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Authority Equals Asskicking / Western Animation

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  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The show uses this with Fire Lord Ozai, and King Bumi (and to a lesser extent, Azula and Zuko). The Earth King on the other hand couldn't fight at all, and was being controlled by his Evil Chancellor since he was four (though apparently Earth King authority used to equal asskicking). The warden of "The Boiling Rock" was a bit of a pushover as well, but at least had the attitude.
    • Nearly all of the main characters qualify. While not a really a major authority at the time of show (being gone for a century while people were suffering does not help to endear) the Avatar is considered a sort of King of World and past ones always seemed able to boss around the other rulers a lot. Sokka and Katara are more or less royalty by virtue of being children of the Southern Water Tribe Chief (even though poverty makes them little better than peasants) while Toph is a definitely noble ranked high up in the Earth Kingdom pecking order. Iroh, Pakku, Jeong-Jeong and even Piandao are also either royalty, nobles, generals or aristocrats. Even Suki, essentially the only member of Team Avatar who can't be construed as anything other than a lowly peasant, is still the commander of her island's warriors by virtue of being an asskicker.
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    • And dare we even mention Toph's daughter? Lin Beifong, chief of police in Republic City, after all of her other metalbending cops are knocked unconcious, still goes after Amon anyways, through use of her metalbending. The only person to aid her was Korra herself — and she saved Korra on multiple occasions throughout the fight.
    • Amon himself. The leader of the Equalists and the most skilled of them all. Although this is thrown into doubt when we learn his physical fighting prowess is rooted in his bloodbending: he can 'read' people's muscle movements and use slight tugs of bloodbending to throw enemies off their game.
    • Councilmen Tarrlok and Tenzin also count, although the rest of the council, reflecting the demilitarized state of their world, aren't shown to possess any real fighting skill.
    • Chief Unalaq of the Northern Water Tribe is an incredibly strong waterbender, and a master of of an arcane skill that lets him corrupt or purify spirits.
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    • Come Book 4, Kuvira cements herself as a One-Man Army in her first scene, curb stomping two dozen bandits, before declaring herself The Emperor of the Earth Kingdom two episodes later.
  • On The Oblongs, the mayor is a professional wrestler in a luchador mask who is always introduced as Johnny "the Mayor" Bledsoe. He doesn't appear to be able to do any actual fighting—the one time he tried, he reflexively started faking his hits.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls, the Mayor is usually content to let the Girls be the heroes. However, in one episode, when Fuzzy Lumpkin took over as mayor, and then had the nerve to take his hat, he became so angry that he wrestled Fuzzy to get his job back - and won.
  • Transformers:
    • True for both sides. Since promotions for the Decepticons seem to be either through murder or treachery, Megatron tends to be one of the most powerful, charismatic and strategic guys around. The same goes for Optimus Prime (and Ultra Magnus in Transformers Animated), although with him it's more that they made him leader because he's the best.
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    • In the animated movie, Hot Rod gets upgraded from a racecar to a futuristic truck when he was promoted to Rodimus Prime by the Matrix. He got about half again as tall, and upgraded from "pathetic" to "successor of Optimus Prime."
    • Optimus Prime himself was a small pickup truck type thing when he was Orion Pax, and was rebuilt into the bigger, tougher Optimus Prime. The nice thing about being robots is that you can get an upgrade upon promotion to fit this trope much more easily than with us fleshlings.
    • The one time this trope was not used in Transformers was a brief period in the 1980's comic series in which the Decepticons were led by Ratbat. Yes, a small purple cassette that turned into a talking bat. He scored the leadership through his popularity and attempted to run the Decepticons with more businesslike efficiency. The comics played it straight aside from that, with leadership landing in the hands of Shockwave, Scorponok, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, and back to Megatron thanks to the superior ass-kicking power of each. The Autobots got into the act, with powerhouses like Grimlock and Blaster trying to take over the Autobots whenever Optimus was absent.
    • This seems to be part of the Predacon culture in Beast Wars - Megatron leads by fear and intimidation as much as loyalty. When Dinobot first defects to the Maximals, he first tries to do it by challenging Optimus' leadership by force. BlackArachnia, Terrorsaur, and Tarantalus attempt coups frequently. Megatron's stated policy is that he tolerates treachery but not incompetence.
    • This seems to be a part of Transformer culture in general. Optimus Primal was fully capable of kicking the crap out of his underlings. Pretty much any given Transformer leader stands head and shoulders above most of his troops, sometimes literally.
    • Rhinox is no slouch either. He's smart, devious, and strong. He simply lacks ambition and is content to follow Optimus. When he is infected by a Predacon-made virus that turns him into a Predacon, he also gains ambition and, in a short order, nearly takes over Predacon leadership. In Beast Machines, when he becomes Tankor, Rhinox nearly causes both Megatron and Optimus to kill each other, while he picks up the pieces.
