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* In ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'', Tiffany realizes this is the case for ExtremeDoormat Petulia Gristle after the latter risks a confrontation with [[EldritchAbomination the Hiver]] to help her.

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* In ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'', ''Literature/AHatFullOfSky'', Tiffany realizes this is the case for ExtremeDoormat Petulia Gristle after the latter risks a confrontation with [[EldritchAbomination the Hiver]] to help her.


* Literature/CiaphasCain, '''[[LargeHamTitle HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!]]''' He quite literally [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis wrote the book]] on how to be one of these in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. Despite taking on (and defeating) foes that would have easily brushed aside other mortal men, Cain continues to consider himself a DirtyCoward and FakeUltimateHero, writing off all of his heroic feats as the result of either accident or pragmatism. Really, all Cain wants is to live a quiet and peaceful life. However, the one compiling his notes is of the opinion that Cain just isn't giving himself enough credit, citing several times that Cain has acted genuinely heroic, and playing up his tendency to [[AFatherToHisMen look out for his troops]]. The author has stated [[ShrugOfGod even he's not sure which interpretation is right]].

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* Literature/CiaphasCain, '''[[LargeHamTitle HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!]]''' He quite literally [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis [[DirectLineToTheAuthor wrote the book]] on how to be one of these in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. Despite taking on (and defeating) foes that would have easily brushed aside other mortal men, Cain continues to consider himself a DirtyCoward and FakeUltimateHero, writing off all of his heroic feats as the result of either accident or pragmatism. Really, all Cain wants is to live a quiet and peaceful life. However, the one compiling his notes is of the opinion that Cain just isn't giving himself enough credit, citing several times that Cain has acted genuinely heroic, and playing up his tendency to [[AFatherToHisMen look out for his troops]]. The author has stated [[ShrugOfGod even he's not sure which interpretation is right]].


%% * Neville Longbottom in ''Literature/HarryPotter''. At least until he TookALevelInBadass in [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows book 7]].



* [[Literature/HarryPotter Ron Weasley]] has shades of this, with his fears of his mother's wrath and spiders constantly gnawing at him. It's his desire to help and protect Harry ([[CanNotSpitItOut and Hermione]]) that keep pushing him forward.

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* [[Literature/HarryPotter ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
**
Ron Weasley]] Weasley has shades of this, with his fears of his mother's wrath and spiders constantly gnawing at him. It's his desire to help and protect Harry ([[CanNotSpitItOut and Hermione]]) that keep pushing him forward.forward.
** Neville Longbottom begins the first book as a withdrawn boy who questions why he was Sorted into the "brave" house of Gryffindor. But he still fights Malfoy at a Quidditch match and attempts to stop Harry, Ron, and Hermione from breaking the rules towards the end of the book. By the time of the fifth book, he's willing to follow Harry into the Department of Mysteries, and when he loses his wand in the climatic fight, he tries punching his opponents. ''Deathly Hallows'' sees him discard the "cowardly" portion altogether when he [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]].


* HoratioHornblower, in spades. Every time he sends whatever ship he's on into and out of the fire, he's constantly second-guessing himself and feels like he's lying to his admiring crew because he doesn't give them any hint how honestly frightened he is of being killed or maimed. In one battle, an explosive lands on the deck at his feet. He looks down, grimaces, carefully pinches off the fuse, and disposes of the (now harmless) explosive. He then looks up to see that ''everyone else'' on the deck is emerging from cover and staring at him like he's 12 feet tall. From that day forward, his crew worships the ground he walks on, but he ''still'' thinks of himself as a coward who just did what had to be done. ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', written from Bush's perspective, does have Bush privately doubt him for seeming nervous before a battle, but he's entirely satisfied of Hornblower's physical courage after his competence and clear thinking under fire saves the ship.

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* HoratioHornblower, ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'', in spades. Every time he sends whatever ship he's on into and out of the fire, he's constantly second-guessing himself and feels like he's lying to his admiring crew because he doesn't give them any hint how honestly frightened he is of being killed or maimed. In one battle, an explosive lands on the deck at his feet. He looks down, grimaces, carefully pinches off the fuse, and disposes of the (now harmless) explosive. He then looks up to see that ''everyone else'' on the deck is emerging from cover and staring at him like he's 12 feet tall. From that day forward, his crew worships the ground he walks on, but he ''still'' thinks of himself as a coward who just did what had to be done. ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', written from Bush's perspective, does have Bush privately doubt him for seeming nervous before a battle, but he's entirely satisfied of Hornblower's physical courage after his competence and clear thinking under fire saves the ship.

