Follow TV Tropes


Badass Pacifist

Go To

"I won't kill you, but I can stop your blade. And I'll keep doing it, over and over... until we understand each other."

A Badass Pacifist describes an Actual Pacifist who, without doing anything violent, is much more awesome than many of us will ever be, and commands all the respect you give 'the baddest guy on the planet' even though (or in some cases, because) they never go on the offensive. These are the people who will stand and take a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown without striking back and without giving in; they are also very fond of turning the other cheek. A variation of a Stone Wall, in other words. If they do something proactive to defeat their enemies, it is never by using physical force, but by using words. Verbal Judo, Shaming the Mob, and Talking the Monster to Death are the tools of their trade. It is always their goal To Win Without Fighting — and win they do.

Please note that this trope is not "Nice person who will kick your ass if you make them angry." This trope describes an Actual Pacifist who can completely defeat an enemy without any violence on their part whatsoever; perhaps they can take a beating from a Memetic Badass without backing down, giving in, or giving in to the temptation of betraying their ethics, or alternatively they can talk aforesaid Memetic Badass into putting down his weapon. Alternatively, they may be a variant on a gymnast — without landing a single blow they can escape a whole bunch of enemies, generally giving the impression that they could kick ass if they wanted.

Their presence often — but not always — indicates a more idealistic position on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Frequently The So-Called Coward. Might be a Guile Hero.

Pacifist Run is what happens when a player is trying to be this in a video game. Contrast A Real Man Is a Killer and Pacifism Backfire. Compare Martial Pacifist. The Reluctant Warrior wishes he could be a Badass Pacifist. The Technical Pacifist is similar, but may resort to violence short of killing or allow someone else to do the dirty work; the Badass Pacifist succeeds without using any violence at all.

See also Violence Is Not an Option and No-Harm Requirement, for a situation when no amount of violence could save the day anyway. Also compare Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z: Android 16 is very friendly and gentle with animals. However he is also considerably more powerful than Androids 17 and 18, and when finally brought to fight he proves to be equally as powerful as Cell, giving the abomination the fight of his life and even ripping off his tail (something that would have stopped Cell outright if he didn't have his Healing Factor). Despite 16's valiant efforts, Cell manages to absorb 17 and with his newfound Semi-Perfect Form he beats 16 easily, but 16's head still manages to pull an Obi-Wan Moment by giving Gohan final words of encouragement and urging him to drop his restraints against Cell to fight to protect the life he came to love.
  • Demon City Shinjuku: Think kind people are weak? Then you haven't met Sayaka Rama. She is Silk Hiding Steel and able to stop a fire-demon formed from the condensed hatred and grief from 10 years of murdered and orphaned children from killing The Hero with sheer kindness and love alone, and redeeming the demon so she can go to heaven to reunite with her mother. Don't underestimate kindness.
  • Since Fullmetal Alchemist is quite the poster child for the World of Badass, it of course has some of these as well.
    • Scar's older brother is an amazing, self-taught alchemist. He never took part in battle yet he's brave enough to confront Kimblee and then amputate his own arm to save his brother.
    • Winry and her entire family also count since they are Combat Medics. Her parents jumped into a war and started healing people on both sides.
  • Dr. Kenzo Tenma of Monster (1994) can take a beating, get hit by a car, jump off a bridge, stop fires, and save people everywhere. Then again, he does spend a lot of time planning to commit a vigilante execution on the title character. And then he ends up saving him. Again.
  • Slayers: Prince Phil thinks he embodies this trope. He has the badass part down pat, but fails on the pacifist part. He's known for ironically-named martial arts moves like "PACIFIST CRUSH!" and "GOODWILL TO ALL MANKIND KICK!".
  • Relena Darlian-Peacecraft from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Jumps in front of a gun to save a guy who had a gun pointed at her just a minute ago and tells her would-be saviour off for his crude methods. Later flies an airplane in between two gigantic machines of mass destruction in mid-combat to save the same guy's ass once again and tell his attacker that his cruelty and underhanded tactics are a disgrace to the name, country, and ideals he claims to stand for (namely, hers). Would rather have her country surrender than let her pacifist ideals be the cause of bloodshed, and makes such a large impression while doing exactly that that the people attacking her country promptly "invite" her to become their figurehead, so they can convince the masses that they were on the side of the good guys all along. She accepts and makes them regret it. Physically insignificant, but her sheer strength of will and unwavering idealism earn her the admiration of everyone from the guy who started out wanting to kill her to the resident Magnificent Bastard, as well as a promising career as a politician. Lady Une, the woman who assassinated her father. To drive the point further, by the end of the series Lady Une gives Relena a gun and asks her to take revenge properly, but she refuses to do so and says it's useless.
  • Kenji from 20th Century Boys. He admits early on that he was a failure at martial arts because he doesn't like hitting people, but that doesn't stop him from making the impostor Friend break down in the end by apologizing to him.
  • Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess. She has power but lacks the killer instinct required to make a good fighter. Unlike her spunkier sisters, she abhors violence (however, when mind-controlled by the movie's Big Bad she easily dispatches Urd's true form). She's a goddess, the fact that messing with her is a health hazard is a given.
    • She also has a Valkyrie (heavenly fighter) license, because she "likes collecting such useless awards".
  • Rock of Black Lagoon has managed to talk down some of the most violent, dangerous people on the planet while unarmed and with a gun to his head, on multiple occasions. He doesn't always qualify, with several moments of violence, but he has a number of textbook acts, most notably the... debate...with Revy in episode 7 and with Balalaika in the Yakuza arc.
  • Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket speaks gently to Akito Sohma, who is in the midst of her Villainous Breakdown... and it works. (To put it in perspective, she did this towards an older woman who is lashing out in both fear and madness — and has been swinging a bloodied knife around.) When Tohru nearly falls victim to Death by Falling Over, rather than gloat, Akito screams for help, marking the beginning of her Heel–Face Turn. And even earlier, she successfully got Kyo to calm down when he was in his cursed form — again in perspective, cursed!Kyo is foul, huge, smells like rotten flesh, and also totally desperate, as it's the trademark of the cat's position as The Unfavorite.
  • Lucy from Fairy Tail is a bit of a subversion but she has several moments of this. For example, she managed to convince the SPIRIT KING not to punish Loke. Also, she took a vicious beating from Gajeel and still taunted him.
  • Buddha from Record of Ragnarok, while being a pacifist and the only one of the fighters so far to spare his opponent when he thought he defeated him, Buddha is incredibly skilled in combat, so much so that he defeated Zerofuku without taking a single injury.
  • Nausicaa from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind falters on this a little from time to time, violently killing a Torumekian soldier in the first book, but she still manages to be an intense Messiah-figure. She once stopped a swarm of stampeding Ohmu by blowing a bug whistle and talking them down.
  • Yugi Mutou of Yu-Gi-Oh! fame. He might beat you in a children's card game, sure, but he'll never use violence— he hates it— and, for the most part, tries to talk villains out of their evil ways, even befriending them.
  • Vash the Stampede from Trigun. Anyone who can win so many battles without spilling so much as a drop of blood deserves all kinds of respect.
  • The main character of Angel Densetsu, Kitano Seiichiro, mostly qualifies for this. His fighting style consists of letting people hit him until they grow tired. Usually because he misunderstands the situation and believes himself to be deserving of the pain or, in one instance, not understanding the reason he's being attacked and thus refusing to give up. Of course, he typically finishes off his opponents with a double palm strike, but he is actually attempting to push them out of the way, for one reason or another, not hit them. Only towards the end of the series does he intentionally hit enemies once and even then only in order to prevent further violence and protect his friends.
  • The main character from Golden Boy is one of these as well — or at least is aspiring to be one. When he was attacked and resorted to punching his assailant out, he revealed that — among the other training he's done — he is a master black belt, but felt that he has failed all of his learning by resorting to violence and that he still has more to learn.
  • Yashiro Isana in K will use his powers to block attacks (with his parasol), but he doesn't attack enemies. His plans and solutions to the problems in the story instead mostly involve him getting himself hurt, and taking the bad guys (or their phlebotinum) with him. It's a good thing he's immortal.
  • Yako Katsuragi from Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro becomes this during the course of the series, able to use her ability to understand people and her sincerity to stop a Mind Control expert, an AI of nearly unlimited intelligence based off of an Omnidisciplinary Scientist, a shape-shifting superhuman killer who can read minds, and an entire rebel army. She gains the respect of the most powerful being in the human and demon worlds, and at the end of the manga, she has become world-famous for her abilities.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Ash's Bulbasaur became this when he became a mediator for the feuding Grass and Water type Pokémon at Professor Oak's lab.
    • There's also N during the Episode N part of Best Wishes. Unlike his game counterpart, he never enters a single Pokémon battle yet does lots of awesome stuff and saves both Pokémon and people left and right. Of course, being able to understand Pokémon speech helps a lot.
  • Bleach: In the anime only, Sado/"Chad's" grandfather, Oscar Joaquin de la Rosa, is a giant hulk of a man who despite his apparent old age is very muscular and can take a beating from two men with two-by-fours without flinching, almost without even moving. He refuses to ever raise his hands against anybody and takes the aforementioned beating to protect Chad from two guys coming for revenge for Chad beating up their little brothers.
  • Daisuke/Duke Fleed from UFO Robo Grendizer. Normally Daisuke avoids the fight if there not is a good reason. In an episode, Goro, a child who sees him as a model, gets angry with him because he refuses to fight with Banta, but Daisuke makes him understand that fighting is not always the right choice.
  • Henry of Digimon Tamers is this trope and like many things in his series, is a Deconstruction. He focuses so thoroughly on the Pacifist part (due to a traumatic incident where he misused his martial arts skill and injured another child badly) that he endangers himself and others. His character arc is learning that there are times when you have to fight for the greater good.
    • Henry is also something of a Martial Pacifist or at least that's what he becomes. Before the story, he was an avid computer gamer and one of his faves was a Digimon fighting game, where he chose Terriermon. However, one of these battles went wrong and Henry became overwhelmed with guilt for making Terriermon fight in the first place. This outburst of compassion led to him getting his Digivice and Terriermon entered into the real world and becoming his partner. This incident is why he is initially adamant about not letting Terriermon fight. Fittingly, he is also a martial arts student.
  • Euphemia vi Britannia from Code Geass is one of the nicest people you could ever meet, would never hurt a fly, and dreams of peace and equality between Britannians and Japanese. And being so good and noble, even Lelouch can't bring himself to kill her, and her path to giving the Japanese their rights utterly derails his ambition to take power through bloody revolution. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be.
  • Thorfinn achieves his greatest moral victory in Vinland Saga this way. In order to stop a war, he asks to see the king of one of the sides. One of the king's bodyguards tries to chase him off by punching him, only to discover that Thorfinn won't be persuaded no matter how many blows he lands. Thorfinn then makes a bet that if he can tank one hundred blows to the face, he'll be allowed to speak to the king — and pulls it off, completely exhausting the bodyguard in the process who in the end can barely lift his arms. When asked why he simply didn't punch out the bodyguard to prove his credentials, Thorfinn points out that negotiating for peace by punching someone is a self-contradiction. He then proceeds to successfully solve the conflict nonviolently by telling the king that if he's going to keep pursuing The Needs of the Many, Thorfinn is going to build his own kingdom where the Few can flee to. Canute is so amused he backs down.
  • Queen Otohime in One Piece is a much-beloved monarch, who despite her poor health, can convince criminals to turn their life around. Her crowning moment of achievement is when she managed to gain the Celestial Dragons' support for the motion for Fishmen to live on the surface. Let that sink in a moment. She managed to convince the most despicable, cruel, yet immensely influential tyrants of the setting to help her. Even better, when said tyrant returns later in the series he saves Shirahoshi (Otohime's daughter) from another Celestial Dragon and reveals that he's changed his attitude completely. She didn't just convince him to help her, she made him completely reform.
  • Prince Halkenburg in Hunter × Hunter abhors violence of any sort. He discovers he's been forced into a succession battle for the throne with a Last Man Standing format, and this disgusts him to no end. To that extent, he uses his charisma and genuine concern for the well-being of his subordinates to talk his way into and out of positions to gain political upper hands and survive dangerous situations unscathed. However, when he tries his negotiation skills against his father, the reigning king, and fails completely, he awakens a superpower inside of him—true to his nature, despite it being incredibly overpowered as far as powers go, it deals absolutely no damage at all.note  Usage of said power causes rumbling in the surrounding area, which puts everybody nearby on high alert, as this rumbling is typically the sign of a person with tremendous power—and indeed, this much is true of Halkenburg.
  • In episode 11 of Kotoura-san, the criminal, Detective Tsukino's Enemy Within, had nearly killed Haruka if Yoshihisa didn't appear right then and there. Haruka "counterattacks" by giving a speech about how You Are Not Alone, all with a Tearful Smile on her face. It works!
  • Nekki Basara of Macross 7. An Ace Pilot who only uses violence if pushed to the absolute limit, and uses The Power of Rock to communicate with his enemies instead of fighting them.

