If you're badass, you smoke. (Unfiltered, you sissy!)
For some reason, smoking is used as a shorthand in fiction to say that someone is a badass. It probably has its roots in Fifties
rebel flicks, or '40s Film Noir
, or maybe the somewhat deeper idea that someone who cares nothing about their health will willingly expose themselves to pain on a regular basis, or maybe the play of smoke on the screen around a character in slow-mo is just that damn cool — but whatever it is, there's no denying that nine times out of ten a fictional smoker is a Badass
. No childlike or upbeat characters smoke. The smoker is the Anti-Hero
, the Badass Normal
, or the Deadpan Snarker
, whereas the non-smoker is the Genki Girl
, Messianic Archetype
, the Kid Hero
And you can forget about the millions of ways cigarettes can kill you or make your life miserable. Fictitious smokers are hardly ever affected by so much as a smoker's cough, let alone shortness of breath, lung cancer, gum disease, or heart disease. No-one else minds, either — the only people who complain are going to be the naggy Side Kick
, joykilling bureaucrat
or the irritating little brat who tags along outside the lower boundary of the Competence Zone
, and it gives the hero a good chance to sarcastically brush them off and show how cool and viciously witty they are.
There may be a pragmatic element to this trope, given the predicted lifespans of most people in Badass
professions. The prospect of dying of lung cancer in twenty years loses much of its sting when there's a real chance of dying of high-velocity lead poisoning tomorrow. This is one of the reasons smoking is still popular in high-risk professions, like the military, or convenience store cashiers.
While this trope is dying away
as smoking becomes less socially acceptable, it's notable enough in older media. Interestingly, shows aimed at younger audiences don't seem allowed to smoke
. Since smoking in Japan hardly even raises an eyebrow (that culture has smoking strongly associated with hard work, among other things), this trope is also common in anime and manga.
In older media from before the Surgeon General's report on tobacco use, smoking conveyed maturity, experience, and social acceptability. The “Stop Having Fun” Guys
character in an old movie or TV show will almost always be a non-smoker, as will be the male Neat Freak
and Ambiguously Gay
and the female Maiden Aunt
, Purity Sue
, and Straw Feminist
. Basically, the non-smoker was thought to be no fun at all, and (unless they're a youngish Purity Sue
) socially transgressive in some way. The message was that most non-smokers were weirdos you didn't want to know, which might be part of the reason why people of that generation refused to believe the Surgeon General for so long.
As a side note, much like the Drink Order
, the actual forms of tobacco smoked seem to fall into tropes of their own. Cigarettes are smoked by the typical cool badasses. Pipes are smoked by wizened ancient old wizards and martial artists
. Cigars, if they're not being smoked by Da Chief
or a soldier, are typically the favored form of tobacco for gangsters and Corrupt Corporate Executives
At one time pipes looked more "intellectual" than cigarettes, so a professor
or scientist, even quite a young one, would smoke a pipe, while policemen, soldiers and other men of action smoked cigarettes. Nowadays pipes denote old codgers or homages to Sherlock Holmes
fiction has its own conventions, subdivided down to brand. Generally speaking, housewives and other prole heroines smoke Virginia Slims or Marlboro Lights. Career women smoke Mores. Black women smoke cheap cigars, such as Gold and Milds (this is Truth in Television
); "street smart" white women do the same. (Cigars without holders seldom appear.) Older women smoke unfiltereds, usually Pall Malls or Camels. Black men go for Kools. The Vamp
uses a holder, which is often campily long, or smokes a cigar for the Freudian connotations. Goths
, Byronic Romantics and bohemian types wouldn't be caught dead smoking anything but clove cigarettes. People in the "ghetto" go for Newport menthols. The Troubled, but Cute
will inevitably smoke Lucky Strike.
Compare Stealth Cigarette Commercial
, Smoking Is Glamorous
, and Cigar Chomper
. See also Good Smoking, Evil Smoking
. Contrast Smoking Is Not Cool
, Cigarette of Anxiety
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Anime & Manga
- Several characters from Akagi seem to be chain smokers, including the undoubtedly cool, demoniacally talented titular character. Of course, this is a series that consists entirely of professional gamblers, gangsters, conmen, thugs and crooked cops, so the constant smoking is hardly out of place.
- Over 80% of the cast in Samurai Deeper Kyo are seen with a smoking pipe. However, the award for coolest smoking badass go to Bontenmaru and Demon Eyes Kyo
- Kira Sakuya & Kato Yue from Angel Sanctuary. True to the trope, their friend & the Messianic Archetype Setsuna Mudo is the only non-smoker of the delinquent trio.
- Prominent in Baccano!, which is set in 1930s America, so obviously, Everybody Smokes.
- Subverted, however, when Elmer startles Ronnie into swallowing his cigarette and he ends up hacking his lungs out for a good few minutes. Not very cool.
- Black Lagoon tries very hard to be cool, to the point where it's ambiguous whether it's a parody or not - and nearly the entire cast seems to chain-smoke as a result. It's notable in that the most intimate moment shared by the leads is an Indirect Kiss where the heroine chains her cigarette off the hero's.
- Really, smoking is presented as something that everyone in Roanapur simply does. It's like the sixties, it's just kind of weird not to smoke. This is probably because Roanapur is such a high-risk location that lung cancer is the least of anyone's worries. That said, the shot at the beginning of the theme song of the cigarette burning down really fast was probably taking it a bit far.
- Also somewhat notable is that while most everybody else smokes cigarettes, Balalaika prefers a good cigar.
- Captain-class Isshin Kurosaki is an ex-smoker who still smokes a cigarette every year in front of his wife's grave on the anniversary of her death because she once told him it made him look cool.
- Isshin's equal, Ryuuken Ishida has once been seen smoking two cigarettes on the trot, after completing a nerve-wracking procedure to restore his son's lost power without killing his son in the process. The anime includes a comedy filler scene at the end of the episode to have Isshin notice with horror that Ryuuken's breaking his own rules by smoking inside his own hospital.
- Kisuke Urahara is hinted to be a pipe smoker, given the Chapter 36 cover artwork that shows him in a Rule of Cool pose, openly smoking as he gazes unfathomably off the page.
- Akio from CLANNAD always has a cigarette sticking out of his mouth, though a great shock causes it to fall out on one occasion. Also, in episode 16 of ~After Story~, he notably starts to shake one from the pack to light up . . . and then thinks better of it, because his daughter is in labor in the next room.
- Then when Akio's daughter dies from said labor, her husband, Tomoya also picks up on the smoking habit, but it's deconstructed, as it shows how screwed up he is over Nagisa's death. Tomoya eventually quits smoking; Akio comments that this was a wise decision, but continues the habit himself.
- The entire main cast of Cowboy Bebop, a bunch of bounty hunters, smoke heavily. In their line of work, life expectancy isn't exactly high enough to worry about lung cancer. Well, Ed the Playful Hacker doesn't, because she's a kid. And Ein doesn't, because he's a dog.
- In one episode another young girl is on board their ship, and the smoke bothers her, so Jet unilaterally declares a no-smoking zone until she leaves. Ed must have tougher lungs (after all, she's been living on Earth).
- Interestingly subverted in Darker Than Black. Contractor November 11 has to smoke after every time he uses his powers... which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't hate smoking and smokers. It's somewhat jarring watching someone freeze some guys in the most Bad Ass manner possible and then cough like a child right after nonchalantly smoking a cigarette. In his first appearance, he also gives a very long and very specific address on the dangers of second-hand smoke.
- A more straightforward subversion is Clueless Detective Guy Kurasawa, who smokes because he thinks it looks cool, and is yelled at by his Sassy Secretary because she says it makes him smell even worse than he already did.
- Subverted again, more subtly. Before Huang decides to go out in one of the most Bad Ass ways possible, he asks Hei to light his cigarette. Hei initially seems to comply but destroys the cigarette, admonishing Huang on his bad habit and forcing him to be a Bad Ass without relying on smoking.
- In Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, Badou Nails is a chainsmoker. It's shown that he's a goofy, clumsy, laid-back, and terminally unlucky but fairly nice guy with something of a cowardly streak when he has his smokes, but if he goes without one for more than a few moments, he becomes an unstoppable killing machine, to the point where his "friend" Heine will intentionally take his cigarettes away from him when a fight's coming up.
- Heiwajima Shizuo of Durarara!! almost always has a cigarette in his mouth, and makes a point of throwing it to the ground and stomping on it every time he gets ready to beat the ever loving shit out of somebody.
