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Because nothing says "manly" like a phallic symbol clenched between your teeth. Clockwise from top left: Vice Admiral Smoker, "Hannibal" Smith, Sergeant Johnson, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A character who is never seen without his cigar, which is then used to as a visual cue to some aspect of his personality. This is Almost Always Male (except in Cuba), so most of the examples are of male characters, although female examples are also possible.

This denote that said character is a tough, aggressive, take-no-nonsense type. Because good cigars are an expensive habit, they also carry a connotation of wealth, power and high status. Plus, having to prevent the cigar from falling out when talking makes them always speak with a sneer. Characters such as Da Chief, Sergeant Rock and your local Corrupt Corporate Executive often chomp on cigars, as will anyone in a Smoky Gentlemen's Club who hasn't got a pipe.

It's okay for heroes to smoke cigars seemingly because of the expense. No matter how cool the smoking of cigars is made to look, it's not a habit as easily and cheaply picked up as cigarette smoking, so it's more acceptable to show a hero smoking the occasional victory cigar.

Related to Smoking Is Cool and Good Smoking, Evil Smoking.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • "Sir" Integra Hellsing is a female example, though technically she smokes cigarillos. She even forces one of Iscariot's assassins to lit one of them based on sheer charisma.
  • One Piece:
    • Smoker from is usually seen with multiple cigars (his powers are based on smoke)...unless it's the 4kids dub.
    • Sir Crocodile, Shilew of the Rain and "Golden Lion" Shiki also smoke cigars. Also, all three are evil. (Indeed, in the series overall, good guys smoke cigarettes, while bad guys prefer cigars. The exception so far being Smoker above.)
    • Capone Bege also has one, fitting in with his Mafioso image; going with the above, he's quite a ruthless pirate even if he's not particularly malevolent compared to some of the villains. Even his infant son has a cigar.

    Comic Books 
  • Robot example - Kup is portrayed as this in IDW's Transformers comics, starting in All Hail Megatron. It's apparently called a "cy-gar". Its also medicinal, as it contains radiation that prevents him hallucinating zombies and turning into a panicked berserker. In short, he 'smokes' to stay sane. This was also done to turn him into a robotic Expy of Sergeant Rock.
  • In her first appearance in the Avengers, She-Hulk appeared in fashionable attire but smoking a corona; she's chic but badass!
  • Wolverine fit this until the mid 90s or so, and it fit with his hardboiled, take-no-shit attitude. When he temporarily lost his Healing Factor, the first cigar he lit up without it was enough to convince him it was time to quit that particular habit.
  • Detective Casey in Mickey Mouse comics subverts this trope. He thinks he's tough and respected by both colleagues and crooks....
  • Sam Hagen, Ryder's boss from the old The Creeper comics.
  • Professor Venture of the Atari Force second series is a female example. Captain Hunter is a straight male example.
  • In The Sandman, Mervyn usually lights up a cigarette on the job (as part of his blue collar image), but in The Kindly Ones he breaks out a stogie to go along with his army uniform and drill sergeant schtick. He produces one again in The Wake, presumably in recognition of the formality of the occasion and his evening wear.

    Comic Strips 
  • Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks illustrated his role in Little Orphan Annie as THE wealthiest man in the strips with his tux, his diamond stickpin and his ever present cigars.

     Fan Works 
  • Muffet is one in the Undertale fanfic Muffet The Mom. Her cigar is huge, purple, and made of spiders and webbing.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Tough and capable Sgt. Dede Rake in Starship Troopers 2 (played by Brenda Strong) is overjoyed to find a container of cigars in a way station's food supplies. She wastes no time in lighting one up and hoards the rest.
  • Parodied in Top Secret!. Badass French resistance member Chocolate Mousse is introduced with a cigar in his mouth... which he then eats.
  • Ojo in The Crimson Pirate, to the point where he even has it when he's supposed to be disguised as a nobleman and then a flower girl (since the rest of the movie runs on Rule of Funny, it doesn't matter too much).
  • Captain Steven Hiller in Independence Day. As a tradition for his squadron, he flies with a cigar in his pocket so that he can light up after a successful mission. David's father, Julius, is also shown smoking cigars throughout the film.

