Spenser: Has anyone ever told you that you coalesce reality? That you brighten a room and make everything seem lighter and more pleasant?In most media, the average badass is usually a hairy-knuckled brawler unfamiliar with the finer things in life, but not this guy. Like his Trope-brother the Cultured Warrior, the Cultured Badass knows how to be sophisticated, is an expert on gourmet food and art, and knows how to behave himself at a formal affair. In short, he knows how to be a gentleman but he also knows how (and when) to kick your ass. Just because he enjoys La Bohème and can tell the difference between bottles of 1938 and 1941 Moët et Chandon from the
Susan Silverman: No. They usually only say that I'm good in the sack.
Spenser: [thoughtful pause] They are accurate but limited. And if you give me their names, I'll kill them.
Susan Silverman: No. They usually only say that I'm good in the sack.
Spenser: [thoughtful pause] They are accurate but limited. And if you give me their names, I'll kill them.
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- He can disarm you with his looks. Or his hands. Either way. He's a lover, not a fighter, but he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas. His blood smells like cologne. He can speak French...in Russian. His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards. Sharks have a week dedicated to him. He is...The Most Interesting Man in the World.
"I don't always drink beer. But when I do...I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friends."
Anime & Manga
- Koetsuji Akisame from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is a philosopher, chiropractor, painter, and sculptor so famous that he would be rich if he were willing to sell his works. He is also good at many musical instruments, theater acting, machinery, math, and physics, among others. Additionally, he can speak Russian and perform a tea ceremony. He is also the best Jujitsu master in Japan, capable of bending steel with just one finger. One of his many feats was to level down a fully-staffed Russian military base all by himself, unarmed, of course.
- Hagi/Haji from Blood+ operates with an eye for sophistication. His weapon of choice? A cello case.
- And he does play the cello pretty well, too. Not to mention he loves gardening.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The perfect mixture of culture and badass has been passed down the Armstrong family line for GENERATIONS!
- Gravion brings us Klein Sandman, who is obscenely rich, has a crap ton of maids, lives in a totally pimped out castle, and did we mention he's rich? However, he can build and pilot badass mecha, and regularly performs Crazy Awesome feats of life threatening insanity as if it were normal.
- Jonathan Joestar, the protagonist from Part 1 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, very much qualifies. He's a true English gentleman, studied archaeology in university, and comes from a noble British family. He's also well over 6 feet tall, is built like a truck, and manhandles zombies and vampires.
- Joseph Joestar from Part 2 qualifies to a lesser extent. He admits he gets a lot of his strategy from being familiar with The Art of War.
- From The Big O, Roger Smith and Alex Rosewater definitely enjoy the finer things in life, and while they are on opposite sides of the moral fence, they are both tough enough to get in their sentient mecha and kick your ass!
- Albireo Imma from Mahou Sensei Negima! likes to drink tea, speak politely, and can control gravity magic. His occupation is librarian, and he'll still kick your ass. Without actually being physically present.
- After recent events, Negi probably qualifies, as he's a Quintessential British Gentleman who enjoys a Spot of Tea...and is capable of beating the crap out of you if you piss him off.
- Negi's master Evangeline also qualifies, since she (also) enjoys tea (by Chachamaru), plays a wicked game of Go, and is in the Flower Arrangement Club. She is also one of the most powerful mages in the world with an enormous bounty on her and has earned a ton of titles in her long life.
- There's also our old nemesis, Fate Averruncus. Who, similar to and yet also in contrast to Negi, enjoys drinking coffee and has the habit of offering his enemies to a drink before a fight, which is sometimes not even his intention.
- Sanji from One Piece. He's the number one Chivalrous Pervert and Supreme Chef.
- Additionally, Emporio Ivankov's right hand, ummmm...person, Inazuma. With a big hairdo, and fancy clothes, and a glass of wine eternally clutched in his hands, Inazuma is able to kick ass and take names without spilling so much as a single drop.
- Much earlier on, we had Captain "Iron Fist" Fullbody. However, after being bumped down to Marine Recruit so that he could work with both Jango and Captain Hina, he appears to have dropped the "cultured" part.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's Treize Khushrenda: urbane, enjoys a cup of tea, memorizes all slain for his cause, and can tidily hand Chang Wufei his ass. Then he will take a rose-scented bath.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam 's George DeSand also qualifies, as he is a self-styled knight.
- Cowboy Bebop's philosophically-minded and jazz-loving Jet Black is a gardening, cooking, ass-kicking machine.
- Kenshiro Kasumi in Fist of the Blue Sky is a Cultured Badass that can actually pose as a teacher in a girl's university, and can read German fluently enough that he can read the names of poisons on a bottle. He can also pose as a translator, while still retaining the ability to cast a Death Glare potent enough to scare brigands, at which point the trope is lampshaded. And he is every bit as capable of rendering you "already dead" as his post-apocalyptic nephew.
- Ren from Skip Beat! Cultured enough that he seems like two different people. One a wonderful heartthrob talented actor who is kind, refined, and gentlemanly. The other scary enough that when he gets angry Kyouko wants to crawl under a rock and die, not to mention his not yet revealed troubled past...
- Full Frontal from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn when he is holding Banagher captive, he offers him tea, has no qualms with answering Banagher's questions, and treats him with the utmost of courtesy. And just like the actual Char, Frontal is a highly knowledgeable (as well as cunning) philosopher and politician.
- Spitfire from Air Gear is the Flame King of the Flame Road. He's also a hairdresser and plays piano.
- Saki from Area 88, a London-educated, miltilingual prince who is also a skilled fighter pilot.
- Any leader of consequence in Ravages Of Time, and it frequently goes hand-in-hand with Genius Bruiser.
- Griffith of Berserk. Elegant, smart, well-read, and one of the best military leaders in Midland's history.
- Dutch from Black Lagoon reads the collected works of Mao in his downtime and quotes Marx at Rock and Revy when they complain about labour conditions. This only adds to his aura of mystery, considering his daily life is devoted to running a shipping/piracy company in the biggest Wretched Hive in Thailand.
- Variable Geo: Reimi Jahana is CEO of The Jahana Corporation and it shows. She's almost always dressed in her suit and tie, cruises around in a red convertible, and has a private rooftop rose garden. She also happens to be the two-time defending champion of the VG tournament and is the favorite to win for a third year in a row. That's why her mother had to cheat to get rid of her.
- Axis Powers Hetalia: France, with his love and appreciation for art, wine, and fashion, qualifies during his more effective moments - Napoleon's reign being the best example. Austria, the refined Elegant Classical Musician and aristocrat extraordinaire also counts, having once been a magnificent and powerful empire.
- Batman's Battle Butler Alfred Pennyworth is much more than the skinny, soft-spoken, gentleman's gentleman that he appears to be (he's a former SAS commando, after all).
- Bruce Wayne himself isn't exactly an unsophisticated ruffian, either. He's a gifted chess player who mingles with high society nearly every night he isn't dressed up as a bat.
- Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and the rest of the Bat-Family aren't slouches themselves in this regard. Well, mostly. Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown are exceptions, due to having little to no exposure to language or culture, and growing up in a lower-class home, respectively. For quite a while, Cassandra couldn't even read!
