Playing With: Badass Bookworm

Basic Trope: A smart character happens to be Badass.
  • Straight: Bob is a short, glasses-wearing Bookworm and genius. That also happens to be a black belt in karate.
  • Exaggerated: Bob has an IQ over 200 with no muscle mass whatsoever, but still manages to take on an army.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • All of the books Bob reads are about all different forms of combat.
    • Bob lives in a post-apocalyptic After the End scenario, where you have to be both intelligent and physically capable to have any hope of surviving.
    • Bob is The Ace, so being both smart and strong is part of his job description.
  • Inverted: Big Dumb Body
  • Subverted: Bob is short, wears glasses, and has a black belt in karate. But as soon as he opens his mouth, it turns out he's not actually very smart.
  • Double Subverted: Actually, he's a Southern-Fried Genius and your preconceived notions about Southerners just made you think he sounds dumb.
  • Parodied: Bob is portrayed as the typical nerd stereotype (glasses, pocket protector, bad fashion sense, etc.) but he is somehow capable of beating down an entire army while chuckling like a dork.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob is a nerd who gets bullied so he Takes a Level in Badass and works out, learns some martial arts, and otherwise toughens up. He casually beats down his former bullies but his sudden turn as a Badass goes to his head and he stops pursuing academic pursuits. When someone makes him look like a fool in a battle of wits, he realizes he has to get back to studying.
  • Averted:
    • Bob is just as weak as he looks, and has no physical prowess whatsoever.
    • Bob is stupid and incompetent.
  • Enforced: The writers wanted to defy stereotypes.
  • Lampshaded: "You may look really weak and into books, but you're pretty tough."
  • Invoked: Bob, bullied for his brilliant grades, decides to train in kick-boxing to defend himself.
  • Exploited: The chess club uses Bob's fighting skills to get back at a Jerk Jock.
  • Defied: Bob wears contact lenses and bulks up so he'll look more like a badass and less like a bookworm.
  • Discussed: Alice and her friends talk about Bob's mental and physical prowess, trying to figure out which is more impressive.
  • Conversed: "I love this character. He is smart and badass."
  • Implied: Bob is the top of the class and takes martial arts classes.
  • Deconstructed: Bob is really smart but his constant fighting gives him a poor reputation amongst other intellectuals.
  • Reconstructed: That is, until he performs a study and writes a long essay about his findings, detailing the benefits of being both badass and intelligent. He gets his respect.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob beats up the Big Bad while schooling him on the finer points of quantum mechanics.
  • Played For Drama: Bob is an intellectual who would rather be left alone but he is thrust into violent situations which call for more "savage responses".

Back to Badass Bookworm