Please don't make him tear you apart. This is a library.
Given enough time, any man can master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man can become wise. It is a true warrior who can master both.
A Big Guy
who is also a geek or tech-head. Often coupled with Gentle Giant
two tropes at once.
Basically what happens when you put Brains and Brawn
as one character. It's a possible benefit when you carry a heavy Doorstopper
or two (or a whole shelf of them
) while using it as weight-lifts and studying calculus at the same time.
The diametric opposite of Dumb Muscle
. This guy has not only huge muscles and fists, but a very bright brain! There is
, however, a difference between "especially smart" and "not a total moron"; keep that in mind when adding examples. Here's a tip: A character who is strong but displays frankly average intelligence is simply not an idiot. But if they constantly spout technobabble
and are considered an expert in some scientific field, that's especially smart. Similarly, if they're especially smart, they must also be unusually strong to qualify. "Beats people up" or "very physically fit" don't exactly count.
The inversion is the Badass Bookworm
. In general, a Genius Bruiser looks huge and powerfully muscled, then unexpectedly shows off an intellectual side, whereas a Badass Bookworm
looks like a standard geek, but then displays a surprising amount of physical prowess. Remember, in this case Muscles Are NOT Meaningless
. The person needs to look the part to qualify for this trope. If Authority Equals Asskicking
, you may well end up with an Emperor Scientist
. A Genius Bruiser is almost always also a Cultured Badass
, but the two aren't necessarily always found in the same individual.
In fantasy, a Genius Bruiser is often a Magic Knight
or a Mighty Glacier
. Also tends to be combined with Lightning Bruiser
, as the speed is frequently tied into intelligence or very specific training. See also Minored In Ass Kicking
. In a Five-Man Band
specializing in brains, is The Big Guy
. In a Five-Man Band
specializing in brawn, is The Smart Guy
. Contrast with Shorter Means Smarter
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Golgo 13: Medical knowledge? check. Mathematical genius? Yup. Oh and he's the world's deadliest assassins with insane combat skills from hand-to-hand to sniping. Of course, you actually need to be a math geek to be good at sniping. Medical knowledge is also pretty useful for an assassin who can't go to a normal hospital that needs to report bullet wounds.
- Arguably for Break Blade's Girge. He's a Badass in the battlefield, alright. But it's still unclear whether his badassery is adjusted with wit and strategy, or just rashness out of boredom.
- Germany and America from Hetalia. The first is a 6 feet tall warrior with a knack for making clocks and one of the few charas with lots of common sense in this world, the second is a cheerful Genius Ditz with Super Strength.
- Jim Austin from Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (and his counterpart, "Lunk" from Robotech).
- Corrector Yui:
- Peace is a wise, cranky old man who just happens to have the ability to summon and use giant, really effective firearms.
- If we turn towards the Corruptors, Yagi fits the trope to a T.
- Eyeshield 21
- Juumonji (OL/DL) is one of the three Hah-Hah brothers, a gang of thugs who used to beat up others on a pretty regular basis. But this image is part of his rebellion against his father; he happens to be one of the smartest people on the team (only behind the three acknowledged geniuses), often figuring out things other players miss badly.
- The Amino Cyborgs are, to the man, gifted students bound for prestigious universities — with the physiques of bodybuilders. That said, while powerful, like actual bodybuilders they aren't as strong as they appear.
- Shin possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of anatomy and nutrition, and has applied that knowledge towards becoming as fast and as strong as he possibly can be. He is, however, incredibly ignorant when it comes to technology.
- And Gaou, surprisingly. He looks like a caveman, started playing the sport to find someone capable of challenging him physically and plays incredibly brutally, but he's also very verbose, well informed and polite off the pitch.
- Donald "Mr. Don" Oberman is even stronger than Gaou. He's also fluent in many languages and possesses a very keen intellect.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Due to the intelligence it requires and the rigors of the job, most State Alchemists (and their enemies) will be either Genius Bruisers or Badass Bookworms.
- Alphonse Elric is a genius alchemist who has seen the gate, and is also a soul trapped in a giant suit of armor.
- Major Alex Louis Armstrong is also a genius alchemist, and is built like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Antivillain Scar is another capable alchemist (noticing a pattern here?) and a religious leader, and is only slightly less hulking than Armstrong.
- Colonel (later Brigadier-General) Basque Grand is a giant of a man who towers over even Armstrong and a feared hand-to-hand combatant, but also the master of an incredibly complex alchemical style that involves the transmutation of primitive firearms.
- The Prince of Tennis:
- Choutarou Ohtori is a softspoken musician... as well as a youth around tall with an frighteningly powerful serve.
- Gin Ishida is a huge player form Shitenhouji who has developed the Hadokyuu, a tennis shot with 108 variations, two of them also used by his younger brother Tetsu and by Takashi Kawamura.
- Munehiro Kabaji is around tall at the age of 13 and can copy almost any tennis style with ease.
- Both Sadaharu Inui and Renji Yanagi, the most famous Data Players, are over tall; in fact, Inui's serve is the second strongest one in the circuit, right after Ohtori's.
- Genichirou Sanada is a fearsome leader and player as well as a kendo practitioner, and he's just a little shorter than Renji.
- Toriko has exstensive knowledge about everything from biology to botany, which he uses to explain all of the incredible ingredients and almost supernatural environments they come across in a scientific manner. As do many of the other characters in the series, regardless of appearance.
- All the center players in Slam Dunk. Specially Takenori Akagi, who's tall and is not only the Shohoku captain, but a straight A student (There's a quite funny scene where Kogure explains this to Sakuragi and both he and Rukawa imagine a gorilla in a school uniform).
- Kogarashi the Maid Guy in Kamen no Maid Guy reveals that he attended MIT (gives lectures, point of fact) and is quite intelligent, even if his idea of service tends to be a bit rough. Not quite what one would expect from his appearance as a musclebound man in a dress.
- Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a Stand which specializes purely in exceptional strength and speed, without any of the fancy tricks that other Stands have until he randomly gains time stopping powers at the end of his arc. According to his enemies, however, what makes him most dangerous is his ability to think on his feet and out-strategize the enemy. His career path?? A PHD in marine biology, so that's Dr. Kujo to you.
- As well as every other "JoJo" from Part 1 through 4. Despite being hulking masses of muscle, or at least having their major fighting ability being pure fists, their wit and quick thinking are what get them out of otherwise fatal conundrums. Hell, the first two Jo Jo's (Johnathan and Joseph) became archaeologists, although they had a bit of Indiana Jones-flair to them, Old Joseph even LOOKING like him.
- Jonhathan, protagonist of the very first story arc, was already a published authority on archeology before graduating. His nemesis, Dio Brando, is no slouch, being valedictorian of his class.
- Joseph's foes in Part 2 the Pillarmen were also extremely powerful and extremely intelligent, especially Wham. Joseph only prevailed against them by out-thinking them. When that wasn't enough in the end, only pure instinct saved him.
- Dio Brando not only has immense physical strength a large array of offensive powers, but also a massive personal library and a law degree.
- Asuka Langley Soryu's Rebuild of Evangelion counterpart is no slouch, being a European Air Force captain at the same age as her.
- The title character from Space Adventure Cobra has superhuman levels of strength, agility and endurance, as well as a deadly Arm Cannon. But he's primarily a Gentleman Thief with numerous talents, from mechanics to art history, and he often beats his enemies by outwitting them rather than by brute force.
- Viede from Chrono Crusade is implied to be one of these — although he's the most physically imposing member of the Sinners, he's shown in a flash back playing chess with brainy Big Bad Aion, and he serves as a voice of reason to both Aion and Genai. This is only in the manga. In the anime, most of his appearances on screen seem to consist of him punching his fist into his hand and laughing evilly.
- Vinland Saga: Magnificent Bastard that he is, Askeladd can tear heads off with the best of them. And "the best of them" in this case can take out 30+ experienced warriors with their bare hands.
- Yasutora "Chad" Sado from Bleach is another example. In the beginning of the series, Chad is ranked 11th out of over 300 in the class grade rankings.
- Gai from the Getter Robo Go manga is not only beefy and strong, but both the Getter Robo's main mechanic and pilot of Getter 3. He's also maybe a little too obsessed with the Getter Robo. He can be seen wondering aloud if you can truly fall in love with a machine.
- Jack Rakan in Mahou Sensei Negima!, though he does his very best to pretend to be a moron. In his own words, he's more experienced than smart.
- Marco Owen from King of Thorn. A Tattooed Crook and extremely Badass Action Survivor, he's also a brilliant computer hacker. In fact, that's what got him sent to prison in the first place — it wasn't until after he was behind bars that he started pumping iron and taking levels in badass.
- Soul Eater. Franken Stein. PhD. Vivisected his best friend on a regular basis. Has issues differentiating between reality and his own stream of consciousness. And is the absolute hands-down strongest fighter for Shibusen when he is in his lucid phases.
- Though he was anything but lucid when he sliced Medusa in two. In fact, his madness at that point is the reason why he was capable of striking even when the snake's arrow was at his neck.
- The eponymous protagonist of Riki Oh can punch through concrete walls, shrug off blades and bullets and kill men and beasts alike bare-handed, yet he shows a lot of knowledge of history and human anatomy.
- The Major from Ghost in the Shell has a first class military cybernetic body and a master of both martial arts and tactics. She is also probably one of the best hackers in the entire country, if not even the world.
- In The Legend of Thunder!, Buson fits this, even though he's only shown to fight using his Pokémon. He's incredibly muscled, keeps showing off his powerful arms, and despite his crude sense of humor is the techie in his two-man army. His production sketch has a note saying he's a tanuki personality (his partner is a kitsune), and tanuki are known for being clever and sneaky while giving the impression of stupidity.
- And in the Pokémon Special manga, there's Wild Child Sapphire, who can easily kick ass with her own bare hands. Despite the fact that she can't read, helping her father out in his studies means that she has a near encyclopedic knowledge of Pokémon biology and ecology.
- She gets a great moment in proving it too- before challenging Gym Leader Roxanne, all trainers must take an aptitude test. Although Sapphire has a bit of trouble with the longer words, once she gets past those she gets a perfect score on the first try.
- Leo Regulus from Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas may be Leo Aiolia's expy, but he has something Aiolia never had: brains. Not only is he a "fighting genius", he's a child prodigy (it was implied that he was one in general) and can outwit much older and more experienced opponents even without his considerable strength. Too bad his ultimate technique backfired on him because his body couldn't handle it.
- Akisame from History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi: master martial artist, but he's more famous for his artistic and intellectual abilities than for his ability to make men five times his size his bitch in less than a minute. His artistic ability is world famous and all of his works of art are priceless. He learned how to hack computers in less than five minutes by watching someone else do it. He regularly builds training machines by hand that would put the Saw movies to shame. He once built a Buddha statue by hand from the wreckage of a radio tower in the middle of a fight to use as a weapon (his opponent, an artist himself, was amazed), and singlehandedly designed a workout regimen that brings out 100 percent of the human body's muscular potential. He can throw stone Buddha statues around like paper weights, but he much prefers meditation, learning, and philosophy to kicking ass, probably because he's already mastered the art of whoopass.
- Kai Hiwatari from Beyblade is the muscle hound of the Bladebreakers, and gifted.
- Whitebeard in One Piece is the World's Strongest Man and yet able to match wits with Sengoku during the Marineford battle. If it wasn't, the Whitebeard pirates and their allies would have been finished earlier than expected. In fact, it seems that both Sengoku and Whitebeard consider the other their Worthy Opponent.
- Franky and to a lesser extent Chopper also qualify: Franky is a comically large-fisted cyborg, and also a massively talented engineer who designed and built fully functioning robotic prostheses out of random junk from scratch. Chopper has a form where he's just big and brawny, and is a doctor with extensive knowledge of human anatomy.
- Lordgenome of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Genetic engineer responsible for the entire Beastman race. Master hacker. Thousands of years old, with an immense and thorough knowledge of the Anti-Spirals and the workings of Spiral Energy. Considers using his mecha in a fight to be holding back. Trashes mecha several times larger than himself. Catches on fire from sheer awesomeness when he's about to beat the crap out of things. Instead of being vaporized by a big bang, he turns it and himself into a giant drill. Yeah.
- Admiral Dozle Zabi of Mobile Suit Gundam is a brilliant commander and a seven-foot badass who pilots a walking Weapon of Mass Destruction (the infamous Big Zam). His Dying Moment of Awesome remains one of the most epic moments in the franchise.
- Lionel "Pops" Racer is a designer and builder of cutting-edge racing cars and engines, with the Mach 5 being his crowning glory. He was also a wrestling champion in his highshcool years and has only gotten bigger and stronger since then, as many thugs have found out the hard way.
- Some of the men who practice at Hiyori's dojo in the Kotoura-san anime are college graduates, coming from prestigious universities like Tokyo University and Harvard.note
- Sanada Kazuki from Hajime No Ippo is a boxer and a medical student who uses his extensive knowledge of the human body as an advantage in the boxing ring.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Jose, the member of the Three Nobles of Yliaster who represents Aporia's elderly self, is both the strongest and smartest member; he has the knowledge and experience of Aporia's full lifetime, and in one memorable scene, was able to lift Sherry's D-Wheel with her on it. (The purpose of the scene was to give a display of how dangerous he was.) Later, when he, Placido, and Lucciano assume their true form as Aporia, they become even smarter and stronger, for the most part.
- In Hunter × Hunter, two members of the Genei Ryodan fit the bill. Uvogin looks like a savage brute but he can fight quite intelligently when he faces skilled opponents. Case in point: he defeats three skilled assassins after they have already paralyzed him from the neck down. Franklin looks like a Frankenstein's monster but he's a Gentle Giant (to the other members of the Genei Ryodan anyway) who is able to mediate between the others (no small feat since they are all vicious criminals) by using logic whenever they are about to come to blows.
- Kasumi Kenshiro from Fist of the Blue Sky is often found dressed like a nerd, with his nose buried in a book, but he is also the successor of Hokuto Shinken.
- Attack on Titan has several characters that turn out to be this.
- Reiner Braun is implied to be this. He's primarily known for his Heroic Build and incredible strength, but Bonus Material reveals he frequently plays chess with Armin.
- Annie Leonhart is mostly known for her exceptional skills as a fighter, but also possesses keen insight into human nature and is quite the skilled investigator while working for the Military Police Brigade.
- The Beast Titan combines inhuman strength with a genius intellect, with its official stats giving it an 11/10 in Intelligence.
- Cage of Eden:
- Yarai Kouichi plays this straight as he is probably the strongest survivor but his understanding of evolution rival's Maria and he also demonstrates knowledge in several fields such as geology and the Glasgow Coma Scale
- Balsa from Seirei no Moribito is highly intelligent as well as a capable warrior.
- Pictured above: Dr. Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy aka "The Beast" from X-Men. Blue, huge, furry, super-strong (depends on the writer, but sometimes he's said to bench press 70 tons), agile, and Nobel-level intelligent (generally regarded as the preeminent biochemist in the Marvel Universe, and he gave himself the power upgrade that made him look like how he is today, only stronger than he was when he looked more human). As a bonus, he was played by Kelsey Grammer in the third movie.
Jean Grey: His name's Henry McCoy, dipstick- he reads poetry, swings from trees, knows the square root of a million, and he's gonna kick your butt.
Beast: (Cracks knuckles) Indubitably.
- Atomic Robo, a big, rough guy who fought in World War 2, battled giant crabs, giant ants and giant assholes. He's also a genius beyond compare, not least because he's well... a robot.
- The Incredible Hulk started out as brilliant physicist Dr. Bruce Banner, before the radiation accident that turned him into the Hulk. Different personalities, including that of Dr. Banner himself, took control of the Hulk's body at different points and showed varying levels of brains and brawn, depending on which one was currently running things. They would occasionally borrow each others' skills, with Banner lending Joe Fixit his memories and computer skills when Fixit needed to figure out who had poisoned the Hulk and who was about to kill them. It Makes Sense in Context.
- His current incarnation, Doc Green, is definitely this.
- In Ultimate Marvel, The Abomination is just as strong as Hulk, but retains his genius IQ.
- Also, numerous writers have taken note that innocents are never hurt during Hulk's violent rampage, and have since implied that even when he's a neanderthal-like monster, Bruce Banner's mind is constantly doing calculations to ensure that his actions never cause anything but collateral damage to buildings. Somewhat confirmed in Greg Pak's Hulk run, in which while fighting his son Skaar, the Hulk slammed the ground as if to attack, but was really aiming to pile up sand to shore up a collapsing building.
- That wasn't Banner. That version of the Hulk (Greenscar) is intelligent enough to make that call for himself. Hulk's intellect varies considerably from incarnation to incarnation and writer to writer. Sometimes the Banner supermath thing is required, sometimes it isn't.
- Ultimate Hulk reveals that he retains his genius-level intellect in his fight with Abomination.
- Also demonstrated in Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine (which took place before that fight but due to delays wasn't finished until considerably afterwards) where Ultimate Hulk is shown relaxing casually, offering Logan some hot coco.