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* In ''The Hour of the Donkey'' by Creator/AnthonyPrice, Harry Bastable spends much of the book berating himself for cowardice, and is convinced that his successes are entirely down to luck and the support of his more capable colleague Willis. He's bemused when Willis admits to feeling much the same way with their respective positions reversed.

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* ''Literature/TheUnknownSoldier'': Pretty much the whole cast of the novel. Because the story is based on the author's own war memories, and the trope is TruthInTelevision for any [[{{Conscription}} conscription army]] fighting for their homeland. They're all just ordinary humans, they all fear death... and yet most of them find it in them to do their job when the time comes. They have to. Their camaraderie helps them to do it.


* Victor Krohin from ''Literature/SecretCity'' is an extreme example. He's an absolute coward, and ExtremeDoormat to boot. Yet, he's also a Reaper, one of those humans who perform superhuman feats under stress (i.e. mother lifting a car of her child, etc). In-univerce, this phenomenon is explained as [[HumansAreSpecial rare ability]] of some [[{{Muggles}} Chels]] to subconciously drain ("reap") magic energy from all nearby artifacts and channel it into tremendous physical strength and speed, impliedly surpassing anything in the Secret City (no mean feat, given that half of City's races are already super strong, fast or both). And Victor is unique in that he can do it more than once in a lifetime. So, whenever he's sufficiently scared ''and'' has a magic battery with him, he'll crank up to strength level enough to toss a lagre man forty yards vertically upwards, or ''rip the heads of three vampires off'' without them reailzing what's happened. In other Words, he's so badass ''because'' he's a coward, not ''despite'' it.

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* Victor Krohin from ''Literature/SecretCity'' is an extreme example. He's an absolute coward, and an ExtremeDoormat to boot. Yet, he's also a Reaper, one of those humans who perform superhuman feats under stress (i.e. mother lifting a car of off her child, etc). In-univerce, In-universe, this phenomenon is explained as a [[HumansAreSpecial rare ability]] of some [[{{Muggles}} Chels]] to subconciously subconsciously drain ("reap") magic energy from all nearby artifacts and channel it into tremendous physical strength and speed, impliedly surpassing anything in the Secret City (no mean feat, given that half of City's races are already super strong, fast or both). And Victor is unique in that he can do it more than once in a lifetime. So, whenever he's sufficiently scared ''and'' has a magic battery with him, he'll crank up to a strength level enough to toss a lagre large man forty yards vertically upwards, or ''rip the heads of three vampires off'' without them reailzing realizing what's happened. In other Words, words, he's so badass ''because'' he's a coward, not ''despite'' it.

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* Both David and John from the series ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'' are somewhat warped versions of this. While both of them will readily face off against monsters, neither of them can deal with the fact that they have to do that, resulting in the vicious cycle of Dave's depression gradually worsening and John's drug abuse getting more and more serious through the trilogy.
--> And there it was. She suddenly realized she'd rather have David or John, either one, armed with a baseball bat, than any of these guys and their video game hardware. David and John had a look in their eye when things went down--a sad but resigned familiarity. They weren't trained for violence and maybe weren't particularly competent at it, but they weren't going to go pee in the corner, either. Both of them had come from bad homes, both had gotten hit quite a bit as kids and maybe that's all it was. Maybe they just understood something about the world and were more ready for it when things took a turn.


%% * The title character of JimCHines ''Jig the Goblin trilogy.

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%% * The title character of JimCHines Creator/JimCHines' ''Jig the Goblin Goblin'' trilogy.


* In Lee Lightner's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} ''SpaceWolf'' novel ''Wolf's Honour'', Mikal feels [[TheChainsOfCommanding heavily burdened by the role]] that fell on him when Berek was gravely wounded. He [[ConverseWithTheUnconscious sees the unconscious leader and asks why him]] -- and is enraged when he realizes that the skald, Morgrim, listened to him. When Morgrim says that he will describe this as a warrior paying respects to his lord before battle, Mikal can not believe him and confesses to his doubts and his conviction that Berek could have led them better; Morgrim assures him that Berek felt the same way and that having never shirked his duty, Mikal has not failed.

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* In Lee Lightner's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} ''SpaceWolf'' ''Literature/SpaceWolf'' novel ''Wolf's Honour'', Mikal feels [[TheChainsOfCommanding heavily burdened by the role]] that fell on him when Berek was gravely wounded. He [[ConverseWithTheUnconscious sees the unconscious leader and asks why him]] -- and is enraged when he realizes that the skald, Morgrim, listened to him. When Morgrim says that he will describe this as a warrior paying respects to his lord before battle, Mikal can not believe him and confesses to his doubts and his conviction that Berek could have led them better; Morgrim assures him that Berek felt the same way and that having never shirked his duty, Mikal has not failed.