- Jean Havoc from Fullmetal Alchemist constantly has a cigarette in his mouth. Serial Killer Barry the Chopper even calls him "nicotine dude".
- Pinako also smokes a pipe. She even had it back in the photo of her and Hohenheim.
- Saki of Genshiken is a Deadpan Snarker example. Notably, after accidentally committing arson, she gives it up from trauma (at least temporarily).
- Integra from Hellsing smokes
cigars cigarillos, because she's Bad Ass like that.
- Heinkel of the same series smokes cigarettes and an encounter between two where Integral asks her for a light is one the funniest moments in the series.
- Captain Bernadotte is also smoking most of the time he is on screen.
- Subverted twice in Ichigo Mashimaro. Tsumugi, the landlady, is often trying (and failing) to stop smoking. Moreover, Nobue gets berated a lot for smoking by her little sister and neighbor girl. Especially since, in the manga series, she's 16, and would be too young to smoke in America, never mind Japan. (The anime adaptation made her 20, and thus old enough.) She apparently started in junior high, though she held it without smoking it before then.
- Jotaro Kujo from Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Considering he's a delinquent in the year 1987, his smoking isn't really out of place.
- Also averts it in Part 2 with the death of Caesar. Lisa Lisa pulls out her cigarette and tries to look cool and calm...until she's told that it's in her mouth upside down, showing that she was just trying to cover up how close she was to breaking down into tears.
- In Part 7 an enemy stand user makes smoking even cooler by making the smoke explosive.
- Ken Akamatsu seems rather fond of this trope. Between Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima!, there's a total of three cool mid-thirty-somethings distinguished by chain-smoking permanent chin stubble, and being at least one main character's role model/love interest because they're so damn badass. The Harem Nanny in Love Hina smokes, as well, although she isn't as much of a badass mentor figure.
- Aoi Reiji from Love Mode more often than not, has a cigarette at work and at home, the exception being the hospital when he broke ribs after a car accident. Looks badass enough in double breasted suit, too.
- Soubi Agatsuma from Loveless is a sexy badass who smokes. Granted, this is probably to make him seem even more adult compared to his Shotacon cat-boy love interest, Ritsuka. Also, Ritsuka comments more than once that he really dislikes Soubi's smoking habit.
- The cast of Lupin III (except Goemon, who doesn't smoke) has various favorite brand of smokes.
- Lupin III smokes primarily Gitanes, a french brand of cigarettes that would typically have to be imported.
- Jigen primarily smokes Pall Mall (Longs), but has also smoked Marlboro Red (boxed) and occasionally a briar pipe.
- Fujiko likes Moa menthol, and occasionally uses a cigarette holder.
- Zenigata prefers Shinsei. The only Japanese brand in the group.
- Asuma Sarutobi in Naruto is quite famous for his smoking habit. His pupil Shikamaru started smoking as well, after Asuma's death, even though he hated it. Not like he wasn't badass before, but to get revenge on Asuma's murderer he took another level in badass, finally burying an immortal opponent alive and cut in pieces.
Asuma's death provoked both the smoking and the reckless badassery, which makes this a Justified Trope. Notably, Shikamaru hasn't lit up again since achieving his revenge on Asuma's killer, with Asuma's lighter used to strike the final blow.
- Sanji of One Piece takes up smoking at the tender age of nine in an admitted attempt to seem grown-up and cool. Ten years later, he still has the lung capacity to be the designated rescue-the-captain-from-drowning-underwater guy, and the refined palate to be a Supreme Chef, despite Zeff's warnings about smoking ruining one's palate
- Smoker the White Hunter of the Marines habitually smokes two cigars at once, but he at least has the excuse of possessing the power to turn into and/or eject smoke, meaning that he can probably absorb cigar smoke with no ill effects. Though perhaps the very fact that his badass power IS smoking, is intended to be a nod to this trope. His voice in the French dub, however, makes it clear that smoking is bad for you.
- Ben Beckman, Shanks' first mate on the Red-Haired pirate crew, smokes cigarillos, and at one point early in the series he grinds out his smoke in an attacker's eyeball before bashing him over the head with a rifle, making Ben a badass smoker if I has ever seen one.
- Hina the Black Cage, a badass Marine captain and a friend of the aforementioned Smoker, also smokes. Unlike with Smoker and many other smoking characters, however, no specific attention is ever drawn to her cigarette. It's just there, and sometimes it isn't.
- Crocodile is almost always seen smoking a cigar, he's even seen smoking one after escaping from his cell in Impel Down, after all his possessions were taken away. Makes you wonder where he hid them.
- Don't forget Paulie, who is almost never seen without a cigar, though he does break the cigar-symbolism and just goes for regular badass instead of a gang/corporate one.
- Curly Dadan was seen smoking in Luffy's flashback, a habit continued into the present.
- And of course there's Captain Capone "Gang" Bege; a cigar-smoker, as part of his gangster motif.
- Fee from Planetes is a die-hard smoker and one of the not so minor plot points revolves around her going awesomely apeshit when terrorists start interfering with her smoking habit. Remember kids: smoke and you too can kick terrorist ass. It also makes a point to show how hard it is to smoke when you live in space, and the lengths to which the stations engineers had to go to allow it.
- Too bad neither Makoto Yukimura nor Goro Taniguchi ever read Spider Robinson's Stardance. Only Obstructive Bureaucrats need to lock smokers in airtight rooms. All you really need is a wrist-worn scrubber fan to draw away the smoke.
- Saitou Hajime from Rurouni Kenshin most definitely counts.
- In Saiyuki, Gojyo and Sanzo both smoke like chimneys (Sanzo goes from only occasionally being shown with a cigarette early in the manga to his current near-chainsmoker status. Gojyo has consistently chainsmoked). For Sanzo, it's revealed that he got into smoking at the encouragement of a monk who gave his life to protect him when he was a teenager, and helped him come to terms with having to kill to survive. Interestingly, in the Gaiden manga/anime arc, it's revealed that in their past lives as Gods, Sanzo didn't smoke at all, but Team Mom Hakkai was a chainsmoker who would remark fondly on his love of cigarettes.
- Sanzo's increased use of cigarettes can probably be attributed to stress of the journey... and company.
- Doctor Stein from Soul Eater. Takes on a less-than cool aspect when it turns out he's trying to avoid cigarettes in an attempt to resist his own insanity. He reasons to Spirit that he if he can't handle one, he won't be able to deal with the other. And now he's started again. So, back with the cool presumably. Because...Stein's Badass.
- The titular character of the manga The Demon Ororon is a smoker, and has been for at least 113 years. (He's 123.) One of his abilities as an invincible is to make a demon several times larger than himself explode—by touching it with one finger. It is interesting to note that while he is the the king of Hell itself, no other demons are shown to smoke quite as regularly as he does.
- Seishirou Sakurazuka from Tokyo Babylon and X1999 smokes as part of his Bad Ass routine. Subverted later: Subaru Sumeragi also picks it up in imitation, but everybody pesters him about it. Seishirou himself included
- Nicholas D. Wolfwood from Trigun.
- Who in the manga is no older than eighteen and more probably about sixteen, despite his looks.
- Lucia from Venus Versus Virus smokes, though only once in the anime. She's a badass gothic lolita, fifteen year old girl wielding a gun at all times, has one golden glowing eye and has quite the friendship with her best friend. And she smokes! Bonus points!
- However she quits eventually.
- Yotsuba&!: Yotsuba asks Torako why she smokes. Torako replies: "It makes me look cool."
- Bunji in Gungrave is almost always seen smoking, in both the anime and games.
- Ban Midou from Get Backers whenever he's doing something calm and collectedly (and most of all, looking like a Bad Ass).
- Kubota in Wild Adapter has a cigarette in his mouth most of the time. Weirdly, it doesn't always seem to be lit. This could be an artifact of the art style.
- In Hidamari Sketch, the heavy smoking of the girls' landlady is generally depicted as something cool, despite her efforts to quit.
- Can't forget Shizuru Kuwabara from YuYu Hakusho. She even puts her cigarette out on an apparition's tongue to shut him up.
- In the manga smoking is one of Yusuke's delinquent habits.
- Let's admit it: Ginko wouldn't be nearly as cool without the constant drags from his cigarette.
- His smoking is justified, partially, in that the smoke from his cigarettes is used to drive away nearby Mushi and counteract his inherent ability to attract them.
- Matt from Death Note, dunno if Mello too. I mean... they're in the mafia...