- Hulk's cousin, Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, is both a super-strong super-heroine and a practicing lawyer.
- A second-tier hero of the Thing/Hulk type: Alpha Flight's Sasquatch, a brilliant scientist who's usually in full command of his mental faculties. Notably also a genius bruiser before developing superpowers (he was a football player — American, not soccer. As though that wasn't implied by the "bruiser" part).
- Marvel's Mr. Hyde (who has fought Thor, the Hulk, Daredevil, and many other heroes) is technically a Genius Bruiser; the intelligence of his civilian identity, criminal genius Calvin Zabo, is not lost when he transforms into his super-strong super-villain form. However, given his Hair-Trigger Temper in that form, he rarely ever needs to make use of Zabo's smarts.
- Dr. Hank Pym, founding member of the Avengers, could easily make the top ten list of most brilliant scientific minds on the planet. In his identities as Giant-Man and Goliath he is a towering behemoth, able to go toe-to-toe with some of Marvel's heaviest hitters. However, he usually sticks to being a Science Hero.
- From The Ultraverse title Sludge come the Bash Brothers (No, not THAT kind of Bash Brothers, but they do come awful close); Burke (the lawyer) and Monroe (the doctor) Basherowski, complete with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
- Grunge in Gen13 is genius-level too, with a photographic memory. He just puts a lot of effort into pretending to be a dumb slacker.
- Maul of the Wild CATS is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who gets dumber as he uses his powers to get larger and stronger. For a while, he was also able to make himself smarter by shrinking, but that turned out to have side effects.
- Cyborg of the Teen Titans. He didn't start off this way, but eventually gained an incredible knowledge of cybernetics as a result of studying his own Artificial Limbs.
- As a kid, his parents taught him everything they knew (they were top-shot scientists), and he was certified with an I.Q. of 196. But he cared nothing about this until after the incident.
- Tom Strong, who is usually portrayed as a cross between Reed Richards, Doc Savage, and Hercules.
- Dr. Leonard Samson, a Marvel character who is the hero population's go-to psychotherapist. Also strong enough to trade blows with an enraged Hulk.
- Karla Sofen (Meteorite/Moonstone of the Thunderbolts) could be considered Dr. Samson's evil counterpart. (Also a superpowered psychologist.)
- Thanos, in the Marvel Universe, has constructed space vessels, cloned himself, and has often outsmarted superheroes and cosmic entities. He also has enough strength to hold his own against Thor and the Thing simultaneously, and looks like it too. But not Squirrel Girl.
- Thunderball, aka Dr. Eliot Franklin, of the Marvel villain team the Wrecking Crew. Thunderball's intelligence is made all the more obvious by the fact that the rest of his team are rather dim-witted mooks. He also has a streak of good. He once smacked around the rest of the Crew to save John Porter of Damage Controlnote . Thunderball told the Crew that John had super-powers, which consisted of Thunderball hitting people with the lights out.
- The Kingpin. A self-educated, self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to become the greatest criminal mastermind in the New York underworld, he is also a hulking, monsterous brute who is physically a match for Daredevil and even Spider-Man, on occasion.
- A Golden Age Captain Marvel villain called King Kull (not related to the Robert E. Howard character), a muscular, club-wielding, loincloth-wearing protohuman who nonetheless invents Sufficiently Advanced technology and was the scientific rival of Mad Scientist Dr. Sivana.
- Another Golden Age Captain Marvel villain was a criminal who went to prison for over 70 years and spent the entire time reading and working out until he was the smartest, most physically capable 100-year old man around.
- Captain Marvel's main rival, Black Adam, also fits this trope. He has as much physical power as Superman (he practically beat the entire Justice Society on his own), but he's also superhumanly intelligent.
- Really, the Big Red Cheese himself qualifies — "Wisdom of Solomon" and all that.
- Kilowog of the Green Lantern Corps is another one. He's one of the biggest Corps members, always fighting up close and personal and calling people "poozers", but he's also so smart that he designed the Rocket Red battle suits for the Soviet army.
- Invincible has the Mauler Twins, a villainous pair of hulking omnidisciplinary geniuses. They're apparently the world's leading experts on cloning, and in all other fields are tied for 2nd smartest character in the book.
- And by "apparently" the leading experts on cloning, one means they are in fact a second and third generation clone created by their own process. Or maybe third and fourth... The memory imprinting process is so perfect that they can never agree on who cloned who.
- In the Metal Men's feature in Bizarro Comics, the originally incredibly unintelligent Lead is quite loquacious. Also, Doc Magnus organizes a mission just to build his creations' confidence.
- Batman himself. He's one of the most intelligent heroes in all of comics and has a figure that can pass for Superman in a dim light, is one of the world's greatest martial artists and stealth fighters, and only seems lacking in a world filled with superpowered heroes and villains... all of whom he can figure out how to defeat.
- Bane was designed explicitly as a total package villain: a ruthless criminal with both superhuman strength and a genius intellect that rivaled Batman's own. Adaptations have not always been kind to the character, sometimes casting him in the role of dumb muscle instead, but The Dark Knight Rises provided the definitive adaptational version.
- "Hardback" Bock, a Scary Black Man Gotham police detective, who gets his nickname because he's always carrying one.
- Gorilla Grodd, one of The Flash's enemies, is a killer gorilla who's also a superintelligent Mad Scientist and Manipulative Bastard.
- Monsieur Mallah, DC's other resident mad scientist gorilla and a recurring foe for the Doom Patrol.
- And the Ultrahumanite, DC's first resident mad scientist, who eventually transferred consciousness into that of a gorilla, originally written to be Superman's arch-enemy.
- Roadblock from the G.I. Joe comic books. In the cartoons, he's an offensive rhyming stereotype. In the comics, he can snap handcuffs at will, is a genius in the kitchen, a brilliant tactician in the field and has deep philosophical beliefs. Granted, the Joes purposely recruit the strong and brilliant but Roadblock is a cut above a majority of the Joe team in both categories. The man carries a crew-served heavy machine gun and uses it like it's an ordinary rifle. Later, he gets his own cooking show. Doesn't last long, but it was his.
- Marvel villain Iron Clad should be classed as one of these. Although he is rarely shown to be intelligent, he is supposed to have designed spaceships prior to gaining his powers.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy have Groot, though subject to some debate; He can only say "I am Groot!" and a known madman is the only claimant for his intelligence.
- Not the only one anymore.
- Iron Man villain the Controller is an engineering genius who designed the mind controlling slave discs and would eventually become bonded with an exoskeleton that made him phenomenally large and powerful. It's been joked that he went to MIT on a wrestling scholarship.
- Boris Bullski, the original Titanium Man. A master spy and KGB agent, he stands well over seven feet tall and can lift 1.5 tonnes without the armor.
- Barracuda from The Punisher MAX and Fury: My War Gone By. During his time in the military he showed exceptional intelligence and cunning while leading his team in toppling whole governments by themselves.
- Axwell Tiberius, the titular "monkeyman" in Art Adams' Monkeyman and O'Brien, is a ten foot tall super-intelligent gorilla from a parallel dimension.
- Computron, the gestalt form of the Technobots from Transformers, takes this trope so far it's actually a detriment. Gestalt Transformers who are stupid, such as Devastator and Bruticus, tend to be very effective, because they don't have much problem trying to focus the five or six different individual minds that make them up. Computron, on the other hand, is massively powerful (like all gestalts) but has to think through the full effects of every move he tries to make, which weakens him in combat.
- Flynn "Flyin'" Ryan from Steelgrip Starkey and the All-Purpose Power Tool is a blue-collar construction worker, former Ivy League student teacher, handles the team's logistics and finances, and his hobbies include animal tracking and Eastern philosophy. Played Up to Eleven when it's revealed that he secretly developed the technalchemy behind the All-Purpose Power Tool.
- Darkseid. He's one of the few villains who can take on Superman in a fight and is also a brilliant tactician who constantly manipulates everyone around him into getting him what he wants.
- The Justice League of America villain Prometheus, a Gadgeteer Genius who invented a helmet that allows him to download knowledge, including martial arts training, directly into his brain. He's one of a handful of individuals in the entire multiverse who have beaten Batman in hand-to-hand combat.
- Contrary to his name, The Brute (a villain of the 1970s Fantastic Four) is not The Brute. He is the Reed Richards of another Earth, who instead of getting stretch powers, he can become a huge monster, strong enough to fight against the Thing.
- Lobo is rather dumb most of the time, but he is a genius when it comes to doing anything that can cause destruction. For example, he can't cure a deadly disease, but he did create a horde of mutant insects that acted as carriers for one and the vaccine for it (that's why he's the last Czarnian: he killed them all that way, with the vaccine created to make sure he survived). And he's strong enough to hold his own against Superman.
- Superman himself. He is one of Earth's most powerful heroes, but he is also a master in the use of Kryptonian technology, which is far more advanced than Earth technology. He can learn at a faster rate than humans. He is the son of Krypton's finest scientist, so the scientific skills must be a family trait.
Superman: Maybe I could move the Earth out of the way.
Batman: If I had a week, I could list all the reasons why that wouldn't work.
- The Thing from Fantastic Four is usually in the shadow of Reed Richards brain-wise, but has been shown to be perfectly capable of cobbling together a cosmic ray projector when called upon. Also, he is a test pilot and an astronaut, professions which in Real Life require at least a Ph.D. and possibly another degree as well.
- Robotnik in Sonic the Comic unlike other Robotniks will when the chips are down and the robots destroyed, he'll fight Sonic with his bare hands as well as Commander Brutus who has a copy of Robotnik's brainwaves as well as Grimer's, there is also Knuckles while not as smart as Porker or Tekno, he is able to understand and use advance echidna technology, also Vector who is balanced in both brawn and brains, His physical strength is significant and he tends to fight using his tail and teeth. He also possesses keen computation and detective skills. and Nack who created his own shrinking technology.
- The first variation of Dr. Robotnik in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog proved to be no slouch either, fighting Sonic himself one on one in their Final Battle. Robo-Robotnik did the same in their first encounter after Robotnik's death, but once he because Dr. Eggman, that was it.
- On the subject of the Archie series, this is now Rotor's schtick in the post- Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, as he's shown charging through and tossing around Badniks like crazy, yet still has plenty of time to help build the top secret "Sky Patrol" project.
- Xadhoom was once Xado, the leading astrophysicist of her planet. After Xerbia was conquered by the Evronians, she became a Physical God and,while prone to be The Berserker, she is intelligent enough to understand Uno's Techno Babble and acting as The Chessmaster.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello can re-engineer most any machine and invents some of his own, and he appears to be on par with the other turtles in brawn. Interestingly, in the first TMNT Video Game, he's the Mighty Glacier of the group.
- Superlópez: Bruto is physically the second strongest member of the Super Grupo, after "Supes", but he's also the second smartest after el Mago. Superlopez is also supposed to be pretty smart himself.
- Dark World!Spike from the Pony POV Series is a fully grown dragon and as such extremely powerful. But, unlike most dragons, he's also able to come up with complex strategies (such as superheating the area around an opponent, then having Twilight freeze it to cause a temperature shock explosion or using his opponent's own weapon against them) and is quite intelligent. Twilight outright says this is an advantage he has over other dragons, whose combat strategy normally amounts to 'smash it till it stops moving' or 'Kill It with Fire'. We find out later that he spent those thousand years Discord ruled the world (when not busy being Discord's mount) reading books. He has in depth knowledge on everything from combat styles and meditation to chiropractic massage. This comes in handy fighting Rancor, the Spirit of Violence who's immune to violence, and thus only things that aren't violence are capable of hurting her, like chiropractic massage.
- Xenilla (a.k.a Spacegodzilla) from The Bridge. While we got indications he was intelligent in the kaiju home realm, once he arrives in Equestria and we can understand what he's saying; he's got quite the mind on him. While most kaiju are sentient, it's obvious Xenilla was the one with the brains behind his faction. Aside from using his wit to trick his way into getting to the Crystal Empire, where he'd be stronger; he seems well learned in more trivial matters. Played for Laughs briefly when he forces the entire Crystal Court to pause and consider the illogical nature of Princesses Rule in an Empire, think it ridiculous Cadance wasn't an empress. Oh, and he's easily one of the most physically powerful kaiju in existence. His equine form being a full head taller than Shining Armor and very well muscled. Now consider his true form is a tall, 70,000 ton dinosaur
- In Origin Story, Alexandra Harris, a Kryptonian with all the super-powers that entails, is very intelligent, a speed-reader, and has perfect recall. Her mind literally operates faster than that of a normal human being's. She's just not used to thinking of herself that way, having memories of an emotionally abusive childhood in which the phrase "you're an idiot" was used a lot.
- Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm:
- Jason Shepard, aka Lightstorm, is this. Despite losing his powers before the beginning of the story, his intelligence is so great that he can use ordinary human tech to create Moon Kingdom-level weapons and armor. He's also one of the deadliest fighters known to exist.
- Sailor Mercury, upon receiving military training from Jason. She is shown to be smart enough to learn the Moon Kingdom science that Jason teaches her, despite it being so advanced that it appears to be magic. Her skill with her ice powers also makes her a force to be reckoned with in a fight.
- Sailor Jupiter. Her knowledge of chemistry exceeds that of Sailor Mercury's, and even before Jason began training her, she was able to kill six human adults at the beginning of her debut episode.
Films — Animation
- Professor Padraic Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective is the rodent Captain Ersatz of Prof. Moriarty, plus is very physically imposing due to him being a... ahem... big mouse.
- Dr. Jumba from Lilo & Stitch is smart enough to create an incredibly powerful genetic experiment, and strong enough to go toe to toe with said experiment in order to obtain amnesty for the crime of creating him. He did better against Stitch than a 20-foot tall whaleman who was an expert in combat.
- Not explicit, but Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles must be very intelligent to master the subtle ins-and-outs of Insuricare, which we see even before he outwits Syndrome's Omnidroid and goes for a delve in the computer network. Mr. Incredible is actually quite sharp, and when he's infiltrating Syndrome's base, this fact helps him just as often as his strength does.
Films — Live Action
- The Radix: Edgar Wurm is cryptography genius, and a strong fighter. As he puts it, "It always surprises people when they get their ass kicked by a mathematician".
- Butler from Artemis Fowl speaks several languages, can cook well, is an amazing fighter trained in several martial arts, is a weapons expert, and has many other handy talents. On the other hand, can't find his way through theoretical physics very well. His intelligence is probably above-average, but it's hard to say for sure because almost everyone looks like an idiot next to Artemis Fowl. His little sister is also smart, but has too much compassion to become a bodyguard, and leaves to become a professional wrestler.
- Most of the male characters in R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse series. Kellhus and Cnaiur best represent this as extremely powerful warriors with ridiculously penetrating, Siscilianesque◊ intellect.
- Stephen King and Peter Straub's "Black House", a sequel to "The Talisman", features not one, but a group of examples for this trope. The "Hegelian Scum" are a small motorcycle club just like any other, except for two things. They manage a Brewing Factory for their favorite beer and are all, at the very leasy, graduates from areas like literature and medicine. Best example of this is Doc, who enjoys some poetry between the drugs and the bashing skulls.
- Loial in the Wheel of Time series is a giant Ogier who has also been reading books for almost a century.
- The Dragon Reborn eventually gets this when he accepts his past memories as part of his reincarnated self.
- Perrin thinks that he's a simple blacksmith, but is actually tremendously clever, tactical, and carries Mjolnir besides.
- Belisarius Series,
- Anastasius is a huge and ugly brute of a soldier, who wields an enormous longbow which only someone as hugely strong as him can pull, and yet is immensely fond of deep, philosophical musings.
- Also from that series, Ousanas (wields a ginormous spear, fond of debating philosophy with Anastasius, to everyone else's dismay), Eon (warrior-king...who has one of the largest libraries in the known world and has read most of it), Raghunath Rao (the best assassin in India, one of only two men in the world to have survived a fight with Rana Sanga, argues Ousanas's favourite Greek philosophers are full of it).
- In the CHERUB Series it's a requirement for joining CHERUB , seeing as the kids are required to be highly-effective spies. They all have at least some proficiency in languages, martial arts and technology.
- In Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures, Chumley is a giant troll with the mind of a college professor. However, trolls generally play dumb so that they can get a mercenary work.
- Klahdish bodyguards Guido and Nunzio are also quite bright, despite appearing to be big dumb goons. From what was mentioned, they both got degrees in a college; specifically Guido got a master's type degree in financial college; Nunzio also was at least a schoolteacher and then an animal trainer ("seemed like a logical extension") before joining the Mob.
- Joe Miller in Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld books is an 800-lb prehistoric "titanthrop" who is the most fearsome warrior in the series. He is also capable of matching wits with his best friend Samuel Clemens and with Cyrano de Bergerac.
- Trolls in Discworld fit this trope if exposed to colder temperatures. Their brain is made of silicon, which operates more efficiently in colder temperatures than warmer ones. However, there is an absolute limit, because although being made mostly of rock, trolls can eventually die of exposure as well as any other life form.
- The scene where it's shown that trolls can die of cold exposure also has one discovering calculus.