  • In Kim Possible, Dr. Director from Global Justice and Gemini from WEE are the big cheese and the best fighters of their respective organizations. And they're twins.
  • In Winx Club, Faragonda and Griffin are the headmistressess of Alfea and Cloud Tower, respectively. Both are incredibly powerful sorceresses who can fight if the need arises.
  • A memorable episode of The Penguins of Madagascar pits the Skipper and his crew against a horde of sewer rats in an attempt to retrieve Julien's crown. The rats say they'll hand it over, on the condition that the Skipper fight their leader. Skipper laughs and says he'll try to go easy on the mousy little guy... who's revealed to be in fact a massive mutated lab rat who resembled M. Bison. Cue the stunned looks of Oh, Crap!! on the penguins faces.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Numbuh 362, the Supreme Leader of the Kids Next Door organization, was a top stealth agent before she took command, and she can still kick a very respectable amount of ass when the need arises. This was memorably demonstrated in the episode "Operation: I.T." where she ate her way through a wall of broccoli to take on Father and made him break down in tears by threatening to force-feed him the dreaded vegetable. Also, in Operation: Z.E.R.O. she held her own against a senior-citizombified Numbuh 60. And, just to underline the trope, she is eventually succeeded as Supreme Leader by Numbuh Five.
  • In Totally Spies!, Jerry was easily able to defeat Clover, Alex, and Sam when they were turned evil by the enemy. And in an episode previous to that one, he was able to beat another villain senseless, causing Alex — the only witness, who had been turned into an unwilling pawn by said villain — to comment that even she was surprised at how good he was. (As Jerry himself told the guy, "There are a lot of things my girls don't know about me.")
  • In Martin Mystery, M.O.M. is extremely acrobatic and good with weapons and gadgets. She was able to pummel a vicious spider monster on one occasion with her bare hands.
  • From Metalocalypse, Charles Foster Offdensen. Excelling in hand-to-hand combat is a must when you're the manager of the most popular band (and twelfth largest economy) in the world.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Starfire and Blackfire are both royalty, and while superstrength seems universal for Tamaranians (or at least those we see in the palace), the two princessess are apparently the only of their species that can fly and shot energy blasts. (The trope likely applies to all Tamaranian monarchs anyway; seeing as it seems to be legal to assume the throne by defeating the monarch in a fight, one who couldn't fight well probably wouldn't last long.)
    • Lord Trogar of the Gordanians in the episode "Go" was able to simultaneously beat Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire in a fight on his battleship. He was also able to take an energy blast from Raven which knocked out his ship and immobilized his guards without flinching. Makes one wonder why he needed guards in the first place...
  • Played for laughs in an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey, when Adam convinces Mr. Hornbill, a lovelorn rhinoceros teacher, to challenge Principal Pixiefrog (who is, well, a pixie frog) to a ring fight to prove his masculinity. It turns out this trope is in full effect as Principal Pixiefrog proceeds to wipe the floor with Mr. Hornbill while shouting "who's your principal, Cyrus?!? I said, who's your principal?!?"
    Adam: What just happened?!?
    Jake: A 2-ton rhino just got his butt handed to him by a 6-ounce frog! Where were you for the past 30 seconds?
  • Super President.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) this holds true with Thundera's King Claudus and his two best generals Panthro and Grune, all of whom sport Heroic Builds and illustrate the ability to mow down multiple foes in one blow, and in Grune's case, defeat a monster many times his own size.
  • The original ThunderCats also qualify as to be recognized as a their full-fledged leader, Lion-O faces a series of trials against his comrades and then is sent to kick Mumm-ra's ass by himself.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, pretty much all the leaders seem to be powerful magic users, with Princess Celestia stepping up with laser beams and horn strikes, Princess Luna powerful enough to threaten Equestria with her Super-Powered Evil Side and Queen Chrysalis proving far more powerful than any of the mooks under her command. The Diamond Dog leaders also proved much more competent than their underlings in a fight. Subverted in Princess Cadance who has never been shown to be particularly powerful in combat, though she manages to be badass in other ways. Later on the series has Princess Twilight Sparkle (already a gifted unicorn) who gains the "authority" part when she is crowned the fourth alicorn princess, and still continues to be one of the most capable fighters in the series.
  • In Gargoyles Goliath is the leader of his clan, and also their strongest fighter. Whether all clans play it straight, but it is unknown.
  • It's easy to forget this, but Samurai Jack is the son of a king, which means he's a prince. And you only have to watch one episode to see that this guy is one heck of a fighter.
    • Seems like being a really strong warrior runs in the family, as his father was also a brave and respected warrior while he was in his prime.


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