- Michiko Malandro from Michiko to Hatchin has the "looking-awesome-with-a-cigarette" shtick down pat.
- Reki in Haibane Renmei is frequently seen smoking a cigarette, representative of her deep wells of angst.
- Elizabeth Beurling in Strike Witches is the avid smoker of her team. The thing is, her real life inspiration George Beurling was a staunch anti smoker. Yet this girl goes through a cig (or fag in British slang) commonly.
- Lakshad, the genius weapons developer of Code Geass, is never seen without her extremely long pipe in hand.
- Several characters in NANA, but the award for coolest smoker ever goes to Yasu.
- Lyle Dylandy in Gundam 00 (although only once and in the second opening).
- Char Aznable in Mobile Suit Gundam, specifically the manga The Origin. Char is shown smoking AND drinking.
- Borgoff Marcus from Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust perpetually has a cigar in his mouth. Which is strange, as he never seemed to actually smoke it.
- Yuuko Ichihara from Xxx HO Li C loves relaxing with a bottle of sake and her pipe and when Watanuki resolves to take over the store until she returns, he dons her robe and takes up her pipe.
- Kou from Monochrome Factor is one of the [physically] strongest characters of the cast and is usually seen smoking.
- Zelik and Jim from Mother Keeper are both shown smoking cigarettes constantly. Jim is the amazing scientist in charge of Heaven's Tower who builds cyborgs and Zelik is the strongest man in the slums who can near destroy a wall in a single punch.
- Hijikata from Gintama smokes a lot. The mayonnaise bottle lighter kind of dorkifies it though.
- Yuki Eiri (or Uesegi Yuki) from Gravitation He's pretty much the resident badass in the series (having been known to beat up plenty of people before when they mess with Shuichi) and smokes like a fiend. There was even one scene when he lit an ENTIRE pack of cigarettes at once and smoked the whole thing because he was irritated.
- He was actually half asleep (irritated because Shuichi wouldn't shut up and let him sleep) and it was just a funny gag. He didn't even take the cigarettes out of the pack- the last panel of that scene shows a blaze going up from his ash tray (again, as a one off gag, so no actual harm was done).
- Tyki Mikk is constantly smoking.
- Subverted in a manga chapter in Shaman King. When a group of pseudo-witch girls, working for Hao attacks Yoh's father, the first thing he does when they meet each other is put out the leader's cigarette, telling her that smoking will be bad for her if she ever decides to have kids.
- Subverted also Kimagure Orange Road, when Kyousuke loudly lectures Madoka and tells her pretty much the same that Mikihisa did to Hao's follower when he catches her smoking. She slaps him, but later quits.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- The Netherlands is a badass male Tsundere who smokes in a pretty stylish pipe.
- Cuba, of course, has his famous Cuban cigars.
- Subverted in FLCL. Samejima Mamimi is the only character in the show who smokes, but it's not seen as a positive thing by the other characters and Mamimi herself is a little too damaged to carry off the look. Additionally, whenever she starts chain-smoking, it's usually a sign that her mental state is on a downward curve.
- Sven in Black Cat is a heavy smoker. In the dub, he has a slightly gravelly voice.
- Both The Hero and the Big Bad in Speed Grapher smoke pretty constantly. Saiga the war photographer smokes the workin Joe regular cigarettes, which Suitengu smokes long and delicate cigarettes rolled from 10k yen notes.
- Future GPX Cyber Formula has Bleed Kaga, a funny guy who picks up the smoking habit as he stops being a partly comedic relief and turns all serious and badass in the last 3 OVA sequels.
- Is Bardroy ever seen without a cigarette in his mouth?
- The Bus Driver from Rosario + Vampire is never seen without a cigar. It's not clear how badass he actually is, but the fandom generally sees him as an Almighty Janitor.
- Toriko often smokes a cigar that's actually a tree branch. And he lights it by snapping his fingers.
- The reporter Yoshizawa in the anime version of THE iDOLM@STER seems to always have a cigarette on his lips.
- Fujisawa-sensei from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World chainsmokes. It isn't treated as cool though, as it actually hinders his powers. Like the rest of the cast that crossed over to Roshtaria, Fujisawa-sensei is granted a specific power: superhuman strength that draws from his withdrawal from cigarettes (although it's also from alcohol withdrawal since he is also a heavy drinker).
- Oniisama e...:
- Subverted with Rei Asaka AKA "Hana no Saint-Juste". She does smoke on a regular basis, but her smoking is not portrayed as cool, as it is a sign of her Broken Bird personality and her self-destructive behaviour to show how really messed up she is.
- Played straight with "Lady Vampanella" Hoshino and Takashi Ichinomiya, but Hoshino does it when she's not in school.
- Also subverted in Deadman Wonderland with Senji; he's definitely one of the most badass characters in the series, but he claims that cigarettes are "the nails of coffins".
- Fate/Zero has Kiritsugu Emiya, smokes, and temporarily stopped for 9 years in regard to his wife and child, but picks up the habit again during the start of the Holy Grail War.
- Gokudera Hayato of Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is (at least in the manga) a delinquent who smokes even on school grounds, and uses his cigarettes to light up his dynamite sticks.
- Stylized smoking is especially prominent in Afro Samurai, in which characters' rolled cigarettes can conjure fountains of smoke. Between Afro and Justice, enough smoke is blown out of their noses over the five-episode first season to smother a small town and then some. And it looks badass.
- Older Than Radio: The hookah-smoking Caterpillar in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- In Disney's adaptation, he's even cooler, able to blow colored smoke rings in the shape of letters.
- In The Hobbit, Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf smoke pipes and can blow smoke rings; Gandalf, being a wizard, can blow them in shapes other than rings, turn them different colors, and make them hang in the air for a long time (making him look "strange and sorcerous") or make them fly around the room.
- In the Gone series, Lana in Lies. Justified because she can heal herself of any damage caused.
- Oscar Wilde certainly thought so. Lord Henry Wotton, easily the coolest character in The Picture of Dorian Gray is a prolific chain-smoker.
- Commander Samuel Vimes from the Discworld novels smokes cigars. This seems to be something he took up to get his mind off drinking, which was his previous vice.
- Occasionally, however, he uses his smoking for practical purposes like ruining an opponent's night-vision. Arguably, this makes his smoking habit even more badass.
- Even if smoking isn't cool, using a dragon as a lighter is (even if it's a small dragon).
- Also from Discworld, Adora Belle Dearheart. Kissing her is apparently "like kissing an ashtray, but in a good way."
- Death's manservant Albert also smokes foul cigarettes that he rolls himself. He of course has no reason to worry about the ill effects of smoking. In the miniseries made of Hogfather it is a Running Gag that Albert constantly fails to roll his fag for various reasons. He finally succeeds at the end, grimaces at the taste and throws it away.
- In Mort Death himself smokes an ornate pipe once, which definitely qualifies as cool at the same time as working as a stealth warning against smoking. He blows smoke rings with his eyeholes.
- The most intellectual of detectives, Sherlock Holmes, smoked a variety of pipes in his youth but went over to cigarettes as they came into fashion. Philip Marlowe, father of all Badass Longcoat heroes, went the other way, smoking cigarettes in his youth but switching to a pipe as he grew older, more thoughtful, and less badass.
- Holmes also indulged in a 7% solution of cocaine. He was also depicted (once) in an Opium Den, though he was trailing a suspect at the time and not actually indulging.
- A.J. Raffles, who was intended partly as an Evil Counterpart of Holmes, smoked Sullivan cigarettes, to the point where when returning to London after being lost and presumed dead, he didn't dare smoke that brand, since it was so heavily identified with him.
- Subversion: Nero Wolfe not only did not smoke, he objected to smoking to the extent that he once sent a client who had just paid him a five-figure retainer out on the front stoop to smoke. (And this was written in the 1930s, when smoking was socially acceptable.)
- Maybe it's supposed to show how neurotic he is. Or, at least, fastidious and eccentric.
- That and even being near a smoker can harm your palate. Even back in the 30s gourmands tended not to smoke or, for that matter, drink cocktails/spirits.
- Interestingly, Wolfe's sidekick Archie Goodwin also didn't smoke, despite otherwise being a typical hardboiled detective.