- The Penguin is a successful businessman who majored in Ornithologynote , dresses nicely, is well-versed in etiquette, loves tea, can play the violin, studied Shakespeare, has an appreciation for opera, poetry, and world history, and despite his physical appearance he is an efficient physical combatant capable of overwhelming attackers many times his size and physical bearing. Though as a villain, he's technically Wicked Cultured. And in some cases, he only thinks he's Wicked Cultured.
- Marvel's Battle Butler Edwin Jarvis was RAF boxing champion three years in a row when he was in the service, and subsequently received self-defence training from Captain America.
- Deathstroke The Terminator aka Slade Wilson is often seen sipping champagne and enjoying the finer things in life.
- V from V for Vendetta easily constitutes this. Every second line is a quote from some major literary source, he's a fan of the original Zorro film, and can dance too!
- Doctor Strange, the Master of the Mystic Arts and former Sorcerer Supreme, is an upper-class former surgeon trained in magic by a Tibetan mystic. To qualify as Sorcerer Supreme he had to, among other tests, transcend love and attachment (by being willing to kill his mentor to save the world), transcend life and death (by fighting desperately against the actual embodiment of death and then completely embracing it as a part of life) and transcend good and evil (by being willing and able to use dark magic to prevent a greater evil without succumbing to temptation or corruption). His manservant, Wong, is much like an Asian version of Alfred.
- G.I. Joe's Roadblock carries an M2 Browning heavy machine gun around and is also a gourmet chef.
- Abominus from the Transformers Mirror Universe of Shattered Glass. The Shattered Glass Terrorcons are all well-regarded performers of some form or other, and when combined their foppish charm is magnified tenfold.
- Wonder Woman is a princess, and thus remains very well-schooled in the ways of etiquette and grace even whilst fending off an alien invasion with her bare hands. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta, is even more regal and rigid then her daughter, yet capable of kicking just as much ass.
- Dwight and Wallace from Sin City are both very well-read and enjoy the arts. A villain example would be Manute who speaks well and is obviously quite intelligent.
- Cadbury from Richie Rich is not just a Battle Butler, but also able to fight as a "man of action" when the need arises. He's Harvey Comics' version of Alfred Pennyworth.
- As well as being a Genius Bruiser, Dr. Hank 'Beast' McCoy has an appreciation for literature. In the animated series, he would frequently quote obscure poetry as he nimbly swung from rafters and subdued his opponents.
"With faint heart, averted feet, and many a tear, in our opposed paths to persevere". A minor poet for a minor obstacle.
- Kartik Abingdon from One Piece: Parallel Works.
- Child of the Storm has several, predominantly Loki and Lucius Malfoy, the former of whom enjoys reading and discussing philosophy and classic literature, and negotiates with the Indian Prime Ministernote over a cup of tea, while the latter is seldom without a Glass Of Chianti and constantly acts Wicked Cultured.
- Thor, to an extent, in that he shows an occasional gift for quite complex philosophy, at a contrast to his usual practical and down to earth demeanour.
- Xavier and Beast are also this trope, as per canon, as are Doctor Strange and Dr. Nathaniel Essex aka Sinister, though the latter is Wicked Cultured.
- Many of the characters from Honor for the Enemy qualify, given that they are based off of freaking vikings. They could take you and any of your best in a fight, and they can sprout elegant poems without breaking a sweat.
- in The Great Alicorn Hunt, Arguably Rarity and her entire Radiant Guard— they wear the finest haute couture, mingle with royalty, dabble in various genteel hobbies, and every last one is a trained killing machine.
- The Powers of Harmony has Rarity's assigned Guards, Elo and Grovi. The former is a noble who gave up the decadent lifestyle, while the latter is a commoner who was trained to be able to pass himself off as a noble. Or their predecessors were, anyway. Both are top-notch fighters.
Films — Animated
- Maria from The Book of Life, enjoys reading, art and music. Plus, she knows fencing and karate.
- Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog. He's cultured throughout the movie, but the "badass" part doesn't come until later (after he gets turned into a frog by voodoo witch doctor, Dr. Facilier).
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman: Both title characters apply (specially Peabody). They are both more knowledgeable than most people, yet they still know how to kick whenever they need it.
Films — Live-Action
- Bond. James Bond. Just because the man prefers vodka martinis ("shaken, not stirred"), enjoys regular fine dining, knows the word for "beautiful" in Afghan, thinks drinking champagne at the wrong temperature is "as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs", can identify classic cars on sight, stops to taste the caviar before leaving a room after being attacked by a thug, has "usual suites" in Vienna and Hong Kong, a better taste in wine than any of his successive bosses, a First in Oriental Languages from Cambridge, and a penchant for wearing tuxedos and tailor made clothes, doesn't mean he can't kick your ass before you even realize what's happening. The movies especially played this up: he came across as more of a selfish Jerkass and a ruthless Professional Killer in the original novels, although he did have his moments and arguably became more heroic as the series went on.
- Dorian Gray in the live-action adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. When The Phantom's soldiers begin wrecking his house, he strides calmly through the firefight, looking utterly bored as he stabs people left and right. When one of the soldiers fills his entire torso with lead, he just stands there, takes a deep breath, and then cuts off the guy's breastplate and stabs him. As soon as the guy falls, he takes the handkerchief out of his breast pocket, wipes the sword clean with it, and puts it back in a dignified manner.
- Everett Hitch in Appaloosa is the Far West version of this trope.
- Sherlock Holmes is quite cultured; he just refuses to live up to the image and prefers the drunk/wasted/stoned eccentric genius style.
- Watson too. Helps that he is a war veteran.
- Moriarty could qualify.
- Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal Lecter.
- Ghost Dog is a hitman who is also an enormous fan of Samurai culture and philosophy. And that's only the start of it: he also trains pigeons, reads classic literature along with books about philosophy, civil rights struggles, fantasy novels, and has warrior symbols from multiple cultures in his tiny shack.
- Pretty much every Indiana Jones villain (save perhaps Mola Ram). And Indy himself, when he gets cleaned up.
- The Big Bad of Equilibrium, being a hypocrite, keeps an art collection and reads poetry, quoting Yeats right before the climactic fight. He is also a Gun Kata master, and the only character in the film aside from Brandt in their first duel who even comes close to giving Preston a proper fight.
- With the exception of Ariadne, Arthur in Inception seems to be the least capable member when it comes to fighting. He's almost always dressed in a slick suit or his Waistcoat of Style with his hair combed back and seems to be primarily Cobb's smart assistant who manages the high tech equipment. However, in the first dream level he dreams up one of the biggest guns and in the second level he completely owns gravity, making Neo look like a cheap carnival artist.
- Benedict from Last Action Hero.
- English Bob from Unforgiven appears to embody this trope, although it is later implied that his debonair, cultured manner may be a facade (and also that he may be less of a badass than his public image would suggest).
- Doc Holiday in Tombstone as portrayed by Val Kilmer. He speaks Latin, wears a spiffy purple vest, and shoots a double barrel sawed off. And he plays Frederic fucking Chopin on the piano.
- In Dead Man, Xebeche quotes lots of William Blake.
- In The Grey, John Ottway, played by Liam Neeson, is a man who kills large wild animals for a living but also has a love of poetry.
- In The Proposition, Arthur Burns is a Chaotic Evil bandit, "a monster, an abomination" who thinks profound thoughts, enjoys Watching the Sunset, and keeps a large pile of books in his cave hideout.
- During the bullying scene in Man of Steel, you may notice Clark was reading Plato's works.
