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Awesomeness Is a Force

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Nick: How can you make rainbows come out of zombies?
Juliet: From awesome!

Sometimes a character is so overflowing with the awesome that they don't actually have to do anything for it. They are not just awesome; they kind of have awesomeness as a power. All they have to do is walk into the room, or in in the most extreme cases, stand there. Their mere existence radiates an effect of awesomeness that causes tangible physical harm to their enemies and makes men and women fall in love with them. All anyone else can do is watch.

"Whoa... Dude, that guy is awesome..."
"What do you mean? He isn't doing anything — whoa, he is awesome..."

Characters can be made of it. Groups can be made of it. Scenes can be made of it. Entire movies can be made of it. If awesomeness as a force didn't exist, how could anything ever be so cool it can be used as a laxative?

This trope (in case the multiple uses of the word "awesome" as if it has an objective meaning didn't tip you off) is by its very nature almost completely irrational and often used for comedy. Do not try to ruminate over the meaning of this trope. Either accept the physical manifestation of Rule of Cool or watch a more logical show.

Not to be confused with something awesome happening off-screen, where the awesomeness's effect was probably justified by something tangible actually happening.

A Sub-Trope of It Runs on Nonsensoleum, Rule of Cool. A Super-Trope to Awesomeness Is Volatile.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The drama and excitement already present in the Ace Attorney games is cranked up in the anime adaptation Gyakuten Saiban: Sono Shinjitsu, Igiari!, where slamming on a desk or pointing your finger at someone can cause gales of wind inside the courtroom.
  • Sufficiently strong ayakashi in Ayakashi Triangle can produce a damaging Battle Aura just by being ready to fight. This is comically demonstrated when Ponosuke accidentally hits Shadow Mei with a kunai, and her respondent Killing Intent causes him to instantly shrivel, molt, and Give Up The Ghost.
  • Bleach: Spiritual beings exert reiatsu on their surroundings, which is capable of bringing people to their knees or killing if intense enough. Most individuals need to consciously intensify such power, even if it looks like they're not doing anything, but some people do it passively or can't even stop it.
    • At one point Yamamoto brings Nanao to the brink of a nervous breakdown, complete with intense sweating, tears running down her face and a foaming mouth, just by lightly exerting his Reiatsu, telling her to make herself scarce after she showed the intention to assist Kyoraku and Ukitake in fighting him.
      Yamamoto: Begone. I do not have the patience to teach a child like you how to breathe.
    • One of the most notable examples is the Primera Espada Coyote Starrk, who was always lonely (even going so far as to split himself into two people, Starrk and Lilynette, just so he wouldn't be alone anymore) because his reiatsu was so strong every Hollow going near him simply died.
    • Inverted with Ichigo after he learns the Final Getsuga Tenshou; he has become so powerful Aizen can't detect his presence anymore, leaving him to incorrectly assume that Ichigo has discarded his Reiatsu in exchange for raw physical strength.
    • After his Shinigami powers are restored post-timeskip, Ichigo breaks free from Yukio's Fullbring (something the latter screams should be impossible) simply by releasing his Bankai, which is supposed to compress Ichigo's Reiatsu.
  • Gildarts from Fairy Tail has so much magical power he can affect his surroundings without casting a spell. It brings Natsu to tears, because it's the first time he's ever truly felt defeated.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Raoh has a few such moments, with the mere presence of his emissaries sending his enemies in despair and lifting the morale of his loyal subjects. One defining moment was when some mutinous soldiers of his were attacking terrified civilians that lived in his domain after hearing of his death, then Raoh appeared and the civilians started cheering while the mutineers lined up and kneeled for their execution, without him having to say anything or do anything more beyond a single slap (strong enough to behead the victim, but still a single slap).
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Nen users can kill non-users through sheer force of awesome Nen.
  • Played for laughs in Kaitou Saint Tail: when Asuka jr. bragged he had been assigned to capture Saint Tail by the mayor himself and Rina shouldn't butt in, her pointing out she's the mayor's niece caused her to be surrounded by an aura of awesomeness that blinded the presents.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple does this on occasion, just because his masters are that awesome. Sakaki, in particular, is able to utilize the power of awesomeness. In Chapter 18 he makes a charging delinquent stop and fall on his butt retreating just by looking at him, and in Chapter 30 he apparently shoots a Hadouken from his fist (probably just a visual representation of the force of his punch).