- In The Lord of the Rings most of the members of the Fellowship smoke. In Middle-earth, smoking was invented by the Shire-Hobbits, and subsequently adopted by the people of Bree-land, and the Dwarves, and at least some of the Rangers of the North (including Aragorn); no other cultures have adopted it, and most places it is unknown. For the hobbits, it's one of their domestic comforts. Gandalf displays his magical nature by blowing special smoke rings. In the first film, Aragorn is introduced as a bad ass through his smoking, posed in the shadows with the light of the pipe illuminating his eyes. As part of Tolkien's Literary Agent Hypothesis, he felt obliged to include an entire appendix explaining the history of smoking in his artificial pre-Beowulf myth cycle.
- Probably because tobacco is an American plant, and the book is set in what will become Europe. Tolkien Hand Waved it by explaining that it was brought to Middle-Earth by Numenorian explorers.
- One of the eventually solved mysteries in Atlas Shrugged concerns a brand of cigarettes whose trademark is a dollar sign. (Remember the theme of Atlas Shrugged: $ = capitalism = good.) One character gives a speech on how "fire in a man's hands" makes him feel powerful.
- Everybody on planet Bellevue smokes like chimneys, the rich and aristocratic using long ivory cigarette holders, probably as a tension reliever. On Bellevue the homefront is every bit as stressful as the battlefront.
- Darn near EVERYONE in H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy novels smokes. By the looks of it, enough to keep Philip Morris in business by themselves.
- Catherine Li of Chris Moriarty's Spin series. One character even thinks wonders why she hadn't completely covered an explosion crater with them.
- Stephen King, the chain-smoking Harley Davidson rider, has many characters that smoke; some of whom have used cigarettes as improvised weapons.
- Didn't he quit (many years ago) for health reasons?
- Stephen King tends to play around with this more than play it straight, especially in later years since he (presumably) quit. For example, in one short story, a man who'd quit smoking uses the cigarette offered to him by his captors as a weapon, and then, after he escapes, buys a pack of cigarettes and smokes just one as a sort of reward to himself. Other stories depict characters who quit smoking, know they should quit smoking, don't normally smoke but do so in an extreme situation to show how stressed out they are, refuse cigarettes DESPITE how stressed out they are, or other variants on the trope, all pretty much true to life. Rarely is it played as straight as "cigarette = badass."
- Ilia Volyova of Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space series. It seems to be a habit for the fun of it, but also because it keeps her going in a twisted environment.
- "Omnilingual" by H. Beam Piper. A novella about archaeology on Mars from the Golden Age of Science Fiction, has smoking as a plot point.
- Fitz Kreiner from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe smokes "thirty a day". This despite the fact that the Doctor has some sort of Applied Phlebotinum that could almost instantly cure him of his addiction, and almost every other character has lectured him about it at some point or another. Apparently, smoking is just that cool. Also, oddly enough, in one of the novels, Fitz coughs up blood for no possible reason except his smoking. It's never mentioned later on, he never does so again, and he doesn't quit smoking. It's almost like a very minor, low-key Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
- There are at least two species of organism that have colonized every planet in the galaxy in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series: Humans, and tobacco.
- James Bond, in the books, is a particularly heavy smoker. As mentioned in an episode of QI, there is a passage where Bond lights "his sixtieth cigarette of the day". He probably then goes on to run two miles in six minutes, shoot a homosexual (who can't whistle), eat a magnificent dinner, and make love to many beautiful ladies in a single night, all without ever getting out of breath.
- In the Lensman books, nearly everyone smokes like a chimney. They also drink like fishes. Various other X like Y metaphors might also be deployed here. But illegal drugs, like "Thionite", are a scourge on mankind that must be met with hot lead justice, and are invariably a money-maker for the forces of evil. Put it down to the cultural mores of the time, I suppose...
- In the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, smoking seems to be a general feature of the Dark court. Particular mention goes to Irial, who is simply that awesome, and Niall, who only starts smoking once he Becomes dark king. Plus, it helps make their feelings for each other clearer- Irial reached into Niall's jacket to get his cigarettes, conveniently brushing his fingers over the other male's chest whilst doing so.
- Citizen Admiral Lester Tourville of the Honor Harrington series smokes cigars to accentuate his Military Maverick imagenote . In any given meeting he is required to attend, his assigned seat is always directly under a return vent for the air circulation system, so his cigar smoke will make a hasty Air-Vent Passageway escape instead of lingering in the room.
- In Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, we get this:
"Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to feed on the marrow of the volcano. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lightning."
- In Spider Robinson's Stardance, people smoke in space without consequence simply by wearing fans on their wrist to draw away the smoke.
- In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade was constantly rolling cigarettes, often using it as a means of exacerbating a pregnant pause. Dashiell Hammett described Sam's actions in such loving detail that the books doubles as a classic murder mystery and an instruction manual for hand-rolling cigarettes.
- Meursault in the Albert Camus novel The Stranger. He is often considered a badass existentialist Anti-Hero. Besides, smoking later becomes somewhat symbolic to the meaning of the novel.
- The Dark Tower: Roland, the baddest dude in the multiverse, is an avid smoker who rolls his own cigarettes. Jake, an 11 year old boy, so emulates him as an adopted father that he takes up smoking, which Roland decides to allow. However, Stephen King's Author Avatar in the series is a chain smoker who is shown to be on a self-destructive path.
- In Operation Chaos, Steve notes that he prefers to smoke Philip Morris cigarettes, because they come with a little red smoke imp that can mix you a drink.
- Gus and his pack of "metaphorically resonant" cigarettes from The Fault in Our Stars, although he just enjoys holding them in his mouth unlit (they're cancer survivors, not suicidal). Hazel calls him on it the first time she sees him do it. She's especially offended because she already has breathing problems and is on oxygen due to her lung tumors.
Live Action TV
- Many TV series in the early-to-mid 1950s featured lead characters who smoked cigarettes. Mainly, these were adult-oriented sitcoms, although a few Dom Coms also had one or more lead characters who were into the habit.
- One of the best-known examples to modern audiences is I Love Lucy, where each of the four leads (Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, and Fred and Ethel Mertz) regularly lit up on the set. One episode even featured Lucy and Ethel as dancing cigarette packages, mimicking a frequent early TV advertising tactic. The famous "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode (where she appears in a live TV commercial for Vitameatavegamin, a tonic that gets her very drunk) has Lucy pitching a cigarette brand to demonstrate to Ricky her acting abilities.
- Another well-known example was I Married Joan, but this series is not as widely distributed these days.
- Well-documented are the cigarette commercials, all of which portrayed smoking as "cool", "glamorous", "macho", etc. Many of the commercials depicted its models in various social, recreational and/or adventure settings, with young men and women puffing away in a carefree manner. The last commercials on U.S. television aired on January 2, 1971 ... snuffed out by federal mandate.
- On the flip side, as anti-tobacco campaigns began ramping up in the 1990s, one of the more memorable commercials featured the "death of the Marlboro Man." Charles McLaren, the brother of the late Wayne McLaren (one of many Marlboro men employed during the cigarette brand's "Marlboro Country" ad campaign), implored children not to smoke. The commercial opened with a shot of a young, vibrant Wayne McLaren in one of the Marlboro magazine ads, after which a picture appears of his withered, old-looking self hours before his death.
- The Andy Griffith Show: Andy Taylor can be seen lighting up in several episodes. For example, after he finished lecturing Opie about lying in the episode "Mr. Mc Beevee." (Mc Beevee — unseen to Andy until the climactic scene — also smokes in the episode, as told by Opie: "He can make smoke come out of his ears.") Andy's smoking is more prominent in the earlier black-and-white episodes, and by the first color season, he had put away his pack for good. (Don Knotts was also a known smoker, although he never lit up on the show.)
- Dragnet: Jack Webb was a heavy smoker in real life, and Sgt. Joe Friday was often seen puffing on a cigarette (frequently, these were in transitional scenes).
- The Webb-produced spinoffs — Adam-12 and Emergency! — also featured smoking, although it was seldom seen done by the lead characters. An early episode of Adam 12 shows Officer Malloy (Martin Milner) putting out a cigarette, while in Emergency, Nurse Dixie McCall (Julie London, Webb's real-life ex-wife) can also be seen smoking in at least one episode.
- Many celebrities who appeared on game shows (prior to the early 1980s) regularly lit up on the air. Several panelists smoked on the Match Game, most famously, the three regulars (Brett Somers and Richard Dawson with cigarettes, and Charles Nelson Reiley with a pipe), while '50s rock star Fabian was seen puffing away on at least one episode of Hollywood Squares. The compedium "The Game Show Encyclopedia" featured a picture from a game called The Object Is, where cigarettes in an ashtray could be easily seen in the picture next to several celebs; another picture in the same book shows Michael Landon taking a drag on the set of The Celebrity Game (a descendant to Hollywood Squares).