- Diamond, King of the Trolls, a troll born completely composed of, well, diamond. The diamond refracts light and allows his brain exceptional cooling due to the high heat conductivity of diamond.
- Golems as well, although only the free ones show it.
- Yet another Discworld example is the Librarian of Unseen University, a wizard transformed into an orangutan who is one of the most intelligent and sensible wizards despite the fact he only communicates by saying Ook or Eek (and is usually understandable to other characters). As an ape he's got easily twice the upper body strength of most humans.
- Speaking of wizards, the Archchancellor, Mustrum Ridcully. The man can keep up with the resident equivalent of a rocket scientist without that much trouble, is an excellent wizard, as his position in the university would imply, and he's also strong enough that, while he can fireball things to death easily, it's even easier for him to just whack whatever's troubling him with his staff until it stops moving.
- Another, very specialized Discworld example might be Mr. Tulip, who really is a big dumb bruiser who's not even smart enough to be a proper drug addict - except in the field of art history, where he proves to have both astonishing depth of knowledge and natural instinct...as well of glimmers of humanity and emotion beyond rage.
- Similarly, Jason Ogg, immensely strong and despite an otherwise limited intelligence, a good blacksmith and the world's best farrier.
- Discworld orcs seem to have been created to fulfill this trope, although Mister Nutt himself is more of a Badass Bookworm.
- Captain Carrot, he can punch out a troll if need be, knows at least three languages, and is quite devious. Most people miss this though due to his tendency towards open friendliness, and atrocious spelling.
- A creepy Discworld example is "Professor" Cranberry, Cosmo Lavish's personal Assassin in Making Money. He's quiet and constantly reading, except when he's killing people. Even Heretofore is unsettled and would rather Cosmo hired a "mindless thug." Cranberry also got into the Guild school on scholarship, which specifically means he showed the aptitude and disposition necessary to be a real Assassin even before he actually got in.
- A non-Discworld example from Terry Pratchett: Silver the Shand from Strata is a tall, heavily muscled, bearlike being with huge claws. She's also a socialist, linguist, comparative historian and meat-animal herder.
- Doc Savage is repeatedly described as a bronzed Adonis, and those Doctorates weren't honorary. Plus his brilliant but simian looking lieutenant 'Monk' Mayfair and the gigantic 'Renny' Renwick. The other three of the 'Fabulous Five' fit the Badass Bookworm trope. (In fact, given information from three stories, there seemed to be only three skills where Doc fell short of being a genius: singing, cooking, and imitating a female voice.)
- Leland Hobie Hobart from Michael Flynn's Firestar tetralogy.
- Honor Harrington is positively in love with this trope. The examples start just from its title character, Honor Harrington, who, in addition to her military genius, is also a very big and strong heavyworlder woman with a 7'th degree black belt in coup de vitesse. There are also Anton Zilwicki (the genius hacker and intelligence officer built like a brick outhouse and a three times Greco-Roman wrestling champion in Manticoran Games) and Sir Horace Harkness, another brilliant hacker and engineer who fights with Space Marines just for fun. A number of marines themselves qualify too — like General Kevin Usher, the chief Havenite cop, who once affected a persona of a drunkard, or Brigadier Thomas Santiago Ramirez, who, being heavyworlder, is much bigger and stronger than most of the cast, or Major Thandi Palane, Victor Cachat's girlfriend... And many, many others.
- Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt from Gaunt's Ghosts. Two meters twenty (That's 7' 4") of solid muscle and capable of going head to head with a Space Marine, but also a tactical genius with the undying support of his men.
- Far from the lumbering moron of the film adaptations, Frankenstein's Monster is a full Genius Bruiser in Mary Shelley's original novel. "The creature" educates himself very quickly by spying on a girl's lessons through a crack in a wall, growing into a remarkably intelligent, eloquent, and philosophical man. He is also an extremely powerful physical specimen, resistant to cold and injury as well as immensely strong, fast, and agile.
- Similarily, Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan is not quite the muscular simpleton portrayed in the films. Raised by the (naturally) illiterate Great Apes, he teaches himself to read and write English from a bunch of books after finding his dead (human) parents' long-abandoned cabin, then rapidly learns half a dozen other spoken and written languages when introduced to civilization while also picking up the manner and social skills of a well-to-do gentleman, along with developing a witty, somewhat dark sense of humor.
- Robert E. Howard's Conan. Most people only know the Ahnuld movies where he acts like just a big dumb lump of muscle, largely because the young Governator had trouble with his English lines so they gave him as few as possible, but in the original stories he's one of the smartest men in the world - not given to academic study before he became king and it became a necessity, but a very quick practical thinker (it's a big part of what makes him so incredibly dangerous) with a vicious cunning, a prodigious gift for languages, and surprising depth of thought when called for. This aspect of the character is probably highlighted most clearly in The Dark Stranger, a pirate yarn in which he single-handedly outfights and outwits Pictish warbands, viking raiders, cut-throat pirates, an exiled noble and a hunting demon... most (if not quite all) at once. He also apparently wrote the poem Road of Kings, used as chapter heads in Phoenix on the Sword, his debut story - and is introduced to the world as a king, drawing up a map of the Northern lands hitherto largely unknown to his Hyborian subjects. And he's a benevolent and quite competent ruler, at that!
Conan: "Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."
- In fact, Howard hints Conan was actually the most competent ruler of the entire world at his time, if you consider balance between taxes and quality of life a way to know how good a ruler can be:
Conan: "I found Aquilonia in the grip of a pig like you—one who traced his genealogy for a thousand years. The land was torn with the wars of the barons, and the people cried out under oppression and taxation. Today no Aquilonian noble dares maltreat the humblest of my subjects, and the taxes of the people are lighter than anywhere else in the world."
- Howard's earlier character King Kull, often seen as a sort of proto-Conan given more to dizzying philosophical musings than the Cimmerians decidedly more Epicurean pursuits of wine, women and violence (in no particular order), is even more of this.
- In fact, a lot of Howard's larger-than-life pulp heroes - Conan, King Kull, Solomon Kane, etc. - are not just Genius Bruisers, but Genius Lightning Bruiser Berserkers. The same also goes for many other pulp characters (notably Tarzan, as mentioned above). Seriously, these are very scary people, folks; thank gods they all have scruples...
- In Temeraire, dragons in general can be bruisers, but Maximus — possibly the biggest, strongest dragon seen yet in the series — has little problem working out mathematical problems with Temeraire, who's smarter than almost any other character.
- To put things in perspective, Temeraire is a bit less than half Maximus' size... and Maximus is almost 50 tonnes when healthy.
- Perspicia is a subversion of this, because although she's a dragon and therefore automatically a bruiser and is smart enough to have independently come up with logarithmic tables and the Pythagorean Theorem, she's also a self admitted coward.
- A not-uncommon component of books by John Ringo.
- The main protagonist, Michael "Mighty Mite" O'Neal, in the Legacy of the Aldenata, is described as being almost as broad as he is tall, with none of it fat. O'Neal was also one of the primary designers of the Powered Armor he and his troops later use.
- The Space Marines in particular in the Into the Looking Glass series are all powerfully built, and highly intelligent, having to grapple not only with hostile aliens but with particle physics.
- King Anheg of Cherek in David Eddings' Belgariad/Mallorean stories is a large, Viking-looking man, quite capable of wreaking havoc in battle, but is also considered clever and scholarly, spending many hours in his extensive library.
- Ulath, of it's Spiritual Successor, The Elenium is seven feet tall, grim-looking and quiet. He also possesses remarkable intellectual depth in the fields of religious study, history, and philosophy. Bhlokow, the Troll-Priest may be another example, being a Troll who cheerfully engages Ulath in philisophical debate.
- Jean, partner to Gentleman Bastard Locke Lamora, is officially the brawn to his friend's brains, but is book-smart to Locke's cunning. Being the son of a merchant, he's also gifted with numbers.
- The eponymous Villain Protagonist of Space Vulture.
- Captain Otto Harkaman of Space Viking is used at least once as a byword for The Big Guy, but he's also an extremely well-read historian who rarely fails to grab a few new history books every time he loots a city. Justified, because there's absolutely frak-all to do on board a ship in H. Beam Piper's Terrohuman Future History during a thousand or so hours in hyperspace before your arrival, leading all officers to adopt hobbies - his crew includes a gunnery officer who's a landscape painter, and an astrogator who's attempting to express physics in music.
- Sgt. Taura, the eight foot tall genetically engineered super-soldier from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga has an IQ of 135.
- Most Hork-Bajir are rather dim, but one in every ten thousand has intelligence on par with other more intelligent species. Oh yeah, and they are also seven-foot-tall behemoths covered in blades.
- There's also the odd examples from the main Animorphs themselves: Rachel and Jake. In early books Rachel is sold as a straight Genius Bruiser, with chapters lingering on her excellent grades and tendency to collect quotations from Sun Tzu, while Jake is presented as an academically mediocre everyman. As the books progress, however, Rachel's Blood Knight nature slowly begins to overwhelm any trace of strategy she might have had, while Jake's years of leading a guerilla force mold him into a brilliant commander.
- According to Ax, Andalite warriors are supposed to be scientists and artists as well as soldiers. In practice the level of compliance with this ideal varies.
- Justicar Alaric from the Warhammer 40,000 Grey Knights novels. As a Space Marine he can seriously kick ass, but when crunch time comes, it's his curiosity, intelligence and ability to think on his feet that pulls him through. It's explicitly noted at least once that his sharpness of mind is unusual and seen as a possible danger.
- Charles Beckendorf from Percy Jackson and the Olympians is not only a skilled craftsman, but also built like a gorilla.
- Henry, a college student from The Secret History, is a brilliant linguist and scholar, whose physical strength comes as a shock to most people. Including, sometimes, himself. It's implied that he broke open a man's skull by punching him..
- Brendan Sealock, in William Barton and Michael Capobianco's collab novel Iris, is a hulking, craggy-faced amateur boxer... who just so happens to also be a technological genius.
- Dr. Impossible, the Villain Protagonist of Soon I Will Be Invincible, began his career in supervillainy after a Freak Lab Accident gives him super strength and speed, to go along with his 300 IQ and mastery of technical things. He's not nearly as strong or fast as any of his heroic nemeses, but he's more than capable of ripping an ATM out of the wall or overturning a semi, he can move in Bullet Time when he concentrates, and bullets simply bounce off his skin (although they do leave nasty bruises).
- Uther Doul, the soldier/philosopher/historian/possibility theorist from The Scar embodies this trope so hard it's almost a Stealth Parody. Although his fighting style is so ruthlessly perfected and artful, you'd be better off calling him a Bookworm Badass than an anything-Bruiser.
- Shadow, the protagonist from Neil Gaiman's American Gods, is definitely this trope. It's revealed as the book goes on that as a child he was a nerdy, bookish kid, but by adulthood most people tend to treat him as Dumb Muscle and he actually comes out and says he likes being The Big Guy — people leave you alone and don't demand much of you.
- Mary Gentle's recurring character Baltazar Casaubon. Very tall, very fat but very strong, somewhat spacy, and always an absolute prodigy in his field (which changes from book to book).
- Derek Souza of the Darkest Powers trilogy. He's in grade 10, but is taking college-level courses in everything, and is a good strategist and tactician. As for the bruiser part, he's over 6 feet tall, built like a linebacker... and is a werewolf. As such, he has enhanced strength, to the point where he once (accidentally) broke a kid's back and quite possibly paralyzed him by tossing him at a wall. Without looking.
- In The Squire's Tales, Gerald Morris writes Sir Gawain as one of these.
- Codex Alera.
- Doroga. He's a Cool Old Guy from the Gargant Clan of the Marat, a Proud Warrior Race Guy so musclebound he has to rip the sleeves off to get shirts to fit him. He also learned to read extremely quickly, is a pretty good tactician, and has a talent for figuring out the emotions and motivations of others, and for plans of many kinds..
- Ambassador/Warmaster Varg of the Canim from the same series also qualifies. Any Cane is an 8+ foot tall Wolf Man Proud Warrior Race Guy, but Varg is big, strong, and a skilled warrior even among his own people- and he's also a highly skilled Chessmaster (both metaphorically and literally), a shrewd tactician, and something of a student of military history as well. It's very telling that Guile Hero Tavi picked up a fair bit of what he knows via interacting with Varg.
- Fandarel of the Dragonriders of Pern series. He is the Mastersmith, the highest-ranking Smith on the planet. He is described as being a giant of a man, tall, broad, and heavily muscled. But he is also a genius when it comes to machinery. In the first book he rebuilds a Lost Technology, namely flamethrowers, after a very short period of studying one example. In later books he is shown creating a telegraph system for Pern, as well as building a set of backup batteries for AIVAS and other feats of ingenuity and reverse engineering. Though AIVAS did help him with the batteries, they were based on a design he had used in making the telegraphs.
- Murtagh in the Inheritance Cycle. He is a master warrior, possesses superhuman speed and strength, regularly goes toe-to-toe with Eragon himself, and is the acting champion of the Empire, second in power and status only to King Galbatorix. At the same time, he's also a skilled tactician who enjoys reading and scholarship, and is complimented for his intelligence by several other characters.
- The Hobbit: Smaug, which contrasted to popular characterizations of dragons at the time.
- Deconstructed and Reconstructed with Major O'Mara from Sector General: he always wanted to be a psychologist but was always assigned manual labor because of his enormous build. This drove him to become a foul-tempered Deadpan Snarker, which made him a better psychologist when he finally became one.
- Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson, husband of Amelia Peabody, is described by his wife as "Herculean" and also as "the greatest archeologist of this or any other age." His daughter-in-law can do charity medical work safely in the worst slums partly because she is widely loved, but also because "I will tear out your liver" if a hair of her head is mussed.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hell, Calvin, Mephisto's "Bully Boy", turns out to be a college professor.
- InThe Dresden Files "Cujo" Hendricks is actually one, though his status as The Brute and tendency to not talk much causes Harry to think he's just Dumb Muscle. In the short story Even Hand, however, he's shown to be quite intelligent. He has a degree in Philosophy, is seen writing a thesis, and regularly quotes classic literature when he disagrees with his boss Johnny Marcone.
- Roman in Sergey Lukyanenko's Competitors looks like a heavyweight boxer and is not shy about punching people out when he has to. He is often seen beside Zinovy, the head of the Seekers, and most assume he is just dumb muscle. Then he gets back to their base and puts on his labcoat. Turns out Roman has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and specializes in AI research. He also barters well. Also Oleg, who is a sysadmin for a local newspaper but is in excellent physical condition and loves sports.
- Taran'atar in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch. Kira Nerys is used to seeing him in the holosuite, spending his spare time training himself for battle. Usually this consists of fighting hideous and powerful opponents; but on one occasion she finds him studying advanced mathematics - at a level far beyond her comprehension.
- X-Wing Series: Voort Sa Binring, aka "Piggy". Able to calculate hyperspace coordinates mentally (generally, this task is handled by a navigation computer). Get into a fight with him, you'll almost certainly be incapable of coherent speech for the next half hour or so.
- Ivor in Perseus Spur is a massive fitness trainer who can use a high-tech collar to enhance his already insane muscle development until he can lift a couple of hundred kilograms, and who is smart enough that he speaks in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, such as referring to his job as "quotidian ennui". He's also a talented chef.
- Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror, in the novel of the same name.
- The Boneys from Xeelee Sequence novel Raft. Despite their tribelike mannerisms, they play with orbital mechanics with an ease that rivals trained scientists.
- Honoria Glossop from the Jeeves and Wooster series: "...in addition to enlarging her brain to the most frightful extent, she had gone in for every kind of sport and developed the physique of a middle-weight catch-as-catch-can wrestler." The same trope applies to her identical-looking cousin Heloise Pringle, who went to the same school as Honoria, but is even smarter.
- Geralt of Rivia, the main character of The Witcher is one. He is a monster-hunter and curse-breaker for hire, and acknowledged as the finest swordsman alive. His teachers also gave him a thorough grounding in a wide variety of academic fields which are useful in his profession, including (but not limited to) magic, alchemy, anatomy, forensic science, zoology, ecology, history, folklore and political theory.
- Sharpe's friend Captain William Fredrickson. Fredrickson is a former ranker, who lost an eye, eight teeth and half his scalp when he was shot in the face. He is not quite as Badass as Sharpe or Harper, but can hold his own against them both, both as a leader of men and a fighter. He also loves art, poetry and architecture, has enough knowledge of law to get Sharpe out of trouble more than once, speaks French and Spanish and spends his free time making pencil sketches of landscapes and discussing politics with an American Lieutenant.
- In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Jack Aubrey is a tall, burly, heavily scarred war hero and immensely successful naval commander, who always leads boarding actions from the front. He is also, along with his good friend Dr. Maturin, a Fellow of the Royal Society (Britain's most prestigious academic society). He has written a number of well-received papers on astronomy and geometry, and built his own observatory and telescopes.
- Karl Edward Wagner's hero Kane, described by Wagner as being one "who could master any situation intellectually, or rip heads off if push came to shove". Also something of a Villain Protagonist.