    Comic Books 
  • Katsuichi from Usagi Yojimbo lets a bunch of bandits get away with their provisions when he could easily have kicked their asses.
    • More often he's a Martial Pacifist, but in that particular tale he follows this trope: he was trying to impress the value of pacifism on his headstrong student.
  • In the popular Swedish comic book Bamse, the titular character is "the strongest bear in the world", yet detests violence. When there was a switch of author and the new author let Bamse fight an octopus, there was an audience outrage so great that the authors had to issue a public apology. Bamse will, however, happily toss villains up trees to keep them out of the way... even pine trees. Ow.
  • The Blue Lantern Corps of Green Lantern was specifically designed to be this. Rather than adding another group of power ring-waving warriors, they are selected from the ranks of spiritual leaders and tasked with providing healing and moral support to others as opposed to blasting bad guys.
  • Doctor Leslie Thompkins is a close friend of Bruce Wayne, and she is never afraid to stand up to him and give a verbal beatdown about the life of violence he has chosen. She chooses to work in the worst, most crime-ridden areas of Gotham despite offers of more prestigious and high-paying positions because she believes that is where she is most needed. Doctor Thompkins is fully aware of what a cruel world it is out there, and that only makes her feel it is all the more important to not Pay Evil unto Evil.
    • Perhaps the most badass moments from her come during the No Man's Land story arc. With a ruined Gotham officially severed from the rest of the country, she stays behind to run a free clinic for anyone who needs it. When Ax-Crazy serial killer Victor Zsasz is brought there unconscious and critically injured, she doesn't hesitate for a moment to save his life, knowing full well that he is likely to kill again, and quite possibly make Thompkins herself his next victim. Soon, Killer Croc arrives to finish Zsasz off, and Thompkins manages to get him to leave peacefully, telling him that he'll have to go through her to get to Zsasz. And once he wakes up, predictably he has his mind set on killing people at the clinic, and she again manages to talk him out of it.
    • And what does she do when she has to get out of Gotham for a while and lay low? Go do volunteer work in Africa, of course!
  • In The Transformers: Dark Cybertron, Megatron of all people has a Heel Realization when he remembers that he was much closer to accomplishing his goals back when he was a pacifist. He nearly had all of Cybertron in his grasp when words were his only weapon. In his own words, he lost the war the moment he became violent.
  • Marvel's Wundarr the Aquarian. Initially, he was a child-like Superman expy/parody (he was rocketed to Earth by parents who mistakenly believed their planet was about to explode, for instance). However, after exposure to the Cosmic Cube, his power was altered to allow him to absorb and nullify any amount of energy, in proportion to how extreme it is. For example, people can walk or shake hands inside his sphere of influence, but a punch would be slowed to a light tap, a bullet would drop from the air, and even a nuclear explosion would be rendered into a mild illumination (and a bomb inside the field would fail to explode). He is also able to share the cosmic point of view the Cube gave him by touch, which tends to negate hostile intent. Badass Pacifism is basically his entire superpower.
  • Deadpool's inversion in AXIS deconstructs and even parodies this - he still has his combat skills and all, but he's so deep into nonviolence he can't even cut a Thanksgiving turkey!

    Comic Strips 
  • In an arc of Curtis, recurring antagonists Derrick and "Onion" are about to pound Curtis, when Gunk shows up and offers to be their target, going so far as to promise not to fight back, only to indulge in a bout of Deadly Dodging, culminating in the bullies collapsing in an exhausted, self-bruised heap.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: At first glance, Italy seems to be a coward. After all, he would rather run from a fight than engage in one. However, it's because he would rather be hurt than hurt others. He can fight, what with being a swordsman who can rival Japan in battle and has superspeed.
  • Snow White of all people in Kingdom Hearts fanfic Stygian Solace. Through her powers as a Princess of Heart, she holds her dying world together through sheer force of will and calms the remaining survivors. When she believed that Riku was going to kill her, despite being wounded and helpless Snow White tells him off.
  • In the Pony POV Series, Mother Deer, the Mother Goddess of the Deer, is this trope. She never fights herself, despite being quite strong, and dislikes even leading a military period but is very capable of talking people down and leading her people. In fact, under her command, the Deer are much better off and a leader in biotechnology. Turns out she's also the Tree of Harmony incarnate.
  • Marcellus Ardsen of Soul Eater: Troubled Souls. Marcellus does not participate in combat and is implied to be bad at it anyway. Nonetheless, while never delivering a single blow in battle, Marcellus makes up for it through sheer guts, intelligence of two different kinds, levelheadedness, and a very strong moral compass. He's a good weapon partner and coach to Tsuji and, after his Character Development, he's pretty cutting verbally. In one notable instance, Marcellus throws himself in front of his sick mother and takes the front bumper of a car to his back.
  • My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: Just like in canon, Fluttershy would prefer not to fight, if possible. However, this doesn't mean she won't bring plants to life and immobilize you as she does with the Diamond Dogs.
  • The four, especially Paul, essentially define this trope in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. They manage to solve most of their problems, and their quests, without resorting to violence; and early on, simply by walking around and having stuff bounce off them (as well as being power-scanned by all and sundry), they earn the nickname “Awesome Foursome.” They also destroy as many weapons as they can.
    • Being invulnerable to most everything, Paul will stand there and take whatever anyone cares to unleash on him, waiting patiently until they catch a clue and stop. John and Ringo are slightly more willing to be proactive in stopping their opponents, though they never use more than disabling force, and then only if they have no choice. Mostly they leave the scene if they can (especially George, who is even less willing than the others to mix it up, though he will in moments of desperation, or to protect the others).
      • Unless you press one of their Berserk Buttons or threaten one of them... but even then they don't kill or even hurt very much.
  • Equestria: Across the Multiverse has Kimono from the World of Empathy. She's an Actual Pacifist like the rest of her world but still desires to help the rest of the multiversal alliance whenever she can. So she builds the Bard System, her world's Powered Armor variant focused on supporting allies with healing and power buffs and defense with next to no offense. She ends up joining in the Storm King Conflict, and providing critical and beneficial support to her side, allowing her to be as active a participant in the battle as the Pillars of Old Equestria and Hegemony forces she's partnered with. She even manages to talk the surviving enemy soldiers into surrendering. It helps that the Innocence Magic her Bard Armor runs on is a Kryptonite Factor to enemies using corruptive forms of magic.
  • Satsuki Matoi in Maim de Maim is rather strong, whether she's equipped with Junketsu or not, but she doesn't really prefer to fight and generally tries to resolve her battles peacefully and without violence (i.e. her trying to convince Evelyn to surrender in one chapter) but, if peace and diplomacy won't work, then she will resort to violence, playing with this trope. In chapter 22, she forgoes this trope, as she was preparing to help raise an army for Nudist Beach to storm REVOCS-owned Tokyo but she snaps out of this by Ch. 25.
  • The Flower Princess and the Alchemist: Orihime shows dangerous signs of being this, if her first confrontation with Scar is anything to go by. She might not be able to tear you down physically, but she sure as hell can tear a person down psychologically. Al once internally remarks how scary this is. Given that this story takes place about half a year after her rescue from Hueco Mundo, did she take a cue or two from Aizen?