- On at least one episode of The Price Is Right, former model Anitra Ford (one of the few Barker-era models to leave the show on her own terms) was seen with a lighted cigarette during a Showcase skit (where she was playing a detective's buxom during a mystery-themed showcase); it was not clear if she inhaled or took a full drag.
- Until the early 1980s, there were occasional prizes that were related to cigar and cigarette smoking, including (but not limited to) gold-plated lighters, table lighters, cedar cigar/cigarette boxes, humidors, and purse-type leather pouches (where women stashed their smokes, this item itself being part of a larger collection of a leather goods package).
- As a parting gift on at least one episode of To Tell the Truth, a threesome of boys (who tried to stump the panel about who was the real heroic Boy Scout) were given a Winston cigarettes gift package ("for their fathers"), while the other contestants were given the same gift package. This was on an episode sponsored by Winston.
- Game show legend Bill Cullen was also a pack-plus-a-day smoker throughout most of his adult life, although he rarely smoked on-camera. He had quit by 1987, the year he made his final game show appearances; in one of those final appearances, on The $25,000 Pyramid, Dick Clark remarked to Bill about his recent kicking the habit for good. Ultimately, it was lung cancer (brought on by years of moderately heavy smoking) that killed Cullen in 1990, at the relatively young age of 70.
- The Tonight Show: Prior to the early 1980s, numerous guests brought their cigarettes with them, frequently resulting in the set being fogged over in cigarette smoke. Sometimes, five or more people had lighted cigarettes in hand at any one time, and ashtrays were liberally placed between the chairs. Johnny Carson was a smoker, and to a lesser extent so was Ed McMahon, although both stopped lighting up on the set in the early 1980s as the habit became less socially acceptable. (McMahon ultimately quit, while some sources said that Carson continued his pack-plus-a-day habit for most of the rest of his life, ultimately dying in 2005 of respiratory failure brought on by emphysema.)
- You Again, starring veteran actor Jack Klugman and then-newcomer John Stamos, in a sitcom where a boy in his late teens (Stamos) comes to live with his estranged father. Stamos' character lights up in one early episode, but (after Klugman's character puts the cigarette out) is never seen smoking again.
- Invoked by Chandler in an early episode of Friends when the others try to talk him into quitting: "I've had it with your cancer, and your emphysema, and your heart disease. The bottom line is, smoking is cool, and you know it."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Spike's introduction was of him smoking, in a very bad ass way.
- And he continues to do so. At one point he lights a cigarette in a hospital, right in front of a "no smoking" sign.
- When he reappears on Angel James Marsters wanted to covey to fans that smoking is not cool, thus Spike gave up the habit.
- Although BTVS started off with the convention that "Everyone that smokes is evil or doomed" (N.B. not necessarily dead - even the minor character in "Nightmares" who goes into the basement for a "smoke break" then gets assaulted by the monster, lives), this is well and truly subverted in later seasons. In "Band Candy", Giles and Joyce smoke. Giles gets off scot free, and it would be drawing a long bow to connect Joyce's death two seasons later to this incident. Further, Faith doesn't smoke in Season 3 when she is evil, and does smoke in Season 7 when she's good (and not doomed).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer even hung a lampshade on this trope when Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain/Unknown Rival Harmony seeks "shelter" from the slayer in Spike's crypt, sparking up a cigarette. Parodied in that when she tries to do it, well, she looks like an idiot.
Spike: Taking up smoking, are we Harm?
Harmony: I am a villain, Spike. Hello. (takes one drag, coughs, splutters)
- And who can forgot season 2, when Angel becomes Angelus? He bites into a prostitute (who is smoking) and when he comes up, he exhales the smoke. Not only bad ass, but frightening for fans used to the friendly, broody hunk they're used to.
- Andrew looks like an idiot, in his opening "Storyteller" fantasy, when he has his big Meerschaum pipe. (Which he still hasn't got the hang of, when he pops up in Angel...No, not like that!)
- The X-Files had its Cigarette Smoking Man. However, the other characters consider it a bad habit, and he later develops lung cancer.
- Plus he does it everywhere, whether allowed to or not, even in FBI headquarters.
- One Expanded Universe novel, namely Antibodies by Kevin J. Anderson, gave him a nasty cough.
- The actor, however, hadn't smoked since the seventies - after a few episodes on regular cigarettes, he switched to Herbals for the rest of his tenure on the show.
- Hannibal Smith on The A-Team. Other characters did point it every now and then.
- The Master on Doctor Who was very fond of cigars in his Delgado incarnation; but then he was the epitome of Evil Is Sexy. According to the special features on the DVD of "The Mind of Evil", the director insisted Delgado smoke a cigar in the story because it would look cool, even though Delgado was a non-smoker in real life who hated doing it. Delgado complained and was unhappy, but complied... and when he saw the finished episodes he praised the director for the idea, agreeing it made him look amazing.
- Omar Little on The Wire, who has a tendency to be filmed at least once every season lurking in the shadows of a back alley smoking a cigarette.
- Played with in Katherine Applegate's Making Out series. Nina 'smokes', but never lights her cigarettes. Somehow, she still manages to get through packs at quite a pace.
- Gomez, debonaire and worldly patriarch of The Addams Family smoked cigars since early childhood, apparently at his mother's insistence. Indeed, whenever he takes one, it lights up on its own.
- Or is already lit. You reference the movie—in the original, live-action TV series, Morticia also smoked. She didn't use cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, she just... smoked.
- Gomez and Morticia also occasionally shared a hookah.
- Jayne from Firefly is sometimes seen smoking a cigar.
- Both Starbucks, in both versions of Battlestar Galactica, have been seen smoking cigars; The modern version of Baltar was smoking a cheroot during his introduction, and Doc Cottle is almost never seen without a cigarette on the go. Yet it was Laura Roslin who g The guard, thinking it was his colleague who spoke, smiles and says ot cancer; go figure.
- Both of the main characters from The Sweeney, just so you know they're double-hard bastards.
- Bad Ass cop Zheglov in The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed.
- In Mad Men, Everybody Smokes, and just about every one of them looks damn cool doing it. However, Don Draper definitely takes the cake.
- Notably, Pete, who most fans think of as an uptight jerkass, can't smoke without choking. Additionally, Peggy starts smoking more often as her character becomes more assertive. She even smokes a joint in one episode.
- Many characters in Skins smoke freely and heavily (and a variety of substances, at that); Cook and Effy probably make it look the coolest. One notable exception is Katie, who does pretty much every drug that doesn't require syringes but doesn't smoke because of concerns about cancer. Until Effy teaches her how to smoke in one of the most Les Yay-laced scenes ever.
- Ghoulardi frequently smoked on television. And he died of cancer in 1997.
- Brian Kinney in Queer as Folk.
- Jennifer Paterson of Two Fat Ladies was rarely seen outside the kitchen without a cigarette. Of course, she also died of lung cancer.
- That '70s Show An episode had Donna revealing she smokes. When Eric points out that smoking causes cancer, Donna replies that it makes her look cool, so it's an even trade.
- Many situation comedies — including but not limited to The Brady Bunch, Leave It to Beaver, and so forth — featured single episodes where a teen-aged or child character experiments with smoking but decides he doesn't like it. On The Brady Bunch, Mike (the father, played by Robert Reed) admits he smoked in his younger days, while on Beaver the titular character steals his father's rare pipe to smoke it. Another episode of Beaver had Wally dating a woman who smoked.
- Another situation comedy, Diff'rent Strokes graphically showed the negative effects of smoking. The father of Arnold's best friend admits to being a chronic smoker and needs a lung operation ... then, in a show of how addictive the habit can be, is shown lighting a cigarette as he leaves the Drummonds' apartment.
- While not a situation comedy, another negative depiction of smoking is seen in one of the most famous episodes of Little House on the Prairie. In the set-up to the defining scene in the episode "May We Make Them Proud" (where a fire at the School for the Blind kills Alice Garvey, and the baby son of Adam and Mary Kendall), Albert and a friend sneak into the basement to smoke a pipe, but after being shooed from the basement, leave a burning pipe in a pile of blankets.
- Good Times: Wilnona is seen lighting up in at least one episode (the episode "Florida's Night Out," where the gang takes Florida out for the first time since the tragic death of her husband).
- Big Bang Theory: Amy says "I recently trained a capuchin monkey to smoke cigarettes... He looks much cooler than the non-smoking monkeys. Although it's not much of a contest. The other monkeys just sit around and masturbate."