- Amanandrala "Grok" Grookonomonslf in Star Risk, Ltd. is a bear-like alien who is an absolutely terrifying combatant. He's also quite good with tech and cryptography, though not as much as Jasmine King.
- To general surprise, Professor Hari Seldon turns out to be a skilled fighter in the prequel to the Foundation novels. A pair of thugs try to rough him up early in the book, and he nearly breaks one of their necks subduing them. As one character ruefully reflects, on his planet mathematics and martial arts are not mutually exclusive.
- Prof. Alois Berg, better known as "Big Al", one of the Escapist's closest friends and allies in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as well as the spinoff Escapist comic. He met the Escapist when both were working at a circus — Big Al was a freak, caged like an animal due to his monstrous size. As he's described in the novel, "He can rip open a steel drum like a can of tobacco, lift a train carriage by one corner, play the violin like Paganini, and calculate the velocity of asteroids and comets, one of which bears his name."
- Alex Kilgour: the incomprehensibly Scottish heavy-worlder and right hand man to Sten is a genius tactician, communications and demolitions expert.
- In the second book of The Black Company the Lieutenant is shown wielding a mighty greatsword against the inhuman monsters of the Black Castle. A few scenes later, he's setting up elaborate, comprehensive siege works against the same castle with the finesse of an orchestra conductor.
- Wächterechsen (Guardian Lizards) in the german e-novel "Magicalogen" are implied to all be Super Soldiers. The one who actually appears is notably bigger than a human with natural armor, claws, ridiculous muscles and jaws full of really scary teeth. He's also a master wizard, a scientist and a spy.
- Ben in The Leonard Regime.
- Tsovinar of Glory in the Thunder is a tall, strong woman capable of generating earthquakes with her mind. She's also a published author and spends much of her time studying the nature of Aspects.
- Philip Marlowe the Hardboiled Detective in the stories by Raymond Chandler. He's tall and as tough as they come as well as extremely Street Smart and an insightful detective. He studies chess in his spare time and occasionally making references to very academic subjects that go right over the heads of the people around him.
- Dime Novel hero Nick Carter is adept at all the arts and sciences, but is also a highly trained fighter; when that isn't enough, he also carries two spring-loaded revolvers concealed up his sleeves.
- In the Noob novels, Fantöm is explictly using Awesomeness by Analysis while being The Big Guy in his team.
- Most notably the Runners in The Maze Runner, who are quick thinking cartographers who make-maps while running marathons and have to stand a fighting chance against The Grievers. At a point before the main story, Thomas himself counted; he was a child prodigy Leading WICKED and extraordinarily fit and during the series proves to be a decent fighter.
- Bear of Fairy Tale Novels is big and strong enough to have been a football player in school, but preferred writing poetry (the best in class) and studying art, later becoming a stonemason.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Spike might not know all that science stuff and whatnot, but he's as smart and as analytical as he is strong.
- Adam was smart enough to modify himself and create more like him; strong enough to tear off a vampire's head with his bare hands and put up a good fight against Buffy.
- Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds. He's the designated muscle of the BAU and the most physical member of the team, e.g. he's often the one who leads a strike team, kicks down doors, beats up UnSubs, etc., but he's also a pretty skilled profiler and has a law degree, as well as being quarterback of his college football team.
- The Big Guy is a sasquatch and also deeply philosophical, knows and makes vintage alcohol, and is almost on par with Henry, the designated techie, on mechanical matters.
- One thing all HAPs have in common is that they like to tinker with mechanics, and are more often than not geniuses at it. They're just wired that way.
- Eliot Spencer from the show Leverage seems to fit this trope. If not, he sure looks the part.
- No, he definitely fits the part. In fact, it's been repeatedly lampshaded, since the guy is a tactical expert and a really good chef, among other skills. He can identify CIA agents by their stance, Ex Marines by their knife fighting style and Spetznaz operatives by their shoe prints in the snow. Complete with Catch Phrase "It's a very distinctive (impossibly small detail he can use to identify something or someone)."
- Lindsey fits the bill. A lawyer who taught himself several magical and martial arts, he gives the title character a run for his money once or twice.
- Wesley went from an Obstructive Bureaucrat in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to this trope in Angel, being a demon linguist and expert in arcane arts who became an expert gunman who can go toe-to-toe with a powerful demon sorcerer.
- Even before his "brain-boost", Gunn showed himself to be extremely cunning, savvy and perceptive, sometimes bordering analytical.
- Dean Winchester of Supernatural. Even though his family (including himself), the demons, and the angels think of Sam as the "smart one", Dean's actually been shown, repeatedly, to be a genius, too: building an EMF meter out of an old Walkman; rebuilding the Impala from scraps after it's been totaled; building an EMP OUT OF A CAR BATTERY. Hand him some tools and duct tape and he'll make something that is both insane and useful. He's also the tactical genius of the two brothers, coming up with crazy-yet-brilliant plans usually on the spur of the moment, and very good at both assessing and exploiting his opponents' weaknesses.
- Sam calls him out on it in "Trial and Error" (S08, E14):
Dean: I'm a grunt, Sam
. You're not. You've always been the brains of this operation.
Dean: Sam, be smart.
Sam: I am smart, and so are you. You're not a grunt, Dean, you're a genius—when it comes to lore, to—you're the best damn hunter I have ever seen. Better than me, better than Dad. I believe in you, Dean. So, please—please believe in me, too.
- K'a D'Argo of Farscape slowly develops into this over the course of the show: while not a scientist like Crichton or Scorpius, he's skilled enough to build the odd weapon or musical instrument out of the junk he finds aboard Moya. Plus, his Cool Star Ship Lo'La was little more than floating wreckage until D'Argo rescued and repaired it.
- Dollhouse: Alpha. In addition to being a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, he is insanely tech-savvy, rivalling even Topher. Not only does he reconstruct and program imprinting equipment on his own, he even creates remote wipe and remote imprinting technology before anyone else.
- A chart-breaking IQ is a must in the Impossible Missions Force, and Willie Armitage is also quite strong.
- Human Target Christopher Chance fits this to a "T." The character looks like the result of a transporter accident involving G.I. Joe and Malibu Ken, but in almost every episode demonstrates a wide range of knowledge (e.g., speaks Japanese, Russian, & Chinese, knows enough law to fake out working prosecutors, creates a sermon for a monastery full of priests on the fly) in addition to his more expected fighting, bodyguarding, and strategizing skills.
- Guerrero is on the opposite spectrum. The guy doesn't look like much and calls everybody "dude", and the pilot shows two thugs threatening to rough him up, only for him to calmly tell them their names, as well as the names of their children, and what he plans to do with them in their sleep. His fighting skills are on par with Chance, and his name alone is enough to break prisoners without him having to start his "interrogation".
- Star Trek: Voyager: Captain Janeway's chief engineer is also a badass Klingon chick who can fix warp cores, deactivate bombs, or break your neck, depending on her mood.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Lt. Commander Worf. When the Jem'Hadar figure all they can do to you is kill you, but not actually break you... He's a Starfleet Academy graduate, a Mok'bara instructor, a weapons designer, a capable love poet and Klingon Opera singer, has native-level understanding of Klingon language and culture (which wouldn't be surprising, excepting that he was raised on Earth), can manipulate and scheme at the highest levels of Klingon politics, keeps his wits about him under virtually any conditions (incomplete information, starvation, torture, extreme pain, maybe even Klingon rage) and can outsmart Captain Picard in ship combat exercises.
- Lt. Commander Data is also this trope. Justified as he was specifically constructed with near-infinite memory storage and (literally) the strength of ten men. During his quest to be "human", he learned how to paint, dance, perform Shakespeare, play the violin, and play poker well enough to fleece a bunch of card sharps when he got tossed back to 19th Century San Francisco.
- Star Trek: Enterprise: Malcolm Reed, the ship's armoury officer can build phase cannons from scratch, invent stable force fields and instruct a layman on how to diffuse a high-tech mine. He can also kill you using any one of a hundred weapons. Or, he may just beat you into a pulp and blow up your spaceship for good measure. It depends on his mood.
- Reed's mirror universe counterpart also co-invented the Agony Booth.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Ben Sisko. He helped design the USS Defiant, built an Ancient Bajoran Solar Sailor from scratch and flew it to Cardassia, discovered the Bajoran wormhole and a city lost for millennia. He's also personally responsible for punching Klingons, Jem'Hadar and even Q on their ass. In his downtime, he enjoys cooking (his father is a gourmet chef) and playing baseball in the holosuites.
- In Star Trek: The Original Series, Lt. Commander Spock is the ship's science officer, and quite a good one at that. Being a Vulcan, he is twice as strong as a human. A fact he demonstrated by kicking the ass of Captain Kirk and destroying a computer console with his bare hand on two separate occasions.
- Stargate SG-1 had O'Neill who, while not very friendly towards scientists and science in general, has an astronomical hobby. Stargate Atlantis raised the ante with Sheppard who, despite being the resident military officer guy of the team, once solved a logic puzzle that left The Smart Guy baffled and revealed that said puzzle was in the MENSA test he took and passed years before - he turned down the offer to join but an alternate universe counterpart of his joined and became a smug Insufferable Genius even worse than McKay.
- On Discovery Channel's Dual Survival, survival expert Cody Lundin used his physics knowledge to build a home that costs nothing to heat or cool, built a lean-to in Nova Scotia that trapped the radiation from the fire to keep him and fellow survivalist Dave Canterbury cozy at 72 degrees on a 20 degree night, was able to explain in plain English to Dave how it worked. And Cody looks like he could bench press the VW Bug they found in the Desert Breakdown episode with very little effort.
- TJ in Power Rangers in Space. Not only was he one of the strongest members, but he was also a great combat planner. Not surprisingly, considering he was an ex-Red Ranger.
- Almost every Ranger team has at least one geeky Ranger (Billy, Kai of Lost Galaxy, Ethan of Dino Thunder, Chip of Mystic Force) and another that's more meek and intellectual (Trini, Kendrix, Madison, Rose), who could take out supernatural threats on a weekly basis.
- The smart ranger is rarely ever the one that gets the most fight time. However, fan favorite Tommy got a lion-share of the combat in his original tenure, including fighting The Dragon unmorphed. When he comes back in Dino Thunder? He's a paleontologist.
- Dot Com from 30 Rock. His need to be the smartest person in the room at all times is, in the words of Jack Donaghy, off-putting. Looking at him, you think he's just another Scary Black Man, but nope...
- B.A. Baracus of The A-Team.
- Paladin of Have Gun — Will Travel. While not particularly huge, Richard Boone is a good sized man, and Paladin's intelligence is a defining characteristic.
- Leo Knox of The Finder who is played by Michael Clarke Duncan, was shown in the pilot to be able to take down a hulking tough in one move (although usually he's a Gentle Giant) and is also a lawyer.
- Harmon Rabb in JAG is a lawyer that looks like a boxer and is, of course nicknamed 'Harm'. He's more liable to use the law to fight his battles than anything else, but failing that he's a trained Naval Aviator, crack shot, and has enough street-smarts to outmaneuver most enemies.
- Sarah MacKenzie is also a top JAG lawyer, and is fluent in Farsi and Russian. She's also an expert marksman, can throw a mean punch, and isn't afraid to bawl out any enlisted or noncom who forgets she is a Marine who just happens to be a woman.
- Admiral Chegwidden, the head of JAG, is a former Navy SEAL, ex-sniper, and brawler who intimidates mafiosos. But he also enjoys Shakespeare, is well-read and a student of military history.
- Person of Interest: Despite being "The Brawn" in the Brains and Brawn relationship with Finch, Reese himself is quite well-read, very cunning and has a extensive knowledge on fighting styles, guns, animals and military history.
- In NCIS: Los Angeles, Sam Hanna is a former Navy SEAL and Scary Black Man. He's also known to speak fluent Japanese and Arabic and has extensively studied the Qur'an and sharia law.
- Alexander Mahone of Prison Break. While his major attribute is being a very intelligent detective, he's also quite possibly the best fighter in the series. Over the course of the series you can see him effortlessly take out mooks left and right, and he even bests Lincoln in combat despite a gunshot wound. Even T-Bag mentions he's the only one in Sona Prison who could beat Sammy, Lecheros Dragon.
- Hannibal Lecter in the 2013 Hannibal TV series is a cultured, well-educated psychiatrist who also gives Tobias the beating of his life. The fact that Hannibal has overpowered and murdered countless people also suggests that he is physically formitable.
- Rummelsnuff looks like a real life german Hulk◊ with the brain of a fly, whom you'd rather expect to work as an enforcer for the Mob. However, both of his parents were classical mussicians and music teachers. The working class image is part of his art.
- One of the most common Metal Head stereotypes is that they are Dumb Muscle. The technical ability required to play the music definitely creates this when combined with the typical image. This is especially the case for Folk Metal, where the musicians are invariably well-versed in history and folklore and they generally speak at least one language besides English (the only exceptions come from English-speaking countries), probably more.
Myths & Religion
- Most Greek heroes are Genius Bruisers. The ancient Greeks believed as much in exercising the mind as the body.
- King Odysseus of Ithaca is the epitome of this trope in Greek mythology. Odysseus was the Achaians' most cunning general as well as one of their best warriors. Most notably he commissioned the Trojan Horse used to invade Troy. At the end of the Odyssey, he demonstrates that he's still a Badass after all these years by performing some archery feats and then slaughtering a roomful of younger men. His combination of brains and brawns makes him the favored hero of Athena. However, like many Greek heroes, some of his best work was possible only with substantial help from the gods.
- Athena is the goddess of wisdom and intellect and is known for her cunning and inventiveness. Though she prefers tactics and strategy instead of brute force, there are accounts of her incredible physical feats, such as crushing the giant Enceladaus with the island of Sicily. She is also undefeated in combat. In the Iliad, Ares, the god of war, challenged her on the battlefield and Athena knocked him out in a single strike.
- Prince Theseus of Greek mythology; his use of brains as well as brawn to pass tests, defeat opponents, and slay monsters.
- Hercules' Twelve Labors required a substantial amount of cunning as well as strength. When he found out that the Nemean Lion's hide was impervious to weapons, he strangled it. To fight the Hydra, which could grow its heads back, he seared the stumps with a torch. And to clean up the enormous and never-cleaned Aegeans Stables, he uses his strength to alter the course of two nearby rivers. Athena was the Olympian who liked Hercules best, excluding his father anyway.
- Hephaestus, the god of the forge and Zeus' main artificer, was able to take on and humiliate Ares, the god of war, with cunning, trickery, and his technological genius. Also counts—unusal among the Greek pantheon—as a Handicapped Badass, walking with a pronounced limp due to injuries sustained when Zeus literally threw him from Olympus as an infant.
- The old Christian martyrology has several cases of Genius Bruisers who were high-ranked Roman soldiers before their conversions, becoming Badass Preachers and facing the cruelest tortures and martyrdom with much badassery. Some of the more popular examples are:
- Jesus of Nazareth himself. It has been estimated his IQ has been over 200, as he was able to tackle Jewish scholars (who are not stupid) in the age of 12. If we assume the Shroud of Turin is genuine, he has been very muscular and strong as well - his civilian profession was carpenter - and larger than most Jewish men of his age.
- And even if the Shroud is not genuine, the New Testament report that time, in the Temple, he started tossing around the merchants' stone tables by himself...
- Saint George of Lydda. Assuming that he existed—he may not have—he was a powerful soldier and then able and charismatic captain and administrator for Emperor Diocletian. He stunned the Emperor by declaring himself a Christian just as said Emperor was beginning the last Roman persecution of the Christians; he refused all kinds of gifts to convert to paganism and was martyred for his trouble. Unlike many other martyrs, he had led a long enough life in the Roman military to make other badassery possible, and people naturally added new stuff to his story. The most famous of these additions has him slaying a dragon, saving the local Barrier Maiden, and then managing to convince everyone in her kingdom to convert to Christianity. He later became Patron Saint of a ridiculous number of things, including England, Georgia (the country), Genoa, Portugal (because of blood ties between the English and Portuguese royal families), the Palestinians (well, the Palestinian Christians, but the Muslims of Bethlehem and Lodnote like him, too), Scouting, and armored units. This patronage, by the way, is why the flag of England looks exactly like the flag of Genoa and both are awfully similar to the flag of Georgia.
- Saint Sebastian. This ex-captain of the prestigious Praetorian Guard (meaning, the guy was among the guards that protected The Emperor) was so badass that he had to be martyred twice (first by arrow shooting, later by flogging).
- Saint Christopher. A man over 7 ft. tall who started out as an arrogant Genius Bruiser obsessed with finding the best and more noble king to serve, then became a Gentle Giant after coming to believe that Jesus Christ (specially as Baby Jesus) was such master, and remained a Badass Preacher as he was tortured and killed by the Romans.
- More recently, we have Ignatius of Loyola who began his career as a Spanish knight but was severely wounded when a cannonball struck him in the legs. During his convalescence, he was inspired to switch his focus to religious study and eventually founded the Jesuit order. Fitting for the trope, Ignatius is the patron saint of both educators and soldiers.