  • Kongoh Bancho invokes this trope in front of every normal person he meets.
  • Happens during the final battle of Macross II: in the middle of his Villainous Breakdown, Ingues is having his own ships self-destruct without the crew, be them Marduk or their enslaved Zentraedi, daring to defend themselves when Earth's two last Macross Cannon ships fire on his Planet Spaceship. They don't do any real damage, only shaking it... But just that happening to the invincible ship of their divine lord is enough to prompt the Marduk to fight back and wipe him out.
  • Medaka Box has Hinokage Kudo, whom no one knows, remembers, or even notices despite his large size. Why does no one notice him? Because he's so damn powerful people subconsciously repress the memory of his existence out of absolute fear. His unnotability has not earned him the nickname "Mr. Unknown." He hasn't earned this nickname 'cos no one knows who he is and therefore can't address him as anything in the first place. Except Zenkichi for some weird reason.
  • In Naruto, a number of strong ninjas, like Zabuza, Orochimaru, and Sasuke with Orochimaru's power, are capable of giving off a "killing intent" so strong that it paralyzes weaker enemies, despite apparently not being an actual jutsu of any kind. This is taken to ridiculous levels with the First Hokage, who can literally cause the room he's standing in to crack just by flaring his chakra.
  • In One Piece, all living beings posses a power known as "Haki" (Ambition), which manifests as both Combat Clairvoyance (Observation's Haki) and Instant Armor (Armament's Haki). But only one in a million people can use the Conqueror's Haki, which is essentially their sheer willpower behind it, as the 'Conqueror' part in the name implies. When two users clash, it actually cleaves nearby clouds in two and Shanks specifically demonstrated the ability to start damaging the (rather tough) ship he and Whitebeard were on when they arrived. The current list of users: Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Ace, the Yonkou: (Big Mom, Kaido, Shanks, and Whitebeard), Big Mom's son Charlotte Katakuri, Kaido's son Yamato, the late Pirate King Gol D. Roger, his Number Two Silvers Rayleigh, Boa Hancock, Don Chinjao, Donquixote Doflamingo, Fleet Admiral Sengoku, Eustass Kidd, the late Kozuki Oden, Luffy's grandfather, Vice-Admiral Garp "The Hero", and Saint Topman Warcury. note 
    • Luffy realizes during his fight with Kaido that the latter can infuse his attacks with Conqueror's Haki, making them much more powerful. Kaido confirms his suspicions and retorts that very few Conqueror's Haki users are capable of doing so (such as Roger, Whitebeard, Big Mom, Yamato, Zoro, Rayleigh, Shanks, Garp, and Warcury). Luffy quickly adds his name to the list after using the technique to block Kaido's next attack and land a powerful punch of his own.
  • Persona 4: The Golden Animation: As one of the many signs that Yu Narukami is on New Game Plus, summoning Izanagi for the first time causes several Shadows around him to explode and die before Izanagi even finishes manifesting.
  • In Princess Princess, Harumi Sakamoto has such an amazing charisma that his smile is able to drive people to their knees.
  • In The Rose of Versailles the protagonist Oscar meets a young Napoleon Bonaparte. She is terrified of him for no rational reason, and demands to know who he is. Seems that she subconsciously recognizes him as a Future Badass supreme.
  • Cosmo sometimes works like this in Saint Seiya. Prime offenders would, of course, include Gods whose mere presence and aura will paralyze anyone and repel attacks, but even main characters can be included, such as Phoenix Ikki whose mere aura can slap silly some enemies and more, but the clearest instance of this is when a wounded and armor-less Seiya is cornered by three Silver Saints, about to be killed, when the Sagittarius Gold Cloth comes to his rescue covers his body for the first time. This prompts a Mass "Oh, Crap!" for every enemy involved on the scene, followed by a Cosmo discharge that gives the three Silver Saints (not the weakest ones either) a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • Lizard Misty has earned a reputation as being absolutely invincible through a perfect mission record and never having even been touched in combat (the worst he ever got was being splattered with the blood of the enemy he was killing). So when he's sent to kill Saori's Saints Seiya starts shaking in terror the moment he realizes who just demanded his suicide, and spends most of the fight aiming to die fighting because until he realized Misty had a weakness he knew he was going to lose.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann takes this pretty far:

    Comic Books 
  • Hellblazer: In Issue #250, a large goat humanoid demon pins the protagonist John Constantine. All John did was to look at it, and it spontaneously exploded due to obvious badass reasons.
  • Scrooge McDuck. He was so awesome that he scared the living daylights out of Wyatt Earp during his gold rush days already, and broke Earp by just slinging around with his number one dime.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Nowadays, Paperinik (Donald Duck's superhero/antihero alter ego) is so feared by most of Duckburg's criminals that when they're caught in the act they have a little chat before taking their tools and all the evidence and giving themselves up to the police. The few who don't are from out of town (and learn quickly to do the same), supervillains who actually have a shot at beating him, or the Beagle Boys.
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: There is the race of aliens called "Personality Ticks", parasites who feed upon the charisma of those with extroverted personalities. However, too much charisma harms them. They recoil in pain when Thunderclash delivers an agonizingly selfless and heroic speech while fighting them, and are killed outright when Rodimus and Megatron are called. The sheer presence the two of them have basically caused the ticks to overdose on awesome and die just from them entering the room.

    Fan Works 
  • In the One-Punch Man fanfic The Strongest Hero Saitama's immense strength is acknowledged by the world. As a result, pretty much all villains and monsters give up as soon as they see him, as shown by the Brain and Brawn Brothers ending their rampage and surrendering because they saw him without him even noticing. The only exceptions are those who, for whatever reason, don't know of him, such as the Sea Folk (who lived on the bottom of the ocean and anyway believed themselves superior to any surface dweller), lord Boros and his Dark Matter Space Pirates (aliens from outer space), and Sonic (who somehow never heard of him, and stubbornly remains willing to face him even after finding out who the bald guy who punched him in the crotch was).
  • Supreme Chancellor Obi-Wan Kenobi: Obi-Wan is made to replace Palpatine in the middle of the Clone Wars because an anti-war Senator thought he could succeed in ending the war, and even those who didn't want to oust Palpatine know he'd do the job at his best and then step down. As soon as Obi-Wan becomes Chancellor, ten Separatist worlds petition to rejoin the Republic on the basis of his reputation. And if that weren’t enough, Palpatine's plans for Anakin have always been endangered by the mere fact that Obi-Wan exists — thus prompting him to send Obi-Wan on more than his fair share of missions when Anakin was still a child, and spreading his reputation for awesomeness even further.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda:
  • In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, SpongeBob manages to destroy all of Plankton's mind control bucket helmets with energy blasts from his guitar. Plankton's exclamation afterwards cements it as this trope in conjunction with The Power of Rock.
    Plankton: His chops are too righteous! The helmets can't handle this level of rock and roll!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Luke briefly causes the Battle of Crait to come to a complete stop purely by showing up.
  • TRON: Legacy:
    • During the battle at the End Of Line club, the good guys are getting thoroughly trounced by Clu's Black Guards. At least until Kevin Flynn walks into the room, kneels and touches the floor. Simply being there is enough for Kevin to completely turn the tide, thanks to his Physical God status in the Grid, by being a User with possession of the master disk.
    • As they are leaving, several programs are shown on their knees, praying, and Kevin Flynn walking out, holding his hands in a Christ-like manner.
      digitalcrypt: As someone who has worked in IT and software for two decades, it is one of my favorite moments in any movie, anywhere. Little collections of ones and zeros think they can go off and misbehave how they want and have their fun... and along comes a human: "I think that's enough chaos for today." :-) (Too bad the job isn't always THAT easy. But the end result is the same, even if it takes a lot more time and work sometimes.) ;-)