- In Have Gun — Will Travel, Paladin regularly smoked cigars.
- Harmon Rabb from JAG used to smoke cigars until ”The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse” in the third season.
- Believe it or not, this trope actually appeared in Power Rangers. Well...sort of. Obviously the writers were never going to get away with having a ranger actually light up, so instead, they had the Black RPM Ranger suck on a lollipop. It's...more badass than it sounds, really.
- The eponymous bikers in Sons of Anarchy all smoke like chimneys. Club president Clay Morrow goes one better and smokes big fat cigars, but that's because he's played by Ron Perlman.
- Numerous album covers of virtually any genre — far too many to be reasonably listed — had the artists, actors, models, etc., with lighted cigarettes in hand or nearby ... implying they they smoked.
- Just the same, countless publicity photos featured the artists with cigarettes, cigarette packs, etc. in hand.
- "Smoke that Cigarette" by Phil Harris has many references that make smoking seem cool. The end line is someone smoking.
(Just like every other profession, including athletics, many professional wrestlers smoke to varying degrees in Real Life. However, this list depicts only those instances where smoking was seen on-camera (usually as part of storylines or gimmicks) or documented cases where wrestlers were known smokers.)
- During a WrestleMania III press conference, normally genial announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund once famously shot to one journalist, "Put that cigarette out!" (although the offending reporter was never seen on camera). Okerlund is a non-smoker.
- During his run in WCW, The Giant (Paul "The Big Show Wight) — had a short-lived gimmick called "The Smoking Giant." Wight's character would show such great disdain for his opponents (usually jobbers, or wrestlers paid to lose) that he would light a cigarette, take a drag or two during the match and then finish off the cigarette after pummeling his opponent into submission.
- On the June 18, 1998, WCW Thunder Disco Inferno , in all apparent seriousness, if he was afraid that the smoking would stunt his growth.
- In a parody of Basic Instinct, aired as part of WWE's promotion of WrestleMania 21 (tagline: "WrestleMania Goes Hollywood"), WWE Diva Stacy Keibler — taking the role of Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell — can be seen smoking during the interrogation scene. It is not known to what extent, or if, Keibler is/was a smoker.
- During the early days of TNA, "Wildcat" Chris Harris was smoking during a backstage promo.
- The Sandman, who has worked in ECW, WCW, WWE, and TNA, once went through a gimmick where he would smoke a cigarette prior to his matches. In one case, his habit backfired on him when, during a match with bitter rival Tommy Dreamer, a lit cigarette was pushed into his eye.
- During their run in the WWE, Ron Simmons and John Bradshaw Layfield were "The APA," more often seen in comedy skits smoking cigars and playing poker, rather than beating down bad guys.
- This was prior to Layfield's transition into his "evil millionaire" gimmick as "JBL," which reflected his real-life financial trading career. Layfield continued his cigar-chomping ways during his JBL run.
- Ex-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura — most famous for his time as shamelessly pro-heel commentator in the WWF — smoked cigars after he got into politics, although it is not known whether he smoked or chewed (or to what extent) during his wrestling career.
- In his autobiography To Be the Man, legendary wrestler Ric Flair (believed to be a non-smoker) wrote that Ken Patera — the former Olympic weightlifter-turned-wrestler — was a regular smoker. Flair asked Patera once about his decision to smoke, to which Patera replied that he didn't need aerobic conditioning to lift weights.
- Freebird Buddy Roberts smoked and developed throat cancer as a result. He required surgery and uses a voice transmitter in order to speak.
- Many times, a heel wrestler (or manager) will use a lighted cigarette or cigar as a weapon – often, rubbing the burning tip into the eyes – against his opponent to set up a finish and gain a cheap win. The most common example is The Dream Team's win over the team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo to win the WWF Tag Team Titles in 1985; the Dream Team's manager, Johnny Valiant, began chomping on a cigar during the bout and, when it came time for the finish, handed the lighted cigar to Greg "the Hammer" Valentine to rub into Windham's face, setting him up for an easy pin by Windham's partner, Brutus Beefcake.
- Zig-Zagged by Dino Attack RPG. There are a number of Badass characters who smoke, including Jim "Spy" Covalent and Clint Wayne, thus playing this trope straight. However, the trope is defied by a strict "no smoking" policy in Dino Attack Headquarters, and because a cigarette burned her home to the ground when she was only a child, Smoking is not Cool in Amanda's eyes.
- The archwizard Elminster Aumar from the Forgotten Realms setting smokes an ornate pipe that is enchanted to never run out of tobacco. Presumably he can afford to smoke seeing as how he's immortal. (Some rumors have said that Elminster is more senile than many believe, and thinks his pipe is a living being, claiming to have seen him talking to it; in truth, he often uses it as a focus for spells to speak to other powerful wizards like the Simbul over long distances.)
- Warhammer 40K: While some humans are known to smoke, the orks are no slouches at it, adding to their already ridiculously long list of awesomeness tropes. Just about every Burna Boy has a noxious cigar to chomp on, and one special character even notes that he was "badly wounded and out of cigars", without telling which one he considered them ore urgent issue.
- In Company, Joanne states that smoking is "the best". In the DVD of the 2011 concert version where she is played by Patti LuPone, you can see that she's smoking Pall Malls, which fits with the sort of character she is.
- Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. You don't see him smoke in game, but you find cigarettes in his apartment, and this trailer has him lighting up, possibility to deal with the trauma of becoming an augment.
- The accompanying comic makes this a subversion, as Jensen states that he picked up the habit because his newly augmented lung negates all the ill effects.
- Bob Page is a smoker as well, possibility to give him more of a evil look. Pritchard is also a smoker, which can be seen by the pack of cigarettes on his desk.
- Ryotaro Dojima from Persona 4 has this look in effect in his Social Link status window, and it does nicely complement his gritty badass detective look.
- Solid Snake from Metal Gear was notable in that, back in his Heroic Mime days, the only way you knew he was a badass was because he had a pack of cigarettes in his inventory. In later games they drain his health as they're used, which would make them a subversion - if not for the fact that he smokes one after each boss fight in the first game, which boosts his maximum health and (inexplicably) item capacity. He also gets nagged by his sidekick about it, but with the mild subversion that he seems to get some masochistic pleasure out of the nagging.
- And to see how big his addiction is, at least in Metal Gear Solid, Snake got his cigarettes by swallowing the pack and later regurgitating it (since he was not only stripped naked right before the mission started, but also injected with serums that temporarily stopped his stomach acids. This was a side effect of what they were actually supposed to do, but it did mean he could still, you know, smoke the things once he got there).
- Funnily enough, this detail was overlooked in the novelization: Instead Snake simply steals a pack of cheap cigarettes on-site, and spends the rest of the book complaining about their terrible flavour.
- In the prequels, Naked Snake/Big Boss, Solid Snake's clone-father, is shown to be fond of cigars, and carries them around similarly during the game. So it's apparently a genetic trait. He claims to have picked the habit up from his mentor, The Boss. Ocelot, who became so fond of him, even learned to embrace this trope, too, especially in MGS4.
- By MGS4 it's being used very clearly to show how much of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold Snake is and how little he cares about living; and, for the first time, he acts like an addict, getting moody when he can't smoke. And yet, by the end of his final mission... he quits smoking. He even says "those things can kill you". He now wants to live as much of his life as he can.
- The kind of cigarettes smoked by Snake at any one point in the timeline pretty much entirely express his character at that point. In Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, he smokes a Bland-Name Product version of Lucky Strikes, stereotypical soldier's tobacco. In Metal Gear Solid he smokes a fictional brand (Moslems) designed to leave no taste or smell and almost no second-hand smoke. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, they're still smokeless, but change to a real-life brand (Hope). In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots he smokes another fictional brand (The Boss) of lethal unfiltered hand-rolled cigarettes with 26mg tar each which he stores in a little box and stubs out in a neat portable ashtray, and, symbolically, cigar smoke is shown to make him cough. He smokes with the cigarette between his thumb and forefinger in 2 and 4, and between his third and fourth fingers in 1.
- Raiden himself used to smoke, though he quit prior to Sons of Liberty. That doesn't mean the player can't make him smoke the cigarette pack that Snake gives him.
- Just to be super nit-picky, Snake's cigarettes in MGS4 are actually filtered, take a look at them in the item inventory.