- In Hard Boiled, when Inspector "Tequila" Yuen isn't gunning down hordes of bad guys, Guns Akimbo, he's playing clarinet at his local jazz bar.
- X-Men Film Series:
- Charles Xavier; it comes with his educated status.
- Magneto speaks several languages, passionately discusses philosophy, shows considerable knowledge of politics and foreign cultures, and enjoys the occasional game of chess with Xavier.
- Beast. In X-Men: The Last Stand, he tries to quote Churchill while fighting, and quotes Shakespeare prior to taking off to San Francisco in a deleted scene.
- The Scottish warrior William Wallace in Braveheart is foremost a Barbarian Hero, but he is also fluent in Latin and French.
- In The Suicide Theory, Steve is a deranged hit man who has no problem killing anyone for money, but he is a big fan of opera and the works of Creator/Voltaire.
- Steve Rogers is a great motorcyclist, draws really good sketches, can speak conversational French, and has a thing for 1940's clothing and music. He's also the immensely physically-powerful and charismatic Captain America from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He can effortlessly deal with a dozen assailants in an elevator, rip a log in half with his bare hands and even defeat a man wearing Powered Armor in hand-to-hand combat.
- In Star Wars (particularly in the prequels) Obi-Wan Kenobi is always reserved, impeccably polite and a fine diplomat who believes that resorting to blasters to win a fight is incredibly crude, being the trope namer for Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age. He is also the man who defeated each of General Grievous, Darth Maul and Anakin Skywalker in a personal duel.
- It's not an action movie, but in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, a mercenary poet who thinks he and his buddies got off too light praises Gary Cooper's title character as such in the middle of a drunken, masochistic ramble.
- Prince Vladimir from the Nightfall Series can discuss opera and give you writing lessons while beating you to a pulp.
- A Brother's Price: The princesses are this, it comes with the job. The elder princesses died in an explosion of the opera house. The survivors of that explosion still remember what the opera was about and how moving the aria sung at the time before they left was.
- In Dragon Bones, Ward is a badass fighter if the situation calls for it. He spends his spare time in the library, and likes to annoy people he really dislikes by reciting ancient ballads to them ... for hours. He is also good at languages.
- Sherlock Holmes in the novels is portrayed more cultured than badass, but instances still arise that show the hidden badass within. For example, a goon came in and with some effort bent his fire poker. With little effort Holmes straightened it, barehanded. He's also a bare-knuckle boxer and master of "baritsu.note "
- Robert B. Parker's hard-boiled detective Spenser is a gourmet cook, an appreciator of classical music, classical literature, and finely brewed beer, a lover of dogs, a respecter of women, and is absolutely capable of breaking you into several small bleeding chunks should the job call for it.
- Simon Templar, the gentleman thief better known as The Saint.
- Havelock Vetinari of the Discworld novels.
What did he know? He'd been classically educated. Then they remembered that that classical education had taken place at the Guild of Assassins, and froze.
Mr Tulip: It's a —ing delightful piece. I feel quite privileged to have seen it, and you were going to use it as a —ing blunt instrument! Keeping it in a —ing cupboard! Honestly, I could —ing spit.
- Mr Tulip from The Truth is a career criminal and the muscle of the pair. He is constantly snorting anything he can get that comes in little bags sold by furtive men on the street (up to and including flour and corned-beef sandwiches). He is also an expert in fine art and antiques.
- Willikins, Vimes's butler, appears to be a calm, ordinary butler, until he comes at you with the ice carving knife.
- Anyone who graduates from Ankh-Morpork's Guild of Assassins.
- Edmond Dantès, The Count of Monte Cristo.
- Doc Savage and, probably even more so, his aide 'Ham' Brooks.
- Definitely Ham, who embodies sartorial perfection even in the jungle and stabs people with a sword cane.
- Many characters in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, such as Fëanor (the Ax-Crazy Magnificent Bastard who rebelled against good deities and Big Bad alike and was also a great linguist, among other things), Faramir, Elrond, etc.
"Nor were the 'loremasters' a separate guild of gentle scribes, soon burned by the Orks of Angband upon pyres of books. They were mostly even as Fëanor, the greastest, kings, princes and warriors..." The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", J.R.R Tolkien.
- The title character of the Erast Fandorin novels.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Grand Admiral Thrawn, who led the Empire after Palpatine's death, was an art collector. But he had more than mental toughness. In a novella called "Side Trip", he disguised himself as a bounty hunter for an extended period and proved to be an excellent shot.
- Thrawn wasn't just an art collector because he appreciated art in itself (not that he didn't)... he was able to determine the tactical makeup of a race/culture just by analyzing one of their pictures or sculptures. Needless to say, Thrawn is probably the first example of being Badass because he was Cultured, as opposed having either as separate parts of his character.
- In KJ Taylor's The Fallen Moon trilogy Arenadd becomes this, particularly compared to the other Northerners. This is due to his upbringing as a Southern griffiner, if a controversial and outcast one.
- A number of protagonists in Feist's books, most notably Jimmy The Hand/Duke James and his grandson Dashel.
- Tarzan can put on airs as Lord Greystoke one minute and rip out your throat with his teeth the next if you piss him off.
- Seregil and later also Alec from Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series—always well-mannered, always insisting on wearing gloves (since callused hands would be such a disaster!), always speaking properly—that is when they're not busy with spying, fighting and stealing. Almost any member of Skalan Royalty counts too.
- Jean Tannen from the Gentleman Bastard series. Gourmet chef, master mathematician, and lover of literature — he spends a few fair pages in one book debating with another man on the merits and faults of the Therin Throne's most reputed playwright. He's also built like a bull, skilled with several weapons (but prefers Dual Wielding axes), and is fully capable of dismantling teams of professional assassins single-handed.
- China Sorrows from the Skulduggery Pleasant books.
- Skulduggery himself, too. Wears suits, can dance, drives a Bentley, can kick your ass in many different ways, is a skeleton.
- Jack the Ripper in Time Scout is a very well-read member of London society.
- Derek Sagan in The Star of the Guardians. Quoting Tosca to his opponent while torturing him is among the things he does.
- Butler of Artemis Fowl, as well as being a Battle Butler, is a cordon bleu chef and has been shown to read classic novels in his free time.
- Lord Peter Wimsey, the second son of a duke. Described in Dorothy L. Sayers's novels as speaking multiple languages (including French and Latin), a book collector, a well-known cricket player, very careful of his clothes, and who actually does correctly identify several rare wines based on taste alone in one short story (to be fair, the competition was designed to figure out which of three men was him — his taste for wines being famed all the way across Europe). Takes up detective work as a hobby mostly because he's bored and got a lot of experience doing intelligence work during World War II, and shows no squeamishness about killing the occasional criminal by accident, usually without the criminal ever realising he was dangerous.
- The Trillians in Poul Anderson's "A Little Knowledge"
- Professor Lyall of The Parasol Protectorate is remarkably civilized for a werewolf, which are by and large known to be a bit savage. He prefers fish over raw meat, studies the breeding of sheep, and dresses impeccably without even a hint of scruffiness (this is noted to be nearly impossible). Even in wolf shape, he appears sleek and almost fox-like compared to his pack mates.
- Elemental Masters novels:
- To some level any Elemental Master or Warrior of Light who has had a good education can qualify.
- Lord Peter Almsley is a highly cultured nobleman. And in Unnatural Issue, he pounds a much larger bully into Steak Tartare without injury (unless you count sore knuckles).