    Film — Animation 
  • How to Train Your Dragon has Hiccup taming dragons as a result of him being friendly to them instead of defending himself against them. That alone takes more courage than just killing dragons on sight.
  • Disney's Pocahontas never picks up a weapon but she stops an entire war from breaking out by putting herself between her father and the man he's about to execute. Notable in that she's a member of a warrior tribe.
  • In The Book of Life, Manolo defeats a huge, demonic bull, not with swords or violence. He does it by calming down the bull down by singing while also asking for forgiveness. It’s shown several times that Manolo is actually an exceptional bullfighter, it just doesn't interest him as much as music and he feels killing is wrong.
  • Princess Poppy from Trolls believes that everyone from the cynical Branch to the ever gloomy Bergens (who honestly believes that eating her species is the only way to make them happy) deserves to be happy. She helps Branch slowly but surely regain his lost optimism, to the point where he becomes the Hope Bringer for her and the Troll Tribe in their Darkest Hour. She befriends the Scullery Maid Bridget, despite her being a Bergen, by being the first person to treat her well, and she and her friends help Bridget disguise herself as a total babe named Lady Glittersparkles so she could win the heart of her crush King Gristle Jr. despite not really getting much in return. This pays off massively when Bridget chooses to release all the Trolls from the cooking pot despite knowing that she’ll be heavily punished for it. During the climax, Poppy can’t bring herself to escape because she doesn’t think it’s fair that Bridget is willingly ruining her life to save the Trolls, so she, Branch, and their friends return to save Bridget from being imprisoned by showing the Bergens that she is Lady Glittersparkles. Using that moment of revelation, Poppy manages to convince all the Bergens (except for The Royal Chef, who has to be dispatched more directly) that they don’t need to eat Trolls by showing that they’ve had happiness within them all along, using Gristle Jr. and Bridget’s natural happiness and joy during their date despite the fact that neither one of them has ever eaten a Troll before as an example. As the Bergens begin to realize that she’s right, Poppy and the rest of the Trolls kick off a dance party to help them wake up that inner happiness. Shortly afterwards, Poppy’s father crowns her Queen of the Trolls for bringing peace between the two species.
  • The nameless Archdeacon from The Hunchback of Notre Dame never raises a hand during the movie, but his authority alone is enough to keep even Knight Templar Judge Frollo in line. That and the fear of God he puts into him during the opening.
    Archdeacon: You can lie to yourself and your minions. You can claim that you haven't a qualm. But you never can run from nor hide what you've done from the eyes! The very eyes of Notre Dame!
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: Sunset Shimmer winds up facing a brainwashed and power-mad Twilight Sparkle, who is hellbent on destroying her world for magic. How does she defeat her? After absorbing the power of Harmony, she fixes the damage Midnight Sparkle caused, pulls her into a white void, and simply offers her a hand in friendship.
  • Walter from Spies in Disguise a Gadgeteer Genius who detests violence, presumably because his mother was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty, he often tries non-violent solutions to problems with his various gadgets, his gadgets end up coming in handy on more than one occasion and he helps save the world in the end.
  • Brave: Like her mother, Merida stops the feuding clans from fighting by (with help from Elinor) giving an eloquent speech about letting their heirs choose what they want.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Furious from Boyz n the Hood is an intelligent and impressive Vietnam veteran who rejects the horrific gang violence that troubles the community of Crenshaw, South Central Los Angeles. In one scene, he opts not to shoot an intruder in his home:
    Furious: Anyone can kill. It takes courage to choose not to.
  • In Kill Bill, Hattori Hanzo is the greatest swordsmith in the world, and apparently an authority on swordsmanship as well. At some point in time, he vowed to never make another object that could kill and retired to run a restaurant. He later broke his vow and made "The Bride" the sword she used to have her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • St. Thomas Becket in Becket (both the film and the play it is based on), who knows that King Henry II's knights have come to assassinate him, but who stoically conducts mass in the cathedral awaiting his death.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is spat upon by Bob Ewell. Atticus looks the man in the eye as he wipes the spit off with a handkerchief, and it is apparent that the man is intimidated by Atticus's mere presence. Atticus leaves without laying a hand on the contemptible man, but it is clear who the stronger of the two is.
  • Mirana, the White Queen in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010). Her sister Iracebeth usurped her throne, stole her crown, and exiled her to a small corner of the realm while wreaking gleeful havoc upon the land and its residents. When the time for vengeance was at hand, Mirana acknowledged that the appropriate punishment would be death; instead, however, she banished Iracebeth to the Outlands and forbade any of the citizenry to ever speak a word to her for the rest of her life — and the way she did it, you knew she meant business.
    • Anne Hathaway herself is on the record as saying that she played the White Queen as having a very cruel, dangerous side that she keeps strictly under control for fear of losing her temper. This only adds to her badass status, as it implies that she is fighting to keep her violent impulses under control at all times and still never raises her voice.
  • Broken Sword and the calligraphy school he lives at in Zhang Yimou's Hero (2002). During a rain of arrows on the school by the Qin army, the artists continue to write at their desks, even as many are killed in the assault. When Broken Sword's brush is destroyed by an arrow he snatches an arrow out of the air, breaks the tip, and uses it as a brush. Finally, rather than allow the Qin emperor to be assassinated, the same one who ordered the destruction of his school, Broken Sword convinces the movie's protagonist to spare him, realizing that the end to war only emperor can achieve is too important to prevent.
  • Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy has nearly god-like abilities in the Grid, but he cannot use them against Clu because Clu was a program based on Flynn himself, and as a sort of dark mirror image of Kevin, he grows stronger when Kevin tries to fight him directly. Instead, Kevin restricts his powers to more subtle and nonviolent, but no less potent, applications, like healing damaged programs, reprogramming them to be helpful, or stopping a crashing elevator by overriding the physics it is based on. In one particularly memorable scene, he showcases his powers by winning a losing battle simply by showing up.
  • Aside from the assassination attempt on Hitler which happened before the film, Pope Pius XII in Under the Roman Sky never relies on violence to face the Nazis. He even tells the Swiss Guard not to attack.
  • In Inherit the Wind, Henry Drummond, a secularist attorney played by Spencer Tracy, is an aging man who takes a lot of heat from everybody, but he never loses his cool demeanor and instead turns words into weapons to defend his cause with a respect-worthy dignity. All in the middle of a hostile town where death threats are matter-of-factly sung.
  • Father Gabriel in The Mission. He's first introduced to us as a missionary risking his life by climbing up a treacherous waterfall to minister to Guarani Indians, who just a few days earlier had murdered another priest by crucifying him and sending him over a waterfall. In his final scene at the end of the movie, Father Gabriel offers non-violent resistance against Portuguese soldiers sent to destroy the mission by conducting Mass and stoically awaiting his own death from a barrage of musket balls and flaming arrows.
  • Hacksaw Ridge, based on the life of Desmond Thomas Doss (see Real Life below).
  • Luke Skywalker is depicted as this in the climax of The Last Jedi. While Kylo Ren, his former apprentice, approaches him under the impression that he's about to get into a duel, Luke never once attacks his opponent and instead maneuvers around him in a way that provides the Resistance enough time to escape from the First Order. In this respect, Luke got to live up to the ideals of the Jedi in a way that none of his teachers ever did.
  • Matewan: Kenehan mentions encountering these while he was in Fort Leavenworth military prison during World War I after he sees Few Clothes carrying a gun. They were Hutterite (similar to the Amish-Kenehan calls them Mennonites here mistakenly) conscientious objectors and refused to cut their beards or wear clothes with buttons when they got into prison, as this was, along with bearing arms, against their religion. The guards then punished them by handcuffing them to the cell bars for eight hours a day, but even though it made the cuffs cut into their wrists, causing wounds, then eventually gangrene, they never broke and kept tearing off the buttons with their teeth. He says he's never seen any braver men, and they were only there because they refused to use violence. Truth in Television-two Hutterite brothers died there from mistreatment, while many more (from the Hutterites and other groups) suffered as a result of their imprisonment.
  • Major Henry Kendall (William Holden) in The Horse Soldiers. Kendall is a regimental surgeon who is torn between duty and the horror of war. He refuses to carry a sidearm, honours his Hippocratic Oath by treating civilians and enemy combatants despite the pressures and dangers of the mission, and is the only person willing to stand up to Colonel Badass John Marlowe (John Wayne).