- Ogma of Celtic Mythology. He's described as the Celtic Hercules based on his appearance, but he is so well-spoken that he can lead men happily into hell. If you prevent said men from following him, they'll get pissed at you.
- Odin of Norse Mythology. He is a god of war and hunting, but also of wisdom, magic and poetry. AND he's a trickster to boot. While old and gray, he is often depicted as quite physically imposing.
- The Book of Mormon gives several examples:
- Nephi was said to be "large of stature" even in his youth, and the vocabulary and terminology he uses indicates the he might well have been a smith by trade. He also built a deep-water ship for his family and ended up leading his people once they had crossed the ocean, both in building up civilization and creating civic projects and also as a warrior.
- Captain Moroni was the general of the Nephite armies several hundred years later. He would end up in the middle of battle from time to time and acquit himself quite well on the field, but some of his greatest victories in the war against the Lamanites came as a direct result of the strategies and ruses he devised. Several of his sub-commanders also qualify.
- At the end of the narrative, Mormon is made the general of the Nephite armies specifically because (much like Nephi a thousand years earlier) he was really big and strong even from his youth. In addition to his military exploits, he was also an accomplished historian and scholar (he clearly admired Moroni so much that he named his son after him) who ended up abridging a thousand years of the spiritual history of his people to form the record that bears his name.
- George "The Animal" Steele, Bill "Masked Superstar"/"Demolition Ax" Eadie, Little Spike Dudley and Matt "Prince Albert"/"A-Train"/"Giant Bernard"/"Lord Tensai" Bloom all were teachers before getting into pro wrestling. Steele would mostly wrestle during summer vacations. Matt Striker had to resign from his teaching position because the school system found that he had taken "sick days" when he was actually wrestling in Japan, or, as in the incident that caused his dismissal, wrestling a try-out match for WWE. Caylen Croft, real name Christopher Pavone, went in the opposite direction, retiring from wrestling to become a teacher.
- "Precious" Paul Elllering, best known for his work in the 1980s as the manager for The Road Warriors on television and off roles, is a member of Mensa and carried copies of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times with him to the ring during the Road Warriors' early days in Georgia in 1983. Despite this, he still accepted the ridiculous Rocco the ventriloquist dummy gimmick in 1992 WWE.
- Scott Levy, better known to Professional Wrestling fans as Raven, has an I.Q. of about 160.
- Similarly, pro wrestler John Bradshaw Layfield, who's about and (6-6, 290), has made millions with his keen stock market acumen, makes frequent appearances on financial programs to dole out advice, and is a Senior Vice President with Northeast Securities, as well as CEO of Layfield Energy. And you thought the whole Screw the Rules, I Have Money! thing was all an act...
- Doubly appropriate as he's apparently a complete jerk in real life too.
- Likewise, Accie Julius Conner (a.k.a. D-lo Brown) is a Certified Public Accountant.
- WWE NXT participant David Otunga is a Harvard Law grad.
- And a licensed attorney, having passed the Bar in Illinois.
- Former wrestler and WWF Tough Enough season 1 finalist Chris Nowinski was also a Harvard grad. He went on to be signed by the WWF, and did quite well for himself until forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome. He now heads the Sports Legacy Institute, a non-profit group dedicated to researching the long-term effects of concussions and other injuries in sports and sports entertainment.
- Female wrestler MsChif is a genetics scientist outside the ring.
- Modern pro wrestling is particularly good for these. When on the road, wrestlers have a lot of time in cars and on airplanes, so they take to reading to pass the time, which ends up with quite a few rather knowledgeable autodidacts. Mickie James has been slowly but surely working toward a Business degree, Shantelle Malawski (TNA Knockout Taylor Wilde) retired to focus on her psychology studies, and bodybuilder Chris Mordetzki (Chris Masters) is fond of reading books on politics on the road.
- Michelle McCool is a former 7th grade science teacher.
- Glen Jacobs, better known as Kane, has degrees in English and Teaching, and has said that if he weren't wrestling, he'd be teaching.
- He's also a quite knowledgeable blogger in political matters. Check out "The Adventures of Citizen X in the Land of the Free" sometime.
- Sheamus was an IT Technician before coming to the ring.
- Wade Barrett is a former bare-knuckle boxing champion and a former marine biologist.
- WWE talent Xavier Woods (formerly known as "Consequences Creed" in TNA, most infamous for losing the tag championship held by Adam "Pacman" Jones and Ron Killings on his debut with the company) has a graduate degree in Psychology and is looking to earn his doctorate in the field.
- Chess boxing is a sport designed for genius bruisers. The players alternate between rounds of boxing and rounds of speed chess. You can win by a knockout, a checkmate, judges' decision or by your opponent running out of time in the chess game.
- Chess-boxers can fit this trope if they also fit the Smart People Play Chess trope. Not only must they be experienced boxers, but they must be at least Class A in chess playing strength (which is as strong as a strong amateur chess player).
- Josh Waitzkin, the former chess prodigy whose early career was portrayed in Searching for Bobby Fischer, doesn't box. Hopefully his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu makes up for it.
- A number of Mixed Martial Arts fighters are surprisingly intelligent.
- Rich Franklin, who is considered one of the top fighters in the UFC and the promotion's former middleweight champion, was a high school math teacher at one of Ohio's top public schools. He holds a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Cincinnati.
- Matt "The Law" Lindland ran for Oregon state representative but lost partially due to his opponent's anti-MMA ads. He also earned his nickname by successfully litigating to overturn a wrestling match he lost via illegal move. He went on to win the rematch.
- Chael Sonnen also ran for state representative. More infamously, he took part in a money laundering scheme as a real estate agent while fighting professionally at the same time.
- Shane Carwin is a full-time mechanical engineer and showed up to work as usual at 9:00 a.m. on March 29, 2010... two days after he won the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship.
- Dr. Rosi Sexton has a 13-2 win record as of July 2012 and a Ph.D in theoretical computer science.
- Nick "The Goat" Thompson achieved his J.D. in Law and became a practicing attorney while amassing more than 50 fights across almost every major fighting promotion.
- Several Boxers
- The Klitschko brothers (Wladimir and Vitali) were both reigning heavyweight boxing champions, renowned for their prodigious knockout percentages, huge size and amazing physiques, as well as doctors of Kinesiology. They are also pretty good chess players. As of 2014, the eldest brother, Vitali, has retired from boxing and is currently the head of a Ukrainian political party and Mayor of Kiev.
- Recently retired Mexican boxer Marco Antonio Barrera is a qualified lawyer.
- His countryman and one-time opponent Juan Manuel Marquez is still recognized as one of the top 10 boxers in the sport. Marquez is also an accountant.
- In fact, this may not be uncommon among the lower ranks of professional boxing, where the money may not be all that great.
- Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews. According to Men's Health Magazine, he's "very smart" with an extensive knowledge of kinesiology.
- Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins is a Certified Financial Planner (he took courses during his stint in Ottawa), can fluently speak four languages, with a working knowledge of two others. With plans to learn Italian. He also holds the all-time NHL records for tallest player and hardest slapshot.
- Ice hockey players Douglas Murray and George Parros are both the epitome of a stereotypical hockey player (large, heavy hitters who are not afraid to get physical during a game), yet they're also both Ivy League grads — Murray from Cornell, Parros from Princeton. Murray even runs his own business, UberTap, that produces a three-spout beer keg tap.
- Despite being more known for his physical play and fighting, Kevin Westgarth (like Parros) graduated from Princeton. During the 2012 lockout, he became a representative of the NHL players and assisted with getting a new collective bargaining agreement worked out.
- Shaquille O'Neal is widely recognized as one of the best centers in the history of professional basketball who often used his size (over 7 feet tall and over 300 pounds) to overpower opponents on the court. As of May 2012, it's now Dr. Shaquille O'Neal, as Shaq has earned a doctorate in education, which he earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.8. He also attended film school, and is currently attending law school, simply because he thinks it's fun. Shaq may be the only man in the world with a PHD, a platinum album and an Olympic gold medal.
- Conrad Smith, a member of the New Zealand rugby team the All Blacks and the 2012 captain of the Wellington Hurricanes, has a Law degree with Honours and is therefore a qualified lawyer.
- Along with the fighting examples, one must remember that most NFL players actually do finish college, many of them using their 5 years of scholarship (yes, they actually get 5 during which 4 are eligible as playing years), many of them actually earn Masters Degrees. And we can include all Rhodes Scholars.
- The NCAA even uses this as an advertising point—their commercials show students in labs and other academic settings while a narrator comments, "Most of our athletes will go pro in something other than sports."
- Bills Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was an economics major at Harvard and interned at a hedge fund.
- Similarly, Andrew Luck—a star quarterback picked number one in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts—chose to remain at Stanford (the Harvard of the West) for an extra year to complete his degree in architecture and engineering.
- The SECOND pick of the 2012 draft: Robert Griffin III. Let's let The Other Wiki explain: "Griffin graduated from high school a semester early, after serving as class president and ranking seventh in his class. He began attending Baylor University during the spring 2008 semester when he was 17 years old. As a member of Baylor's track and field team, Griffin finished in first place in the hurdles at both the Big 12 Conference Championship and the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meets; he also broke the NCAA Midwest Regional hurdles record. He placed third in the NCAA meet and also participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials, in which he advanced to the semifinals. Griffin graduated in three years with a degree in political science and a 3.67 GPA, while appearing on the Dean's List twice. During his final year of college sports eligibility, he was studying for a Master's degree in communication."
- Offensive lineman Ron Mix, the second ever American Football League player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Famenote , was known as "The Intelectual Assassin" during his playing days, known as much for his Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness as for his playing prowess. He became a lawyer after his playing career, practicing out of San Diego for over three decades.
- Alan Page, Hall of Fame defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings. Practiced law after his playing days, eventually becoming a Justice on Minnesota's Supreme Court.
- "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell, longtime NFL fullback, once was late to workout for NFL scouts, because he was back at Stanford giving his Master's Thesis in Computer Science.
- Myron Rolle. Rhodes scholar and 6'2" 215 pound safety for Florida State University.
- Linebacker Dhani Jones stands out in particular, as one of the only pro football players to have conducted an orchestra while on an NFL roster.
- Tim Ruddy, former center for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Miami Dolphins football teams, who at 6'3" and 300 lbs. easily manhandled oppossing linemen for 15 years, finished high school with a perfect 4.00 GPA, and graduated from Notre Dame with a 3.86 GPA (including a perfect 4.00 during his junior and senior years) and a B.S. in mechanical engineering.
- In Necromunda, the Warhammer 40,000 spinoff set in the Underhive of the planet of the same name, the Heavy has to have both copious amounts of brawn to carry the massive squad-support weapons they use, and just as much technical skill to maintain them.
- This it taken to an extreme (As usual) in the standard game with the Techmarines of the Space Marines. By definition they are the field mechanics and combat engineers of the Space Marines, but with all the custom high-tech weaponry and dangerous tools they have on hand, they are also among the most formidable individuals the Space Marines can field!
- The Emperor himself was a giant of a man, but also an Emperor Scientist who labored for years to create what would become the Space Marines.
- Along with the Emperor are his sons the Primarches, all are exceptionally intelligent with superhuman strength, most of them are either powerful warriors, great statesmen, brilliant scientists, or any combination of the three.
- Warlord Gazghull Mag Uruk Thraka; not content with being as big as a Space Marine Dreadnought, he's brought the Imperial planet of Armageddon to its knees twice (the first time was just a test run, see) and, unusually for an Ork, has learned from his experiences to the extent that he can outwit most Imperial field commanders before they even make their decisions. And all whilst fighting in the front lines with his ladz.
- Another Ork worthy of mention is Kaptin Bluddflagg, who can tell that Adrastia was an Inquisitor by her uniform, which is remarkable as Orks have a biologically enforced Large and In Charge thing going for their race and have no concept of uniforms (and Adrastia is a mite shorter than the soldiers with her).
- He also deduced Kyras' location very intelligently, not just by Ork standards, but by any standards. Here. Note that Autarch Kayleth, leader of the so-called "super-intelligent" resident elves, struggled to figure this out. Although, to her credit, Kayleth takes a lot less time to explain it when she finally puts two and two together... and unlike Bluddflagg's gang, her subordinates actually understand what she's on about.
- The Adamantine Arrow of Mage: The Awakening endeavors to train all of their members to be formidable physical combatants (without the use of their magic) as well as highly capable with a wide range of mental skills. As their creed goes, "Adaptability Is Strength".
- Many Euthanatos of Mage: The Ascension may also fall under this category. To counter the effect their assassin training has on their psyche, many of them dedicate what's left of their "normal" life to various forms of science and academics - from medicine, to philosophy, to computer science.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, properly made Fighter/Mage builds or gishes to use the common name illustrate this trope. Generally however their physical strength is coming from spells, so that while often stronger and more dangerous in close combat than ordinary bruiser sorts while still having magical prowess to draw upon. The magic itself has a few limitations that can be exploited by a canny enemy mage.
- In fourth edition, Assault Swordmages and Tactical/Resourceful Warlords rely on both strength and intelligence, and unlike the gish example above their strength is not a result of magical buffs, thus making them even better examples of this trope.
- The canonic Forgotten Realms character Fyodor is a big lad with an enormous sword and all the education non-witch can get in average Rashemaar village, The Berserker, and uncontrollable one at that. He also got a magic sense, can see spirits, is a good storyteller and smart enough to outtrick a drow. Sort of lampshaded, as he carries a sword that is blunt piece of metal he normally cannot swing, but fits his strength well while in Unstoppable Rage (and the sword's sheer mass makes it truly unstoppable) and bears a strong enchantment, so it can cut or chip even things immune to normal weapons, blunt or not.
- Ogre Magi. They are as strong as regular ogre, but they are smarter than average human. And they can use magic.
- As monsters go, Ogre Magi (known as Oni in 4th Edition) are on the low end of the scale when it comes to this trope. They're vastly outclassed in both strength and intelligence by numerous other creatures, like Storm Giants, Titans, Dragons, most demons and devils, ect.
- While most of the Lords of the Nine Hells are both very intelligent and dangerous fighters, Bel, Lord of the First fits this trope best. He's the largest and most physically powerful of the Archdevils, but is an absolutely brilliant military mind. Indeed, most all of his type of devils, Pit Fiends, fit this very well. Powerful demons are like this too. Mariliths and nalfeshnee both have genius-level intelligence, and are strong enough to defeat small legions of enemies on their own. (To say nothing of their masters; Orcus didn't get his position just because he was the strongest.)
- And of course, there are the monsters the game is named after. Dragons, especially the oldest ones, are overwhelmingly powerful, and most of them have very high Intelligence scores, which only get higher as they get older.
- Tome of Battle's warblade was often acclaimed for this. Most melee combat classes either dump Intelligence or get it just high enough for Combat Expertise, and recieve a minimal two skill points. Warblades, on the other hand, receive four skill points, and many of their abilities key off Intelligence, meaning that most warblades invest in it. Your average warblade is a competent tactician, a skilled speaker, and an expert in military history, but still quite capable of slicing an iron golem in half.
- The Ogre warlord Greasus Goldtooth from Warhammer Fantasy is both a stunningly powerful (if also very lazy) warrior and an incredibly shrewd businessman who has built his empire on physical conquest, intimidation, bribes, and cunning trade agreements in equal measure. It helps that he commissioned a magic crown that increases his intellect.
- From the same game, there's a Dwarf master engineer who, when not maintaining cannons, is ripping goblins in half with his Steam Punk prosthetic claw-arm.
- And Malakai Makaisson, the Slayer Engineer, responsible for, among other things, a fully automatic throwing-axe launcher, various successful modifications to the repeater cannon known as the Organ Gun, and the Warhammer world's first successful airship. All of this whilst under an oath to seek an honourable and violent death. And he's a Violent Glaswegian in all but name, right doon to th'accent.
- Our very own Gotrek Gurnisson: former engineer (DWARF engineer. Given the extremes to which everything is turned in the Warhmmer world, that should say a lot), now turned into what must be the single most dangerous creature in the Warhammer world, which is no small feat.
- Also Azhag The Slaughterer, one of the strongest Orc warlords, who happens to have a crown that "gives him good ideas", probably because it contains the spirit of Nagash the strongest wizard ever, inventor of necromancy and all around evil dude. Most of the other famous Orcs and Goblins qualify too, especially Grobad Ironclaw, Grom the Paunch, Grimgor Ironhide and Skarsnik (if you count Gobbla).
- Beckett the Gangrel scholar from Vampire: The Masquerade.
- Clan Brujah tends to have quite a few of these. To the common outsider they may just look like your average street punk, caring little about any intellectual pursuits, but the facts are more complex than that. Back in the days of the medieval era they were known as the Learned Clan, and housed many Warrior Poets who were skilled both physically and intellectually. While this has detoriated quite a bit over the centuries, this bit of intellectualism crops up more than once in a while to further reinforce the clan's passions.
- Any Psychic Pokémon reliant on Physical attacks. The most evident example is Metagross, who has a modular brain with the intelligence of a supercomputer and is pretty much a tank on legs.