- Nan likes Kipling's work and is a voracious reader. She's also an ex Street Urchin who is, despite her age, capable of (temporarily) assuming her Warrior of Light aspect. And that's when she's a kid. Heaven help you if you anger her when she's an adult...
- In Reverte's The Fencing Master, aging but still formidable fencing master Don Jaime Astarloa has the following exchange with his young and beautiful student Adela:
Adela: "One is never unfair enough with men."Astarloa: "I'd also give anything for sending my card and my seconds to the man that put that opinion in your lips."
- Adventure Hunters: Lisa, one of the three adventurers, knows more about antiques than a guy running an antique shop. Justified as she is a treasure hunter so she has to know what she has in order to make a living.
- Karl May presents his Author Avatar Old Shatterhand / Kara Ben Nemsi that way in his adventure novels: Fluent in too many languages to number and well-versed in the cultures of people all over the world, he takes it good-naturedly when comic relief characters mock him as a "bookworm".
- Pretty much a staple of the Dune series, including the nobles and their senior retainers and the various factions such as the Bene Gesserit.
- The Hunger Games: Cinna instigates a rebellion with the power of fashion.
- Captain Jonathan Flint of the Black Sun. He enjoys a good glass of wine as he does rum, can quote ancient literature (up to and including the King James Bible) from memory, holds a collection of valuable artworks (which he later uses to decorate his spaces aboard the Black Sun) and retains a preference for classical media (basically anything from the First Age of Terra). The latter especially applies to his choice of music; when he isn't out captaining the Black Sun or slaughtering mooks wholesale, he can be found in his quarters listening to songs from certain long lost and "forgotten" artists.
- Skothiam Felcraft of Dance of the Butterfly, wealthy head of the prestigious Felcraft family, highly educated, collector of rare books, and a supernaturally gifted mage and hunter of demons.
- Victoria's protagonist John Rumford is a former USMC infantry officer turned vigilante, revolutionist and eventually general and statesman, as he fights for his people in a bleak post-apocalyptic setting. In addition to his military accomplishments, he also has well-developed interests in history, philosophy and literature, enjoys classical music, and writes haiku. The same story also has a darker example in Captain Halsing, a cultured officer in a nazi-imitating militia who is to some extent his evil counterpart, and who meditates on Nietzsche's philosophy in between daring infiltrations and perilous escapes.
- Though less obvious than many instances of this trope (because it's overshadowed by his being a Pop-Cultured Badass as well), Harry Dresden, titular character of The Dresden Files, qualifies. He has an extensive knowledge of literature and mythology (the Fridge Brilliance sets in when you realize that, given that this is an All Myths Are True world, an extensive knowledge of mythology is incredibly helpful), enjoys classical music, can identify the painting styles of different Renaissance masters at a glance, and even used to have a sword cane, which as Grave Peril shows, he isn't too bad with.
- The Long Ships: Both Orm and Toke are noted as being badass even by Viking standards, as well as quite accomplished poets. It is also mentioned in conjunction with the Yule feast in king Harald's hall that it is considered unbecoming for a warrior to not appreciate poetry, and Toke breaks down crying when he hears one of Styrbjörn's men recite a poem and realizes he will never be that good.
Live Action TV
- Robert McCall, the hero of The Equalizer, is urbane and well-read. And an ex-spy with no compunctions at all with ending a person if they become a problem.
- Game of Thrones:
- Oberyn Martell writes poetry and has a taste for fine food, fine wine, and fine women (and men). He is also mentioned to have traveled widely and studied at the Citadel, Westeros' equivalent of a university.
- Jorah Mormont is very well-read and speaks a few languages.
- Duncan MacLeod, from the Highlander series, is a lover of opera, a reader of poetry, a bit of a gourmand, a lover of fine art, a skilled dancer, a collector of fine antiques, and is qualified to teach history at the college level as well as a multiple black belt who regularly chops off the heads of his enemies with a katana (in the use of which he is an expert, naturally).
- Nicely justified - he's had a few hundred years to develop all of that.
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is cultured, almost foppish, yet able to be a badass when he needs to be.
- Angel himself is an accomplished artist, a voracious reader, and skilled with languages human and demonic. Plus there's his longstanding love of ballet - strong enough to be the core of an entire episode, "Waiting in the Wings", and something he admitted to admiring even without a soul as Angelus. Part of the reason for his diverse abilities is simply his inhumanly long life; the rest is intelligence and perhaps a compulsion to make up not only for his evilness as Angelus but also his wastrel past as the human Liam.
- Blackadder Goes Forth: Captain Edmund's sarcasm is not the same if it's not as poetic. Gets pretty touching at the end.
- Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Faith as well, kind of.
- Ianto Jones from Torchwood. Looks great in a suit, Makes excellent coffee, and won't hesitate to kick your ass.
Mal: Yes, I read a poem. Try not to faint.
- To a much lesser degree, Mal, though the culture only shows up in brief hints, such as his proficiency in ballroom dancing, or in the movie, when he displays knowledge of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The Word of God says that he grew up well-read on a wealthy ranch.
- Also Shepard Book. A preacher who discusses ancient Chinese philosophers, and is also a good enough shot that he can unerringly hit his opponents in the kneecap in a tense firefight. It's more than hinted at that he's a Retired Badass with a Mysterious Past.
- And Simon Tam. Very well educated, dresses nicely, unerringly polite, but able to take on an entire corrupt government without flinching to protect his mei-mei.
- Inara: Not only are members of the Companion’s Guild expected to be well read, debonair, and charming in the presence of high-society, they are expected to be able to fight if needs be: Inara gives Mal lessons in sword-fighting, and knows that "Well bred petty criminals put the small concealable weapons of the far left of the place setting.” Admittedly she said that in jest... whilst handling a handgun with ease and familiarity.
- She also thinks well on her feet and keeps the most unexpected things at hand.
Inara: And that wasn't incense.
- her friend Nandi deserves a medal for this trope!
- She also thinks well on her feet and keeps the most unexpected things at hand.
- To a certain extent, the title character of House. He's definitely not a gentleman, but he's very intelligent, a great doctor, well-read, fond of jazz... and heavily anti-social. Therefore, cultured and badass, even if he doesn't classically fit the trope.
- Ben Linus of Lost is accomplished on the piano and skilled at chess (fittingly). He's well-read and speaks several languages. He'll also cripple you with his handy telescopic baton, then whip you around and use your gun, still in your hand, to shoot your comrade.
- Star Trek:
- Your average Starfleet officer is probably better read and more erudite than your average Oxford professor. But when they're not watching ancient operas or helping Leonardo da Vinci on the holodeck, they're kicking Klingon, Cardassian, and Romulan ass, giving the Borg a run for their money, and otherwise saving time and space as you know it.
- As far as The Captains are concerned, Picard is easily the most cultured, as he enjoys sipping Earl Grey tea and catching up on Shakespeare after staring down Romulan warbirds or telling Insane Admirals to shove it. Sisko is no slouch, either; he proves to be a keen historian, a talented engineer, a legendary chef, and a trained combatant and military leader who once slugged out Q.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where other cultures are explored in more depth, it's shown that other cultures have their own version of this trope. A true Klingon warrior is well-versed in opera, poetry, history and the nuances of etiquette (all Klingon-style, of course). Worf and General Martok are leading examples of this. Cardassians, for all their State Sec tendencies, place great value on music, literature, art, family loyalty and good manners, so badass Cardassians often fall under this trope, such as Garak who can kill a person with his pinky finger while still retaining a huge passion for the literary arts, although Garak has a couple other tropes that fit him more specifically.