  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. The only time (Backstory excluded) he picks up a gun is to Mercy Kill a mad dog - but he has a speech in the courtroom about how every man should be equal in the eyes of the court, and say the man is not badass. There is a reason why he's AFI's #1 of top 100 good guys. There's another reason too, but everyone knows it's not the important one.
  • Merlin, in some versions, fits this trope nicely; explaining to King Arthur that the healing power of Excalibur's sheath is more important than the sword, for example.
    • In this case, it's arguable whether that exactly constitutes pacifism, as while Excalibur was a very nice sword, the sheath made the bearer invulnerable.
  • In an absolutely perfect Wham Line from "Cathy's Ring", Emma Cheung is revealed to be this:
    "Nope," Emma said. "I just paid the caterer fifty bucks to dump the rest of the serum in the punch."
  • Tom Bombadil from The Lord of the Rings never harms anyone or anything, but can use his Magic Music to make angry old trees and barrow-wights back down. Also, he's powerful enough that the One Ring has absolutely no effect on him.
    • At the end of the book, Frodo has to be counted in. After his experiences in Mordor, he objects to ever wearing a sword again. Under the scourging of the Shire, Frodo lets Merry and Pippin handle the actual fighting, while he tends to the wounded. His most badass moment in this respect is when he shows mercy to Saruman, who had tried to backstab him seconds before. This, more than anything else, humiliates Saruman utterly.
  • Umasi from Truancy and Truancy: Origins. Possibly the most skilled fighter in the series, but only actually fights once in the first book (not counting the Training from Hell).
  • Discworld:
    • Dorfl the golem commands this sort of respect, though mostly because of his status as a free golem. A normal golem doesn't harm people because they're magically prevented from doing so, while Dorfl doesn't because he's decided it's wrong. This leaves some people with the worrying feeling that, given enough provocation, he might reconsider. Also, he has glowing red eyes.
    • Brutha from Small Gods. The only person he hits in the book is Simony (it was a reactionary blow), yet he talks Om into doing his bidding.
  • Dallben the Enchanter from The Chronicles of Prydain. When Caer Dallben is attacked, he does not lift a finger to defend himself - though he makes it clear to his attacker that if he dies, the attacker's life is forfeit. The attacker taunts that Dallben actually cannot kill. But he looks into the Book of Three where his death is foretold. The book fries him with a sort of magical self-defense mechanism.
  • Valentine Michael Smith from Stranger in a Strange Land. A Blithe Spirit Raised by Martians, he brings to Earth their Starfish Language and Blue-and-Orange Morality culture and teaches them to other human beings. Throughout the story, he never once raises a hand in violence. He does, however, use his Martian-inspired Psychic Powers to make overly aggressive people and objects "discorporate".
  • Father James in Someone Else's War.
    "I don't want you to kill anymore. Not for their sake, but for yours."
  • Ayan in A Harvest of War, for the natural ease with which she commands the respect of violent people who could tear her apart with minimal effort.
  • The title character in the E.E. Cummings poem "I sing of Olaf big and glad"
  • Redwall: Gingivere Greeneyes from Mossflower. He is the kindhearted and peaceful brother of the cruel and murderous Tsarmina. At one point, Tsarmina goes down into the dungeon to taunt Gingivere, who has been imprisoned there for months. Gingivere's body is weak and emaciated, but his eyes are described as still being fiery and full of life. He stares into Tsarmina's eyes, intimidating her, and then scares her away by shouting "Murderer!" at her, because he knows that she was the one who killed their father. He turns the tables on Tsarmina without ever breaking his pacifistic ways.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Lirin definitely counts. In a flashback, when a group of his own neighbors try to rob Lirin of a goblet full of spheres which he allegedly stole from the previous citylord, he's completely unintimidated, and flat-out tells them to come in and make good on their threats against him. Seeing this strongly affects Kaladin, who was just a boy at the time, as it was the bravest thing he'd ever see somebody do despite pacifism being completely antithetical to Alethi culture.
    Lirin: Well? You've threatened violence against me. Come. Hit me. Rob me. Do it knowing I've lived among you almost my entire life. Do it knowing that I've healed your children. Come in. Bleed one of your own!
    • Unfortunately, by book 4 his pacifism is more submissive than badass. Probably because he blames his defiance for Tien's death and Kaladin becoming a Shell-Shocked Veteran.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Byron, the leader of the telepath colony in Babylon 5. The guy just stands there while a bigot punches his face in, and each time the bigot punches him in the face he stands up again. He manages to turn the act of standing up into a badass act of defiance, all without any overt aggression.
    • Not only that, he actually told the guy to hit him, repeatedly, just to make his point.
      Byron: Was one the same as three? Was three the same as one and two?
      Thug: Wha…
      Byron: Was there any difference between one, two, and three?
      Thug: I ... I …
      Byron: And what would you expect to get out of four, five, and six that you did not get out of one, two, and three? Your anger has nothing to do with me. What will satisfy your anger will never come from me or anyone else here. I'm afraid you must look for it elsewhere.
    • Unfortunately, Byron's pacifism tends to take that sort of self-destructive form all the time - he almost seems to long for personal martyrdom more than he does for Telepath liberation. Even more unfortunately, he doesn't succeed in spreading the pacifist message to all of his followers...
  • Private Godfrey in Dad's Army. In one episode it's revealed that he was a conscientious objector during World War I, causing many of his friends to regard him as a coward and lose respect for him. He earns it all back by the end of the episode when it's further revealed that he applied for training as a field medic, and won medals for bravery by venturing into No Man's Land in search of wounded soldiers and carrying them on his back, under heavy fire, across the barbed wire and minefields of the Battle of the Somme, to safety. He thinks that his military medal is "too garish" for someone like him.
  • Daredevil (2015): Foggy Nelson may not have Matt Murdock's heightened senses, but when put into a sticky situation, he's able to defuse it with just his silver tongue.
    • In the season 2 premiere, "Bang", Nelson & Murdock are trying to get information on the Punisher, who just massacred a Kitchen Irish meeting. While Karen goes to the hospital to guard their client, Matt goes seeking out Turk Barrett to get information, and Foggy goes to a Dogs of Hell clubhouse (due to Matt overhearing some other cops at the crime scene). Foggy is able to convince one of the bikers to let him in despite risking himself getting shanked. He is able to get enough information and respect from the escorting doorman before getting kicked out alive and intact.
    • Two episodes later, in "New York's Finest", Frank Castle's war on the Hell's Kitchen underworld as he avenges the death of his family has put the gangs at war, and the blood is so bad that gangbangers are trying to settle scores on the emergency room floor and don't care if ER staff or bystanders get hurt. Foggy happens to be at the hospital with Claire, trying to look for Matt, when one skirmish breaks out. Foggy is left stuck in the middle, and seeing how neither of the armed security guards present is in a position to do something, he speaks up.
      Foggy Nelson: Hey, asshole! How many priors you got?
      Gangbanger 1: [bewildered] What'd you say to me?
      Foggy Nelson: I asked you about your priors.
      Gangbanger 2: Yeah, keep talking shit, I'll check you into ICU myself.
      Foggy Nelson: You got face tattoos, friend. That's like telegraphing, "I know what prison meatloaf tastes like."
      Gangbanger 2: You just better step back, now.
      Foggy Nelson: I'm not gonna ask if you know what happens when you get charged with assault. I got a hunch you got more mugshots than baby pictures back home.
      Gangbanger 2: Man, who are you?
      Foggy Nelson: I'm the pro-bono suit you'll try to retain after you go down for this. Only not even my soft-hearted partner will take your case, or any other self-respecting attorney in Hell's Kitchen. Not because you're so badass, but because you're just. That. Stupid.
      Gangbanger 2: You got a big mouth, asshole.
      Foggy Nelson: You forget, I do this for a living. I could ask you to look at the faces of the other patients. Every last one of 'em scared to death, because the two of you can't keep it in your pants. But I'm guessing that neither one of you could give a collective shit. So I'm gonna do what attorneys do best and appeal to your selfish natures. Simply put, if you carve each other up now, in front of these witnesses, with cops right outside, you're screwed!
      Gangbanger 2: I can't just walk away, man.
      Foggy Nelson: I'm not asking you to lose the oh-so-serious stink-eye. Just don't fight! Put 'em down. Let these people do their jobs.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor rarely takes up arms, almost never engages in physical violence (except during his third incarnation), and in many episodes has been seen defeating armies by simply talking to them.
    • It must be stressed that the Doctor is not a pure pacifist, a mistake some of his enemies have made on occasion: he merely dislikes resorting to violence, and is such a genius that he can usually think of some way to defeat the enemy non-violently. He also frequently sabotages the weapons of evil aliens so that they blow up in their faces when fired; e.g., "reversing the polarity" on an alien mothership's doomsday weapon so it blows up the mothership itself. Even in these circumstances, the Doctor will try to urge the invading aliens not to attack, and if they do and get destroyed, it could be argued that it made karmic sense for them to be destroyed by their own doomsday weapon. Still, there have been even rarer occasions when the Doctor actually shoots and kills an enemy, plain and simple, when he felt he had no other choice.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter" has a very angry Doctor give a General Ripper a speech about how, unlike him, "I. Never. Would." (kill someone out of hand). He then persuades the two sides of the war to make peace.
    • "The Eleventh Hour" has the Doctor get the Atraxi to leave Earth by simply invoking his reputation, making them clear out very quickly. After the Doctor had called them back for a scolding.
    • Another example of the Doctor embodying this trope is "A Good Man Goes to War", where he defeats an entire army specifically dedicated to destroying him, all without a drop of blood spilled.note 
    • Deliberately invoked in "Listen". Clara gives to a young Danny Pink, and then to the Doctor as a child, toy soldiers, led by Dan the soldier man. When the young Danny notes that the Dan figure has no gun, Clara explains that's why he's the leader: he is so powerful that he does not need a weapon.
    • Lampshaded in "Hell Bent", where a Gallifreyan soldier, having been ordered to shoot him, lowers his weapon while facing the Doctor, siding with him instead of Rassilon, saying, "The first thing you will notice about the Doctor of War is that he is unarmed. For many, it is also the last."
  • Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days, who on so many occasions, ends fights without throwing a single punch... at his opponents.
  • Kieren in In the Flesh manages to save the lives (un-lives?) of two zombies so they can be treated by staring down the barrel of a gun and convincing the group to capture them for extra profit rather than kill them. Said group was known for a pathological hatred of zombies. Oh, and Kieren is a zombie himself so he's barely in a better position than the feral zombies he's protecting.
  • In the Kraft Suspense Theatre episode "The Gun", Dr. Bert Andrews is a mild-mannered dentist who calms down a mentally disturbed woman who's waving a loaded shotgun around.
  • Kyle of Kyle XY. All he did in fights until season 3 was spam Deadly Dodging over and over again till his attacker stopped. With his crazy ass reflexes, this actually worked.
  • The eponymous MacGyver, to at least some extent:
    Hines: For a man that doesn't like violence, you certainly know a lot about it.
    MacGyver: Exactly...
  • Guinevere from Merlin dislikes violence and could under no circumstances be described as an Action Girl (though she wields a sword on a couple of occasions, she's clearly not that good at it, and she remains the only main character to have never taken a life). However, she embodies the Silk Hiding Steel trope, and at the beginning of series four, she witnesses the city gates being closed on refugees flocking to Camelot to escape the evil spirits invading the kingdom. She, a female servant, confronts the council of noble-born men, and using nothing but common sense and her own understanding of human nature, convinces all of them that their wisest choice of action is to re-open the gates and allow people to seek refuge in the city. They comply.
  • Resurrection: Ertuğrul has the wandering Dervish Ibn Arabi, serving as a strong contrast to weapon-bearing characters like Ertugrul and Turgut. The strongest example of his refusal to harm others happens toward the end of season 3, when during a mission to heal a poisoned Sultan Alaeddin, Ibn is prevented from entering the edifice where he is being held. Even as the guards consider shooing him away by force, Ibn remains calm, relaxed, and unwilling to so much as even pinch his aggressors, and after being finally admitted entry, succeeds in restoring the ruler to health.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Savage Curtain", powerful Excalibian aliens capture Kirk and Spock to pit them in the ultimate battle between "Good" and "Evil", recreating from their memories what they perceive as representatives of "Good" (Abraham Lincoln for Kirk, Surak of Vulcan for Spock) and "Evil" (a rogues gallery of the greatest tyrants in history, from Genghis Khan to World War III strongman Colonel Green). As they prepare to fight to the death, Surak insists to Kirk that they must attempt to make peace with the "Evil" representatives. Kirk is ready to give the same speech he's given in half a dozen other episodes to native aliens of several planets about the imperative to rise up and bravely fight off evil — but for once, the "alien" points out to Kirk that just because they disagree about how to handle violence doesn't mean that Kirk's way is automatically morally superior. Surak (politely but firmly) informs Kirk that he is fully aware that if he heads to the "Evil" camp offering peace, they will almost certainly kill him. However, as a man of peace, Surak refuses to abandon his principles of non-violent pacifism, believing that this isn't a test of their ability to survive, but of their values and belief in peace. Surak leaves for the "Evil" camp, alone and unarmed. Even Kirk is moved to remark to Spock that "your Surak is a brave man", to which Spock replies "Men of peace usually are, Captain". Surak is indeed later killed by the "Evil" characters after offering them peace: the audience is left to decide on their own if Surak's actions were better than Kirk's.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Worf becomes one in "Birthright". Worf finds a Romulan prison camp where Klingons have been held prisoner for so long that their children don't even realize that it's a prison instead of a refuge from the war. The Romulan commander is proud that they have created a place where Romulans and Klingons can live in peace, but Worf sees that it has come at the price of the young Klingons being ignorant of their culture and their heritage. Without committing or encouraging a single act of violence, Worf teaches the young Klingons about their heritage. Even as the Romulan commander threatens to execute Worf, he doesn't fight back because he wants the Klingons to see how threatened the commander is by Worf, despite his non-violence, so that they will see that their home is really a prison.
    • In "Gambit", Picard discovers an ancient Vulcan weapon that can only be defeated by one of these. A mad Vulcan discovers the weapon and kills the criminals who helped her find it. She tells Picard that the weapon cannot be stopped, but Picard realizes that the weapon is powered by the violent thoughts of the target. Picard orders his crew to empty their minds of violent thoughts and the weapon is rendered useless. Even Worf was unaffected by the weapon once he emptied his mind of violent thoughts.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): The Tua'than refuse to use violence, but this does not make them weak, like their creed the Way of the Leaf says. Without hesitation, a group of them stand up to armed Whitecloaks searching for Egwene and Perrin, forming a shield using their bodies which lets them get away, even though they're beaten up for it.
  • The Wire: In "The Hunt", the police and a SWAT team are about to arrest Avon Barksdale in his office. Sitting in their car, Jimmy McNulty and Cedric Daniels are unimpressed with the show of force. So the two proceed to simply walk up the stairs to the office like a walk in the park, wordlessly put the handcuffs on Avon, then walk out. The only words being when McNulty tells Stringer, "Catch you later."
    Jimmy McNulty: This isn't as much fun as I thought it would be...
    Cedric Daniels: SWAT guys do love to break out their tools, don't they?
    Jimmy McNulty: Do they think there's Tony Montana up there? These guys probably haven't touched a gun in years. [beat] Ah, fuck this shit. You and me, Lieutenant.