- The Warforged in Dungeons & Dragons Online have been shown to be rather intelligent, despite their massive, muscular, mechanical bodies. A good example is Talbron, who you meet in the beginning. If you take the quest, he, the rogue, and the paladin accompany you through the caverns. In one situation, after defeating the Sahaugin, Talbron steps on a switch that reveals a pit of water in the center of the room. Since you have to swim down and retrieve the key at the bottom yourself, the other characters make up reasons not to go down. Talbron's excuse is "My joints rust easily. I will read until the situation resolves itself." At which point he pulls out a book and does exactly that.
- Forte, in the Galaxy Angel gameverse; the anime version showed less of her "genius" side.
- Almost all the members of the Knight/General/Great Knight classes in Fire Emblem fit here. They're all slow and powerful lance (and axes, after promotion) users with great defense, but at the same time they're so smart and dedicated to their mission that they're usually the right hands of the Lords... if they're not the lords, themselves. Notable examples are:
- Hannibal from FE4;
- Bors, Barth, Wendy, Fighting General Douglas, and Liutenant Murdock from FE6;
- Oswin, Lord Uther, and Hector (one of the three main Lords) from FE7;
- Emperor Vigarde of Grado, Gilliam, and Obsidian Duessel from FE8;
- Tauroneo in FE10.
- And on the Bad guy side, Zelgiusnote in FE9 and 10. A devastating swordsman, high in every stat, yet also a brilliant tactician and a great leader to his troops.
- Fire Emblem Awakening has the mercenary Gregor, who has trouble speaking proper English, but is otherwise a fairly intelligent man. He also states that a mercenary has to be smart to survive.
- The Avatar from Fire Emblem Awakening deserves mentioning if you use the largest of the three available physical builds, which makes them tower over more than half the cast. They are a brilliant tactician, known to obtain victory against nearly impossible odds without getting anyone killed (if you are doing a no casualties run). On top of that, the Avatar can easily become your most powerful unit.
- Lexaeus (Kingdom Hearts) is a good example of this trope (or, at least, this would be more apparent if he got more than a few lines of characterization before his death); he's the musclebound, Earth elemental Big Guy of Organization XII, who knows when it's a good idea to wait for events to develop (rather than immediately charge into the action like your standard brute). In addition, in his cutscenes in CoM, he's usually seen pondering, or holding conversations with Zexion. Now, if only the fandom would realize this...
- This is furthered in the manga: he apparently spends his free time doing brain teasers or reading.
- Xaldin is almost as large, and also one of the original six.
- Demon King Odin from Odin Sphere is a gargantuan mountain of muscle whose weapon of choice is a ball and chain larger than most playable characters. More importantly to the plot, he is also a wise and cunning schemer, as befitting the king of a nation.
- Don't let his ridiculous getup fool you: Birdie, from Street Fighter, is pretty on the ball, and has designs on Shadowloo.
- Bentley the Yeti from Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon is a mountain dweller with a huge ice club, but speaks in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness and comes up with a variety of barely pronounceable insults for Moneybags.
Bentley: Why, you brazenly avaricious, duplicitous, larcenous ursine!
- Thrall from Warcraft is mostly represented as a magic type character (he is a Far Seer). But other sources show that he is as accomplished in physical fights. Being raised as a Gladiator really helps.
- Shamans in general fit this trope, mostly. Even allowing for specialization, they excel in both spellcasting and melee combat.
- Ogre-mages especially in Warcraft II. Ogres upon being upgraded even say "we're not brainless anymore!"
- Although their next quote disputes the "genius" part a bit, when they go "I've got the brain!" "Nuh-uh!"
- The case is strongly reconstructed by Draz'Zilb, an ogre-mage in Video Game/World of Warcraft. One of the first things he says to you is, "Why the puzzled stare, <name>? Expecting me to speak like an uncouth ruffian merely because I am an ogre?"
- Anduin Lothar: An accomplished warrior, commander of the Alliance forces, and skilled diplomat who cemented the Grand Alliance.
- Damon Baird from Gears of War. He doesn't just shoot people and take steroids like all the other Gears! He has some understanding of the Locust language and a head for technology and mechanics. He fixes nearly anything and everything that ever breaks in the game. When asked to improvise a bomb with few parts available, he replies, "Regular or extra strength?"
- In The Sims 2: Bon Voyage, if you can persuade him to join a playable family, Bigfoot begins play with all his skills and talents maximized.
- In any Sims game there's nothing stopping you from making any given sim a giant with equal scores in athletics/body and logic.
- Very strong and a remarkably skilled fighter, what made the Practical Incarnation in Planescape: Torment such a dangerous and effective person was his cunning and near complete lack of morals: a Genius Bruiser Manipulative Bastard.
- He doesn't display much sign of higher education in his actions or dialogue, but as he player is him, Badass Biker Ben of Full Throttle shows a great deal of unconventional genius. How many other bikers would think to use mechanical toy bunnies to clear a minefield?
- Fawkes from Fallout 3. Game Informer describes him as being "smart, funny, and damn near unkillable". He's an enormous green beast with a fondness for Super-Sledges and gatling lasers, and yet is very intelligent and philosophical.
- This is due to having been locked in a cell for most of his life in which the only diversion was a computer terminal with access to massive amounts of data and a huge library of electronic books.
- Super Mutants in general are quite strange. While most of them are brutes, some are actually very intelligent. However, those are rather rare in Fallout 3's setting. The only two smart super mutants around DC are Fawkes and Uncle Leo, who randomly wanders the wasteland and manages to retain his human conscience through zen. No, really.
- This is actually a plot point in the previous Fallout games. The Forced Evolution Virus, which "perfects" humans by turning them into Super Mutants, also grants them genius level intellect... or rather, is supposed to. Unfortunately, one of the problems that can't be solved even with 200 years of slow but steady progress in the field of retroviral evolution is the fact that the IQ upgrade only works on the unmutated genetic structures of Vault Dwellers. Apparently after a single generation of exposure to the titular Fallout, human genetic damage isn't enough to markedly impact human appearance or skills, but it is enough to react unpleasantly with the FEV to reduce the minds of the Super Mutants created from them to that of particularly dim-witted children. Later in Fallout 3, this is the revealed as the motivation behind The Enclave's plan to introduce their plague into the water... it's designed not to kill all the people in the Capitol Wastelands, only those whose genetic structures have been too badly damaged to be converted into Super Genius Mutants. So the Vault inhabitants survive, everybody else dies.
- With the right levelling, perks, and chems, the player character in a Fallout game can become one as well: able to hack any computer, pick any lock, smooth talk any merchant, and, if need be, kill Super Mutant Behemoths. Bare handed.
- Marcus for Fallout 2. In Fallout: New Vegas, he's the only non-Legion character who consistently uses the Latin pronunciation of Caesar (Kai-Sar). Though in the latter his Intelligence stat is only 3.
- Also in New Vegas, Legate Lanius is a brutal Blood Knight who revels in bloodshed and quite tough in direct combat. However, he's actually a relatively decent tactician who if you decide to engage him in conversation is actually a surprisingly intelligent man who will not toss away the lives of his men pointlessly and will actually retreat if the player makes a very good argument (most of which has to do with logistics).
- Frank Gaunt of Operation Darkness is a heavy machine-gunner and close-combat specialist who also seems to have some knowledge of nuclear physics and other specialized fields.
- Steroid Gontarski in Jagged Alliance 2, one of the strongest mercs in the game AND when dealing with repair and electronics is one of the best mercs outside of the ones who assign both specialty options as one of the two. He is hindered only be his lack of agility, but he is also very cheep to hire.
Steroid: My skin is punctured and leaking!
- The Metal Gear series is about some guy who had a genius-level IQ, fluency in a half-dozen languages, and enough skill with a vast array of weaponry (from sniper rifles to tranquilizer darts to aerosol spray cans and matches) to bring down telekinesis masters, armed tanks, overmarketed yellow rodents, and berserk clones of a legendary villain. His father is implied to be similar.
- Vulcan Raven from the same series is a villainous example. While he's best known for his fondness for serious firepower, he's also a shaman and a graduate of the University of Alaska.
- Liquid also has a genius level IQ, and is even tougher than Snake, but really should've paid attention in high school biology.
- Colonel Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3 is also an example: It's implied that he came up with the design and architecture of his fortress Groznyj Grad, and likewise the Hinds were also implied to have been designed by him. He also was shown to possess enough strategic sense to deter any chances of an air-raid against Groznyj Grad by fortifying the Krasnogorje Range and, should that not work, he even created an air raid shelter below the mountain in anticipation of the unlikely event that it was going to be hit in an air raid, and also fortified the already fortified range even further with Hinds when Snake arrived, implying that he anticipated that Snake was to traverse through the area. A throwaway line made by him shortly before shooting the Davy Crockett at the Sokolov Design Bureau likewise suggested that he was at least knowledgable enough in world politics and intelligence operations to know that the world's intelligence agencies will likewise only assume that The Boss fired the weapon instead of himself. He is also extemely large, was strong enough to send foes flying with his punches, and possessed electrical abilities.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has Senator Steven Armstrong who is quite good at manipulating others and organizing various illegal activities while keeping up false motives as his disguise. Since his body was artificially enhanced, he's also a Mighty Glacier and a Lightning Bruiser at the same time.
- Metroid's Samus Aran is implied to be a pretty sharp woman; she's about twenty different flavours of badass in battle, but she's also apparently quite learned in biology and designed her own gunship. During the times we can hear her thoughts, she's quite philosophical, too.
- And if her cameo appearance in Tetris is anything to go by, she also plays the double bass.
- Samus's nemesis, Ridley, also has a very high level of intelligence which has earned him a command position both in the Space Pirates organization and under Mother Brain. And Ridley is a giant, winged space dragon that eats people.
- Although this is usually a case of All There in the Manual (he rarely ever appears in person outside his inevitable boss battles), this aspect of his personality was finally brought to light in Other M, where he displays far more cunning than in previous games. Ironically, it's in this game that Samus is quite probably the least intelligent.
- JC Denton from Deus Ex is either a badass Super Soldier or a badass Solid Snake type sneaker, but a competent secret agent either way. He often gets into discussions on political philosophy with curiously knowledgeable bartenders or ultra-advanced AIs. Alex D from the sequel, however, always reacts in similar situations with "Huh?" or "What do you mean?"
- Apparently Alex's intelligence was programmed out...
- Gaia Online plays with this trope with Labtech X, who is a huge man but has never been seen in anything but a lab coat.
- Gambino himself might qualify as a more eccentric variation, as he's dabbled in mad science in between playing the stock market, picking fights with vampires, and being generally clueless how to deal with other people. Labtech X is Gambino's clone, so naturally they'd both be genius bruisers.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog, Vector the Crocodile is classified as a power character, and is shown to be a brilliant detective. He unfortunately sometimes doubles as a total idiot - but then most of Team Chaotix does that.
- Nowhere is this shown better than at the end of Sonic Heroes where he lays out to Eggman that he knew EXACTLY who he was all along, and was playing along with his game because he knew that whomever locked Eggman up would be the worse of two evils after effortlessly tearing a thick metal door off the wall with his bare fists.
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has Dr. M, a well-spoken scientist who used to plan elaborate heists and can go toe to toe with the group's strong man Murray... as the landowner of the island the vault and its contents were legally his property.
- Sol Badguy, the insanely powerful and violent warrior from Guilty Gear, is also the brilliant scientist Frederick.
- Potemkin also counts. While he looks like the ridiculously Dumb Muscle right hand of President Gabriel of Zepp, he is also very polite, erudite, and must be smarter than he appears if he's been directly tasked by his own president to undertake covert missions on his behalf. He's also a talented artist.
- Prototype 2, James Heller, former US Marine sergeant, whose powers allow him to absorb the knowledge of his victims, among which are a wide variety of genetic scientists, mostly virologists.
- This is also true for Alex Mercer but with Alex initially being a genetist himself.
- Adell from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories is a surprise example. A Hot-Blooded fist-fighter who puts Honor Before Reason, he manages to shock the entire rest of his adventuring-party when, during the Tournament Arc, he solves a highly complex Geo-Puzzle after a brief glance and two seconds of thinking-time. As it turns out, he doesn't charge headfirst into every conflict because he's too stupid to think of anything else - but simply because that's his style.
Adell: Never underestimate me. I hate cheap tricks and dirty tactics. If I put my mind to it, I can solve these things pretty quick. Just because I like to rush into things doesn't mean I can't think.
- Edgar of Final Fantasy VI is a talented engineer, having designed a castle capable of subterranean travel, a small arsenal of machine weaponry, and is capable of repairing practically any broken equipment you come across. Oh, and put a spear in his hands and he'll make shish kebab out of you in about 3 seconds flat. His twin brother Sabin is no idiot either, despite being a Bare-Fisted Monk and one of the stronger players in the game.
- Cid from Final Fantasy IV is a much better example. As the game's resident Cid, he's the engineer in charge of the airships, but is also a formidable physical fighter too, preferring to bash his enemies in with hammers and wrenches.
- Cid Highwind of Final Fantasy VII is also an excellent example. Featuring some of the highest HP and Strength stats in the game, the second-best limit break damage, serious muscles and a nasty mouth, he also has stacks of engineering blueprints in his house and a massive airship named after him, presumably because he designed the damn thing himself.
- Oh, and he's the world's first astronaut (is hinted to have had a hand in building the rocket too), runs a town, has flown a light plane, a jet powered airship & a more traditional zepellin style one. He's quite possibly the most booksmart FF hero ever. And a powerhouse.
- You can play Commander Shepard as one of these in Mass Effect. In addition to him/her being regarded as the biggest Badass in the known galaxy, s/he shows him/herself to be very intelligent throughout the series, quite Genre Savvy (and, as much as s/he hates dealing with it, politically savvy), and capable of coming up with creative solutions to many problems. Plus, the male version is pretty buff.
- Grunt, the genetically-engineered Super Soldier Krogan in Mass Effect 2 is raised via Neural Imprinting. While he's The Big Guy of the party, he's actually quite articulate and contemplative for a Krogan (if still just as much of a fight-happy Boisterous Bruiser in the field). He even chose his own Meaningful Name reflecting on how well it represents him when he's born, a fighter without much purpose. The Shadow Broker DLC reveals that he's into Ernest Hemingway on his spare time.
- Before Grunt, we had Wrex. Disillusioned with his people because their nature will doom them to extinction. Knows that the purpose of a stealth ship is NOT to get into slugging matches. Can con clients into hiring him on as a permanent bodyguard against a particular enemy of the client, even after failing the original contract to kill said enemy. Genre Savvy enough to see Saren as Obviously Evil and not even waiting to get paid for a job he was hired and ends up becoming the only surviving merc. Eventually becomes the man with the plan on saving his species if he survives to the second game.
- The Shadow Broker is revealed to be one of these in "Lair of the Shadow Broker". He took over a criminal empire and ran it in such a way that no one even figured out that power changed hands. He himself is three times the size of a krogan. His species is said to be this, in fact: strong as krogans, smart as salarians.
- The downside being that their tempers are 3 times those of the already-irritable Krogan too. And when his species, the Yahg, get angry they lose all their intelligence and go berserker.
- Javik. A skilled warrior, talented commander and eloquent (if grim) philosopher.
- Dragon Age: The Qunari (a term that refers to followers of the Qun, regardless of race) consist mostly of, and is often erroneously used as a name for, a race of musclebound, gray- or black-skinned giants (with or without horns). While all the Qunari you meet in the games belong to the Antaam (which is essentially the warrior caste in the Qunari's non-hereditary caste system) and are therefore ProudWarriorRaceGuys, they tend to be of the quiet and brooding variety rather than Boisterous Bruisers. The Qunari are also the most technologically advanced society in the games and the only one to have developed gunpowder (though not firearms).
- Dragon Age: Inquisition has The Iron Bull, a member of the Ben-Hassrath (the Qunari secret intelligence) who happens to be the largest of the party members and openly embraces the life of a hard-partying mercenary. This doesn't stop him from being a very perceptive individual with a talent for reading people, with idle conversations showing that he's capable of spotting out spies with relative ease. He's also smart enough to go toe-to-toe in chess with Solas, with the game they play only being visualized in their heads.
- Pick any member of the Belmont family, and you've got a pretty good chance of finding a Genius Bruiser. Notable examples include Juste, Richter and Julius. Alucard is also a fairly sharp guy, particularly in his Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow persona of Genya Arikado.
- Justified in that he is Dracula's son, and immortal, meaning he has lots of free time.
- Iron Tager from BlazBlue is this trope to a T; a massive, genetically and cybernetically modified hulk of a man, almost eight feet tall and over a thousand pounds. Tager is able to throw opponents around the battlefield like rag dolls, sometimes jumping after them and plowing them straight back down into the earth face-first. A single full-on punch from Tager will easily send his target flying to the opposite edge of the screen. However, the very reason he's able to do this is that he was dealt a grievous wound while doing field research, his life only saved by the cybernetic enhancements he uses in battle. As testament to his immense practical and technical knowledge, in addition to his raw physical capability he also uses electromagnetism to draw opponents towards him rather than having to chase after them himself. When he's not throwing his weight (and/or opponents) around in direct battle, he operates primarily as a field agent, and when not in the field, he works as a researcher directly under the greatest scientific mind in the world. Finally, in addition to his fearsome intellect and frightening battle ability, Tager's quite the calm, collected gentleman - he rarely, if ever, actually gets angry, has an open and honest demeanor and is quite happy to discuss scientific theory when the opportunity presents itself.