  • A somewhat subtler form of this exists in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Middle-Earth, in general, was heavily inspired by folklore and heroic sagas. The characters' abilities have less to do with tangible physical characteristics like strength, endurance or skill and more to do with more amorphous concepts such as "might" or "countenance." Hence, the greatest elves of the elder days could stand against balrogs and dragons simply because they possessed the might to do so. The actual tactics and details of the battles were irrelevant, the outcome was decided by a direct conflict of might. Although this is occasionally contradicted, as in the hilarious moment when it is specifically stated that Ecthelion killed Gothmog by headbutting him with a helmet that had a sharp crest. Why this particular detail was important enough to record is uncertain.
    • In one nice example, Finrod and Sauron "duel in songs of power." Finrod does pretty well for himself, but in the end, Sauron wins.
    • An example most are familiar with is the Black Breath. This is an aura of despair that is emitted by the Ringwraiths, which essentially causes people to give up on life because they cannot be awesome enough. Elrond, his sons, and Aragorn (and presumably Arwen too, though we never see her do it) can heal the Black Breath through essentially being so awesome that the patient wants to live.
  • The Wheel of Time has the Ta'veren, who bend probability and to some extent even reality, just by existing. The Dragon Reborn, the strongest Ta'veren in the whole of the reincarnating Pattern, eventually becomes able to do it intentionally.
  • In an interlude for Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance, Lift describes her use of Stormlight this way. Her spren, who is an extremely serious scholarly gardener, is very annoyed at this.
    Wyndle: It is called surgebinding. You use your investiture to—
    Lift: No. It's because I'm awesome.
    • When she's later confronted by an Inspector Javert type who's been hunting her, and she realizes he's using powers, her reaction is essentially "He's awesome too? No fair!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Badass Boast that makes any enemy tremble and flee in terror? "I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the Universe. Look me up."
    • And from the same series, "I'm River Song. Check your records again."
    • "Hello. I'm The Doctor. Basically, run." The Atraxi do.
    • Also alluded to by Rose Tyler, "Four million Cybermen, nothing. One Doctor, now you're scared." Said to the Daleks.
    • "Could you all just stay still for a moment because I.AM.TALKING. ". Millions of alien warships halt in midair.
  • Happy Days's Fonzie ran on this. The laws of physics themselves would bend to the power of his "cool," and we the viewers never questioned it. Well, except that one time...
  • How I Met Your Mother: This happens whenever a person afflicted by "the Curse of the Blitz" leaves the group.
    Marshal: The second you left the room, the laws of physics stopped and the laws of awesome trippled.
  • Omar from The Wire is such a force of nature in the streets that he is often proceeded by people yelling warnings of him coming, and we see him twice rob a stash house by just standing outside, and the second time he wasn't even armed or knew it was a stash house, he was going to the store to buy cereal while wearing turqoise satin pyjamas. Similarly, Brother Mouzone establishes himself as a presence fast, and is shown to command peace in the Highrise courtyard by just sitting on a bench and reading.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Chinese philosophy discusses a concept known as de (德) which is usually translated "inherent character; inner power; integrity" in Daoism, "moral character; virtue; morality" in Confucianism, and "quality; virtue" (guna) or "merit; virtuous deeds" (punya) in Chinese Buddhism. However the actual description of the effects of de, particularly in the most ancient (i.e. pre-Confucian and pre-Buddhist) contexts include de's ability to install a sense of awe or submission in other people; an amoral and innate quality of leadership, awesomeness or effectiveness that can occur as often or as easily in an evil person as in a good person, and is therefore more like "charisma", "awesomeness", "being chosen" or "being set above others". Later artistic depictions of the quality of de show historical figures of great power and merit subduing barbarian hordes or wild beasts with a mere glance, or even with sheer aloofness.
  • The word "mana" comes from ancient Maori superstition, and actually originally had nothing to do with any sort of capacity to perform magic. Basically, a badass is someone who has a lot of mana.
  • Humbaba from The Epic of Gilgamesh is described as having seven "auras", that render him invincible to attack from Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Some translations call these "splendors" or "terrors".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Montel Vontavious Porter was half man, half amazing and one half the tag team champions. The only man amazing enough to have three halves.
  • When asked in Ybor Florida to describe Heidi Lovelace, Solo Darling used non-descriptive terms, such as "She's about this awesome," and gestured with her arms as if it was a physical trait like height...and people immediately realized whom she was talking about.
  • Really, anytime the entrance theme of someone particularly notable plays, especially during something like the Royal Rumble or a similar big match. Doesn't matter if they're old or young, big or smallnote , heel or face... they usually have the power to stop a match with their sheer presence, and that's often before they even enter the room. Just ask guys like Big Show or Big Daddy Cool Diesel.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy:
    • It features the Style skill, which is basically a measure of how awesome a character is. The example the book gives as a use for the skill is having thunder crash in time with your strikes while fighting during a thunderstorm.
    • Additionally, characters with large amounts of ki energy or magic power start creating noticeable changes in their environment, like miniature localized windstorms or earthquakes.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the 3rd edition, many powers have the mechanical effect of bolstering allies or hindering enemies through the awesomeness of the power or the character using it.
    • The Exemplar class lets you pick one skill which can be used to impress people, in a manner so awesome that everyone in 60 ft. becomes undyingly loyal to him.
  • Similar to the above, Exalted has the Presence skill and its associated special techniques. A Zenith Caste can make armies too awestruck to attack. Actually, almost everything the Solar Exalted do is a case of Awesomeness Is a Force.
  • This is essentially how the "presence attack" mechanic in the Hero System works for characters with a high enough Presence stat (basically charisma). Presence attacks take no time and don't really require the character to do anything else — although the right kinds of supplemental actions certainly help — and can make other people hesitate, stop what they're doing to listen, or at the highest levels of effect outright surrender, faint, or be inspired to instant loyalty, all from the character's sheer awesome force of personality alone.
  • Pathfinder has a spell for this very purpose, Overwhelming Presence:
    Your presence inspires incredible awe in those nearby. A creature that fails a save against this spell falls to the ground and prostrates itself before you, believing it bows before a divine presence.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • It overflows with characters that through their sheer presence can invigorate allies to near-invincibility, render enemies catatonic with fear or anything in between, ranging from Tau Ethereals (members of the ruling class), Space Marine Chaplains (Super-Soldier Badass Preachers), and fiery incarnations of the Eldar god of War and Murder.
    • And then there's Creed, tactical genius, who can use his awesomeness to hide a Baneblade on open ground. Partially through camouflage, mostly through badassery. And the orks get this a lot.