* HoratioHornblower, in spades. Every time he sends whatever ship he's on into and out of the fire, he's constantly second-guessing himself and feels like he's lying to his admiring crew because he doesn't give them any hint how honestly frightened he is of being killed or maimed. In one battle, an explosive lands on the deck at his feet. He looks down, grimaces, carefully pinches off the fuse, and disposes of the (now harmless) explosive. He then looks up to see that ''everyone else'' on the deck is emerging from cover and staring at him like he's 12 feet tall. From that day forward, his crew worships the ground he walks on, but he ''still'' thinks of himself as a coward who just did what had to be done.

to:

* HoratioHornblower, in spades. Every time he sends whatever ship he's on into and out of the fire, he's constantly second-guessing himself and feels like he's lying to his admiring crew because he doesn't give them any hint how honestly frightened he is of being killed or maimed. In one battle, an explosive lands on the deck at his feet. He looks down, grimaces, carefully pinches off the fuse, and disposes of the (now harmless) explosive. He then looks up to see that ''everyone else'' on the deck is emerging from cover and staring at him like he's 12 feet tall. From that day forward, his crew worships the ground he walks on, but he ''still'' thinks of himself as a coward who just did what had to be done. ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', written from Bush's perspective, does have Bush privately doubt him for seeming nervous before a battle, but he's entirely satisfied of Hornblower's physical courage after his competence and clear thinking under fire saves the ship.


* [[BloodyJack Jacky Faber]] is a self-proclaimed coward, and insists that her moments of [[LittleMissBadass badassery]] were just combinations of bad luck, coincidence, and what had to be done, but the fact is that those moments of badassery far outnumber any actual cowardice she may display.

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* [[BloodyJack [[Literature/BloodyJack Jacky Faber]] is a self-proclaimed coward, and insists that her moments of [[LittleMissBadass badassery]] were just combinations of bad luck, coincidence, and what had to be done, but the fact is that those moments of badassery far outnumber any actual cowardice she may display.


* The dragon from "The Tale of Custard the Dragon" by Ogden Nash is a coward that is afraid of everything and wants nothing more than to be in a nice safe cage. His owner, a little girl named Belinda, and her other pets are described in the narrative as being very brave and occasionally tease poor Custard. When a well armed vicious pirate invades their home all of their courage fails them. Custard, on the other hand, is so angry that he briefly forgets he's supposed to be afraid and ''eats'' the pirate. Afterwards he goes right back to being cowardly and wishing for a nice safe cage.

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* The dragon from "The Tale of Custard the Dragon" by Ogden Nash is a coward that is afraid of everything and wants nothing more than to be in a nice safe cage. His owner, a little girl named Belinda, and her other pets are described in the narrative as being very brave and occasionally tease poor Custard. When a well armed vicious pirate invades their home all of their courage fails them. Custard, on the other hand, is so angry that he briefly forgets he's supposed to be afraid and ''eats'' the pirate. Afterwards he goes right back to being cowardly and wishing for a nice safe cage. In the sequel poem, an evil knight kidnaps Belinda and her "brave" pets all [[IHaveToIronMyDog come up with reasons]] they can't help, leaving Custard to defeat the knight and rescue Belinda by himself, which he does easily.


%% * Harold Lauder is this way in Creator/StephenKing's ''TheStand''.

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%% * Harold Lauder is this way in Creator/StephenKing's ''TheStand''.''Literature/TheStand''.


* Literature/CiaphasCain quite literally [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis wrote the book]] on how to be one of these in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. Despite taking on (and defeating) foes that would have easily brushed aside other mortal men, Cain continues to consider himself a DirtyCoward and writes off all of his heroic feats as the result of either accident or pragmatism.

to:

* Literature/CiaphasCain Literature/CiaphasCain, '''[[LargeHamTitle HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!]]''' He quite literally [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis wrote the book]] on how to be one of these in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe. Despite taking on (and defeating) foes that would have easily brushed aside other mortal men, Cain continues to consider himself a DirtyCoward and writes FakeUltimateHero, writing off all of his heroic feats as the result of either accident or pragmatism.pragmatism. Really, all Cain wants is to live a quiet and peaceful life. However, the one compiling his notes is of the opinion that Cain just isn't giving himself enough credit, citing several times that Cain has acted genuinely heroic, and playing up his tendency to [[AFatherToHisMen look out for his troops]]. The author has stated [[ShrugOfGod even he's not sure which interpretation is right]].

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