- There's two Metal Gear games in which he doesn't smoke, both non-canon. One is Snake's Revenge, an initial attempt to make a Western-aimed sequel to Metal Gear for the NES that preceded the other sequels (where Snake was characterized as heavy smoker). The other is Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, where he instead starts the game with a 'Fogger', described by the Item box as a "Device that lights up and emits smoke".
- Almost every unique character who joins MSF in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker smokes, or otherwise uses tobacco products. Even Chico would have smoked if Snake hadn't taken the cigar away from him (he only gave it to the kid because he didn't have a lighter, anyway).
- Resident Evil: Chris Redfield is shown smoking in the live-action intro of the first game, though it was edited out in the American version only to be added back in the director's cut. In the intro for his campaign in 6, he's shown drinking and smoking heavily while going through a Heroic BSOD, the latter only implied by the ashtray that is completely stuffed with cigarette butts sitting next to him. With that, it can be assumed that he's the "smokes to calm his nerves" type.
- Final Fantasy VII's Cid Highwind chain-smokes like a maniac and still spears random monsters on a par with the Super Soldier who runs the team. He even lights a stick of dynamite with his cigarette in one of his Limit Breaks. His later appearances in canon (Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus) seem at first to imply he's given it up, since he doesn't smoke at all in the former, and his new character design doesn't have the pack hooked in his goggles any more. But then toward the end of Cerberus, he indulges in a victory smoke after blowing up one of the Midgar reactors.
- Sergeant Johnson from Halo.
- Helps that by the time the games takes place smoking is not only harmless but cancer is so rare (and easy to treat) most people don't even know what cancer is anymore.
- Sasha Nein from Psychonauts goes as far using his finely tuned psychic abilities to light his cigarette in his introduction.
- As for Tim Shafer games: Eddie Riggs deserves mentioning, even though he doesn't seem to get to smoke any of the cigarettes he lights...
- Many characters in Bioshock, in deference to both its Ayn Rand influence and its time period. The main character is smoking on an airplane in the opening sequence, and given the look of the air so is everyone else, totally in-line with 1960. There are cigarettes and cigars everywhere on Rapture, where personal freedom is tantamount to the fact that it's a closed environment with no ready access to fresh air.
- Indeed, you can grab both cigars and cigarettes from the environment and smoke them, for a small boost to your EVE - costing you only an equally-small price in Health.
- Ditto for Bioshock Infinite. Everyone smoked in the 1910s, and Booker's no exception. Elizabeth also picked up smoking by the time at Burial at Sea.
- Smoking was casually wide-spread in Fallout 3 wasteland settlements, and there didn't seem to be any character consistency behind it. A look through the G.E.C.K. revealed why: almost every NPC who wanders will cross an idle-point where they will run an idle animation for smoking. It's interesting that these were all placed outside, which is why the Vault dwellers and Enclave are never seen smoking, neither are Moira or the Doc, since they never go outside. Some players believe that Jericho smokes more if given cigarettes, but he cycles through the idle anim at random, though not as often as he randomly complains about there not being enough cigarettes around.
- Cass and Boone in Fallout: New Vegas don't just idle on smoking, it's their full-time job from which they break from only to kill things. These are the two most Badass and jaded Anti Heros.
- The Spy from Team Fortress 2 carries around a cigarette case (that doubles as a disguise kit), and is often shown smoking in official videos, artwork, etc.
- However, as a result of his smoking, he snorts when he laughs, intentionally decreasing the cool factor.
- Due to its film noir roots, almost everyone in Grim Fandango smokes. Lampshaded in the manual: "If you are offended by the amount of smoking in the game, remember that everyone who smokes is dead. Think about it."
- Bill from Left 4 Dead is always smoking. When he dies, the cigarette is still in his mouth, but the fire on the end goes out.
- Inverted with Dante of the Devil May Cry series. He's as badass as you can get, but his creator intentionally made him a non-smoker, because he thinks it's cooler.
- Ninja Theory, the developer in charge of the reboot, don't think so. Cigarettes are a prominent part of Dante's new design.
- Baron Flynt in Borderlands has a doobie. It's medicinal.
- In Mafia II, Vito Scaletta is shown lighting up in several cutscenes, as well as the other characters and various encountered non-player characters. One of the chapters involves a stolen cigarette truck.
- Resident Evil:
- In Touhou, the only character who even smokes in fanon is Mokou, a Mystical White Haired girl who plays with fire. For some reason, this smoking habit is derived from her mentioning tobacco in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, and fans took this as her smoking IS HOT. Not that this would affect her, since she's immortal.
- In Hopeless Masquerade, Mamizou is shown smoking.
- Subverted in Ace Attorney Investigations with hard-boiled veteran detective Tyrell Badd, who looks like he has a cigarette in his mouth... until he takes it out and it's really a lollipop.
- No one looks cooler with a cig in his mouth than Special Agent Francis York Morgan.
- It also makes time move faster in-game. So York literally just stands around for an hour, looking cool while smoking a cigarette.
- In Red Dead Redemption, John Marston can be seen lighting up occasionally.
- Sam Gideon from Vanquish smokes cigarettes, often at improbably awesome times (like when he's hanging from a ledge over an endless drop by one hand), and can even use them in combat - smoking a cig and then throwing it out from behind cover will draw the heat- and motion-sensors of the Mecha-Mooks, letting you get in a free shot or two.
- The cybernetically-enhanced Colonel Badass, Robert Burns, also smokes heavily, and can be seen lighting one up whenever you leave him idling at the end of a section for more than a few seconds.
- Kiryu Kazuma, the badass Yakuza protagonist of the Yakuza series smokes. Depending on the game, he'll light one up when left idling for a bit, or get his cigarette lit by a pretty girl in a Hostess Club. He's even got a Limit Break attack that requires him to light up a cig in the middle of a brawl, allowing him to counter the unfortunate Mook who inevitably attacks him when his guard is seemingly lowered... by spitting the cigarette in the guy's face, and then using the resulting opening to launch a devastating blow.
- In Yakuza 4, the tradition is proudly maintained - all four (badass) protagonists are smokers, though exactly how heavily they smoke varies. Interestingly, it even seems like the more badass of the protagonists, are also the ones that smoke the most...
- Slayer from Guilty Gear smokes a pipe and just to show how Badass he is he blocks with the smoke.
- Baiken is seen smoking a pipe in her pre-battle animation as well.
- Duke Nukem is now smoking as evidenced in the cover art and trailers for Duke Nukem Forever.
- The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 chain smokes. A lot. Fortunately, cancer has been cured by the 22nd century.
- It's actually mentioned that by the time of Mass Effect, cigarettes have been modified to remove all harmful substances. Illusive Man and anyone else who smokes in Mass Effect literally only does it for effect.
- Hilariously averted in one of Zaeed Massani's anecdotes:
Zaeed: You smoke, Shepard? Don't. That stuff'll kill you. Knew a kid once, half your age. Smoked too close to a cache of explosives. Tossed a butt, blew himself sky-high.
- Captain Price from the Call of Duty (and Modern Warfare) series. Even though he smokes cigars often, the most prominent point is that the first playable mission in Modern Warfare, "Crew Expendable", begins with him smoking as the SAS prepare to board the cargo ship, while the final mission, "Dust To Dust", of Modern Warfare 3 has him light one up right after he survives a helicopter crash and hangs Makarov. Soap has a cigar in "Modern Warfare 2" during "Cliffhanger", and the cover to his comic series shows Ghost lighting up too.
- In L.A. Noire, every character smokes extensively (both cigarettes and cigars), except the protagonist Cole Phelps. If you stand around doing nothing, your partner will light up a cigarette. Of course, they're all members of the LAPD in 1947, so Phelps is the odd bird for not smoking.
- Parodied in Steve Van Helsing: Process Server where the title character is a non-smoker but lights a cigarette at "particularly cool moments." He also wears a leather jacket practically all the time, even in Egypt.
- It's never seen in the games game, but Yu Suzuki envisioned Sarah Bryant of Virtua Fighter as a smoker.
- The protagonist of Sluggish Morss likes to puff on some sort of cigarette-type thing, apparently.
- Starcraft II: Jim Raynor, Matt Horner and Tychus Findlay all smoke big manly cigars, but Jim is seen to smoke cigarettes as well. He even has a pack in his shirt sleeve as part of his cutscene model.
- In the first game, Firebats smoked inside their helmets.
- In the PC Engine CD port of Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force, Chico Rodrigues, the pilot of Hound Dog, is seen smoking during the intro and has a cigarette in his hand in his character select portrait.