  • Savatage wrote a couple of songs relating to Badass Pacifists.
    • Handful of Rain has two: "Chance" was written about Chiune Sugihara, "the Japanese Oskar Schindler". See the Real Life section below. "Castles Burning" is about Giovanni Falcone who died opposing The Mafia.
    • The Rock Opera Dead Winter Dead features an old man who plays cello in a bombed-out town square in defiance of the The Yugoslav Wars raging around him. This old man is based on Vedran Smailovic, who did play the cello during the siege of Sarajevo and fortunately didn't die in the process like his fictional counterpart.
  • Michael Jackson in his video for "Beat It" ends up resolving a feud between two rival gangs that has bubbled over into a Mob War through the power of dance, directly intervening in the middle of the Knife Fight duel between the two leaders to do so. The song itself is about how you don't need to fight to be manly and that it is better to avoid violence or Know When to Fold 'Em and "beat it."
  • Stolen City's music video for "Faces" has the father of the transgender girl. He doesn't raise his fists to defend her from the bullies. He just walks into the bar, shoots each of them a Death Glare, and makes it clear they won't be picking on his daughter again.
  • Tom Cardy: In The Ballad of Smokin' Joe Rudeboy, the title character is able to defeat all his opponents - who have literal guns, mind you - through the sheer magnitude by which he flips them off. He does this because of his late wife's wish for him not to use guns.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Book of Mormon: The entire people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi make an oath to never use weapons or fight their enemies, due largely to having a very bloody past before conversion, and every man, woman and child keeps it while an army bears down on them. Their lack of resistance is so complete that most of the army actually feels guilty after seeing they won't fight back, stops killing them, and many convert and join them. When they later leave to avoid conflict, the narrative hints that some of them actually endured torture rather than allowing themselves to be provoked to violence.
  • The Four Gospels tells the story of Jesus, a man who managed to defy the hatred of the hypocritical Pharisee clergy, the tyrannical Roman Empire, and the unrelenting Devil by allowing himself to be executed in the most brutal way they could muster, only to prove that even their greatest weapon, death, was nothing to the might of God by rising from the dead. This goes along with his teachings to Turn the Other Cheek, not to harbor anger for a brother, and to love one's enemies.
  • Following Jesus' example, many early Christians were notable for nonviolent acts of badassery. Examples include:
    • St. Martin of Tours, a soldier who volunteered to go into battle unarmed rather than violate his conscience. That particular battle was canceled.
    • St. Lawrence of Rome, who was burnt to death as a martyr. His last words were supposedly, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side."note 
    • St. Symeon the Stylite, who lived atop a stone pillar in the middle of the desert Syria for 36 years because the typical fifth-century life was just too soft. (When a maggot fell out of one of his sores, he put it back in with the words, "Here, worm, eat what the Lord thy God hath provided.")
  • Stories portray Buddha finding killers on the road, like Angulimala and Hariti, only for him to convert them to the side of good by non-violent means.

  • Eiffel from Wolf 359 is a lazy, irresponsible Actual Pacifist and proud founder of Team What's Wrong With Handcuffs. He also outsmarted a scientific genius with nothing but a voice modifier and a cigarette, and survived for over 180 days on a broken ship in deep space by freezing himself to the point of losing his hair, nails, and half his bodyweight. Yikes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: During their invasion of the Inner Sphere, Clan Smoke Jaguar was so infuriated by the people they conquered rising against them that they decided the best option would be to destroy civilian apartment blocks one by one until the leader of the resistance revealed themselves. Smoke Jaguar mechwarriors razed building after building full of men, women, and children until a lone monk, having absolutely nothing to do with the rebellion, ran out into the streets and proclaimed himself to be the resistance leader. No points in guessing what happened to him.
  • From Dungeons & Dragons there's the prestige class known as the Apostle of Peace. In order to get there, you have to take vows of poverty and nonviolence which basically stop you from owning anything or hitting anything. However, once you are there, weapons just shatter when they hit you and you can make demons recoil by basically just saying "Bad boy! Go to your room!"
    • Also in D&D the way Eldath (goddess of peace in the Forgotten Realms setting) and her followers act is basically exhausting her enemies running away -or equivalent- until they assume they cannot win and are put at the side of the former.
  • Lorette Strider in Traveller. She was a great interstellar explorer and worked for understanding between the Terrans and the Vilani. However, she was one of the first killed in the Interstellar Wars because of course she was Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
  • It is possible to be this in Magic: The Gathering with a deck that specializes in library depletion. The idea of the deck is very simple - counter or destroy your opponent's ability to do damage to you. Alternately (or additionally) gain an obscene amount of life so that the damage that the opponent is doing is irrelevant. Meanwhile, you use various cards, such as the Millstone to slowly remove cards from their library. Or you could use a card like Stroke of Genius to force them to draw through their deck in one fell swoop. Or you could just wait them out... It's very possible to build an effective deck of this type that has no ability to do damage.
  • High-level priests of Chalana Arroy in Glorantha fall into this category, along with the goddess herself. As detailed in King of Dragon Pass, she can not only heal conventional illnesses, injuries, and even bring people Back from the Dead, but she can arguably cure any condition that can be construed as one of the above. For instance, said resurrection ability comes from healing the "Mark of Certitude" under Humakt's tongue, allowing his final death to not always be final if she intervenes.

  • Solveig from Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen. She qualifies by taking down an Eldritch Abomination twice. The first time through singing. The second time by just calmly sitting there.
  • Orpheus qualifies in Hadestown. By the time the show is done, Orpheus has descended to Hadestown, made his way in way making the stones weep, endured a beating at the hands of Hades' workers, and starts the downfall of Hadestown as an authoritarian regime. Put best by Hades in "How Long": A kingdom will fall for a song."