- This puts both races quite firmly in the Space Samurai zone.
- When not playing the cello (a Stradivarius cello, to be specific) and tending to his priceless art collection (including apparent examples of lost works by famous painters), Stringfellow Hawke blows shit up in his Big Damn Gunship, Airwolf. Donald P. Bellisario likes his protagonists to be fairly well-heeled.
- Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass. Wore suits to kindergarten and developed his taste for single malt at the age of twelve, but cross him and you're in for a world of hurt.
- The impeccably dressed, bowler-hatted, champagne-drinking John Steed from The Avengers.
- Paladin of Have Gun – Will Travel takes in the opera, ballet, recites poetry and classical literature off the top of his head, displays talent as an artist, and is a legendary Quick Draw artist and gunslinger.
- Monroe speaks German, High German, fixes clocks, plays the cello, collects stamps, is knowledgeable about antique cameras, and is a highly proficient chef who makes his own sausages, appreciates fine wine, and such. He's also the Grimm-universe's version of a Big Bad Wolf, capable of ripping your arm off by accident.
- Then there is Sean Renard, being the illegitimate son of a royal (specifically the king) this goes with the territory. But he is a lover of fine dinning, art, is knowledgeable in a variety of matters including history and politics, and speaks fluent French, German, Latin and Russian as well as English (and potentially more). He's also the Anti-Hero Magnificent Bastard Warrior Prince, whose tougher than Monroe and one of a very small number of characters whose potentially Protagonist Nick Burkhardt's equal.
- In Being Human (UK), Hal is an extremely well-cultured socialite with and extensive knowledge of history, art, blood type, torture, Kia-Ora... He's very well-spoken, and most the time, quite polite... But when he falls off the wagon, he jumps off.
- Artemus Gordon of The Wild Wild West is - among other things - a gourmet, an art lover, a scientist and a very snappy dresser. He's also one of the United States' top secret service agents.
- The Cartwright family from Bonanza are this to a man. They are salt-of-the-earth sorts, and not afraid to do manual labour on the ranch, but they also have a large, lavishly appointed home with a well-stocked library and wine cellar, fashionable town-clothes and expensive modern guns. Ben is shown to be very fond of French wine, particularly Château Lafite.
- Captain Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a stern, impassive and efficient police officer who is demonstrated to have previously arrested at least two serial killers single-handedly in his career. He also has a fondness for the music of classical flutist Frans Brüggen, wears monogrammed pajamas, uses the Abyssinian Civil War as a reference point in arguments and is married to a classics professor.
- Sherlock: Hell, the main leads, definitely, are this. Mary, too, as well as Moriarty and Magnussen.
- Ichabod Crane of Sleepy Hollow a former Oxford Professor of History and an 18th century Gentleman Ichabod has a thing for correct manners, enjoys Latin and Greek literature, has read Chaucer's the Canterbury tales in the original Middle English, knows multiple languages, and can place a Shakespearian quote right down to the Act and scene. He also regularly battles demonic forces, is a Witness of God in the coming apocalypse, and has gone toe to toe with the horseman of death and lived.
- Justin Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place manages to be both this, and a Popcultured Badass. A highly intelligent and well read young man, Justin loves Opera music, enjoys drinking tea, possess a quite highbrow vocabulary, and really enjoys silent movies. He's also a Teen Genius wizard, the last surviving monster hunter, whose took a fully transformed werewolf in a fight, and helped kill the devil.
- A surprising number show up in Sharpe, most of them as part of the "Officer and a Gentleman"-schtick.
- Rifleman Harris, one of Sharpe's subordinates, is fluent in several languages and the only one to cart a minor library around Spain. He likes Wordsworth, Voltaire, and, of course, the smutty books by the Marquis de Sade. He is also a member of the elite 95th Rifles, and a Chosen Man of that regiment.
- Captain Frederickson, a grizzled and heavily scarred company commander from the Royal American Rifles, also speaks several languages and spends his free time discussing politics with American expats and French prisoners, admiring the architecture of several Spanish medieval churches, making landscape sketches in pencil and studying to take the Bar exam after the war.
- Sharpe himself gains shades of this as the series goes on, mostly through interacting with Harris and being immersed in more high-brow environments after becoming an officer. By the time the Peninsular war is over he is regularly seen trading and discussing books with Harris, and even shows some interest in art.
- The stout-hearted, verse-slinging purveyors of Chap-Hop are nothing to trifle with ... but before getting down to manly fisticuffs, they might cordially offer you a bracing cuppa, or some thoughts on the flora/fauna of the Hollow Earth. Let no one say that Professor Elemental or Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer didn't show you a civilised time before subjecting you to his hansom-powered driveby.
- Exalted: The demons of Malfeas love song and music. Don't be surprised if the blood-ape you just summoned to bludgeon an enemy to death suddenly chastises you for playing a lyre off-key.
- The Blood Angels of Warhammer 40,000 take up painting to express themselves, and have both an arboretum and an art gallery on their fortress monastery. They're also berserker super soldiers with vampire tendencies. Also, the Eldar Harlequins and indeed to a lesser extent the Craftworld Eldar in general.
- The Emperor's Children were like this before Laeran, studying duelling, sculpture, painting and music, with Fulgrim as a particularly dedicated patron of the arts. While other Legions were resentful of the remembrancer artists, the Emperor's Children basically filed a sheaf of requests for every painter, opera singer and poet they could find, with even Fulgrim seeking out counsel from a lowly mortal on improving his sculpting skills. After Laeran, they began degenerating into a Legion of Sense Freaks, and by the 41st Millennium they're a pack of hedonists who think nothing of rendering down a planet's population for space crack, with all their past artistry drowned in the monomaniacal pursuit of sensation.
- Warhammer gives us Emperor Karl Franz. Patron of the arts, drinker of fine wine, and the only non-Chaos-aligned human to ever command the obedience of a dragon.
- Cyrano de Bergerac is an accomplished poet, musician, and philosopher, as well as an elite soldier and the best swordsman in Paris. He can even improvise rhyming verse while fighting a duel.
- Bully has the preppies, though your mileage may vary on just how badass they are.
- Pictured above: Dudley of the Street Fighter series defines this trope: you try kicking arse in a ruffled shirt and bowtie, and having tea whilst wearing gentlemen's sports gloves.
- Also, Eagle from Street Fighter. His batons are nothing to sneeze at, and he's also rather polite and sharp-dressed.
- Art of Fighting/King of Fighters:
- Robert Garcia is the earliest known example of the trope in fighting games, being the original sharp dressed character archetype and previously provided the page image for the Action Fashionista trope. His family is so incredibly wealthy, that he's been known to buy several luxury sports cars, which gets lampshaded in his pre-fight dialog with Ryo in Art of Fighting 2. The guy even fights on the showroom floor of his mansion.
- King is his female counterpart, who's a bartender at her own upscale establishment. She's almost always impeccably dressed for business and for kicking ass, as she happens to be a champion level kickboxer. Which is why she's usually the captain of the All Women's Team at the annual King of Fighters tournament.
