"Congratulations, you're officially a badass."
So you're flipping channels looking for something to watch and you come across a battle scene in a familiar show. One character in particular is making a very good showing, doing at least as much as the main character to save the day. But who is this mysterious person in the Badass Longcoat
? Did you miss the episode where he was introduced? Why the nagging feeling of familiarity? And then it hits — you know
this kid. It's just that last time you saw this person, he was a nebbishy wisecracker with the constitution of a glass-jawed squirrel. What happened to transform him so completely? Simple: last time he leveled up
, he took a level in badass
Since this is about Character Development
, that means it doesn't genuinely apply when comparing a character in different adaptations. See Adaptational Badass
If the change is a result of a Face-Heel Turn
, see Superpowered Evil Side
and Redemption Demotion
. If it's a result of a Heel-Face Turn
, then it's a case of Redemption Promotion
. If the change is due to time travel, see Future Badass
. If it is the result of finding a powerful object, see Amulet of Concentrated Awesome
. This can also happen because Prisons Are Gymnasiums
There is also the Super Hero Origin
, where the first story gives some explanation for why they became the badass hero
The reference comes from roleplaying, where it's sometimes possible to "take a level" in a completely different class. For instance: a level ten Fighter could
take a level in Wizard, therefore being both a level ten Fighter and a level one Wizard. The joke is presumably that if Bad Ass
was a class and you could take a level in it, you would thereby become Bad Ass
where you weren't before. Actual RPG classes are, of course, supposed to be balanced so that literally taking one level in something doesn't normally make you greatly more powerful. Blending this with modern gaming, however, one can achieve what is known as "badass grinding", where one takes multiple
levels in badass.
If they were already Badass to begin with and notched it Up to Eleven
by imbuing the previously unpowered character with superpowers, it's Empowered Badass Normal
Compare Obfuscating Stupidity
, Let's Get Dangerous
, Cowardly Lion
, and Not-So-Harmless Villain
, where actually competent characters who have been hiding their powers finally reveal their abilities. Xenafication
is when this happens to The Chick
. Contrast Badass Decay
, when a previously badass character ends up losing this level.
is when the love interest does this, along with becoming much more attractive. Also see Misfit Mobilization Moment
, when a group of losers collectively
takes a level in badass. Related to Dumbass No More
, when the character gains a level in intelligence.
Not to be confused with the British variant Took an A level in Badarse, although you can bet that if that was
a legitimate education option that everyone
would do it. Also not to be confused with Took a Level in Jerkass
, where a normally nice person becomes a bad seed.
Examples go in subpages:
Warning: Examples may contain unmarked spoilers.