    Video Games 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Eliwood from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade can fight, but his greatest crowning moment of awesome is during a non-battle scene.
    • Elincia, queen of Crimea in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, is very much the same. To wit; she was unable to talk two warring factions from battling within the borders of her country. So she rode between them, laid down her sword, and pretty much said "Go ahead, but I'm not moving". It... kinda worked? I guess? Half of both sides backed down.
    • There's also Exalt Emmeryn from Fire Emblem: Awakening. She started by ascending to the throne at the age of 9. When the war with Gangrel begins, she refuses to back down and goes back to the capital just to reassure her people and make sure they are alright. And when she gets captured, she jumps off a cliff to stop the Fire Emblem from falling into the wrong hands, managing to convince almost the entirety of Gangrel's army to stop fighting in the process. In the secret Streetpass chapters, it's revealed she survived the fall, albeit with some heavy brain damage. Even with that handicap, she manages to escape from a group of the The Grimleal with little trouble. She can be recruited into your army, where she may become a fighter, even exterminating the Grimleal which her father failed to do.
  • It is possible to play Faith as one in Mirror's Edge. With her parkour skills, she can outrun all of the mooks. In fact, this is how you get the best times in the Speed Runs.
  • The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment can be one if the player wants. Sneak past non-intelligent enemies, and convince the intelligent ones to leave you alone or aid you. There is not only a way to talk the final boss to death, there's multiple ways.
  • A prime example is the titular Professor Layton. Sure, he can fence, but logic, reason, diplomacy, and his epic pointer finger are the top weapons in his arsenal. Plus, he only uses weapons to disarm his enemies, never to injure or kill.
  • The Nameless Mod for Deus Ex let you play without hurting a single life. In the original game, you could almost but not quite get to that point.
  • Iji can be played as one, as she never technically has to kill anyone herself.
  • The player has the option of making Naked Snake into one of these in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, by tranquilizing or sneaking past any adversaries instead of killing them (except for the various mini-bosses). The game even rewards this conduct by making what could otherwise be an incredibly difficult section of gameplay easier based on how much mercy you have shown; the fewer mooks you've killed, the easier it is.
  • One of the largest point bonuses in the Super Smash Bros. series is rewarded for not attacking at all during a level. Thanks to Artificial Stupidity, it can be fairly easy to get with a minor understanding of a given character's AI.
    • Princess Peach, although a formidable fighter in her own right, seems to only enjoy fighting as a sport and when outside of the ring, tends to solve her problems using diplomacy, resolving fights with a Mid-Battle Tea Break and maybe a firm scolding.
  • Persona:
    • Fuuka Yamagishi, the Mission Control of Persona 3, is one. Shortly after summoning her Persona for the first time, she allows you to see the strengths and weaknesses of the Boss Shadows that just curbstomped two of your allies. Especially badass because she had just endured ten hours in Tartarus without being caught by a single Shadow and was probably tired as hell. (For reference, one hour in Tartarus is enough to wear out your party members.) If all of that isn't enough to convince you, she really earns this title in Persona 4: Arena when she breaks the Malevolent Entity's control over Labrys despite not even being in the same world at the time.
    • Rise Kujikawa from Persona 4 pulls off a similar feat. Right after facing her own Shadow, she immediately takes over as Mission Control when the next boss shows up. Not badass yet? Well, consider that she can still perform the Mission Control job while not wearing the glasses everyone has, and she had just gotten her Persona, whereas everyone else could barely stand after getting theirs.
    • Futaba Sakura of Persona 5 may not do any sort of fighting, but in addition to being the Phantom Thieves' Mission Control, she is an exceptional hacker whose skills prove vital in many of their heists.
  • For the majority of the game, it is possible to play Norman Jayden from Heavy Rain as this.
  • Dragon Age II has Grand Cleric Elthina, head of the Kirkwall Chantry. She's loving, forgiving, and she's the main reason that Kirkwall's mages and templars haven't murdered each other. At one point, she effortlessly defuses a riot, stops a fight between Orsino and Meredtih, the two most powerful people in the city, and basically tells them to go to their rooms. They obey.
  • Harry Mason from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories never kills, attacks, or otherwise injures the enemies chasing him. That doesn't stop him from being an unstoppable Determinator when it comes to finding his daughter.
  • Murphy Pendleton from Silent Hill: Downpour can be portrayed as one if the player chooses to do a Pacifist Run through the game. This involves walking straight into the monster-infested town of Silent Hill and coming out completely innocent due to not murdering a single monster encountered. Doing so successfully will result in an achievement/trophy.
  • Fallout and Fallout 2 lets you play as one; using guile, intelligence, and charisma, you can do damn near anything, including talking the final boss into killing himself, all without taking a single life or even holding a gun. Also present to a lesser extent in Fallout 3, although there are some people you need to kill. It's almost back in full force in Fallout: New Vegas, able to convince the final boss to back off if you're a good enough talker, but you need to murder at least one person on every route as a quest objective.
  • The "Luigi Wins By Doing Absolutely Nothing" meme.
  • Undertale:
    • The protagonist can be played this way, and the game's storytelling heavily reflects this. It's even necessary to do this in order to achieve the Golden Ending. They face down dozens of monsters more than capable of wrecking their soul and yet refuse to fight, even though they have the potential to wipe out all life in the Underground.
    • While he doesn't usually apply (being more of a Boisterous Bruiser), Papyrus takes up this tack on a Genocide playthrough. He asks the protagonist to look inside themselves, being sure there's still something good inside them, and then... "Papyrus is sparing you." He won't attack. He'll never attack. He just stands there, counting on you to pull yourself back from the brink. If you really want to keep playing the Genocide route, you have to kill him... and you cannot possibly justify it in any way, because he will never threaten you. It's commonly believed that the Papyrus "battle" is the single most common point for players to give up Genocide runs, as when they're faced with what they have to do, most players just can't.
  • Max Caulfield from Life Is Strange is a time-traveling Badass Adorable teenage girl trying to solve a murder mystery in her town. However, not once does she personally draw blood while out on her adventure. Her powers involve controlling time around her and learning from her experiences in order to outsmart her enemies. The only way she solves most of her problems is either by altering time or genuinely talking things out with others.
  • As court battles don't (usually) involve violence but do involve facing dangerous criminals, Ace Attorney naturally sprouts a few of these.
    • Phoenix Wright faces dangers both in and out of the courtroom, ranging from poisoners to mafia to amoral prosecutors, never once backing down when he believes in his clients' innocence. Outside of the courtroom, he once ran on a burning bridge to make sure his partner was safe and investigated a case while having a 39-degreenote  fever to protect someone he cares about. His probably biggest badass moment is early in Spirit of Justice when he defends the kid he barely knows accused of murder and then learns that in Khura'in lawyers face the same punishment as their clients if they fail. He gets a chance to walk out without consequences and refuses.
    • Mia Fey is, for the most part, a Posthumous Character. Which doesn't stop her from helping Phoenix many times through the first trilogy, taking down a blackmailer who had connections to many major figures in the country, or saving her sister several times. In her backstory, she manages to be Violently Protective Girlfriend without being violent when she tracks down a girl who attacked her boyfriend and makes sure she'll rot in prison.
    • Miles Edgeworth a.k.a. the Demon Attorney faces opponents ranging from common murderers to smuggling rings, to masterminds behind presidential assasination, and always manages to find the truth. His most badass moment was his claim "No one gets away with murder in my office", said to the guy who was holding him at gunpoint.
    • Dhurke, leader of the Defiant Dragons, faces the evil regime while swearing not to shed blood. By the time Spirit of Justice starts he's been fighting for 23 years and while it wasn't him who overthrew the regime, he made it possible for Apollo to do so. Even his own death couldn't stop him from saving both Maya and Apollo.
  • In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Phoenix Wright is this. Unlike the rest of the roster, none of his moves are fighting moves in the technical sense. For example, his standing light attack has him showing the opponent some documents, while his crouching light attack has Nick looking for clues on the floor.
    (One of his winquotes) I'm not really into this fighting stuff unless it's in a courtroom. …Oh, and with words!
  • While she's known among her friends for having a Hair-Trigger Temper, Amy Rose's biggest moments from the Sonic the Hedgehog games involve her talking down the enemy. Throughout the games, her Rousseau Was Right ideology and the speeches that result from such have either led directly to an antagonist character's Heel–Face Turn or is the catalyst for a Heel Realization later in the story.
  • Pokémon has some cases that are done through game mechanics: Neither Wobbuffet nor Pyukumuku are even capable of learning direct damage attacks, and both just sit there taking hits, but they can give their opponents problems anyway, with Wobbuffet relying on Attack Reflectors and Pyukumuku setting up moves for indirect damage. In a related sense, the Swagger-Foul Play combo functions like this, with knockouts inflicted through repeated use of Stop Hitting Yourself.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the legendary Tongue (ancient Nord warriors who were masters of the Thu'um) Jurgen Windcaller became one following his Heel–Faith Turn, and instilled this philosophy in his Greybeard followers. When the other Tongues tried to "shout", he and his teachings down, he didn't fight back. Instead, he "swallowed" their words for three entire days to prove his mastery. This caused them to acknowledge his superiority and wisdom in the Voice. Despite the strength such a group may possess, he set the Greybeards' policy of non-intervention in worldly affairs, and of studying the Voice as a way to honor the gods. In Skyrim, it takes the Dragonborn (a mortal blessed with the immortal soul of a dragon by the draconic Top God Akatosh who the Greybeards are sworn to teach and serve) to convince them to help end the dragon menace to Skyrim, and even then they only offer their monastery as a neutral meeting ground for the warring Civil War factions to hammer out a ceasefire agreement.
  • Iconoclasts has the main character, Robin. Only armed with a stun gun and a wrench, she still manages to prove able to hold her own against the hostile wildlife and the One Concern, and at the end of the game, she almost singlehandedly topples the Tri religion and kills their god (although it actually wasn't a god but they didn't know that). Also a downplayed example, as she does kill hostile wildlife and destroys One Concern robots, and she does have to kill one person in the whole game: Agent Black.

  • Maytag from Flipside feeds her arm to a monster and befriends it in an act of badass pacifism. On the other hand, she's much less pacifistic when she's not involved with an unkillable monster after having her access to weapons stripped from her.
  • Nick from General Protection Fault, near the end of Surreptitious Machinations, has just been apprised of the true purpose of Velociraptor and is walking away from Trudy with Ki, who warned him. Trudy pulls an If I Can't Have You…, putting a gun to his head. He turns around, stands perfectly still, and says "You do what you feel you have to, Trudy." She backs down.
  • The Ultimate Diplomat from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, who can make trained soldiers and ninjas sheepishly throw their weapons away with a single sentence of chastisement.
  • In Homestuck, Tavros Nitram is either this trope or a fatalistic Broken Bird: he has epic Psychic Powers but refuses to use them in combat. note  It's worth noting, however, that he lived to adolescence on a Death World ruled by a Proud Warrior Race that actively oppressed him because of his low caste. And that he's one of the sanest, most emotionally stable trolls.
    • It's worth pointing out that Tavros actually finished the game without killing a single enemy, using his ability to befriend creatures to play as a solo support class. In a game so lethal, it gave perfectly capable fighters trouble.
    • And then he raises an army without using any psychic powers at all. This is, of course, immediately Played for Laughs.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Riboflavin has observed that part of the reason Bob resorts to this tactic so often is that he isn't much good at fighting anyway and knows it. That doesn't change the fact that he's very good at ending confrontations without resorting to violence.

    Web Original 
  • Folder, of the Whateley Universe. Once, when his psychic powers came on, he accidentally destroyed his best friend's arm. Because of that, he will not attack anyone, and will not defend himself when attacked. The teachers at Whateley Academy can't get him to defend himself against violent bullies that he could rip apart if he chose to.
  • The Gandhi vs. Martin Luther King, Jr episode of Epic Rap Battles of History features a paradoxical version of this: two men engaged in an intense rap battle to out-peace each other. It ends in hugging.
    MLK: I'm about to forgive you so hard right now!
    Gandhi: I'm passively resisting the fact that you suck!
  • Anima, from Price. She commands quite significant power, but won't use it for violent ends.
  • There is a panoply of characters in Malê Rising that live up to this. Aiza Khalid and the women of Java staged silent protests and passive resistance against the colonial Dutch government, capitalizing on the shame of hurting unarmed women. The Abacar family also joined the dancing protests in Igboland against the Imperial government of the British Empire.
  • The Shortest Story: The First Healer. Go into battle, knowing that if you fall you'll go to an eternal feast? Fine. But going into battle unarmed, saving the lives of your companions, knowing that if you fall you're doomed to hell? That's badass.

