"While other people were out living their lives, I wasted mine watching TV, because deep down, I knew it might one day help me save the world. Plus, I would have lost my Workman's Comp if I had gone outside."
While the Cultured Badass
and Wicked Cultured
kill to Tchaikovsky
, and read Nietzsche
on their spare time, the Pop-Cultured Badass rocks out to the latest hits on their iPod
and discusses their interpretation of recent movies.
They may very well engage in discussing tropes
and Conversational Troping
Contrast Cultured Badass
and Wicked Cultured
. Sometimes the eponymous bunny ears of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer
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Anime and Manga
- Revy from Black Lagoon kills a dozen people while listening to White Zombie's 'Electric Head Part 1' on her walkman.
- At least in the manga; for the anime, she plumps for the just-as-awesome 'Peach Headz Addiction' by Breath Frequency.
- Balalaika quotes Oingo Boingo during a Hannibal Lecture, and she nevertheless remains terrifying.
- Canaan has a taxi driver that drives like a professional stuntman while listening to girly pop idol songs.
- Nyarko will beat the snot out of you while doing Kamen Rider poses, quoting Joseph Jostar, using Ranma Saotome's tactics, and much, MUCH more.
- Bill from Kill Bill, who seems to be a fan of Star Trek and Silver Age comics.
- Nicholas Cage's Ghost Rider really enjoyed the music of the Carpenters. And jelly beans.
- Abigail Whistler from Blade: Trinity, who was listening to trip hop while kicking ass. Kind of counterlogical too. Why would you want to cut off one of your main senses while wading into melee combat?
- Also something of an Informed Attribute. While we're told she likes to listen to her playlist in battle, she's never actually wearing the earbuds when we see her fight.
- Crimson Tide: Lt. Commander Ron Hunter has the balls to stare down a Naval captain and his backers who insist on launching an unconfirmed preemptive nuclear strike. He's also got time to talk the Silver Surfer and Star Trek.
- Pulp Fiction: Vincent and Jules both frequently reference pop-culture as they do their jobs. Quentin Tarantino is famous for his eclectic, pop-culture-laden dialogue, so this extends to many of his other characters.
- In Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, there is a quiz game at the Law Council Dinner where a round of Pop Cultural trivia proves Bridget and Rebecca Gillies to be this trope.
- Babylon 5: Mr. Garibaldi is a huge fan of old Looney Tunes cartoons, specifically Daffy Duck. At one point, his Starfury can be seen to have Daffy Duck Nose Art. He's even quote-checked Elmer Fudd as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. Contrast with his first boss, Commander Sinclair, who was more of a fan of Tennyson.
- Band of Brothers: George Luz is knowledgeable about movies and musicals.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Spike has moments of this.
- And season 4 Big Bad Adam was a fan of the Beatles.
- Specifically, he liked the song "Helter Skelter," likely an allusion to Charles Manson's fixation on the same.
- Xander is so very much this, after losing an eye and being made Buffy's number two, he likes to be referred to as Nick Fury, even using this to charm Renee.
- Faith has brought up everything from Star Wars to Transformers to Batman: Arkham Asylum, and she hasn't exactly been around Xander or Andrew.
- Chuck: Bartowski loves his video-games, Sci-Fi movies, and MacGyver.
- Community: Abed. The badass part is best demonstrated by the "paintball war movie" episodes.
- Doctor Who:
- Farscape: John Crichton, with heavy, heavy emphasis on the Pop Culture, especially early on before he really develops the Badass. And he never stops, no matter the situation—one time, when he realized he was going to be frozen in stone for 80 years, one of his regrets was that Buffy would be dead by then. To clarify, he started out as a Southern Fried Genius who took several levels in badass.
- LOST: Sawyer, given the amount of references he makes.
- The Nanny:
- The title character Fran is absolutely this trope. In one episode, her pop culture knowledge actually helps her successfully track down the guy who'd kidnapped C.C.'s dog (It Makes Sense in Context).
- In "The Nanny Napper", Fran is arrested for allegedly kidnapping a foreign woman's baby (she was simply holding him for her on the subway, before being separated). She likens her plight to that of a soap opera, which the foreign woman watches too, leading to an intense conversation about the show, which convinces the police to drop the charges.
- NCIS: Tony seldom has a scene where he doesn't drop some kind of reference to movies.
- Psych: Shawn and Gus are a gold mine of obscure references of eighties films no one but them have bothered to remember as well as more modern fair such Phineas and Ferb, The Mentalist (with appropriate Take That and Lampshade Hanging to Dueling Shows), Supernatural and others.
- Captain Jeremy Baker. He said, "This is so dramatic. You guys remember One Life to Live?" ("No Quarter")
- Miles Matheson shows himself as this by saying, "You're gonna poke your eye out, kid," ("The Children's Crusade") and making a comment about Jason Neville having a "boy-band" face ("The Song Remains the Same").
- Major Tom Neville shows himself to really like Lionel Ritchie ("The Song Remains the Same") and compares John Sanborn to Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver ("Clue").
- Stargate SG-1:
- When not wasting hordes of Jaffa or otherwise saving the world, Colonel Jack O'Neill never misses an episode of The Simpsons. He's also a bit of a Star Trek fan, getting upset when the USAF wouldn't name the first Earth built starship "Enterprise". Also, when he traveled back in time, he said his name was James T. Kirk...then said it was Luke Skywalker.
- Teal'c, surprisingly, after he acclimates to Earth culture. Turns out he's a huge fan of Star Wars.
- From Stargate Atlantis, there's John Sheppard, who loves Johnny Cash, Popcorn... and ferris wheels.