- Despite appearances, Sten from Dragon Age: Origins. The man is a true lover of art, as well as soft-spoken intellectual, despite being a Proud Warrior Race Guy the size of a refrigerator. Though his pseudo-Confucian life philosophy makes him rather stiff-necked with some issues, like women fighting and leading in combat though the last is a case of Deliberate Values Dissonance as women are expected to administrate and teach in his culture while the men handle the martial aspects.
- Hawke from Dragon Age II has an expansive library in their estate, maintains a personal diary, and is shown to be perfectly capable of dealing with the aristocracy of Kirkwall. In their spare time, they regularly battle Blood Mages, slay High Dragons, and end a city-wide invasion by taking down the Qunari Leader in honourable single-combat. In Legacy they even defeat an Ancient Tevinter Magister who was one of the first Darkspawn.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition allows the Inquisitor to become one of these increasingly throughout the game. Every time the Inquisition itself levels up in influence, the player can select a perk; four of these are Knowledge perks which increase the character's understanding of politics, magic, history, and underworld activity. Taking these opens up additional dialogue options, as well as increasing the amount of XP which can be earned by finding codex entries in the game. On top of that, there are several in your main party:
- Vivienne is a prominent member of the Orlesian court, who can cut you down as easily with a few choice words, as she can with her spells.
- The Iron Bull, despite his appearance, is actually a very accomplished spy with extensive tactical skills, who can hold his own against the resident Smart Guy in a game of mental chess.
- Dorian comes from a high ranking family of the Tevinter Imperium, spends most of his free time reading in the library, and happens to be a very talented necromancer
- Returning character Varric is a merchant prince, commands a spy network, and writes crime serials and romance novels. He also owns a one-of-a-kind crossbow, and knows exactly how to use it.
- Solas spends most of his time alone, exploring the Fade, but that doesn't mean he isn't also an avid reader and talented artist, who thrives in the intrigue of the Deadly Decadent Court of Orlais.
- Among the advisers is Cullen, who plays chess, enjoys music, sings beautifully (though he's only heard briefly), recites the Chant of Light from memory with great reverence, and knows a great deal about military and political history. He's also the commander of the Inquisition's forces and deeply respected by the officers who serve under him.
- Vulcan Raven from Metal Gear Solid. The man is a seven foot tall Inuit/Alaskan Native American who is capable of not only lifting a twenty-millimeter Vulcan cannon, a gun normally mounted on fighter jets, and carrying its refrigerator-sized ammo supply on his back, he's able to do it in the middle of the permafrost layer. Without a shirt. And he can run, too. One would expect that, in order to balance this out, he'd have to be pretty simple-minded; just a dumb brute, right? Wrong. As Naomi tells us, "He's a Graduate Emeritus from Alaska University, so he's a quick thinker, too." He has a thing for philosophy and was trained as an Inuit Shaman, so he has supernatural powers as well. And after he's defeated? He accepts his death with peace in his heart, knowing that he will return to mother earth through the ravens, who are eating his flesh as he gives his dying speech.
- The Hiimdaisy webcomic ups the ante by having him sing before even fighting.
"Liiiiisten to your heart, you will understaaaaand~"
- The Hiimdaisy webcomic ups the ante by having him sing before even fighting.
- Andrew Ryan in BioShock. The man might not be much of a challenge physically, but he hits you with a huge mental/emotional revelation that completely changes the way you look at the game on the second playthrough. He's completely nonchalant when you encounter him, playing golf on the other side of his bulletproof glass. Then he proceeds to make sense of everything that's happened in the game so far, all while forcing you to be his captive audience due to using a mind-control phrase, which your Voice With A Radio Connection has also been using to get you to kill Ryan in the first place. Then he makes you kill him. Andrew Ryan is many things, but a coward is definitely not one of them.
- In his introduction scene in World in Conflict, French commander Sabatier is forced to cooperate with American troops under Colonel Sawyer's command. After an American officer fails to pay due respect to French culture, Sabatier breaks into an angered monologue in French about American barbarians, until the "barbarian" Sawyer politely asks him to shut the hell up—in fluent French (he then proceeds to reprimand the officer who caused the incident). It is later mentioned that the Colonel is also fluent in Russian and a few other European languages.
- Several from Mass Effect:
- Shepard. Greatest warrior (all races included) the galaxy ever created, gave the finger to the Reapers twice, is lusted by every species in the galaxy (and every gender), was killed but was deemed badass enough to be brought back to life, familiar with Hobbes, Tennyson and Machiavelli.
- Liara. Galaxy-known Prothean expert despite being almost a kid (106 human years, which is little more than a child in asari terms) and biotic user.
- In 2, with help from Shepard, she kills and takes the place of The Shadow Broker. Give her ten minutes and she can start a war.
- Mordin Solus. Modified the genophage virus. Omnidisciplinary Scientist. Former salarian special forces member. Owns a clinic on Omega. Killed two units of highly trained mercenaries with only a pistol and some toxic gas. Once killed someone with farming equipment. Well, he is, after all, the very model of a scientist salarian.
- Thane Krios. Can kill anything with his bare hands, is a galaxy-class assassin and a deeply philosophical and religious man, praying before and after his missions and casually quoting Thomas Hobbes at one point during a conversation with Shepard about the fate of his homeworld.
- Urdnot Wrex, which is particularly surprising considering he's a krogan. Naturally he's a tough and badass fighter, but he's also introspective, highly intelligent, and even philosophical.
- Grunt, another krogan, is similarly introspective, if not as intelligent. He's also a fan of Ernest Hemingway.
- Subverted with General Oleg Petrovsky, main antagonist of the Omega DLC for the third game, who tries his hardest to give off this air. Cultured he is - Badass he isn't. He allows his Cerberus goons to do the fighting for him, and ultimately surrenders rather than directly fight Shepard and Aria.
- Ezio Auditore, the protagonist of Assassin's Creed II, is a friend of Leonardo da Vinci and can become a patron of the arts by buying dozens of actual Renaissance paintings for his villa.
- The Disciple from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords certainly counts. Speaking with a generous vocabulary, a soft voice, and greeting the player with a bow, The Disciple constantly shows the a wide array of knowledge and savvy. He intellectually points out that the Jedi are flawed but are needed because, even if they make mistakes, Jedi are necessary symbols for the unification of the Republic, and recognizes the importance of the Restoration Project and Onderon. Despite being an upright fellow, his starting class is Soldier a.k.a. the class with the highest base Strength and most weapon specialties and feats in the game. If trained, he can become a Jedi Consular, the class that receives the most Force Powers in the game. He excels in all levels of kicking ass while remaining polite and intellectual.
- In Jade Empire, Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard definitely presents himself as this.
- Slayer from Guilty Gear. He perpetually smokes a pipe and wears a suit and tie while fighting, and can make his opponent disappear by reading a haiku.
- Kyle from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is among the most trusted retainers of the Renais court and a very badass cavalier. He is also very well-mannered and appreciative of art (he collects wood figurines, many of them made by his artist sister Mia), and is best friends with Warrior Poet Forde who is a talented painter.
- The Honest Hearts DLC for Fallout: New Vegas gives us Joshua Graham, a New Canaanite missionary (essentially a post-apocalypse Mormon). He is soft-spoken, erudite and obviously well-read, with a philosophical streak and a penchant for quoting Bible verses. He was also once the infamously brutal Malpais Legate of Caesar's Legion (where his education was helpful in translating threats of death and orders to conquered tribes). Joshua's put that behind him now, but he rightfully remains perhaps the most feared man in all the Mojave Wastes and will kill without hesitation when he feels it necessary.