    Western Animation 
  • Finn the Human of Adventure Time starts off as a Blood Knight but evolves into this by the end of the series, managing to prevent an entire war without landing a single blow.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Hank Pym/Ant-Man is the most pacifistic of the Avengers, and more interested in trying to talk things out with and reform supervillains instead of fighting them. When push comes to shove, however, he's still highly effective in a fight — and woe to any villain who underestimates him, especially if they hit his Berserk Button in the process.
  • Reverend Sturdy Harris from The Boondocks episode "Freedom Ride or Die" is a mountain of a man who leads his Freedom Riders through the American South during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. He and his followers' plan of 'non-violent direct action' leads them to get frequently attacked, but Sturdy defends himself with a martial art that is designed to pacify the attacker without harming them, as well as being so monstrously resilient that his attackers break their weapons (and hands) trying to attack him. Sturdy is also a Deconstructive Parody of this trope: besides his Comically Invincible Hero traits, he's something of a Fearless Fool or even a Death Seeker. He also doesn't seem to appreciate the difference between practicing nonviolent direct action and just plain getting your ass whooped, though that might have something to with the fact that he himself is powerful enough that there literally is no difference for him. Unfortunately for his not-similarly-gifted compatriots, his attempts to restrict them from using violence to defend themselves often means holding them in place for a beating.
  • Lifeline from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero qualifies. As a medic, he refused to fight, and during one episode ordered those under his command to fire warning shots only. However, when a member of the team was poisoned, Lifeline undertook the task of finding and collecting venom from a giant cobra to make an anti-venom, even after taking a heavy dose of the cobra's poison himself.
  • Fluttershy from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. She never resorts to violence, even when enraged, and is the resident Animal Lover. And yet she is able to: scold a nest of angry bees into not attacking, pacify an angry Manticore, admonish a dragon into submission, and make a cockatrice almost soil itself after she gave it "The Stare"staring down a creature whose own stare was turning her into stone. In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Fluttershy and her friends were given the seemingly impossible task of reforming Discord. Fluttershy's effort to befriend him was key to actually accomplishing this goal. In other words, she managed to make a reality warping Mad God do a Heel–Face Turn by simply being nice to him.
  • The Simpsons: Lisa Simpson (before her Flanderization, that is) used words, speeches, blackmail, and trickery to deal with her problems. Later, however, she became a lot more willing to resort to violence.
  • The titular character of Steven Universe is the Half-Human Hybrid son of a member of an alien race of crystalline warrior women. Unlike his mother (who was a Martial Pacifist), Steven absolutely hates fighting and tries to solve every conflict he faces non-violently. He usually manages to succeed in talking down his opponents before a serious fight occurs but failing that, he'll try to at least tire them out to the point where all they can do is talk things out thanks to his alien ability being the summoning of shields and other defensive constructs.
  • Thunder Cats 2011 has the Drifter, a nonviolent Dance Battler who favors the Nonchalant Dodge and psyching out his opponents over actually touching them. The closest he comes to violence is parrying an attempted In the Back with a Brandishment Bluff, mock-attacking while relying on his opponent's own reflexive movements to trip him up. The "weapon" the Drifter uses is a harmless willow reed he usually keeps in his mouth.
  • First Aid from The Transformers gets a spotlight episode highlighting his pacifism. He refuses to fight but ends up being fine with climbing inside Metroplex and performing crucial repairs while the big guy is in the middle of combat.
  • The title character of Wander over Yonder as demonstrated in "The Troll" where he defeats the titular Jerkass troll by simply kicking back and ignoring his insults.
  • Clay in Xiaolin Showdown was the resident Big Guy martial artist. In contrast to what being a Texan Cowboy with Earth based Elemental Powers would have you think about his character, he was very centered, low-key, and perhaps the wisest of the Xiaolin Warriors. This was demonstrated early on: A Xiaolin Showdown involving capturing a bird had Splicer flying all over the place trying to grab it, while Clay just meandered around the starting area. In the end, Clay won by gathering seeds for the bird to eat in his hat.
  • Zeta from The Zeta Project. Despite being designed and programmed to be an assassin-bot, he refuses to carry weapons, or ever attack or harm a human being. He faces down an impressive number of foes, including those more than willing to use deadly force on him, his Action Girl companion, or bystanders, without ever once violating this (excluding the rare occasions where he is under the robot equivalent of Mind Control). This is the result of his character development in Batman Beyond, where he started out willing to use force against his enemies.