- Ganondorf is usualy portrayed this way whenever he's not a drooling beastie, but sometimes even then. He always plans ahead of time and is rather methodical. Tricking Link into opening the sacred realm so he could get the Triforce (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time), setting up plagues and curing them through Aganihm in order to gain (political) power (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past), and apparently setting up several resurrection plans are some of his highlights. Even when things don't go his way, he can salvage the situation. Feeding on the Twili's hate and allowing Zant to release him, as well as getting around every seal placed on him are examples of this. He is also a beastly fighter: in his human form, he's canonically (seven and a half feet) tall, and deadly with swords and his bare fists, while his true form is a gigantic boar more than capable of crushing Link with his sheer size.
- Although not technically canon, he appears in a fairly high-tech-looking computer lab in the Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, overseeing everything as it transpires. Given that his only immediate ally besides Master Hand is Bowser, it's not too much of a stretch to assume that ol' Ganon's technologically savvy, too.
- Link himself could also count, though in many games, the 'bruiser' part usually involves him using magic items to perform feats of incredible strength, Twilight Princess Is an exception though, as in this game, we see him sumo wrestle Gorons, swing a huge ball-and-chain, and even overpower Ganondorf, all without needing any magical items. As for the 'genius' part, well, quite a few of the puzzles in the dungeons Link had to beat do require him to be pretty smart to solve them, especially since he doesn't have the same benefits of the wider-angle camera and the internet that the player does.
- It may not look like it, due to his recent portrayal as a comic relief and his overall lack of common sense, but Bowser is far from idiotic. Similar to the 300 IQ Dr. Eggman, Bowser designs and builds all of his technological contraptions, and while his plans usually fail because the good guy always wins, they are well thought out by the big man.
- Wild ARMs 5 has Elvis, the foremost among the fore of Filgaia historians and a real top-class scientist. Oh, and he's absolutely huge, seems to be built out of nothing but muscles which he flexes a lot, and he beats the party down with his bare fists.
- In Halo, Spartans, Sangheili/Elites, and to a lesser extent Jiralhanae/Brutes. Though they don't often show it, Mgalekgolo/Hunters are quite intelligent, too.
- Resident Evil: Albert Wesker. Described as a child prodigy, one of Umbrella's top researchers, master of The Plan, and was skilled enough in martial arts pre-viral upgrade to go toe-to-toe with an Ivan-class Tyrant, and is capable of punching people through walls after his viral upgrade.
- His son Jake Muller takes after him. Though it's downplayed since he's not that educated and drops more curses than big words, he's implied to be able to pick up skills very quickly. Aside from learning combat skills well enough to kill multiple experienced attackers after relatively little experience when he was just a teenager, he speaks and writes flawless English despite it probably being his second language and learns how to both speak and read fluent Chinese — a tone language with vastly different grammar from English and most European languages — after listening to his captors speak it for a few months.
- Backyard Sports: Dmitri Petrovich.
- Sarevok from Baldur's Gate: An enormous Black Knight who's by the numbers as strong as an ogre (which are a lot bigger still), but also The Chessmaster running everything from behind the scenes in the first game (and again, by the numbers on his statistics, a genius).
- Tales of Symphonia has Regal Bryant: He's the second strongest fighter of the group and quite skilled in Chi arts, even capable of firing an energy blast once. However, he is also the president of the Lezareno Company and a duke, therefore the character that expresses himself in the most refined manner. He's also the one the smart woman of the group will turn to due to his general maturity.
- And then the sequel had Richter Abend, who was a scientist at Sybak University.
- Dr. Hank Freebird of Trauma Team. Genius orthopedic surgeon with a military honorable discharge. Who fights crime as Captain Eagle in his spare time. Including picking up and tossing a car at a drug smuggler, or punching a thug through a ceiling. Yet has enough fine control to operate various medical tools during orthopedic surgery.
- Jack Cayman of MadWorld is actually an incredibly sharp dude coupled by experience as former Grand Champion of Deathwatch. He's able to wax philosophy as he carves mooks in half and by the time he's facing the Final Boss it's implied he's already figured out the entire scheme of Deathwatch and who's really behind it.
- Team Fortress 2: The Heavy wields the big guns. In Poker Night at the Inventory, it is revealed that he went to college and that he has a Ph.D in Russian Literature. He also has refined tastes when it comes to drinks and music. The Russian version of "Meet the Heavy" and "Meet The Team" show that he is eloquent in his native language.
- As displayed in the expanded material, the entire country of Australia is this. Thanks to Australium, every man and woman in the country are certified geniuses, while also being musclebound, mustachioed, machismo machines. Mann Co. CEO and yeti mauler Saxton Hale being the prominent example.
- In "Meet the Heavy" It's shown that the heavy is actually good at math. He states that it costs to fire his weapon for 12 seconds. The math is rather accurate as He's only off by
- Eddie Riggs of Brütal Legend is not only a Hot-Blooded warrior, but being that his life as a Roadie requires him to maintain others' equipment, he's also mechanically adept enough to build practically anything as long as he has the tools around with him. Being a roadie is also where he picks up his strength, heavy lifting and all.
- Piers in Golden Sun: The Lost Age is a beefy sailor◊ and a textbook Mighty Glacier. He also has powerful healing spells and indicates in some cutscenes that he's trained as a medic, figures out ancient Magitek in moments, infiltrates a town under security upgrades for a special occassion, discusses at length the state of the world since the decline of Alchemy... oh, and it's implied in some of the Lemuria cutscenes that he was originally going to leave the country as a spy for King Hydros. There might be some justification in his age, but he refuses to disclose his age, so we don't know if he's Really 700 Years Old or not.
- Kratos, who despite being a brute that kills anything that so much as looks at him funny, is still intelligent enough to succeed at obtaining Pandora's Box, a task many adventurers before him failed, the path to it requiring as much wit as it does brute strength. In fact, he spends just as much, if not more of his time solving puzzles than he does killing monsters and Gods.
- Malik Caesar is the most muscular and tallest man in your party but instead of using them to fight, he uses his magic to fight. Magic, in turn, is based off the intelligence of the mage. He is also the person that the other characters turn to due to both his experience and his knowledge.
- Golbez of Final Fantasy IV is an eight-foot-tall hulk of a Tin Tyrant with Shoulders of Doom and marked proficiency in the use of BFSs. And on top of that is wellspoken, a mage of great skill, and a masterful Chessmaster.
- Adray Lasbard from Star Ocean 3. He's 6'2", immaculately muscled, totes around a big frickin' Katana, and, oh yeah, he's considered a Wizard◊.
- Seven of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is first described as 'a mountain of a man', but employs strategies such as putting in objects to stop the doors locking after going through them. He was also a detective.
- Birdbrained moments aside, Utsuho Reiuji of Touhou demonstrates pretty good understanding of nuclear physics in Hisoutensoku. Possibly a Required Secondary Power for her since nuclear power is her specialty.
- Letho of Gulet in The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings is a large hulking man mistaken as Dumb Muscle by those he works with. This in turn makes it easier for him to manipulate them since all he has to do is play along and make them underestimate him as he secretly manipulates them for his own ends.
- The Knights of the Old Republic series has few, if any, truly stupid main characters. But the character who fits this trope has to be Bao-Dur from the second game. He built a custom droid when he was a kid, made weapons for the military including the mass shadow generator that wiped out a planet and ended a war, says designing planetary-class defensive shields is 'a hobby', and starts idly taking apart and rebuilding your ship piece by piece because he's bored. He also has a military-grade artificial arm with weaponized force fields and starts out with a very high Strength score and multiple points in unarmed combat.
- Mical. He talks like a teacher, is a historian/scientist, and can be trained as a Jedi Consular - the class that focuses most on the Force rather than lightsabers. He starts out as a Soldier class. You find him in the deadly sub-level of the Jedi Temple, from which almost no one has returned alive. He might be more of a Badass Bookworm, though.
- Oleg Kirrlov of Saints Row: The Third. Outsizes everyone by about 3 feet,(Up and across), can shove cars aside like nothing, was the genetic model for The Brutes...and is well read, speaks with impeccable diction, and loves playing chess. An audio log in the sequel reveals that tech genius Kinzie thinks of him as an intellectual superior, suggesting that he is likely one of the smartest people on earth.
- Alien emperor Zinyak in the sequel. He is far smarter and more cultured than the protagonist (possibly than any human) and is also so large and strong that he is able to curb stomp them at the start of the game with little effort.
- Michael Thorton from Alpha Protocol. He kicks a tonne of arse regardless of your play style, of course, but not just that. Depending on the background you chose, Mike can have multiple PhDs, crack ciphers in his spare time, learn foreign languages amazingly fast... Even in gameplay, you can make Mike a technical whiz without compromising too much on his killing prowess.
- Minute Man in Freedom Force is a Captain America-themed hero who can leap tall buildings and has enormous strength. He's also a nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project. In one mission, a villain sets off the timer on a nuclear bomb. Guess who has to disarm it?
- Batman: Arkham City: The title character, but also Mister Freeze. Trying to fight him head on is comparable to trying to fight a hand grenade using hugs, and he's also the only smart enough to manufacture the cure to the disease that everyone's been catching.
- Fur Fighters has Viggo, the main antagonist of the game. He's built up his own business empire, discovered a hidden society of dinosaurs underground and backwards engineered their technology for resale. Learned an ancient ritual for raising the dead, mastered genetic manipulation and built a machine that pumps out endless clones. He's also the strongest thing in the whole game.
- Torchlight II's Engineers are expected to both construct a medical robot in a jiffy and lug around and properly use either a huge two-handed hammer or an enormous cannon without much trouble.
- Fighters in Pillars of Eternity are mentioned to be frequently highly trained and educated professionals.
- Galmar Stonefist of Skyrim. He looks like a typical Nord, a hugely-built Proud Warrior Race Guy with a Badass Beard and a huge battle-axe, but he demonstrates a surprising amount of brains. He is a very-skilled tactician, a gifted speaker, possesses an impressive knowledge of Skyrim's history and folklore, and he pulls a Batman Gambit on his Imperial enemies with some altered documents.
- Odd example in Advance Wars: Dual Strike. Normally Jugger is The Brute and is coded with an intentionally stupid AI script. When he uses his CO power though, he switches to the smartest AI script in the game and spends the next turn liberally tossing you to the curb.
- Krogg of WildStar. Extremely large, muscular, tough, scaly hides, well-tuned predatory instincts and dangerously intelligent. They aren't the "criminal vermin of the galaxy" and head of the largest criminal syndicate, the Darkspur Cartel, for nothing.
- Trevor Phillips from Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most scarily psychotic protagonists in the entire series and boasts the highest Strength stat off the mark, but there are many moments that show that underneath his deranged exterior, there's a sharp mind that's working non-stop. This is made especially apparent when he single-handedly plans out a heist against a private militia that would have succeeded had the target not been a deadly superweapon that would have had the entire U.S. government after him and then, later on, is able to calculate the value of two tons of gold bricks in a matter of seconds, impressing pretty much everyone around him.
- Bomb, the black Angry Bird, is very intelligent. Aside from his great brute force, he is good at reading self-help books such as "Keep Calm And Don't Blow Up" as well as cooking. He could possibly be a strategist.
- Wario definitely qualifies. Don't let his potbelly and ugly face fool you; on top of being able to shatter solid rock walls with a shoulder charge and lift enemies twice his size over his head with one arm, the man is a highly experienced treasure hunter (which, as his games demonstrate, is a job that usually requires fairly extensive use of your noodle!) and a wildly successful game designer and corporate owner to boot.
- In The Gamers Alliance, Ismail, the captain of the Black Guard, is quite a strong and skilled warrior but also has a good understanding of politics and magic thanks to having been taught by his friend Belial.
- In Survival of the Fittest, professional boxer Bobby Jacks stands at 190 and weighs in at . He's also shown to be very intelligent, capable of trickery, fighting very tactically, and being able to quote William Shakespeare (relevantly) purely from memory.
- In the RPs Insane Cafe 2: Rise of the Shurlups and Insane Cafe 3: The Curse of the Haunted Hotel features Zachary Johnson, an anthropomorphic Clydesdale who is very well versed in biology and is shown to be capable of tearing doors out of the wall with his bare hands.
- Zachary Johnson from Darwin's Soldiers is a researcher at Pelvanida. He is so strong that when he kicks a combat robot, he leaves the imprint of his foot on the robot's armor.
- Keegan O'Neill stands over six feet tall and is almost all muscle. He's also a high ranking officer of Dragonstorm.
- Piotr Kozlov is seven feet of pure Siberian grizzly bear muscle, who is also a talented weapons designer.
- Hans Donitz in the story Ship Of State is capable of understanding and explaining how the Einstein-Rosen bridge works. He is also a huge man with great strength and extraordinary combat prowess.
- Will Heggers of AJCO is the Crew's patient engineer, and can work his way around the many machines needed to keep the Castle powered with ease. Going by MACELIPS stats, he's actually smarter than his former boss Nights as well as most of the other characters on the server. He's also absolutely enormous; the only people who beat him in terms of strength have a natural advantage due to being a demon/a robot/a Hector.
- He once knocked a metal door off its hinges with his bare hands!
- Odysseus and Attila the Hun from Fate Nuovo Guerra. One's a Guile Hero best known for the original Trojan Horse and a Lightning Bruiser, and the other's a tactical genius who also happens to be a Mighty Glacier.
- Ultra-Man, a stalwart member of the Global Guardians is a bit of a mix between the Gentle Giant and the Genius Bruiser. Regardlesss, he is the moral compass of the team.
- At the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, there are plenty of examples. Pyrs is a huge, brutish mutant 'with a brow ridge you could camp under', but obviously knows just what people think of him. We see him at the Whateley Weapons Fair (don't ask), looking for holdouts because he knows everyone assumes he wouldn't use anything other than a fist.
- Maybe a better example: Montana, who looks like a huge blond Sasquatch. But his real power is a genius-level ability with small electronic gadgets.
- Ashpaw Longstripe in Tasakeru treads the line between this and Badass Bookworm.
- Muhammut Kali; fifteen feet tall, able to punch through solid steel, and wields a sword taller than a man with incredible power. He's also the president of a steel company and a brilliant businessman.
- Worm has a few, such as Weld, who is literally made of metal, but has a sharp intellect.
- Alexandria is best known in-universe for being a Flying Brick, but she also has Super Intelligence.
- The Numbers Man first appears as the guy who seems to manage every cape's money, but later we find out that he's actually Harbinger, a former member of the S9.
- The Endbringers are shown to be quite intelligent during battle, despite being Kaiju that do literally nothing but try to kill everyone.
- This Cracked article called "6 Myths About Body Builders That are Total BS" discusses the Dumb Muscle stereotype. According to it, a lot of body builders are total nerds about what they do for a living in the sense that they have extensive knowledge on things like deadlifts and are very passionate about body building.
- In Red vs. Blue, Agent Maine/The Meta seems to just be a hulking, mute brute. However, even without Sigma to guide him, he can be quite cunning. For example, biding his time and pretending to be subservient to Wash until he got what he needed, neutralizing weapons that can damage him as soon as possible, and immediately getting into melee range when the Reds try to use grenades on him.
- The Wonderlic Personnel Test is an intelligence test frequently given to NFL pre-draft prospects. The highest scorers tend to be offensive linemen (generally some of the biggest, strongest guys on the field). The quarterback, often regarded as the smartest on the team — often described as a team's "field general" — averages third, behind the offensive tackle and center (whose job, significantly, is protecting the quarterback until he either runs the ball out, hands it off to a running back, or passes it to a wide receiver), respectively; since these guys have to basically form a wall against the defensive line—basically the biggest guys on the field—they are usually pretty big themselves. The running backs and wide receivers average dead last.
- Dolph Lundgren, the well-muscled actor famous for playing Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and He-Man in the live-action Masters of the Universe, has a master's degree in chemical engineering. He also received the Fulbright Scholarship to MIT, though he quit when he pursued an acting career. Also fluent in three languages and can get by in four others, including Japanese. Rumours that he has a 160 IQ score are however "exaggerated" according to him. Back on the brawn side, besides his generally muscly action hero persona a la Rocky and Masters of the Universe and impressive build, he's a black belt who's won a variety of martial arts competitions, and served in the military as a special forces team leader.
- Iconic martial artist/actor Bruce Lee was able to hand over your ass as well as your mind to you in ways you can't yet process. He was arguably one of the most insightful and intriguing philosophers of his generation whose ideals still make an impact to this day.