- Hojo Ujiyasu from Samurai Warriors is regularly seen smoking a clay pipe in cutscenes and is widely seen as a Bad Ass Cool Old Guy in the vein of Big Boss.
- Jack Cayman from MadWorld has a cigarette seemingly permanently attached to his mouth. It stays planted firmly in his lips through all the back-breaking, decapitating, limb-severing, impaling, and frying that he does to all his enemies.
- Sheriff Bigby Wolf from The Wolf Among Us smokes like a chimney. In fact, so do most other people; smoking is a major motif in the game, with many Dialogue Tree options revolving around it (e.g., lighting someone's cigarette to show kindness or affection, blowing smoke in someone's face to show defiance, etc). A major Running Gag is Bigby's habit of smoking Huff 'n Puffs, a cheap and notoriously crappy brand of cigarettes; he's apparently "the only one who smokes that crap brand." As explained in Fables, the comic series it's based on, Bigby smokes to dull his otherwise intrusively sensitive sense of smell.
- Mokepon features Atticus Brent, a normal teenager living in the Pokémon world and generally being confused by all the insane people and logic within it. He is also a chain smoker who survives mainly on a diet of cheap jerky and cigarettes. This is not an understatement, when he finishes a cigarette, he pops it into his mouth, chews the still smoking butt and swallows it.
- Captain Jordan Lee from Skins is shown almost always smoking. She casually lights up in the Director's office (possibly as a sign of contempt when her boss questions one of Jordan's military decisions) and ignores a Non-smoking sign in a hospital ward and continues smoking around her comatose boyfriend. To be fair, he is a werewolf so presumably it takes a little bit more than mere cigarette smoke to harm him.
- The One Electronic, in the webcomic Rice Boy, is a trench coat wearing ancient agent of God, who smokes. Never mind that he is a robot, and has no mouth.
- Narbonic completely subverts this - the start of Dave Davenport's long, hard voyage towards being something more than "an awkward nerd" is marked by him dropping the habit of smoking, despite having always been (or not. It's complicated) such a compulsive smoker that if you took the cigarette out of his mouth a new one instantaneously materialized.
- Mandatory Roller Coaster explicitly states that "teenagers are right" and smoking is cool.
- Ronin Galaxy: Giancarlo doesn’t just smoke, or chain-smoke, he chain smokes cigars. Probably leading him to look Older Than They Think. Taylor points this out.
- The Pogs from Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire are probably the least Bad Ass race of science fiction history. They are a race of small lizard-likes who are allied with the humans, doing all the odd jobs we find too mundane or monotonous, but still need to be done by a sentient. Smoking even makes them look Bad Ass. See attached
- Three of the four main cast, and the vast majority of the secondary cast of Cry Havoc smoke, nearly all are battle hardened mercenaries so they tend to prefer cigarettes.
- Gurren Lagann fancomic DOUBLE K pictures Kamina with a cigarette in his mouth any panel he isn't actively doing something awesome.
- In Silent Hill: Promise the protagonist, Vanessa Sunderland, smokes Lucky Strikes. The supposed cool factor is lampshaded.
- In Homestuck, Snowman smokes from a cigarette holder - which is also sometimes a lance.
- See also Cronus Ampora, who keeps a cigarette on his lips at all times as part of his Greaser Delinquent shtick. However, despite that, it's made clear cigarettes are not something his species is familiar with, and he doesn't understand why you would light one on fire.
- Used very briefly in El Goonish Shive. Mr. Verres smokes for two strips to establish his badassery then the cigarette disappears for the rest of the scene and is only seen once after that.
- Elf Blood has a few smoking characters, generally to the point of Oral Fixation. Shanna and Carlita are both competent roguish fistfighters, while Gipsy is a malevolent, manipulative bitch.
- In Wizard School Graham cuts class to smoke cigarettes - and then puts them to good use on snobby children who make fun of his magical scar.
- In Moon Crest 24 Chris smokes, but not to be cool. In fact he says he hates it.
- In Rusty and Co., the princess. Though Mimic points out that monsters hunt by smell.
- After minus brings the Jerk Ass red-head ghost Back from the Dead, shenote takes up smoking, as shown here.
- Mona Montrois in C'est la Vie is a French exile in Los Angeles. She sees no reason to give up smoking just because her American hosts abominate it, and this has led to clashes between her fierce French birthright - the right to smoke - and various annoyed Americans. Being French, her smoking makes her cool and louche.
- Asa of Hotblood! smokes.
- In China, Korea, and Japan, you aren't considered a man unless you smoke. That includes Kung Fu masters, too.
- Winston Churchill was often seen chomping on a massive cigar. He never actually lit it up except for special occasions, but kept it around because he knew it made him look Bad Ass. There's a famous picture of Churchill looking extremely grumpy because the photographer just snatched the cigar out of his mouth. Oddly enough, Churchill was one of the last members of parliament who actually used the complementary snuff. Smoking has been banned in the main parliament building in Britain for centuries, and the snuff was a way to placate smokers.
- Benedict Cumberbatch's photoshoot for the LA Times. On Tumblr, fans of the actor went absolutely crazy for it- some even saying things like "I don't like smoking but he makes it look sexy."
- The page image for Do Not Do This Cool Thing shows various famous people smoking.
- Frank Zappa, who declared cigarettes to be a food. He died at 52 of prostate cancer.
- The late comedian Bill Hicks was a voracious smoker and frequently invoked this trope in his act, often while admitting that smoking is terrible for you. He died at 32 of pancreatic cancer, which is not apparently smoking related.
- Joe Strummer, who once said no non-smokers or ex-smokers should be allowed to listen to music made by people who smoke. He died at 50 of an unrelated heart defect.
- FDR is often remembered with his aristocratic cigarette holder. He died at 63 of a stroke.
- Adolf Galland enjoyed his cigars so much that he had an ashtray installed in his Messerschmitt Bf-109.
- Douglas Bader used to smoke his pipe in the cockpit of his Spitfire.
- General, later President Ulysses S. Grant went everywhere surrounded by a cloud of cigar smoke. Until he died of throat cancer.
- Anthony Bourdain adored his cigarettes, until he had a kid and quit smoking.
- Stalin's pipe became kind of his signature and a subject of some (rather somber, since he's the goddamn Stalin) jokes about him (check the Russian Humor).
- Tom Waits. Find any image of him with a cigarette and he'll look like a badass.
- Kurt Vonnegut, despite being a writer, had all the badassness you need: Badass Moustache, Badass luck (he lived through the bombing of Dresden, one of the largest bomb raids during WWII) and smoked unfiltered Pall Malls all his adult life. What he said about his smoking habit? "It's a classy way to commit suicide". Irony in that he died of brain injury from the fall in his own apartment at the age of 84.
- Ayn Rand was an avid chain smoker and considered it a desirable part of a heroic lifestyle, which is why all the heroes (and even villains) are heavy smokers in her novels. If you wanted to be part of her inner circle of friends and admirers, smoking was almost a necessity. Unsurprisingly, she developed lung cancer later in her life, though she did not die from it as is sometimes claimed.
- Basically one of the two reasons candy cigarettes exist.
- Morton Downey Jr. "My fear was that I had spawned a generation of kids to think it was cool to smoke a cigarette."
- Ron White, the famous comedian, shows on stage with a cigar in his mouth typically already lit, smokes it on-stage, and has a glass of whiskey nearby that he drinks from. Sometimes he'll use cigarettes instead, which often gets a positive reaction from the Genre Savvy audience when he lights one up.
- Groucho Marx: An iconic smoker.
- George Burns. Went on smoking till he died at the age of 100.
- Bob Dylan, as seen here.
- Nascar drivers David Pearson and Dick Trickle's claim to fame was smoking in their car. It was said that if you saw David Pearson smoking in the car you would be passed. Both drivers had cigarette lighters installed in their cars and made their helmets so they could get the cigarette in their mouth.
- Formula One drivers James Hunt and Keke Rosberg were rarely seen out of the car without a cigarette. Both became World Champions during their careers.
- Anime singer Yukio Yamagata. An ultra growly voice given to him through chain smoking that he is very well known for.
- Japanese singer Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi took up smoking to deliberately invoke this trope. Not in terms of a cool image, but in terms of a cool voice, since he thought his natural was too high and sweet.
- Bob Marley. Smoked joints and is often used as a poster boy for marijuana. A large part of his fanbase enjoys his music equally because it promotes the use of weed.
- Agatha Christie hated smoking, but it was so cool during her age that she forced herself to smoke two cigarettes a day for six months before finally giving up.