    Real Life 
  • Nonviolent social movements such as the Indian Independence movement, certain portions of the American Civil Rights Movement, and Otpor! in Serbia were essentially armies of Badass Pacifists.
    • The ongoing Belarusian Democracy Movement is this as well.
  • Mohandas Gandhi endured a great deal of hardship while engineering his vision of nonviolent civil disobedience as a means to social change. His activism is considered a major factor in winning India's independence. Gandhi repeatedly insisted that pacifism is a braver action than violence, and even admitted that he found violence preferable to cowardice. The full quote is, "It is better to be violent if there is violence in our hearts than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence." Nonviolence must be pursued with zeal, courage, and conviction; you must be willing to accept death, injury, or imprisonment. If you think fighting is a good idea but you're simply unwilling to risk your life yourself, then you have no place in a nonviolent movement.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.. The man was faced with violence and hate over and over again, never involved himself in either, and changed the world.
    • King developed his practice of nonviolence as a strategy throughout his adult life. During the Montogmery bus boycotts, he applied for a permit to carry a gun. He adopted nonviolence after working with Bayard Rustin and other Christian pacifists in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as being inspired by Gandhi. Although King traveled with bodyguards due to the many threats to his life, he eventually required that they also be unarmed. He did not, however, extend this to the bodyguards hired to protect his family even as he deliberately risked himself.
    • King's disciple and one of the youngest leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis, also practiced non-violence, famously leading the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge at the age of 25 with Hosea Williams and got his skull cracked open for his efforts. He survived and rose up to become a Congressman for over 30 years until his death at the age of 80 in 2020. He inspired generations of young people and leaders with his message of love and peace, even counting various Presidents as his friends. He was also a bona fide Cool Old Guy, publishing an autobiographical comic book, as well as participating in crowd surfing.
  • The Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh led civil resistance within Vietnam against the Vietnam War and against both the North Vietnam and military South Vietnam governments; organizing the rebuilding of schools and medical facilities destroyed in the fighting. He was exiled to the United States, where he encouraged Martin Luther King Jr. and other Americans opposed to the war, and then to France. Following the end of the war in 1975; he went to Singapore to help refugees from Vietnam by hiring a boat, sneaking them to shore, and dropping them off inside the French embassy. When the Singapore government found out, he was banned from the country for the next 35 years. Hạnh continued to promote pacifism and "engaged Buddhism" for the remainder of his life and was allowed to return to Vietnam shortly before his death.
  • Sojourner Truth was born a slave, escaped to freedom in 1826, won a lawsuit against a white man to free her son Peter from slavery in Alabama, and became one of the most prominent abolitionists. The Other Wiki also informs us that " In 1858, someone interrupted a speech and accused her of being a man; Truth opened her blouse and revealed her breasts."
  • Military medics, Under international law, medics are not allowed to engage in combat or be deliberately attacked. They earn a disproportionate number of praise and formal commendations for bravery in combat, the US military medal for this being the 'Medal of Honour'. Note that medics ''are'' allowed to act in self-defence or in the defense of their patient(s). The penalty for a medic who engages in offensive action is that the medic's protected status is considered void. Likewise, medical vehicles and personnel have to be clearly identifiable and must conform to many other rules. Against nations or organizations that do not obey the laws of land warfare, this punishment is rather lacking in teeth. In the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, medics did not expect insurgents to refrain from targeting them and line medics rarely refrained from assaulting with their infantrymen.
  • Military Chaplains are not even allowed to carry weapons in most militaries and are thus assigned a dedicated bodyguard. (In US services, the bodyguard also works as the chaplain's assistant.)
  • The Finnish conscientious objector Arndt Pekurinen. Before World War II, he was repeatedly jailed (and at least once beaten by members of the Lapua movement) for refusing to serve in the army. An international petition on his behalf included the signatures of sixty British MPs, H. G. Wells, and Albert Einstein. Thanks in part to his efforts, Finland received its first alternative to military service, but this option only covered times of peace. Pekurinen was again imprisoned when the Winter War broke out and later sent to the front at the beginning of the Continuation War with orders that he would take up arms and use them. He refused to even put on a uniform and was executed without a trial by the third soldier ordered to do it - the first two refused. While on the way to the front, he was reported to have said, loosely translated, "It was pointless to bring me all the way out here, you could have just killed me in Helsinki."
  • Desmond Doss. The man was a conscientious objector and became a medic in World War II, serving in the Pacific Theatre (where medics were specifically targeted by the Japanese Army). He lowered 50-100 wounded men down a cliff face. The low estimate was supplied by Doss, the high estimate given by the Army. 16 days later, he stepped on a grenade to save 3 other soldiers, and survived. And as he was being taken away on a stretcher, he saw another guy who was worse off and ordered the stretcher-bearers to deal with that man instead. He crawled 300 metres to safety with another man, at one point taking a sniper bullet that had been aimed at that man's head. For his courageous actions above and beyond the call of duty, he received the Medal of Honor, the first of only three conscientious objectors in American history to do so.
  • Actor Lew Ayres became a pacifist after his role in All Quiet on the Western Front. During World War II, he enlisted as a conscientious objector. He took a lot of flak in Hollywood for it but served with distinction in the Pacific Theatre and New Guinea. As noted above, it takes a special kind of courage to go unarmed into a battlefield where medics were specifically targeted.
  • O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, once had a rather spirited disagreement with a Japanese Naval officer. The naval officer took a wooden sword and attempted to strike O-Sensei repeatedly, but O-Sensei simply dodged his attacks until the officer collapsed from exhaustion.
  • Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was chronicled in Hotel Rwanda. During the massacres in Rwanda in 1994, he managed to save over a thousand people who had been marked for death by sheltering them in his hotel and transporting them to safety, and standing up to corrupt military officials and screaming, machete-wielding mobs, all without raising a single firearm.
  • During World War II, many members of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as the Quakers, attempted to reconcile their church's strict pacifism with their desire to see the fall of fascism. To this end, they often volunteered to serve as medics, going unarmed onto battlefields to save lives, rather than end them. Dangerous enough in a normal conflict, but in the Pacific Theatre and South-East Asian Theatres, where the Japanese had a habit of targeting non-combat personnel such as medics, this was borderline suicidal. But they did it anyway. Because they were Badass.
    • Richard Nixon, raised as a Quaker, joined the U. S. Naval Reserve after four months at a dead-end job of replying to correspondence with the tire rationing division, was involved in World War II as a logistics person in charge of loading and unloading aircraft as well as preparing manifests and flight plans for C-47 operations, and moved up from lieutenant junior grade to a Navy lieutenant, lieutenant commander, and eventually commander, followed by serving as Eisenhower's vice-president, and his eventual election as President in 1968.
    • 36 of them went even further, volunteering to be guinea pigs in experiments on the treatment of extreme starvation. The participants were fed diets of 500 calories per day while maintaining heavy physical labor so that doctors could get a better idea of what was needed to recover. The data from these experiments was critical for concentration camp survivors and other refugees at the end of the war and still informs the treatment of people who have been in conditions of extreme deprivation.
  • Raoul Wallenberg, most famous for jumping on top of a train to Auschwitz to hand out forged Swedish citizenship papers, while being fired on at such close range that it's believed that the only way it was possible for him to survive is that, to a one, the guards couldn't bring themselves to shoot him. Just to be clear, these were Nazi camp guards, and they didn't have the heart to shoot him.
  • John Rabe, a German businessman in Nanjing during the Sino-Japanese war, led various foreign embassies and the Nanjing University to form a 'safe zone' in which no soldiers or fighting were permitted on the eve of the infamous massacres of 1938. In other words: John Rabe told the Japanese Army to leave his people alone, and they did. Moreover, he did it without the help of his government at the time - Nazi Germany, who were allies with the Japanese. In fact, the Gestapo actually censored his letters and upon his return, arrested him. Were it not for the intervention of Siemens AG (yes, the company), he probably would have been executed. His association (despite never really being a part of it) with the Nazi party would go on to plague the remainder of his life. But his deeds in Nanjing resulted in the people of the city sending monthly care packages to his family so they wouldn't starve and he was called 'The Living Buddha of Nanjing'.
  • Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. He once dispersed an anti-Chinese riot by standing between the rioters and the Chinese, bowing his head, and reciting the Lord's Prayer until the rioters dispersed.
  • A story found on the Actually Pretty Funny page of This Very Wiki about how a friendly black preacher, Wade Watts, changed the world view of a Ku Klux Klan leader.
  • Elizabeth Fry, a Quaker who worked toward prison reforms in England. Early on, she heard about the terrible conditions in women's prisons for women and their children (who at that point in history usually stayed with their mothers in prison) and went there with stacks of blankets and clothes. The guard tried to stop her from going in, saying that he would not even risk his own life in there with the rowdy prisoners. The story goes (for nobody wrote it down while it was happening, so "the story goes" is as best as we can do) that Elizabeth looked the guard straight in the eye and said "I am going in - and alone. I thank you for your kind intentions, but you are not to come with me." That, my friend, takes guts.
  • The Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square. They faced assault by riot police and gangs of thugs armed with machetes, molotovs, and even firearms. They responded by erecting barriers, establishing their own community-organized security to keep out government infiltrators who would initiate violence, and repeatedly calling for nonviolence. There were a few situations where they would strike back at isolated attackers or throw rocks to keep their oppressors from getting too close, but for the most part, they maintained their dedication to peaceful protest. And in doing so, they overthrew Hosni Mubarak, who led one of the most firmly entrenched military dictatorships in the world.
  • The citizens of the Baltic states during the Singing Revolution, who, during the peak of their uprising against Communist rule, formed a huge human chain, 600 km (373 mi) long through the capital city of Estonia, to Latvia, to Lithuania. When the Soviet military cracked down on them, they linked arms and sang in the face of tanks and armour-piercing bullets that cut them down. Yes, they brought down their oppressive dictatorship through singing.
  • The Carnation revolution that toppled the military dictatorship of Portugal. Okay, it was a Military coup, but it succeeded because it had massive public support, and because the military forces loyal to the government flat-out refused not only to fire on civilians but refused to fire on their former comrades in arms in the revolutionary faction (The GNR Republican guard had no such qualms and killed 8 civilians). The revolution is so named because when troops marched into crowds with orders to disperse them, the crowd put carnations in the troop’s gun barrels, and the soldiers let them. The revolution is probably best summed up by these extracts from the timeline on Wikipedia
    1045 am: In Arsenal Street, Brigadier Junqueira dos Reis gives order to fire on Lieutenant Alfredo Assunção, who was sent by Salgueiro Maia to negotiate with the forces of Junqueira dos Reis. [The troops refuse to fire] Having again been disobeyed by his troops, he ends up punching Lieutenant Assunção three times.
    :: Yep, the officers loyal to the government had to resort to fisticuffs because no one wanted to use guns.
  • As said in other tropes, Chuck Norris in real life avoids getting into fights. One time a local tough guy tried to bully Norris into giving him his seat at a bar and Norris quietly complied. Later, tough guy realized who he was talking to and asked Norris why he didn't kick his ass. Norris replied, "What would it prove?"
  • The American Plains Indians (Lakota, Sioux, etc.) had a practice called counting coup in which warriors would go unarmed into a battle and touch an enemy warrior with a coup stick. Although they were not pacifists all the time, they did this purely to be badass, thinking it more honorable than violence.
  • Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi has been running a hospital in Somalia for 29 years. During this time, the hospital had been attacked numerous times and was once even invaded outright by a militia group that barricaded her in her office and held patients captive. They eventually wound up begging her to reopen the place, and she refused to do so unless they left her alone completely and issued a written apology. Which she got. She also once walked out alone to confront (another) rebel militia group that was blocking a Red Cross supply truck and came back not just with the supplies, but with the militia acting as an honor guard.
  • Chinese philosopher Mozi preached the pacifistic school of Mohism which competed with Confucianism and Daoism in its day. He once wrote how during the Warring States period he walked from warring state of Song to Chu in ten days. Once there he participated in nine war games with the chief strategist and defeated the strategist every time. When the strategist threatened him with death, he informed them that his disciples had already trained the soldiers of Song so it would be pointless to kill him. The state of Chu ended up calling off the war.
  • Similarly, disciples of Mohism were sought after because of their brilliance in military strategy and siege engineering. Why? Because their pacifist philosophy meant that they believed in using defensive warfare to protect smaller states from aggressive warfare.
  • Fred Rogersnote  once faced down a hostile U.S. Senate committee that was threatening to cut a $10 million government grant for PBS. He simply gave a six-minute speech describing his TV show. The grant was increased to $20 million.
  • After the murder of a British soldier in Woolwich, England in May 2013, a whole series of attempted far-right demonstrations (for those where any people actually bothered to turn up) sprung up around the country and tried targeting mosques. What did a mosque in York do when it found itself victim to one of these demonstrations? It invited in the EDL and BNP members who had marched on it in for tea and biscuits, plus a friendly game of football (soccer to you Yanks). The end result? The fascists left without causing any damage or further fuss.
  • Cracked gives us "The 5 Most Incredibly Badass Acts of Nonviolence", as well as "The 6 Most Aggressively Badass Things Done By Pacifists".
  • Daniel O'Connell, aka "The Liberator", aka "The Emancipator" was an Irish politician who campaigned for equal rights for Catholics in Ireland and for Irish Independence in the 19th century. Though he killed a man in a duel when he insulted Dublin Corporation, this haunted him for the rest of his days and he tried to compensate the widow. Gandhi and Martin Luther King directed cited him as an inspiration.
  • When the government started cracking down on protestors in Turkey in 2013, a performance artist known as "Standing Man" (or in Turkish, Duran Adam)note  responded by simply walking into Taksim Square, putting his hands in his pockets, and silently standing motionless. Gradually onlookers started to join him, eventually sparking a series of similar demonstrations. Turkish officials remarked, "This is not an act of violence. We cannot condemn it."
  • American conscientious objectors would often enlist as smoke jumpers during World War II to prove that they were not slackers. As most fit young men were gone off to war the forest service was very glad to have them. Some British conscientious objectors volunteered as Bevin boys to work in coal mines for similar reasons. Other British conscientious objectors worked as firefighters during the Blitz or as sappers defusing unexploded German bombs.
  • In 2013, a gunman broke into a school in Decatur, Georgia with an AK-47 type weapon, intending to open fire on children and first responders. However, front office worker Antoinette Tuff stood her ground and... talked with him, telling him about her own struggles, sympathizing with his anger, and eventually persuading him to put down his gun and give himself up to the police. What could have been a massacre on the scale of Sandy Hook was averted merely with kind words.
  • Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani school girl who survived an assassination attempt on her by the Taliban is one. She said in an interview about the Taliban still coming after her, if they did, while her first instinct would be to take her shoes off to hit the assassin, she realized this would make her just like him, so she would sit there and ask for a chance to explain her choices and beliefs. Once she said her piece and if he didn't wish to speak in response, she would not fight him if he still wanted to shoot her. The result of this? She's become one of the biggest figureheads for advancement of women's rights and education, and even became the youngest recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • St. John Paul II also deserves a spot. Without resorting to violence, he opposed both the Nazi occupation of Poland (even being ordained during a time when the Nazis were executing priests and seminarians, and he also helped to hide Jews to keep them from being sent off to concentration camps) and the Communist puppet government installed by the Soviet Union. Even Mikhail Gorbachev has said that he helped break down the Iron Curtain. Perhaps also his greatest moment of mercy came after an assassination attempt; after recovering, he visited his would-be assassin in prison and personally forgave him.
  • In July 2014, some footage went around the internet of an English woman abusing some migrants, with hypocritical statements, racial and Islamophobic slurs, and even several punches. What's the best thing about the video? In spite of the constant verbal abuse and physical assault, none of the abused so much as raise a fist. The most they do is block a punch or move her arm out of the way, and get some damn good snark in. As some of the commentators put it:
    Well done to the gentleman for keeping his calm, even though he may speak a different language or possibly have non-national heritage, he is a much better representative of England than she ever could possibly be!
  • In January 2016, North Carolina pastor Larry Wright was preaching a sermon against gun violence when a man armed with a rifle and a full magazine of live rounds walked into the church building intending (in his words) "to do something terrible that night." The pastor went over to meet him, gave him a hug and some kind words, took away the gun, offered to pray for him, and invited him to stay for the service. The gunman ended up making a Heel–Faith Turn.
  • In June 2017, a man deliberately crashed his van into a crowd of people outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, London, killing one and injuring ten. Local imam Mohammed Mahmoud stepped in to protect the driver from an angry mob, with some others coming to help him, while the driver was laughing and shouting "I want to kill all Muslims!" The imam and his helpers managed to flag down a passing police car and helped the driver into the back of the car while warning the police that an angry mob was trying to get to him.
  • Despite knowing that being caught would almost certainly be a death sentence, the White Rose movement decided to defy the Nazis authorities by publishing leaflets of text that called the Nazis out for their lies and barbarity as well as criticise the indifference of the German people to the suffering of their victims. The White Rose would make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the truth with the only blood spilt being their own.
  • Oskar Schindler saved over 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. Additionally, during World War II, his factories (originally enamel manufacturers) never produced a single piece of usable munition. Schindler accomplished all this through a mixture of charm, bribery, and "technically correct" statements.
  • Daryl Davis is a black blues singer who chats up KKK members to establish dialogue and show them a new perspective on race. His efforts and The Power of Friendship have led, directly or indirectly, to over a hundred Klansmen leaving the Klan and denouncing hate.
  • Dev Patel peacefully broke up a knife fight while in Australia.


Video Example(s):


Nekoya Cuisine Restaurant

Every Saturday this restaurants doors is closed in Tokyo. Every Saturday this restaurants doors is opened to a Fantasy World. Patrons from all walks of life that pass through its front door are to only call each-other by their favorite dishes and leave all of their antagonism outside, else run the risk of being banished from the establishment by its owner and head chef Tenshu.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / SeriousBusiness

Media sources: