The frontiersman and lawyer Daniel Webster gets some of this too. While he has quite a bit of mythology accumulated about him, The Devil and Daniel Webster, he has wandered through multiple media. (The "original" story itself, is based on an older Faustian story, "captured" by the Webster mythos.)
JAM Project can do music for anything on the planet, and regardless how boring it might be, their music will make it HOTBLOODED AND EPIC!
John Petrucci, a time-travelingguitar player, overlord, God who plays guitar so fast that if you go to a Dream Theater concert and come back alive and with your face intact, then you're probably on this list too.
Bruce Lee. Unlike those guys who need "facts" to try to back up their Badass credentials, Bruce Lee needs none of those for people to recognize his awesome.
Depending on which you like more, Garry Kasparov or Bobby Fischer.
Bobby Fischer once won a professional game without moving any piece apart from his pawns.
Paul Morphy. In the words of his contemporary, Adolf Anderssen:
I consider Mr. Morphy the finest chess player who ever existed. He is far superior to any now living, and would doubtless have beaten Labourdonnais himself. In all his games with me, he has not only played, in every instance, the exact move, but the most exact. He never makes a mistake; but, if his adversary commits the slightest error, he is lost.
Morphy was not only an accomplished chessplayer, but also an extremely talented attorney who reportedly had the entire Louisiana civil code committed to memory. He actually regretted that his chessplaying was interfering with his law practice and gave up the game for that reason. Bobby Fischer contended that Paul Morphy probably would have beat him in a head-to-head match.
The Internet has concluded some time ago that David Bowie's crotch (officially titled "The Area") has replaced Azathoth as the Center of The Universe, and encompasses all of reality. It is also the primary source of Bowie's mindblowing powers of awesome.
At fan conventions, there's often a man on the staff known as a "troubleshooter". This job amounts to running around the entire convention all weekend, attending to every single crazy problem that pops up. Those that do this often become Memetic Badasses in their local area/city/state/etc, and rightfully so.
Rahm Emanuel, former Obama administration chief-of-staff, American political operative of legendary action and even more legendary language, current mayor of Chicago, whom the news media, every other political operative in Washington, and Obama himself are incapable of not telling Chuck Norris-style jokes about. The man was nicknamed "The Enforcer" when he worked for Clinton, and once sent a political enemy a dead fish in the mail.
Among people on the left, President Barack Obama himself is considered a Memetic Badass. Just LOOK at all the pictures and gifs of him on Tumblr—singing, dancing, doing the Vulcan salute with Nichelle Nichols (the original Uhura), the man can do it all.
Theodore Roosevelt. A colleague said of him, "Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there'd have been a fight," and he meant it in all seriousness.
One thing worth noting about Roosevelt right off the bat - the guy physically divided two continents by starting the Panama Canal. The truth can be more badass than fiction.
Except he didn't start it, he bought it from the French; they'd simply decided it was impossible. Still badass because he accomplished what people thought couldn't be done.
Colombia, which at that time controlled the land, failed to approve the treaty allowing construction. Roosevelt helped Panama gain independence within three months just so he could build the canal.
Never mind the military record or the big game hunting... this is a man who got shot in the chest by a would-be assassin and proceeded to give his scheduled speech anyway, occasionally waving his bloody hand around for emphasis.
His speech was TWO HOURS long, and its folded pages are what almost stopped the bullet!
Did we mention he had asthma growing up? He did, and after he beat asthma to death, he ate asthma's raw flesh and ran 100 straight miles off the energy it gave him.
Later, he went blind in one eye from boxing, so he decided to do something less dangerous and learned JUDO instead.
While Commander and Chief, Teddy got a letter from some of the military officers complaining about how exhausting the mandatory 2 hours a day of riding training was. His response? The next day, at sunrise, he hopped on a horse and rode from sun up till sun down, thus revoking the rights of anyone to ever complain about anything ever again.
This video has the most accurate explanation of George Washington's badassery.
Andrew Jackson. If Teddy Roosevelt is the Lawful Good Bad Ass among Presidents, Jackson is the Lawful Get-The-Hell-Out-Of-My-Way Badass.
A man named Richard Lawrence approached Jackson with two pistols both of which, for some reason, misfired. ...Jackson proceeded to beat Lawrence near death with his cane until Jackson's aides pulled him off the assassin. The guns were inspected afterwards and it was discovered that they were in perfect working order ... we're pretty sure that the bullets, like everyone else, were simply scared of Jackson.
Andrew Jackson was also shot during a duel and the bullet was unable to be removed. A few years later, during a cabinet meeting that must have been boring, Jackson dug it out of his arm himself with a knife. He then mailed the bullet back to his opponent saying something along the lines of "I believe this belongs to you."
Jackson actually fought over a dozen duels, but the most badass one was when he fought Charles Dickinson, the only man Jackson ever killed in a duel. Apparently, Dickinson not only owed Jackson money for a horse racing debt, but he pushed Jackson's Berserk Button by insulting his wife. Jackson knew he was outclassed as a shot by Dickenson, so when the time came he allowed Dickenson to shoot FIRST; in the process catching a bullet in the chest, which was so close to his heart that doctors just left it there. Meanwhile, Jackson took careful aim while Dickenson was busy trying to reload and proved that it's not necessarily the fastest shot, it's the most accurate one that wins the day.
When Andrew Jackson was elected president, he held a party at the White House. In the morning everybody was passed out drunk on the broken furniture while the maids attempted to clean up the broken windows.
When slavery was restricted in the early 1800's, Southern politicians attempted to implement the legal concepts of 'interposition' and 'nullification' as a way to circumvent Congress. Jackson immediately started rallying troops and declared that he would personally kill the people responsible. The fear people had of Jackson was so intense that the Southerners backed down and the Civil War was delayed by 40 years, by which time the North far outmatched the South economically.
President Abraham Lincoln:
"My experience with Abraham Lincoln is that he is unstoppable".
Red Mage, Twinkin' Out With Red Mage
Gave a speech so awesome the shorthand reporters put down their pencils and forgot to write it down.
On his deathbed it was said his wound would have killed him in an hour if it weren't for his marvelous musculature.
Defeated the most popular union general (who was offered a crown by his troops) in the 1864 election by taking 70% of the soldier vote.
Lawrence personified this trope throughout the remainder of his life, being hounded by exaggerated tales of his exploits and turning down offers to star in movies dramatizing his tale.
Lawrence, an enlisted British officer fresh from the war front, insisted on being received by the King of England in flowing white Arab robes with dagger and headdress. The King of England, a notorious stuck-up when it came to protocol and dress, deigned not to say anything.
He personally orchestrated a Middle East Peace Deal over tea between the future leader of Israel and the Prince of Mecca. It fell apart due to British meddling, but the terms of the resulting napkin agreement are still being fought over as Canon in the mideast peace process.
In general, T. E. Lawrence is one of the few men who managed to gain this sort of status by wishing it upon himself. He lived his life convinced he was nothing less than a hero like the ones in the classical epics he had read and loved in his youth, and other people were so spellbound by his charisma and self-assuredness that they just sort of rolled with it.
Speaking of which, in To Hellholes And Back, gonzo travel writer Chuck Thompson has this to say about Richard Burton:
In 1879, at the age of fifty-eight, African explorer and scholar Sir Richard Burton — easily among the top twenty stallions ever to trod the earth — was set upon by thugs in Alexandria. Biographer Edward Rice wrote of the incident: "In the old days Burton would have knocked his assailants' heads together, or even better, killed them... Getting rolled by scofflaws was a disheartening turning point in Burton's career. The valiant participant in unspeakable sexual rituals of the African jungle; the mighty linguist who'd written dictionaries and translated ancient poetry; the first Englishman to pierce the secret world of Mecca... being denied promotion by pissant bureaucrats back in Old Blighty and spending his golden years with a harpy Victorian wife bent on payback for years of neglect certainly didn't do anything to salvage the old wolf's pride.
Simo Häyhä is generally considered the greatest killing machine in the history of the human race. The scary part is that this is entirely justified. He's estimated to have killed over an average of 7 Russian soldiers every day for almost one hundred days until he was shot in the face by a high-powered rifle in the last week of the war. Simo Häyhä survived because he's Simo Häyhä. And made a full recovery. One could say he's the freakin' courier, but that would imply the latter is cooler, so it's the other way around instead.
At one point they tried carpet-bombing his location. It didn't work.
After being shot in the face, he grabbed his own gun and killed his attacker before passing out.
As Badass of the Week said, peace was declared the day he woke up from being shot in the face, clearly causing the Russians to just give up and call it off.
And he wasn't shot in the face with a normal round, no. He was shot in the face with an explosive round which would've killed another person if it as much as hit their chest.
Please note: As unbelievable and as "Chuck Norris Facts" as these things sound, they actually happened. The Russians sent counter-snipers against him, he sniped them. The Russians used artillery strikes against him, he just kept sniping. The Russians tried carpet-bombing him and basically marching so many men forward he couldn't kill them all. He killed them all.
One must also take note that, during the first days, he was using an older rifle without using a telescopic sight (so he couldn't be counter-sniped), heading into the woods with little food and ammo. He also stuffed snow in his mouth so his breath couldn't be seen, which would sound stupid except for the fact that it worked.
Related: Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, the commander-in-chief of Finland's military. He started with a long and highly-successful career in the Russian Army. At the very beginning of Finland's independence, he was its regent during the period when they weren't sure whether to be a monarchy or democracy, and some people actually wanted to make him king. Between the wars, he hunted man-eating tigers in India, and refused an offer to make him dictator of Finland. He fought three wars in six years — two against the USSR, one against Germany. And then he became President, and talked the Soviets out of taking over Finland even though Finland had just lost the war. Finland's flag day is his birthday, and its highest medal is the Mannerheim Cross.
During the 2012 Finnish presidential campaign, supporters of Pekka Haavisto created a meme of his Facts, including...
Pekka Haavisto does not use a comb. He negotiates the tangles out of his hair.
Pekka Haavisto finds a reasonably priced cafe in Helsinki.
Pekka Haavisto does not shovel snow. He opens the door and smiles warmly in the desired direction.
Pekka Haavisto hit a roadside bomb in Irak. Today the bomb is working as an alarm clock in Iisalmi.
Pekka Haavisto bit a vampire. In the morning the vampire got up, bought a Prius, put on a suit and tie, and experienced a desire to donate blood.
Also on the WW2 front, Otto Skorzeny, due less to his real life accomplishments, standard military Badass though they may be, and more to embellishments using comic book and movie portrayals as being equally historically accurate, on Norris-y themed history threads. The scars certainly didn't hurt the manliness factor none. On the strategic side, Manstein and Patton also receive this treatment, while Russians are depicted as wishing to be this, but also fearing Stalin's reputed paranoia and deciding costly Pyrrhic Victory and near-failure is a better option than being assassinated for appearing more competent than the Iron Man of Russia.
Georgi Zhukov would definitely qualify on the Soviet side. Stalin had to be content with exiling him because killing him would have prompted an army mutiny he couldn't contain. The threat of a Zhukov personality cult would haunt every Soviet premier up to Brezhnev (who tried to insert himself into Zhukov's autobiography in hopes that Zhukov's badassery would rub off on be credited to him!)
Strangely, America's chief badass Audie Murphy gets little recognition in these sorts of contests, likely because he had nothing to promote, and felt no moral obligation to uphold his achievements like Lindburgh, preferring to fade away once the requisite movie was over and done with.
He's not well known as a Bad Ass because he was so much of a Bad Ass that you can't make jokes about him, because anything you could think of as a joke, he really did. And then he'd punch you in the nuts with a burning tank. Seriously, just go read his entry on The Other Wiki, the guy is a real-life Wolverine.
What gets me is his method of dealing with drug addiction; during the 60's, he used Placidyl to deal with his PTSD. When he realized he'd become addicted to the pills, he didn't go to rehab, he didn't use more, he locked himself in a motel room and went cold turkey for a week.
Audie Murphy is also responsible for there being any PTSD funding by the federal government. Congress thought most of the folks testifying were either just trying to get funding for their own programs or to justify their cowardice, until the biggest hero of the war made it OK to talk about the Bad Dreams and removed the stigma of PTSD in one speech.
According to That Other Wiki: "Murphy had always wanted to be a soldier, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he tried to enlist, but the Army, Navy and Marine Corps all turned him down for being underweight and underage." He...is...Captain America
In a World .... where movie studios .... spend hundreds of millions on special effects .... but forty-five cents on a script .... one man .... must generate hype .... and keep the viewers coming back .... He was.... Don LaFontaine. AKA Mr. Voice.
In answer to the rhetorical question, the one thing duct tape can't do is fix ducts.
You're just not using enough duct tape.
One of the most frightening human beings (?) in the Dresdenverse, Kincaid, uses duct tape for bandages.
Kincaid isn't a human being, he's a HELLHOUND.
For the record, that's known as a "Boy Scout Bandaid." Always prepared indeed.
Also useful because when you get a cut while doing something, you dont have time to sit around, and a normal bandaid wont stay on when you're moving. so you duct tape it on.
Duct tape is fine and all, but there is one thing place where duct tape must bow to its superior: theatre. In a theatre, gaff tape reigns supreme. It can be used to fix costumes, hold set pieces together, bundle cables, hold gels to instruments without catching them on fire, etc. The list goes on and on. And all while coming in a stylish black color that goes with everything.
A normal, everyday pilot and aviation safety expert is so cool under pressure, he lands an Airbus A320 with 155 passengers aboard in the Hudson River in such a manner that emergency teams were able to save every single person on the plane. The Internet, unfortunately, has yet to give Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III a list of Chuck Norris-esque facts. He's receiving plenty of attention in national media, though, and has plenty of Facebook fan clubs. It's only a matter of time.
The Internet bows its head in shame; nothing we can ever make up will be as awesome as what he already did.
Henrik Wergeland - already considered the most badass poet to ever live in Norway. Producing 30 volumes of text over a rather short life span (abt 17 years of mature production), while constantly travelling Norway, helping the poor, running errands for them, and on top of it all, getting into exhausting court cases, while he even managed to have a steady job! He must have been a badass writer, or the fastest producer of text Norway has ever known. To this, add his iron health, his agility and his temper. The memetic mutation began shortly after his early death: he has ridden his horse up a stairway inside a house, to greet his host in the ballroom while still on horseback - he is said to have had sex with a girl in public - while riding his horse, and later, to have ridden on the rainbow across Norway`s greatest lake. Memetic Badass indeed.
By all accounts, Charles Lindbergh suffered through the 1920s version of this after his 1927 solo flight from New York to Paris. Facing cheering crowds and nosy reporters wherever he went, Lindbergh became more and more withdrawn, despite using his fame to promote commercial aviation.
What he did to keep himself awake on that flight earns him this trope in and of itself. Lindbergh brought two sandwiches and a thermos of coffee for the entirety of the flight, and when he ran out of coffee proceeded to punch himself in the face until he woke up.
US Congressman and Frontiersman David "Davy" Crockett in his own time as well as today. Famed for doing any number of things, including catching, killing and skinning a bear at the age of three.
Gackt; he does not feel the fiyah. The fiyah feels Gackt. No, seriously. This is a man who has, at most 10% body fat, although its usually closer to 7%. He runs on two to three hours of sleep a night, trains several hours a day, and can pull his legs apart more than 180 degrees. Has a dojo in his house, has played the most badass warlord ever (Uesugi Kenshin), is the inspiration for countless anime and manga characters, and his image or name is found in at least six games. He is actually a vampire, who can walk around in the daytime because the Sun is scared shitless of him. Oh, and he survived a second almost-drowning incident in the Okinawa Sea when he remembered at the edge of death that he hadn't gotten laid in a month, proceeded to snap out of it, and swam like a madman through dangerous waters back to shore. One assumes that as soon as he regained consciousness the next day he got laid immediately.
Gackt vs Demon Kogure. Will the universe survive to see the winner, or will it be Superboy Prime all over again?
Yoshiki More musical talent than Gackt, plays any instrument known to man (including once being able to hit over 800bpm on drums), programs music, has survived the deaths of family members and friends alike, has played through major illness and injury, is coming back to the stage after having had surgery on his neck.... and still looks good in a wedding dress. Oh and he's bigger there too.
Velociraptors were small, probably somewhat intelligent carnivorous dinosaurs from Mongolia that would seem unremarkable compared to their larger cousins. However, largely due to Jurassic Park labeling its oversized, hyperintelligent killing machines "Velociraptor" due to a naming mistake (and the Ruleof Cool) and to a lesser extent, a Running Gag in xkcd, has firmly established them on the same level as the Zombie Apocalypse in terms of things to be feared. Also, when your garden-variety fascist enforcer can't find a T-rex to ride, they'll default to these bad boys, as opposed to heroic characters who favour large jungle cats (He-Man, the Norsemen with Japanese samurai voices in Thundercats, Siegfried and Roy, to name a few).
For that matter, George Zimmer's 50-pack-a-day voice and confident look inspired a whole series of paragraphs written in the first person (usually in all caps) mostly emphasizing his... uh... virility. Every single one of them, like his ads, end in the phrase "I guarantee it."
This video gives all the true facts about him. For example, the Sun only rises because Morgan Freeman narrated it in his dreams.
Ben Afleck once did an imitation of Morgan Freeman at his request. After seeing it, Morgan Freemon told Afleck he would kill him if he ever did it again. Yes, Morgan Freeman threatened Batman.
Marc Summers. He played host to Double Dare (1986), one of the messiest game shows to ever air on TV. He also has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, meaning that he is obsessed with cleanliness and order. It's so amazing that he stuck through his job for seven years.
If it's any indication, Nostalgia Critic gave him the "Dude, You've Got Balls" award!
Sgt. Alvin York: They had the whole thing with clucking like a turkey in the Gary Cooper movie because people wouldn't have even believed the real version. The man stood up in the middle of the forest while a machine gunners nest was shooting at him and tearing up EVERYTHING BUT HIM. He ultimately captured over 80 Germans almost single highhandedly.
Nikola Tesla. He invented alternating current and had some crazy ideas rattling around his head. He's since become a stock figure for producing insanely advanced mad science in period pieces.
Did you know that Tesla actually came up with a device that could generate earthquakes? One day, the entire city block that his apartment was on became the epicenter of an earthquake that showed no signs of letting up. The police rushed up to his room, where they found him smashing his device to bits with a sledgehammer. His explanation for the whole debacle? "The switch got stuck."
In his display at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, he shot lightning from his fingertips and lit up bulbs just by touching them.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Aron Ralston. The man spent five days with his arm crushed under a boulder, which he spent slowly using up his water and eventually resorted to drinking his own urine. But just when he was ready to die, Ralston in his brilliantly delirious mind decided to sever his own arm to escape from the boulder... using a dull knife... that came free with a flashlight he bought. You don't want to hear the details of the process, but eventually Ralston separated from his already dead arm and then had to rappel down a 65-foot sheer wall, then hike out of the canyon in the unbearably hot sun. Since then he has become known as such a badass that Stanford University invented the "The Aron Ralston MAN GAME."
And to top it off, he went back to mountain climbing after he had his missing hand replaced with a fucking climbing axe.
Billy Mays was truly a hero. His blue collared work shirt became legend. He cleaned shirts. Like, cleaned them so good, you couldn't tell they were stained. And he gave us amazing glue and hooks and other sort of cleaning supplies. You may think badass is about the kung fu and kicking of asses, but sometimes it's about having an awesome, clean, functional house. Betcha you can't hang a bowling ball from your coat rack. Billy Mays could have.
Plus he gets an extra 100 bonus points... multiplied by 2 and then squared for selling stuff that actually worked. And if it didn't, you'd still buy it BECAUSE THAT SCREAMING VOICE MIGHT AS WELL BE ORDERS FROM GOD HIMSELF.
Speaking of, his voice could be heard over a vuvuzela. That's pretty badass.
The man's unhinge his jaw and swallow a Volkswagen whole.
According to that video he's apparently even defeated Chuck Norris and took his head.
Notice that the song almost seemingly goes out of its way to avoid bringing up Brett Somers. She was his Kryptonite.
There's another verse to the song that isn't in the video, but is on the album:
"Charles Nelson Reilly sold his toenail clippings as a potent aphrodisiac. He ran a four-minute mile blindfolded, with an engine block strapped to his back. He can eat more frozen waffles than any other man I know. Once he fell off the Chrysler Building and he barely even stubbed his toe."
Guan Yu, from China's Three Kingdoms period, known for such feats of awesomeness that he was deified as the God of War and Brotherhood, and worshiped to this day.
And he invented the guan dao, one of the most awesome weapons in history. It's a massive, curved blade on a pole which can slice the legs out from under a horse.
The Three Kingdoms period is chocked full of memetic badasses! Special mention should go to Lü Bu, among whose accomplishments includes killing over 1,000 men in a single battle! Or Xiahou Dun, who was shot in the eye with an arrow only to pull it out with eye attached and ate it to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies! Some stories say he then ATE IT. Their deeds are so legendary they have their own video game!
Zhuge Liang was outmaneuvered once. He commanded his men to hide, opened the gates of his fortress, and sat up on the walls playing music. The enemy commander chose to retreat, because Zhuge Liang never bluffs.
Jonathan Coulton's song Kenesaw Mountain Landis is about the man who saved baseball. According to Coulton, he was 17 feet tall and had 150 wives. He also shot a cheating player's finger off with a rifle from a blimp.
The player should have kept his bird to himself.
Thanks to his "performance" at the VMA, Kanye West has become a Memetic Interrupter.
For connoisseurs of late '70s and 1980s Hong Kong action cinema, Hwang Jang Lee is held in almost universal fear and awe. The fact that he killed a challenger with one kick during his days in the South Korean army may have something to do with it. (That Hwang acted in pure self defense, and killed the man unintentionally, does absolutely nothing to diminish this.)
Jon Stewart gives us a computer simulation of the Navy's recent rescue of the hostages, and the SEALs precision deployment of triple-simultaneous DEATH onto some pirate skulls.
The British Army's Special Air Service . Inspiration and model for the U.S. Army's Delta Force
General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck. Quoting The Other Wiki: German colonial officer, East Africa. Remained undefeated right through the Great War, while being outmanned, outgunned, and cut off from Germany and resupply. Appointed black officers. Has been referred to as leading the single greatest guerilla operation in modern history. Was offered an ambassadorship to Great Britain by Hitler, but refused (seemingly out of a dislike of Hitler). Impressed his Great War foes enough that he got sent food packages by some of them after WW2.
Kathy Bates. Her reputation for being "difficult" is legendary, but it somehow hasn't hurt her film career.
John Smeaton, Glasgow airport baggage handler, who, when the airport was attacked by Muslim terrorists, kicked one of them in the groin so hard that he sprained his own foot. Even better, he didn't allow the fact that the man was, at the time, ON FIRE slow him down. When asked by TV news if he had a message for the terrorists, he said "This is Glasgow; we'll set aboot ye."
Smeaton's no a ninja, he's a fookin' Scot! They practice the ancient, mystical Scottish martial art of Fuk Ye!
Adam Hills used this to sum up why Scotland in general should never be a terrorist target: "How tough do you have to be to watch a car plough into the side of a building, on fire, a guy gets out in flames and runs across the terminal - and you go "Fuckin' watch this!"
And Frankie Boyle (himself a Scot) used it as an example of what Scots are like: Scotland is the only place in the world where a flaming man would be punched to the ground instead of being given medical attention.
At least amongst their own little cult, Playful Hackersphoenix and silveromega have recieved this treatment. Whenever a major incident in computer security happened, a common response amongst ex-Unionists is to say "It was The Silv, for shits and giggles." Phoenix, the more charismatic "white hat", is normally thought of to be a combination of people; whenever someone does something sufficiently awesome (in computer programming), one common explanation is "He's secretly phoenix" or "She's secretly phoenix".
Hiroshi Fujioka is in his 60's, still in top physical form, was Kamen Rider 1, Segata Sanshiro, and is head of the UFDA. He has many times stated that he'd gladly be any of these people again. He also has an asteroid named after him. What truly badasses it is that he puts a comma at the end of his name to remind himself that he could still do more.
U.S. Marines-Over 260 U.S. Marines have received the medal of honor for crazy shit like throwing themselves on top of grenades to save their buddies or charging a machine gun nest with bayonets...and winning before dying.
Two of them (Daniel Daly), (Smedley Butler) received it twice and survived both times. The Marines also impressed the Germans in WWI to the point the German Army considered them Elite Grade Storm Troopers.
The most bad Marine of all time is Chesty Puller. When the Marines were surrounded in Chosin Reservoir, he was glad they had found the enemy and were surrounded. It made it easier for him to get them. He also led the most bad ass division of the Marine Corps, the 1st Marine Division. Chesty Puller is considered the Memetic Badass among US Marines.
Chesty Puller was an commissioned Lieutenant around the end of World War I, but was put into the inactive list thanks to the military being scaled back down after the war. He then left and reapplied as a Private, fought in Haiti for five years and left as a Commissioned Lieutenant again. Yes, he demoted himself all the way back to private so he could fight, and then fought all the way back up to Lieutenant.
Sgt. 1st Class Ernest R. Kouma, United States Army. During the Second Battle of Naktong Bulge in the Korean Conflict, he single-handedly killed approximately 250 North Korean soldiers with his machine gun. That's more enemies than Audie Murphy killed in his entire career in a single action. Despite being wounded and ordered to evacuate, he twice requested to return to the front lines. After that, winning the Medal of Honor was a formality.
You cannot defeat or tie the IDF. You can only hope they're in a merciful mood.
Not to start a Flame War over which is better, but the AK-47 has gained a reputation for being nigh indestructible. One could leave it in mud, pull it out and start firing. Too bad the creator lives in relative poverty, on a Russian army pension.
The Soviet service rifle predecessor, the Mosin-Nagant (especially the most common variant, the 91/30), has achieved this reputation among civilian shooters to a degree unmatched by virtually any rifle. It's even simpler and tougher than the AK (being a bolt-action rifle), fires a cartridge that breaks cinderblocks in half, comes with a foot-long spike bayonet that could skewer a bear, and is extremely inexpensive and easy to acquire due to the Soviets storing millions of them in preparation for World War III, which they promptly sold off after they lost the Cold War. The heavy weight (about 10 pounds loaded and with the bayonet and sling attached), powerful cartridge, large size (it's taller than many girls with the bayonet attached), and steel buttplate on a thick wooden stock lead to the opinion that it's designed purely for a Husky Russkie. It's not uncommon for users to begin speaking in terrible Fake Russian accents and spearing everything around with the attached bayonet (it always comes with the bayonet) as soon as they get their hands on it.
The Toyota Hilux. It was advertised as unbreakable and the Top Gear guys put it through a variety or tortures including leaving it tied to a wharf during a few tide cycles and leaving it on the roof of an apartment block mid-demolition - it still ran and was driven into the studio! Toyota has since released a model named "Invincible".
Michael Phelps doesn't swim - he beats the shit out of the water until it takes him where he wants to go.