- Eli Wallace in Stargate Universe, who frequently drops sci-fi and comic book references, built his own version of a hoverboard and uses cartoon characters as aliases. His tendency to do gets to the point where Colonel Young once orders him to "reply in English, Ancient... Bat-Signal".
- Star Trek: Enterprise: Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker of the NX-01 Enterprise is fond of his Superman comics amd classic movies.
- Dean Winchester is a fan of classic rock and B-grade horror movies. In "Hollywood Babylon", his movie knowledge paid off. Every episode has him make tons of references to pop cultural including name-dropping celebrities, films, etc.
- In "Changing Channels" where his love of trashy television shows makes him incredibly savvy when the Trickster traps them in TV-Land, particularly whilst they're in the Dr Sexy MD universe:
- The Wire: Chris Partlow, assassin and fan of Baltimore Club.
Truth In Television
- Naturally, this applies to every single Troper who serves frontline duty in any sort of job where violent confrontation is a real possibility.
- Belial, the player character in Painkiller Overdose, who constantly references films and movies in his neverending series of one-liners repeated ad nauseam.
- Metal Gear:
- Solid Snake loves action movies.
- Revolver Ocelot is a big fan of Spaghetti Western films, even wearing cowboy boots and a duster coat on the field. He's also called "Revolver" for a reason.
- No More Heroes: Travis Touchdown, Occidental Otaku, Assassin.
- Duke Nukem is a living, breathing pop culture reference. Most of his catchphrases are directly taken from action flicks of the 80s and 90s.
- In Mass Effect 2 (the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC) it turns out Garrus and Legion are this. It doesn't get much play in the game, but then most of their activities are subject to conservation of detail (Garrus listens to pop and dance music while in combat, and Legion is a gamer nerd in his spare time).
- Joker also frequently throws out pop-culture references and the occasional Fandom Nod. It helps he's voiced by Seth Green.
- The Citadel DLC for 3 reveals that Tali's romance lines are lifted almost entirely from her favorite movie, which she was unaware Shepard hadn't seen.
- Zoey in Left for Dead knows just how to handle the Zombie Apocalypse because of her love for horror movies. May overlap with I Know Mortal Kombat.
- BlazBlue has this a lot, being a Trope Overdosed parody/Reconstruction of anime and Japanese fighting games. The most notable ones are Hazama, Makoto, and Taokaka.
- Similarly, Skullgirls's majority of shout-outs come from Peacock, a walking, talking, killing throwback to the Golden Age Of Animation. She looks like something out of a deranged Merrie Melodies cartoon. She's actually a small-scale Reality Warper, and her love of classic animation has her manifest the power as a gang of cartoonish cronies, and various powers based on old cartoons.
- The protagonist of Far Cry 3, Jason Brody, makes a number of references to various media. Vaas is also an example of this trope.
*finds a briefcase with the Abstergo
logo on it* "That symbol looks familiar..."
*entering silo* "You know, I could really use a portal right about now."
- Francis York Morgan of Deadly Premonition. At his introduction, he's discussing the subtext of Tom and Jerry.
- In Opplopolis the mysterious spy/mercenary (or something) Moon turns out to be an expert at the NES game Contra.
- Justin of El Goonish Shive is moving in this direction now that he has the badass part down. He works in a comic book shop, and has all of the interests that his job implies.
- Jareth in Roommates is a Pop Cultured Hidden Badass, he can be cool if he wants to, is the most powerful of the main cast, and is really into internet culture memes and fandoms. He referenced the Rules of the Internet (intentionally badly), used Fan Nicknames, and also countered in a game Super Hero with Nyan Cat.
- Most of the kids/trolls from Homestuck qualify for this. References made include, but aren't limited to: Ghostbusters, Juggalos, Betty Crocker, Phoenix Wright, Indiana Jones, Short Circuit, Iron Man, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, ''Super Mario Bros., The Lord of the Rings, etc.
- Tyler Dawn in morphE is a typical D&D playing college kid obsessed with fiction. He relates all the abnormal and terrifying things in the awakened world of mages through fiction as a reference point (his reaction to having a death collar put on him was to refer to them as Battle Royale collars) it is this trait and mindset which makes him the first to adjust to his situation and to do so with unparalleled speed and enthusiasm. The more grounded characters take a while.
- Crazy Awesome Generator (Jade Sinclair) from the Whateley Universe, who is a Hello Kitty addict and has been known to sing J-Pop anime theme songs. In public.
- Generator has built herself a working Raising Heart (of Lyrical Nanoha fame) and has a Nanoha costume in her purse of holding.
- Chaka would have to count too, since she's the team Deadpan Snarker and once beat up a CIA team while listening to Macy Gray (she was out for a jog).
- Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the Protectors of the Plot Continuum are protecting a pop culture universe. They need to be up on the canon; it's their job.
- Most of the reviewers for Channel Awesome are this. It's naturally a part of their jobs to be up to date on pop culture, and they all can kick ass when the need arises.
- Dragon of Worm is an AI who has quoted Wheatly in response to an attempted Logic Bomb. She's also the best tinker in the world by virtue of her synthetic nature, can kick an enormous amount of ass in her extremely sophisticated Powered Armor, and is the closest thing to a Big Good in the setting.
- The Venture Bros.: 21 was already pop culture savvy by the first three seasons, but by Season 4, he became a pumped up pop culture badass.
- Beast Boy from Teen Titans uses his pop culture knowledge of (fictitious) television shows in order to save the day.
- When Dr. Drakken accidentally sucked everyone into television reality, Ron was able to navigate the reality with his extensive knowledge of shows and their subsequent timeslots.
- Philip J. Fry from Futurama who frequently drops pop culture references and does incredibly badass things... all the while, screaming like a little girl.