of a fan-led grassroots campaign in St. Louis to get him the Congressional Medal of Freedom (the highest honor a U.S. civilian can receive). He received it in January 2011. He's possibly one of the finest Real Life examples of a Sacred Cow.
    • By the time of Musial's death in January 2013, he'd given so many autographs away that it is pretty much monetarily worthless. Think about that.
  • Christopher Walken.
  • Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) was definitely this.
  • Bruce Willis is definitely becoming this.
  • Most males from the Dutch series Golden Oldies are this. They are in a choir that actually sings modern day rock music, despite being over 70— some even being in their late 80s.
  • Iggy Pop
  • The Man, the Myth, the Legend, Chuck Norris. 70+ and still going strong.
  • BRIAN BLESSED. Need any more be said?
  • Ozzy Osbourne, despite the problems that poor choices have caused him.
  • Brian Dewhurst's name is familiar to Cirque du Soleil fans — he originated key roles in two tours (Nouvelle Experience and Fascination), has appeared in several of their film and television productions, and is currently playing the Non-Ironic Clown and crowd favorite Brian Le Petit in Mystere. That he's been working in circuses, cabaret, etc. since his teens is not surprising. That he was born in 1932...that's another story!
  • George Burns built a whole second entertainer career with this trope after the death of his wife, Gracie Allen, and kept it up until his death at 100.
  • Ernest Borgnine lived to be 95 and was in full-on Borgnine mode right up to the end.
  • Joe Biden combines several traits of your favorite goofy uncle with a sharp wit, occasional verbal gaffes and considerable experience. No wonder one of the petitions on whitehouse.gov is to give him his own reality show.
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Max von Sydow has been acting in films since 1947. He played Father Merrin in The Exorcist, among many other roles.
  • Pope Francis is a very affable person who refuses to live in the papal apartments in the Vatican (which is one of the last modern examples of a Deadly Decadent Court), throws out the script quite often when he makes speeches, enjoys interacting with children, and has gone out of his way to help the poor, including feeding the homeless while dressed as an ordinary priest.
  • Jerry Miculek is a world-class shooter with over ninety titles to his name. He teaches shooting and hosts a series of videos demonstrating various firearms. You can tell that he's having as much fun as he can when he's showing off high-caliber weapons.
  • Lou Reed had ascended to this status by the time he died in 2013.
  • Colin Baker. He became The Sixth Doctor on Doctor Who in his forties in 1984... got slammed, fucked by the BBC, given shit scripts, treated like absolute shit, and to top it off, was outright sacked. This didn't stop him, however, from playing The Doctor AGAIN, in 1999 when he joined the cast of Big Finish Doctor Who to play The Sixth Doctor AGAIN. Except this time, people who knew how to write good stores and characters were hired, the stories themselves greatly better, Colin got to play The Doctor how he wanted instead of how the BBC forced him to. He even got to write his own scripts. And today, at age 71, he's STILL doing it!!! And regularly visiting conventions and meeting crazed fans.
  • Shigeru Mizuki, one of the few modern manga pioneers who is still alive. He was born in 1922. He lost one arm in the war. Mizuki popularized Youkai manga, that even profoundly influenced Osamu Tezuka.

Crack! Oh My Back!EldersCool Old Lady
Brass BallsThe Utterly and Completely Definitive Guide to CoolCool Old Lady
Charles Atlas SuperpowerMartial Arts MovieCool Old Lady
Cock FightAlways MaleCorrupt Hick
Combat PragmatistOverdosed TropesWorthy Opponent
Cool Clear WaterImageSource/PhotographyLes Cops Sportif
ChickificationProfessional WrestlingCurb-Stomp Battle

alternative title(s): Oyaji; Cool Old Gal
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
338261
0