R. Lee Ermey will unscrew your head and shit down your neck!
Kilroy was here. According to one tale, the original Kilroy was the inspector of a shipyard that built American supply ships. On each part he inspected, he would write "Kilroy Was Here". When the ships were put together, this graffiti would end up in bizarre places that appear unreachable. When the enemy captured these ships and saw "Kilroy Was Here" in such bizarre places and in such huge numbers, they began to think Kilroy was some sort of American superspy.
Another version is that he was a riveter, and he marked the end of his rivets for the day with his iconic graffiti so that the next guy couldn't erase his mark and move it back a few rivets to get paid more.
Throughout the 2010 NHL Playoffs, Blackhawks rookie goalie Antti Niemi quickly earned a reputation as unstopple force of nature. With the Hawks now winning the Stanley Cup, it won't be long until everyone in the world knows that when you try and score on him, NIEMI SAYS NO!
Both Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews for their Old Spice commercials. Bonus points for displaying an example of a two-person trope even though they've never appeared in the same commercial. That's how badass they are.
Dario Wünsch, is StarCraft II pro-player. Known as The Little One or "TLO" for short, during screencasts does things that are daring and/or ridiculous and can get away with it "because he's TLO"
Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Munchausen saw many books published during his lifetime that exaggerated his exploits to an extraordinary degree, making him quite possibly the Ur-Example of this trope. He's the namessake for the trope The Munchausen, and has several movies highlightng the absurdity of his exploits, not the least of which being Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. It's also worth noting that the real Baron Munchausen that these storys were attributed to, hated these stories because they made him look like a braggart at best and a lunatic at worst.
For BYU students who don't care about sports, Jimmer-mania makes you want to punch a baby.
Pythagoras counts: Guys like Aristotle had really strange ideas about what could Pythagoras do. For example, they would say that Pythagoras could travel through time, talk to animals, write in the moon and other things...
China's city ordinance managers, police in charge of busting up illegal peddlers, have developed a reputation for extreme zealousness. This in turn led them to be branded as China's secret weapon by netizens who want them deployed everywhere from foreign wars to malfunctioning Japanese nuclear reactors.
Among many of his fans, Christopher Lee is thought of like this. Want evidence? Go and read the comments of this youtube video. He seems to be older and more cultured version of Chuck Norris. The fact that he really is amazingly talented in a lot of different areas (as shown on his page) just backs it up.
Do you know what sound a man makes when he's stabbed in the back with a dagger, for real? Christopher Lee does.
When most people turn 90, they start shopping for caskets. Christopher Lee makes a heavy metal album.
Christopher Lee played Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. In real life, he was one of the people the character of James Bond was based on (British Intelligence agents).
Pippa Middleton, that is to say, Kate Middleton's sister. When an ass trends on Twitter, you know it is unquestionably a bad ass.
Michelle Rodriguez once had a choice of going to prison or doing community service. She chose prison, because it was less of a pain in the ass!
Yam Ah Mee, the man who announced the results for the Singapore General Elections, is fast turning into one with the netizens of Singapore because of his deadpan delivery.
Vladimir Putin. The more hands-on type of leader. The Badass kind. The kind that can love you and kill you at the same time.
You know your leader is awsome when a picture of you shirtless is featured in TIME. Take that, Obama!
Acknowledged on The Colbert Report, where Colbert showed a video of Putin punching out an asteroid about to hit Russia wearing army pants and, of course, shirtless.
Jack Palance gained newfound fame thanks to his role inFilm/ City Slickers playing a bad ass with one-liners that probably inspired the Chuck Norris meme. He earned an Academy Award for the part, and celebrated by doing push-ups on stage...at age 73. The following year Crystal came on stage to host the show on a giant Oscar statue that Palance was pulling by his teeth.
Jack Palance: Billy Crystal... I crap bigger than him.
Plains Indians tend to fall into this trope. So do the Apaches. Just look at the list of American Indian protagonists in comics: Inevitably Sioux, Cheyenne, or Apache.
You know why you never want to wage a land war in Asia? Genghis Khan is why.
Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes are why there's that Great Wall of China. Which is a memetic badass STRUCTURE (e.g. "It's the only man-made thing that can be seen from space."). China was so afraid of the Mongols that it built a HUGE FUCKING WALL to keep them out. That's how badass Genghis Khan and the Mongols were.
Actually, the Great Wall was built in 200-something BC. And it was built against Hunnic Turks, not Mongols. Unless Genghis Khan was a time traveller, of course.
It was originally built in the 2nd century BCE. It was rebuilt, strengthened, and enlarged to keep out the Mongols. And it didn't work. It can't really be seen from space (by the naked eye), either — but several other manmade things can.
Kazimierz Piechowski, a Polish soldier during World War II. Along with three other men, he escaped from Auschwitz. Yes, that Auschwitz. How they did it? They stole uniforms and a car (belonging to Rudolf Hess himself!) and drove out. The best part? They were unlucky and a guard post was standing on their way. Piechowski, fluent in German, proceeded to flip the fuck out in German on the guardsmen and they let them through. BAD. ASS.
It's also speculated that his spectacular escape inspired the Nazis to tattoo the prisoners.
Horatio Nelson doesn't need an arm or an eye to smash the Spanish and French. At the same time.
Miyamoto Musashi. Founder of a style of swordsmanship, undefeated samurai warrior, widely considered Kensei, author of a book of philosophy and tactics that is still read and, according to legend, killed a man in a duel with a bokken he carved himself from an oar he carried to the island. Yeah.
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw reached this status within DAYS of getting called up from the AHL after a fight 2 seconds into his first shift and 5 goals in his first 9 games. #ShawFacts quickly ascended and now Chuck Norris wears Andrew Shaw pajamas.
If Mike Tyson starts losing a match he'll eat the ear of his opponent to win!
King St. Ladislaus of Hungary. Probably the only christian saint who's been attributed "miracles" like splitting a mountain in half (the hagiographys insist it was through prayer though), or coming back from the dead as a giant animated statue to fight mongols.
And... why has it taken this long for Liam Neeson's Beard to get mentioned? Liam Neeson's Beard isn't made of hair. Liam Neeson's Beard is pure adamantium. Seriously. Not even Darth Maul's Lightsaber could cut through Liam Neeson's Beard. note The joke arises from a deleted scene (which for some reason is not on YouTube yet) of a scene from the Phantom Menace where Neeson, when practicing choreography with MacGregor and Park, didn't quite duck out of the way in time from an oncoming blow from Park's metal pole, which would later be edited to become his lightsaber, and it passed through the beard he had grown for the movie. The studio added the visual and audio effects anyway, and a video was created of a red lightsaber passing through Liam Neeson's Beard without it being harmed.
Giuseppe Garibaldi. The saint patron of ragtag misfits, he was able to take unexperienced young man and turn them in a army. His exploits include (but are in no way limited to): defending the city of Montevideo from a siege (after the Uruguayan army had been crushed) with an army formed only by immigrants and recently freed-slaves... for nine years! And winning, causing the fall of two dictators; invading and conquering a country (Kingdom of Two Sicilies) with little more than a thousand men, and ending the campaign with an army of thirty thousands (he recruited most of the troops sent against him); escaping from his island, where he was being watched by nine ships, and then crossing Sardegna on a horse in a night and a day without stopping from resting...at sixty.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker will shovel your driveway personally if you can't. And if you get caught in a burning building, he will run through a wall of fire to get you out.
if Australia can kill Steve Irwin, what chance do YOU have?
NateSilver, the statistician who accurately predicted the results of the 2008 and 2012 US Presidential elections. When he is sober, his mind can predict the outcome of the US elections and crunch more numbers than a Cray 2000. When he's drunk...
North Korean Propaganda has made their political leaders appear god-like due to the intensity of the personality-cult.
Kim Jong Il is described to have scored 5 points in an 18 hole golf game, being born under a double-rainbow on the most sacred mountain-top in Korea, inventing the hamburger and not needing to use the toilet.
Jack Churchill. When WW2 started, he joined the SAS. He is the only soldier to have killed an enemy with a longbow in WW2. Thats right, a longbow, in WW2. While the soldiers under his commander were carrying rifles and SMGs, he went into battle with a longbow, a claymore, and bagpipes. On more than one occasion he was the last survivor of his unit. After one mission went south, and all his soldiers were killed, and he used all his arrows, and he was cornered by the Germans, they found him sitting there calmly, waiting for them, playing his bagpipes. They sent him to a POW camp, but he got bored and left.
The Canadian Corps, in WW1, and their commander, General Arthur Currie. The Canadians were the most organized and cohesive unit in the Allied side, and were used as the first shock troops. The Germans were aware of this, and started preparing for an attack whenever sentries spotted Canadians on the front lines. On multiple occasions it would be let slip that a unit of the Canadian Corps were heading to a location, so that the Germans would focus their troops there, and leave another location more vulnerable attack.
The German term `stormtrooper`, later used to describe elite units in both Allied and Axis armies in WW2, was coined as a nickname for the Canadian Corps.
The Hundred Days Offensive, the biggest successful drive made by the Allies during WW1, is generally called Canada`s Hundred Days, because during this time, the 4 divisions of the Canadian Corps, roughly 100 000 men, defeated 47 divisions of the German army, more than a million soldiers.
There was a legend during the war that Canadians were immune to chlorine gas. This is because, during the Battle of Ypres, the first use of chlorine, a chemistry student was in the Canadian line, and recognized the scent. He shouted at everyone to piss on their handkerchiefs and hold them over their faces, because urine neutralizes chlorine. The English and French retreated, and the Canadians held the line until the gas dissipated and reinforcements arrived.
Vimy Ridge was considered untakeable, and the French, English, and the Americans had all failed. To win, General Currie had his men practice the maneuvers necessary to take the ridge for a week beforehand. In the first battle that the Canadian Corps fought all four units together as a force, they took the untakeable. The victory is largely credited as the day Canada became a nation of Canadians, rather than a colony with delusions of grandeur. There is now a big honking memorial on the site.
The memorial was built between the world wars. When the Germans took France during WWII, Hitler personally ordered that soldiers be placed around it to protect it from vandalism.
Daniel Boone, even within his lifetime, was this. He himself once remarked:
Many heroic actions and chivalrous adventures are related of me which exist only in the regions of fancy. With me the world has taken great liberties, and yet I have been but a common man.
Mr Rogers is an interesting example, being such an icon of Incorruptible Pure Pureness and basically one of the nicest people who ever lived that people either tried to dig up any kind of dirt on him that they could (the worst thing they could find was him flipping the double bird...which was taken out of context) or made up Memetic Badass rumors about him, like how he was a sniper in Vietnam. And then of course, there's the fact that he's the winner of the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.
If Genghis Khan, Stalin, and Hitler existed in this modern day... They would have wept like babies and surrendered to Mr. Rogers. And before they were taken away in chains to answer for their horrendous crimes, Mr. Rogers would ask them what was bothering them and they would honestly tell him. The biggest badass in the history of America wore a bitchin' sweater. Rest in peace.
Jens Voigt. Grand old man in cycling, complete badass.
Jeffrey R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His propensity for "singeing eyebrows" during his talks has become legendary, even outside the Church. He was even awarded his own Manhood award.
The comedian Gil Brother is LEGENDARY among brazilian fans of an old show called Hermes & Renato.
Legendary boxer Roberto Duran. The facts would be enough: Duran boxed professionally for 33 years, from 1968 to 2001, and only stopped fighting because he suffered injuries in a car accident. He began as a skinny kid weighing less than 120 pounds, he would later become a near consensus choice as the greatest lightweight of all time, would win titles as high as middleweight, (virtually no one else has been able to successfully win titles from lightweight to middleweight) he fought guys that would later fight as heavyweights and win at heavyweight by KO, and never went down while taking their shots. In his long career he was KO'd once, by Tommy Hearns, one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. Mike Tyson hero worships Duran. And then the stories start getting crazy: the time that he was at a fair of some kind and somebody bet him that there was someone there Duran couldn't KO with one punch. Duran accepted the bet without seeing who this person was, and the other guy brought out a horse as the person Duran couldn't KO. According to legend, Duran promptly knocked the horse out with a single punch. (Boxing fans, due to this longtime legend, have also joked that Duran invented the giraffe when he hit a horse with an uppercut.) There are the legendary tales of how much booze he drank, how much drugs he did, how many women he slept with, how many times he handed armed muggers in his native Panama their asses without any weapons. How he end bar fights and riots with a Death Glare. How he crashed an airplane into the ocean and swam 2 miles back to Panama. How he had a pet lion named Walla that he would wrestle with like it was a kitten. (That last one is definitely true.)
In Italy, Luigi Rizzo. Why? Well, in World War I this guy was returning home after a patrol at sea with his trusty speedboat when he stumbled on an Austro-Hungarian flotilla centered on two battleships, sank one (with a speedboat) and, for added insult, had the crew of the other battleship record two films the sinking (one film wasn't enough, apparently). After that, the Austro-Hungarian fleet was too scared to try and sortie again before the end of the war, and Italy's Navy Day is June 10 in memory of the day Rizzo sank a battleship because, literally, it was there.
The Italian Bersaglieri infantry are known to run all the time (their regulations forbid them to walk), with their band doing that while playing trumpets, and to trample anything they charge at. Among the victims of a charge of the Bersaglieri we have Russian cavalry (they were charged on the flank, forced to retreat to regroup, and then they ran like hell when they saw theBersaglieriwere still charging and about to make contact again. After seeing that, the French Zuavi, then considered the best infantry in the world, admitted they had just been Overshadowed by Awesome) and US Armytank destroyers (the Americans had just repelled Rommel's panzer grenadiers when the Desert Fox sicked on them the Bersaglieri attached to an Italian armoured division he had there. Not the whole division, only the Bersaglieri. The Bersaglieri overran the American positions).
Benito Mussolini's obsession for the physical fitness of the Italians originates from a simple fact: his time as a Bersagliere had convinced him that it was the best way to go. Also, differently from other similar dictators, he did his best to incarnate said ideal: he had a decent amount of Stout Strength, could swim for miles in the Strait of Messina, where tidal currents are so strong that myth attributed them to a sea monster, and his middle name means "manly". The kicker? His physical prowess was average for the Bersaglieri! Let that sink for a moment, and you'll realize why the Bersaglieri are on this list.
George Washington. The father of America, an officer in two wars, and led the colonial army against the strongest military force in the world at the time and won. He also Cannot Tell a Lie and is always A Father to His Men. Immortal on the battlefield (he had multiple horses shot out from under him in both wars, and was a sole survivor at least once), and to this day holds higher rank in the US Army than any other Army officer. Period.
How awesome was he? He wanted to retire after one term as president, but Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson both convinced him to stay on. It was the only time that Hamilton and Jefferson ever agreed on ANYTHING.
John Brown. A Bible-spouting, broadsword-wielding abolitionist who raised so much hell in 1850's Kansas that his name was a swear word in the South into the middle 20th Century.
Skanderbeg, the Albanian Hero, earned numerous Badass rumors about him within his own lifetime, told by his own soldiers. Among them, he was said to have killed 3,000 Ottomans by himself, he never slept more than five hours at night and could cut two men asunder with a single stroke of his scimitar, cut through iron helmets, kill a wild boar with a single stroke, and cleave the head off a buffalo with another.
Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian House of Commons, is quickly gaining a reputation as a mace-swinging, terrorist-killing Badass, thanks to his swift dispatch of murderer Michael Zebaf-Bibeau.
Let's give a shout out to Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler. Everybody knows the (possibly apocryphal) story about the dinner guests, sure. But a certain Ottoman general sent an advance force of about 20,000 men to capture a Wallachian town Vlad was defending. When he arrived at the head of his main force, he found an empty town with about 20,000 impaled Ottoman corpses ranged around it. Being a man of the world, the general looked around at the grisly forest, looked around at the apparently empty hills surrounding him, and decided he had pressing business back in Constantinople.
The Portuguese have two especially notable Badasses to look up to: Viriathus and Luís de Camões.
Viriathus was a Lusitanian shepherd who, when the Romans invaded, rallied up some local mennote None of whom were soldiers, by the way. and not only halted the Romans but also BEAT THEM BACK! He also remains undefeated to this day, having been killed in his camp while asleep. Also of note, it took three traitors to do him in.
Meanwhile, Luís de Camões was a poet who composed an Epic counting the deeds and accomplishments of the Portuguese people. All while being blinded in one eye. He also wrote much of it on his way to India to basically brag to the local king. When his ship sank, he swam to help with the unfinished book in one hand to prevent it from getting wet.
In fact, Portugal Day is also known as Day of Camões.