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Awesomeness Is a Force
aka: Pure Awesomeness

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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 
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann takes this pretty far:
  • Kongoh Bancho invokes this trope in front of every normal person he meets.
  • In One Piece, especially powerful individuals can strike weaker ones unconscious with their mere presence, through the power of "Haki" (Ambition). But only one in a million inherently awesome 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. note 
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple does this on occasion such as this instance, which actually knocks Kenichi unconscious, 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 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 subconciously recognizes him as a Future Badass supreme.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Nen users can kill non-users through sheer force of awesome Nen.
  • Gildarts from Fairy Tail has this and it brings Natsu to tearsnote .
  • 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.
  • 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. The most notable example is 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 mutinuous 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).
  • The drama and excitement already present in the Ace Attorney games is turned Up to Eleven 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, we meet a race of aliens called "Personality Ticks", parasites who feed upon the charisma of those with extroverted personalities. They are defeated when Rodimus and Megatron are called, and the sheer presence the two of them have basically caused the ticks to overdose on awesome and die just from them entering the room.
  • 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.
  • Scrooge McDuck. He was so awesome that he scared the living daylights out of Wyatt Earp during his goldrush days already, and broke Earp by just slinging around with his number one dime.

    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).
  • This is the whole reason for the events of Supreme Chancellor Obi-Wan Kenobi: Obi-Wan finds himself replacing Palpatine in the middle of the Clone Wars because an anti-war Senator who remembered him from his Padawan days 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 he becomes Chancellor ten Separatist worlds petition to rejoin the Republic because they know him and his reputation, and Palpatine's plans for Anakin have always been endangered by the mere fact he 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 
  • The Former Trope Namer is Kung Fu Panda, where the legendary warrior's pure awesomeness alone is sufficient to blind enemies. At least in his dreams. Also, the Sword of Heroes is so sharp you can get cut just by looking at it. An extreme case of Audible Sharpness.
  • 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 
  • 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.) ;-)

    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...

  • 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.
    • In one nice example, Finrod and Sauron "duel in songs of power." Finrod does pretty well for himself, but in the end, Sauron wins.
  • 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!"

    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 instil 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.

    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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • The characters of Sengoku Basara regularly cause huge explosions from the presence of their sheer manly awesomeness. Yes, even the women.
  • From Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Sun God:
    Pyron: "I can't hear you over all this awesome!"
  • 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 

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


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