- The Courier themselves, if played with a high Intelligence stat. One instance has the Courier reveal themselves to be familiar enough with the works of Virgil and Cicero to be able to quote them from memory. In Latin.
- In Fallout 3, some of the Intelligence options invoke this. A good example is stumping a Brotherhood Outcast when the "ignorant wastelander" in front of her understands her reference to Super-mutants being "Ahab Lyon's White Whale";
Lone Wanderer: So by that analogy, you expect Lyons to die fighting the Super-Mutants?
Defender Morgan: Wha-? I thought we had the only remaining copy of that book...
- Professor Layton is a tea-loving gentleman in every regard, as clearly evidenced by the fanciness of his top hat. He has also shown off his extensive fencing skill to the villains of both the second game and the movie; in the latter case he was even handicapped by fighting with a pole he found against a real sword. His greatest display of badassery was arguably ramping his car onto the deck of a giant war-machine in the third game, in order to rescue his kidnapped daughter.
- Gar in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura is one of several 'pure melee/dodge' followers who excels in melee combat... but he's the only one who holds and expresses very strong opinions regarding tea.
- In the Tribal stage of Spore, your tribespeople are equally proficient with weapons and musical instruments.
- Emperor Zinyak, from Saints Row IV, supreme ruler of the intergalactic Zin empire and conqueror of countless worlds. Also, an aficionado of classic Earth literature.
- Guile from Chrono Cross is an example of this. He is a gentleman who drinks and toasts frequently. Despite his refined appearance and cultured speech, in battles, he can teleport his wand into enemy's innards before pulling it back out and turn his wand into swords to slice his enemy.
- Phoebe from Battleborn is a rich sophisticated heiress in a high cultured gown who is capable of wrecking stuff up with her swords.
- Across every Civilization title, France is always characterised as a nation which has huge cultural output but also a fairly strong military, especially in the Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial periods.
- Jorgi, a Super Soldier from Girl Genius discusses philosophy and why too much of it made him want to break things.
- Equius Zahhak of Homestuck is this. He makes a point of keeping his speech refined and can often be found lecturing other trolls about social etiquette - when he isn't beating the heck out of his self-built robots or crushing glasses of milk with his bare hands due to his excess of MANGRIT, that is.
- Phase of the Whateley Universe. Raised from an infant in the wealthiest family on earth, he's intelligent, urbane, well-read, and loves opera and classical music. He's a gourmet, and a brilliant businessman. This makes him utterly unprepared to be a high school girl in a Superhero School.
- Lord Doom, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. Wealthy? Check. Highly educated? Check. Loves the classics? Check. Patron of the arts? Check. Gourmand? Check. Friend to All Children? Check. Published author and poet? Check. Olympic-level athlete? Check. Mad scientist dedicated to ruling the world? Check.
- Cassidy Cain from Grandmaster of Theft. Cultured: She's heiress who attended a private school, speaks in a eloquent tone, dresses in expensive & fancy clothing, drinks tea, and intellectual who treasures knowledge in addition to being well read in philosophy, psychology, and plenty other topics. Badass: She's an experienced thief who developed her own martial arts style, trained every since she was young, Plucky Girl, and can do Le Parkour alongside use said knowledge to her advantage.
- This is part and parcel of being in the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, since you have to be cultured to know what constitutes a charge and what doesn't, and badass to put the skids under the source of the Canon Defilement.
- Marc Lapointe from you could make a life. Loves watching Le Film Artistiques and reading equally artistique literature. Is also easily the most talented player on his hockey team.
- Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III from Critical Role. In case the Overly Long Name doesn't make it obvious, he's noble born, and educated appropriately for someone of his station. He's well spoken, proficient in the History skill, speaks several languages (including Celestial), enjoys sketching the landscapes of Tal'dorei, and according to Word of God, dances quite well. He's also an accomplished tinkerer who invented the world's first guns, and uses them with deadly efficiency.
- There are several examples in Survival of the Fittest. Version three's Bobby Jacks is a skilled professional boxer who weighs in at an imposing 6'3" and 205 pounds, and when the game starts he's one of the most deadly players in the early stretch, fighting with trickery and good tactics. He's also well-read enough to relevantly quote Shakespeare from memory. Version six's meanwhile-only character Roderick Kanuho is an excellent wrestler and MMA fighter who enjoys literature and poetry just as much as his chosen sports; he has even tried his hand at writing, and has considered undertaking a project in which he translates Shakespeare's works into the Navajo language.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has Iroh. He loves tea, has an appreciation for music, likes to share many pieces of wisdom from his decades of experience, and will utterly wreck you if you push him far enough. He's the most badass character on a show full of badasses, but his softer side is what really makes him such a compelling character, and it's the one we see most often. As well as him, Aang is shown to be quite knowledgeable of other cultures including pre-war Fire Nation, Toph's background of living in a very high class family gives her decent knowledge to be able to blend into high society, and Piandao who enjoys painting, calligraphy, and rock gardening.
- The Legend of Korra:
- Tenzin, who has inherited his father Aang's knowledge of culture and tradition (especially around the still largely extinct Air Nomads) as well as his knack for diplomacy. He's also currently the world's sole Master Airbender, and his skills are such that he's taken on numbers of mooks and Humongous Mecha (and beat the latter back when even Korra and Lin were struggling against them) at a time, as well as landed a huge blow on Big Bad Amon (who is largely untouchable due to his Bloodbending) in their brief encounter.
- Season 3 brings us Zaheer, a foil for Tenzin who is obsessed with the air nomads and twisting their philosophy of freedom into a plan to rid the world of it's leaders. He even ends up acting as an Evil Mentor to Avatar Korra, since he can teach her spiritual techniques Tenzin doesn't know.
- Exo Squad brings you the Neo Sapian Marsala: Well spoken, and extremely intelligent (even by his genetically engineered standards). That said, he is still taller and stronger then any normal human, and is a capable E-Frame Pilot. You could probably add Wolf Bronski into the mix as despite his rough exterior, the fact you can set a watch to him belching, he is well educated when it comes to trains and has a thing for the arts.
- While knowledge of trains could be seen as more of a hobby than a sign of culture, his appreciation of art does show Hidden Depths.
- From My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle never found a book she didn't read and is totally dedicated to academia, Rarity is a fashionista all about high society and the arts. And they will be as violent as the rating will allow when a danger presents them no alternative. Rarity particularly was the first of the mane six to attack an enemy, kicking an enormous Manticore in the face in the second episode and her choice of fighting style against the changelings was a haymaker.
- The Penguins of Madagascar: Has Burt the Elephant, a soft spoken and normally gentle creature, Burt has a love for Victorian literature (specifically Dickensian) and was thrilled at the idea of participating in a Dickensian Christmas. As well as being an accomplished artist, who dreamed of having one of his works hung in a museum. He's also well, a gigantic elephant.
- Yakko Warner from Animaniacs is this, on top of being a Pop-Cultured Badass like his siblings. For instance, he speaks fluent Japanese.
- King Ashurbanipal of the Neo-Assyrian Empire was equally famous for the cruelty with which he treated his conquered foes and his singular devotion to literature in a time when almost nobody else cared about reading. He amassed one of the world's earliest libraries with texts scavenged from across the empire and pillaged from foreign lands— sometimes, if another ruler had a text Ashurbanipal really wanted, he'd suggest that maybe they should offer it to him as a gift if they didn't want their head on a spear. If you've read The Epic of Gilgamesh, you can thank Ashurbanipal, since it's one of the many ancient texts that survived thanks to his library.