    Video Games 
  • Billy vs. SNAKEMAN:
    • If a player manages to obtain trophies (ranging in difficulty from completing low-level plotlines to beating an insanely difficult, once a week minigame eleven times), Awesome points are given out which can be spent on bonus abilities. Also, certain levels of awesome are required for some quests.
    • In the game's story, Awesome is ninja culture's name for the metaphysical source of free will.
  • In Fate/stay night, the mere presence of the Servants has a little bit of this. And when a character like Lancer gets serious, the pure awesome makes both you and the air freeze in fear. The most extreme example of this is Gilgamesh, who nearly makes Shirou shit himself without even showing any killing intent. Justified in the fact that Gilgamesh is one of the most powerful beings in the Nasuverse and can defeat Berserker without even trying and is in possession of a weapon capable of Earth-Shattering Kabooms.
  • From Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Sun God:
    Pyron: "I can't hear you over all this awesome!"
  • The characters of Sengoku Basara regularly cause huge explosions from the presence of their sheer manly awesomeness. Yes, even the women.
  • Tales of Zestiria has domains as a big part of the story. They're basically magic background fields where the person generating them creates a form of sympathetic magic. A sufficiently powerful being could completely change the flow of battle just by showing up.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • A recurring theme in Shack Tactical videos, with regards to Dslyecxi. When he's around (particularly, flying a CAS helicopter), he inspires a vague sense of safety. If the helicopter is shot down, it's immediately replaced with despair. If he's on the enemy team and believed to be nearby, it's palpable dread. And if he's ever captured, there is literally no such thing as a sufficient number of guards. And it's all absolutely justified.
  • Suburban Knights has many instances of parodying this — the reviewers find they can do amazingly awesome things just because the character they're role-playing as (and in one case the actor playing the character they are role-playing as) possesses some form of Pure Awesomeness. It's broadcasted on Channel Awesome.
  • According to Tobuscus' Literal Trailer for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, this is how Ezio kills a guard (it's actually an arrow that's just barely shown, but Rule of Funny).
    Guard says, "Stop," / Just kill him with your awesome.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rule Of Awesome, Pure Awesomeness, Awesomeness As A Force


Luffy and the Fake Strawhats

A group of imposters posing as Luffy and the Strawhat crew unknowingly try to mess with the actual Luffy.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / AwesomenessIsAForce

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