- Carlo Pedersoli, better known as "Bud Spencer" of Spaghetti Western fame. of pure muscle and fat, a pilot, a degree in law, holder of several patents... You wouldn't believe, seeing his fat, Hulk-like stature in the movies, that he was also a professional swimmer before he took up acting.
- Though he probably hasn't beat anybody up since high school (if he ever did at all), physicist Neil Degrasse Tyson described his cool◊, muscular, black high school self as a "nerd who could kick your butt". He was also captain of his high school wrestling team and wrestled at the collegiate level during his undergraduate years at Harvard (earning a letter his senior year). No doubt much butt-kicking was involved.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most decorated bodybuilders in history. He also has a history of intelligent investments with his fortunes, and use to work as the Governator of California. Even back during his bodybuilding days, he came across as a student of psychology and a master manipulator. Reportedly, he would sabotage other contestants by deliberately lying about his workout regimen so his opponents who were listening would deliberately over- or under-train and ruin their chances. When he became known as an action star, he had already been a self-made millionaire for years.
- Sylvester Stallone has a lot going against him with his garbled speech (caused by accidental nerve damage when he was born), but is actually a very sly businessman, and the more intimately involved with a film's production he is the better-quality film it usually turns out to be. He wrote the Rocky script. It was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, and Sly himself was nominated for Best Actor. Sly himself had also scored over 130 while taking an IQ test in Larry King's television show, if one thinks such a test (especially under such circumstances) is controversially a good indicator of intelligence.
- Theodore Roosevelt was a very effective president for two terms, as well as a heavyweight boxer with a black belt in Ju Jitsu. Plus his excellent grades in Harvard and his extensive zoological work. He was also an author, historian, polyglot, naturalist, cattle-rancher, hunter, explorer, and soldier. To date he is the only person in history to win both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor (though the latter was posthumously). He read a book every day before breakfast, and still found the time to kick huge amounts of ass.
- Abraham Lincoln also qualifies, being big enough to break up brawls by picking up grown men with his bare hands and hauling heavy crates of rocks - by some contemporary accounts weighing up to half a ton. Prior to becoming a lawyer, congressman and eventually president, Abraham Lincoln was a famous wrestler. He is said have fought over 400 matches without a loss, and the popular style of wrestling at the time was essentially MMA without strikes. When working on a ship as a young man, Lincoln rushed a group of armed pirates who had attacked the ship and ended up beating them all bare handed. One of them was thrown overboard with a move that can only be described as a choke slam.
- Byron White played college football at the University of Colorado, where he was their best-ever running back. He signed to the Pittsburgh Football Pirates (now the Steelers)...just as he learned he was getting a Rhodes Scholarship. He took a year at Oxford, came home, played two seasons for the Detroit Lions (where he was one of the first "big-money" football players, with a salarynote )...and then World War II broke out; White served in the Navy. After the war ended, he decided not to go back into football and instead studied law at Yale. In 1962, he was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the US Supreme Court, where he served until 1993.
- In the same era as White (and possibly having played against him) was Gerald Ford, star center and linebacker for the University of Michigan. One of the premier college football players of his era, Ford turned down professional contract offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers to apply for law school at Yale. While at Yale he coached that school's football and boxing teams, but was turned down by Yale law because of concerns his full-time coaching responsibilities would interfere with law school. Ford would later serve in the Navy during World War II, seeing heavy action in the Pacific, and was reassigned as a physical training officer when the carrier he had been serving on was scrapped due to heavy damage. After the war, Ford would be elected to the House of Representatives and eventually serve as House Minority Leader, Vice-President, and President (although he expressed disappointment that he never got to hold the one office he really wanted, Speaker of the House).
- Heavily muscled punk icon Henry Rollins is also a writer and a poet who owns his own publishing house.
- His friend and peer Ian MacKaye is an author on the side, and very articulate in interviews. As a further subversion of the "bruiser" stereotype, he is a vegan.
- John Knox, one of the leading theologians of the Protestant Reformation, began his involvement with the movement as a bodyguard for George Wishart. His Weapon of Choice was a two-handed sword.
- He also survived 19 months of being a galley slave when he was captured by the French.
- Whilst boxer Nikolai Valuev looks like he's carved from stone, apparently he's a pretty smart guy.
- Gorillas are incredibly smart by animal standards, as well as strong enough to move trucks.
- Chimpanzees and dolphins too. Chimps can use tools and have surprisingly good memories, and are several times stronger than a similar sized human. Dolphins, while being incredibly strong and fast aquatic acrobats, seem to have a language of their own, and can solve puzzles, help humans in danger, and learn rudimentary math concepts.
- Humans aren't slouches either. Most people on this site are more familiar with the domesticated human, but scientists believe that early humans had their own strategy for chasing down prey before we started over specializing in the Genius part. Before humans got the hang of propelling sharp objects into potential food at a distance, our ancestors would just chase the prey. And chase. And chase. And chase. Humans may not have been the fastest animal on the savannah, but long after the prey had fallen down out of exhaustion, the early humans were still going strong, and would proceed to finish off the animal and cart it back home.
- On land we have the elephants who have the largest brain of any land based animal today. Elephants can feel a lot of the same emotions we do and are considered by some scientists to be on level with great apes and perhaps approaching dolphins. They are also so big and strong they can casually knock down trees for food and can curb stomp any other land animal.
- Also on land, komodo dragons and crocodiles are among the most intelligent reptiles, with human-like social structures and good memories; many also like playing and crocs are even capable of tool use. Don't get within a few... well, miles of one if you can avoid it.
- In the sea we have the orca who can learn strategies to hunt its prey in any situation (knocking up ice floes, beaching, spy hopping) which are taught and passed down through generations, and demonstrate problem solving abilities (like when they steal fish from fishermen by splitting into different groups). They are also one of the most powerful hunters in the sea to the extent that some orcas have developed a taste for the great white shark; now let that sink in for a moment.
- Better method of letting that "sink" in
- The technique involves inverting the shark to immobilize it: unfortunately this only works on sharks small enough to flip over, so adult great whites are still unchallenged.
- Genius Composer George Frederic Handel ("The Messiah" etc. etc.) was a big, strong man with a hair-trigger temper. He is said to have made a difficult primadonna more cooperative by picking her up bodily and threatening to throw her out of a window, and to have thrown a kettle-drum (the smallest of which, for those not in the know, are bowls of solid copper at least half a meter wide and half a meter deep) at a violinist who had played a bum note.
- Ancient Greek philosophers, orators and poets were all former hoplite soldiers. Greek culture prized both physical and mental achievement.
- According to at least some sources, Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher and founder of the first institution of higher learning in the Western world, was a two-time Olympic champion in pankration; he certainly exhibits intimate familiarity with the sport in some of his works, particularly the Laws. "Plato" is actually a nickname meaning "broad shoulders"—his real name was Aristocles. He was apparently a pretty burly guy, hence the nickname.
- Plato's teacher Socrates was not only a hoplite, but served with distinction at the battles of Potidaeum and Delium in The Peloponnesian War and may have earned his living as a stonecutter. Even by ancient Greek standards he was a force to be reckoned with!
- Benito Mussolini was arguably a subversion. He talked a good game, and boasted an impressive intellectual background, but once he actually gained power he screwed things up so badly in both both the political and military spheres it was hard to tell if he was a more incompetent general or statesman.
- However, he actually was pretty smart, writing highly influential works on fascism that were actually coherent, if repulsive, and creating a genuine political theory (something you can't really say about Mein Kampf).
- Also, one might argue that Mussolini's problem wasn't his brain but his birth: he was Italian. Modern Italy had always been the sad sack among the Great Powers of Europe, with regionalism, low levels of development in the South, and general political apathy dragging it down. It didn't help (from Mussolini's perspective) that Italy had been on the winning side of World War One, meaning that Italians didn't have half as big of a national chip on their shoulders as the Germans, and that Italian nationalists tended towards Italian irredentism rather than a yearning for the Roman Empire. Had Mussolini been born in Germany, given his smarts and sanity...yeah.
- On the brawn side, Mussolini was one of the few world leaders to be willingly photographed shirtless, and it wasn't bad.
- When in the Army, Mussolini had been a Bersagliere. The Bersaglieri are a light infantry specialty whose defining quirk is being physically fit enough to run all the freaking time (their rules actually forbid them from walking unless on a leave), with their band doing it while playing trumpets, and are well known in Italy for being basically unstoppable if they charge at an enemy... And Mussolini was one of the toughest.
- Cannibalistic, necrophilic and 6'9" serial killer Edmund Kemper was discovered to have an IQ of 136 when he was tested at the age of fifteen.
- Kevin Grevioux, the Scary Black Man who played werewolf Raze in the Underworld movies and voiced the Badass Baritone Black Beetle in Young Justice, was working on his Master's degree in genetic engineering until he decided to go Hollywood. Oh, yeah, and he wrote Underworld, basing the script on his knowledge of interracial dating.
- Chris "Jesus" Ferguson can cut vegetables with a thrown playing card. While he is certainly an imposing figure at the poker table, the five-time bracelet winner (including a main event title in 2000) owes his success largely to his knowledge of game theory and development of computer simulations, as he has a Ph.D. in computer science.
- Rene Descartes, the great 17th century French mathematician and founder of modern philosophy, also served as a mercenary soldier in Bavaria and seems to have drawn inspiration from his battlefield experiences.
- All Astronauts are in space for the specific reason of doing complex research in space, but also must keep remarkably fit in order to fight muscle degeneration and bone loss that are consequent of long durations of a lack of gravity.
- Specific case: Buzz Aldrin, second man on the Moon—also decorated fighter pilot, graduated #2 in his class at West Point, earned a Ph.D in astronautics from MIT (writing the book on manned orbital rendezvous for NASA)...and delivered an epic upper-cut to a Moon-landing conspiracy theorist who was harassing him (Buzz was 80 years old at the time, and the lady who was with him was his daughter, making Buzz Aldrin a Papa Wolf and a Badass Grandpa as well).note
- Any Society of Creative Anachronism heavy fighters. History re-enactment is considered a very nerdy hobby, but those guys fight in full armour with rattan weapons and are trained to hit hard. SCA has given the initial spark on researching and reviving the original Medieval Western Martial Arts.
- Szeklers (Transylvanian ethnic Hungarians) are generally seen as aggressive, violent and in general, very strong fighters. One of their prominent figures (Janos Bolyai) is known for being the first person to discover non-Euclidean geometry. Another (Sandor Csoma) is best known as the author of the first English-Tibeti dictionary.
- Former boxing champion - and Mensa member - Bobby Czyz.
- Japanese famous writer Mishima Yukio, who was also a first-rank kendo master and had an impressive physique; however, this case is a little bit different, for the reason he trained himself so hard in order to reach this impressive physical abilities was part and parcel of his own philosophy of Existence and Beauty. In a very strange and mindscrewing book , Sun and Steel, he even explained how the beauty of the body shaped by years of bodybuilding was a perfect mirror of his theory of morality and aesthetic. Yeah, strange guy indeed.
- Charlemagne. The guy was over 6 feet tall and despite the beer belly was muscular. He used to terrify his enemies because of his height and built. He also stabilized the political situation of Europe for the first time in centuries, established the largest western European empire since the Romans — it's been equaled only by Napoleon and Hitler — minted the first silver coins since Rome fell, mediated ecclesiastical disputes, founded schools, spoke and read several languages (he tried to learn to write but gave up as he was too old), and had five wives and God-only-knows how many concubines.note They don't call it the Carolingian Renaissance for nothing.
- Saladin probably counts. His brilliance as a military leader was well known, but he was also well versed in science, mathematics, and poetry.
- William Marshall was probably rightfully called "the greatest knight who ever lived" at the time of his death. He was one of the most important military commanders for three kings and ruled over England for a fourth who was still a child at the time, making him the most powerful statesman of the country. Born as one of several sons to a minor knight, he was sent to France as a child and became probably the greatest champion of knight tournaments in his time. He came into contact with the royal family when he was made the personal coach of the kings son in the extremely dangerous and often lethal martial arts sport.
- Dr. John Turner, senior citizen, psychiatrist, and can probably hand your ass to you.◊
- Ernest Rutherford, Nobel winning scientist and keen rugby player (at least as a university student).
- Meet Alexander Karelin: Doctor of law, member of the State Duma, opera and ballet aficionado, and unstoppable heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler legendary for regularly lifting his 300 pound opponents off the ground. Considered one of the strongest men in the world, Karelin once got a 500 pound refrigerator to his apartment by bear-hugging it and walking up eight flights of stairs.
- This kitten is both smart and strong enough to move the object out of away to get the toy back.
- Dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. Fast (comparable to a modern bear, at 20 to 45 miles per hour depending on species), extremely agile and superb at Combat Parkour, very strong (lots of kicking and biting power), and, like almost all predators, intelligent and tactical, coming up with creative plans.
- Tyrannosaurus rex could count. It was also highly intelligent. And, obviously, it was a Bruiser (the speed of T-rex is a hotly debated issue, it may not have been much faster than a human, despite its big strides, but recent studies have indicated that it was far from slow). And while the other giant theropods have smaller brains, let us realize that brain size has very little to do with intelligence, and that almost all predators are highly intelligent. That's right: all these giant killer dinosaurs were not only powerful, but also smart enough to plan things out.
- This is a result of a risky lifestyle: they either hunted prey that were riddled with armour (as in the case of T. rex), predators themselves (as in Spinosaurus which hunted sharks and other such aquatic hunters), or much larger than the carnivores and capable of crushing every bone in their body with a single blow (Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus, dedicated slayers of animals weighing several dozen tons). If you weren't smart enough to get past these barriers, you would be killed on your first hunt.
- Meme macro Professor Badass - Kevin Stewart: fashion designer, style director for ESPN Magazine, co-owner of Roger Charles New York design studio (and no, the photo doesn't come from a shoot, this is just how he rocks it on a daily basis)
- As it turns out, crocodiles are as intelligent as most mammals, with a far smaller brain. This being the same crocodile that also tears its prey apart with a death roll and also ambushes said prey from the water. It turns out crocodiles got a whole lot more terrifying.
- Sir Richard Francis Burton, genius linguist, explorer, anthropologist, diplomat, gunfighter, fencer, chess master, bayonet fighter, Sufi sage, freemason, libertine, translator and general all-around badass.
- Jesse Ventura, former Navy Seal, pro wrestler, movie star, media pundit, and Governor of Minnesota.
- Ambrose Bierce, Brevet Major, US Civil War hero, newspaperman, author of the Devil's Dictionary, masterful writer of suspense and horror short stories, disappeared while adventuring with Pancho Villa. Depicted as such in the film, "The Hangman's Daughter".
- Several Native American leaders, notably Tehcumseh, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.
- The East Roman (Byzantine) General Belisarius who defeated Persia and reconquered much of the fallen Western Roman Empire with never more than 50,000 Roman troops and auxiliaries under his command.
- Egil Skallagrimsson, a gigantic Norseman with superhuman strength and guile, runemaster, poet, sociopath and all-around badass. Said to be a half-troll.
- Paul Robeson, All-American and NFL (American) football player, Bachelor of Laws (Columbia), civil rights advocate, Communist, actor, world-renowned singer.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin graduated from the International Law branch of the Law Department of the Leningrad State University, and was then a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB before going on to have a political career that has spanned from 1990 to the present, and his approval rating in Russia was at one point 81%, better than any other world leader at the time. He's known for his "tough guy" outdoorsman image, and has taken part in extreme sports and interaction with wild animals. He is also known to be skilled in martial arts.
- Chess Boxing is a sport where the competitors alternate a round of chess with a round of boxing.
- Retired boxer Nicky Piper won 26 of his 33 professional fights. He is also a member of Mensa.
- Richard Trevithick. 19th century engineer, inventor and locomotive-pioneer who developed the high-pressure steam engine which, being smaller and more powerful than earlier engines, was soon driving one of the world's earliest self-propelled road vehicles of Trevithick's own design. The 6'2" "Cornish Giant" was also exceptionally strong and a skilled wrestler. At a dinner Trevithick demonstrated his grappling proficiency by gripping a heavily built mine engineer around the waist, turning him upside down, to stamp his bootprints on the ceiling.
- Bassist/composer Charles Mingus was one of the most influential figures in jazz, a self-taught student of world religion and literature. He was also a tank. Given his volatile temperament, especially when he'd been drinking, it could be tense to be in his band.
- Most special forces operators today need to be this. They are trained to complete missions in difficult environments without tons of heavy firepower backing them up, drawing principally on their own brawn and brain and the training in both dimensions. They need to know local languages, customs, histories, and current events and be able to size the situation very accurately and very fast, or risk losing their heads.
- Predators. See examples of crocodiles and dinosaurs above. Snakes, monitor lizards, sharks, big cats, wolves, orcas, squid, and in fact almost anything that kills for a living fit this trope to a T. Crocs have learned to hunt in packs and use bait to draw in birds, squid have a complex communication system using colour changes to send signals, moray eels are capable of communicating with other species of predators to hunt cooperatively, sharks join forces despite being loners when the circumstances dictate, orcas have specific tactics for killing almost anything in the ocean (they have gone after medium-size great whites; they have only to take on the adults)-it goes on.