- Theodore Roosevelt. Graduated from Harvard. Wrote several books including history books. Was a skilled amateur scientist (who might have become a genuine scientist if he were interested.) Owned several exotic animals, exotic meaning dangerous and badass, such as bears and badgers. Was also a combat veteran, a skilled horseman, and was once shot in the chest at a public event and kept giving his speech for an hour and a half (it helped that the bullet passed through the text of the 90-minute speech tucked into his jacket, which blunted some of its momentum). While president, he once boxed with a bear. The fight left him blind in one eye for the rest of his life, and he would take up Judo thereafter. He was also a skilled negotiator who hammered out a treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. TR recruited his famous Rough Riders cavalry regiment largely from two groups: cowboys and Harvard football players. He personally had been both.
- The Roman general Scipio Africanus was a great lover of Greek culture and a great reducer of the number of Greek-trained Carthaginian mercenaries. Not to mention the fact that he was a gentleman that, when his troops offered him a young woman upon the capture of a city, he returned her to her fiancé, instead of brutally raping her and executing the fiancé. Note that by the standards of the time, this was a gentlemanly reaction, rather than simply a case of Everyone Has Standards.
- Retired U.S. Marine Corps General (now Secretary of Defense) James Mattis, who served in the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan. Apart from serving as a distinguished military commander, Mattis was renowned for being a very studious gentleman, with a personal library of over 7,000 volumes; he even produced required reading lists for Marines under his command.
- King Jan III Sobieski of Poland, whose claims to fame include leading the combined armies of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to a resounding victory against the numerically superior Ottoman Turks at the Siege of Vienna in 1683, is said to have been a highly cultured lover of poetry and food, and an enthusiastic amateur astronomer. The constellation Scutum (Latin for "shield") in the southern summer sky is supposed to represent his coat of arms; it is the only constellation which does not owe its name to classical history or mythology.
- Date Masamune is as well known for being cultured as he was badass; he would hold elaborate banquets, he wrote letters to the Pope in the hopes of forming an alliance, and would read poems to Tokugawa Ieyasu on his deathbed.
- The monk Bodhidharma is not only considered to be the founder of Zen-Buddhism, but also Shaolin Kung-Fu. Due to being a foreigner to China and either Indian or Iranian, he is often depicted as a big man with a bushy beard and an ill temper, which also makes him a Genius Bruiser as well.
- Gene Tunney (who was World Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1926 to 1928) was a lover of literature and poetry, a practiced actor, and an accomplished singer. He once forcibly dragged someone over to a window just to show them a beautiful sunset. The moral of this story is, as has been repeatedly stated, just because they like the finer things doesn't make them any less badass, and also that if a World Heavyweight Boxing Champion tells you to look at a sunset, you look at the goddamn sunset.
- Editorialist, social critic, philosopher, and political radical Dwight Macdonald was in the habit of inviting intellectuals he disagreed with to come to his house and fight.
- In fact, being able to handle yourself in a fight used to be part of the requirements of a proper gentleman. Check this article for a discussion of this point.
- The wealthy elites of many historic societies were expected to be both capable warriors as well as cultured aristocrats.
- Most Hellenic Greeks—especially Athenians—took this to the limit. There are numerous documented accounts of generals debating poetry and philosophy at length with their officers, on the eve of a huge battle.
- While the Scottish Highlanders have been stereotyped as savages and of course sometimes justly (it has to be sometimes true after all), it was not unknown for Highland nobles to be cultured folk, well educated in famous universities. While still being as badass as a true Scotsman should be.
- Samurai, especially during relatively peaceful times; one's education and cultural skills, such as tea ceremony and flower arrangement, became as important in determining honor and status as one's actual strength in battle.
- Medieval and Renaissance knights were mostly born into nobility, and therefore schooled in social graces from an early age. This form of knighthood could be considered to start with the crowning of Charlemagne and his efforts to establish a more strongly unified Western Europe through social reform. Earlier knight equivalents, such as of the Migration Period, do not fall under this trope. Otherwise, this certainly applies in full force by the 14th century, where social and spiritual considerations became teaching points of the greatest fightmasters of the era.
- The western gentleman was expected to be genteel as well as defend his honor with skill at arms. Many gentlemen who required a profession went into the military for at least a time.
- Doc Hammer is the co-creator of The Venture Bros.. He is also a self taught classical painter and musician with an extensive knowledge of artists, painters, musicians, musical composition, and classical literature, and knows martial arts.
- Doc Holliday. They didn't just call him "Doc" because they thought it was a cool name. Before graduating as a qualified dentist, he received an extremely good secondary school education - as his father was loaded - whereas most of the other prominent figures of the Wild West were comparatively fairly ill-educated. He could play the piano, was well versed in Shakespeare, studied mathematics, history, rhetoric and grammar and spoke Latin fluently as well as possessing very good French and Ancient Greek. He was also very refined in his demeanour, displaying the manners of a Southern Gentleman.
- Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. A noble prince who was known for building villages to aid peasants, had been celebrated by the pope, and had improved culture and lifestyle of his entire country during his reign, marks him as cultured. The title 'the impaler' and being credited as one of the major real life sources that the world's most notorious vampire (Dracula) was based, probably marks him as a badass. And if not, there's the fact that he has a listed victim list that ranges from 40,000 to 100,000, showing he's more than willing to raise and wipe out armies.
- He also managed to keep the tiny Principality of Wallachia independent in an age when it was literally on the front lines of the ongoing war between Catholic Europe and the Muslim Ottoman Turks. He's revered in Romania to this day for this accomplishment.
- Sir Winston Churchill. Describing all the badass things he did would take too long and the cultured thing? Well, he did get the Nobel Prize for literature—in addition to being an accomplished painter.
- According to tradition, the female Greek poet Telesilla of Argos. When her city was attacked and most of its soldiers killed, she took up a sword and led the young women into battle, eventually driving off the enemy. (Which enemy, you ask? The Spartans.)
- Richard Boone, the gruff bad guy in innumerable Westerns, war movies and TV shows, was in real life an Actors Studio graduate who performed Shakespeare and Euripides onstage, taught acting at several colleges and pursued writing and painting as secondary careers. Also a decorated World War II veteran, so not necessarily less badass in real life. Boone's most famous role—Paladin in Have Gun – Will Travel—was a pretty accurate reflection.
- He is an Actual Pacifist so he never engaged in war, but German public radio and TV personality Jürgen Domian frequently lectures his callers in ethics backed up by actual philosophical discourse. All delivered with his Badass Baritone, and subversive snarking in between his Rousing Speeches.
- Thomas Jefferson, of course, spoke six languages, wrote his own translation of the Bible, and filled his works with references to ancient philosophy and poets. He was even familiar with the works of Confucius.
- Alexander the Great received schooling from none other than Aristotle in his youth. He was also an avid reader and huge fan of Homer—he brought a copy of the The Iliad with him everywhere during his travels. He made sure to understand and immerse himself in the cultures of the places he conquered: talking with ascetic priests in India, appropriating Babylonian fashion, joining the Egyptians in their religious ceremonies and more (he even let them crown him as pharaoh!). He is also supposed to have known part of the Andromeda of Euripides by heart well enough to perform the excerpt(s).