    Literature 
  • Artemis Fowl: LEP Commander Julius Root is fond of "fungal cigars" which others find irritating due to their fumes, but it certainly adds to his stern and commanding Da Chief image.
  • Inspector Cramer in the Nero Wolfe novels, who almost never actually lights his cigar, just gnaws on it. He does, however, smoke a pipe in his first appearance in The League of Frightened Men.
  • Invoked by Citizen Rear Admiral Lester Tourville in Honor Among Enemies. He smokes cigars as part of a general strategy of looking like a hard-charging cowboy and less like the sort of responsible officer who tends to get promoted to a high enough position in the Peoples' Navy to either be seen as a potential threat to the Committee Of Public Safety or to warrant their preferred punishment for Citizen Admirals who have failed in important missions.
  • Invoked in The Warrior's Apprentice. Baz apparently once served under a tough, cigar-smoking engineering officer. Miles successfully gets him to intimidate the Oseran engineers by giving him a cigar as a prop.
  • Horatio Hornblower, at least in the earlier novels. In The Happy Return, he is almost unable to hide his joy when El Supremo offers to supply him with several hundred cigars, rolled in his "domain" in Nicaragua from Havana tobacco, and reflects to himself that the last cigar he had was a rather mild Virginian in the West Indies. In The Commodore, Lady Barbara, now his wife, gives him several boxes of Jamaican cigars for his mission in the Baltic, which he smokes after most breakfasts, and mentions how he loathes to toss the butts overboard when he's done.
  • Judge Taylor from To Kill a Mockingbird was known around town for absent-mindedly chewing on an unlit cigar during trials. Scout and Jem would often go to court with Atticus simply to watch the cigar get smaller and smaller until Judge Taylor would dramatically regurgitate the cigar and loudly spit it into a nearby spittoon.
  • Ex-USMC infantry officer Captain John Rumford is this in military thriller Victoria. He even goes so far as to go out of his way to deliberately emphasize it, as a show to the well-meaning but annoying anti-smoking advocates who long since wore out his patience that he doesn't give a damn what they think.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Hannibal from The A-Team, as seen in the page picture, is rarely without a cigar clutched between his teeth. Most episodes have him shooting off his catchphrase before dramatically taking a puff of his cigar.
  • Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica loves this trope - the Starbuck from the reimagined series is one of the rare female examples. Many of the pilots are shown smoking cigars in celebration of missions, which is common among present day pilots as well.
  • JAG: Harmon Rabb occasionally smoked cigars, until third season episode "The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse" when he had decided to quit. Many minor characters; particularly senior military officers, intelligence officers and businessmen; are often seen chomping cigars. In review panning the series in its first season, TV Guide even characterized it as:
    ... macho swaggering, muscle-flexing, cigar-chomping military men who can’t stop whining about having to share their Navy with sailors in skirts.
  • Jake Cutter from Tales of the Gold Monkey tends to smoke a cigarillo fairly often. Judging that this theme runs through Quantum Leap, Battlestar, JAG, and this show as well; Donald P. Bellisario seems to be a fan of this trope.
  • Columbo, though having a timid, obfuscatingly stupid thing going on, is never seen without a smelly cigar in his mouth.
  • Sgt. Randelman, from Band of Brothers, is shown with a cigar throughout the series, most notably in Replacements.
  • Toby Ziegler of The West Wing occasionally smokes one, although it's not allowed inside the building itself.
  • Professor Jirafales from El Chavo del ocho was very often smoking cigars. He could be seen smoking even when he was at school teaching the children, but, as the series is from the late 70's and early 80's, that was normal by the time.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • "Luscious" Johnny Valiant. As a manager, he helped Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake win the WWF tag team titles by rubbing his cigar in Barry Windham's face.
  • A rare female example was Marlena, who would sit there puffing on a cigar while Goldust was in the ring in the 1990's.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Orks use them, especially Burna Boyz, the flamethrower-equipped pyromaniacs. There's even one head in the standard kit for a Burna Boy who's cut a hole in his faceplate so he can raise and lower it without needing to take out his cigar.
    • Space Pirate Kaptin Badrukk is notable for having to retreat when badly wounded and out of cigars.
    • Lord Castellan Creed of Cadia and Col. Schaeffer of the Last Chancers are two of the few human characters who's known for their love of cigars, to the point that their models include them.
  • A rare Humongous Mecha example from BattleTech: the Hauptmann 'Mech has a laser mounted in its head. This is a particularly Unusual Weapon Mounting, as the laser is set low in the 'Mech's 'face,' giving it the appearance of a scowling, wide-shouldered thug gnawing on a cigar. For bonus points, the mouth is the laser's traverse slot—this means that the Hauptmann can roll its cigar back and forth in a stereotypically brutish fashion.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear
    • Naked Snake, aka Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater smokes cigars. He's so badass, he can use them to burn off leeches off of his body without worrying about getting an infection.
    • Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance feels the need to light up a good ol' cigar right after delivering a stomping Raiden wouldn't forget any time soon, and outlining his ideals in a speech that, batshit insanity aside, was actually an engaging one for politician standards.
  • Halo: Sgt. Major Avery Junior Johnson. The tough-as-nails smartass Johnson is hardly ever seen without his cigar.
  • Peacock from Skullgirls. Notable in that Peacock is a 13 year old girl.
  • In League of Legends, the champion Graves is known for chomping his cigar in his splash art, while he's known as a tough, daring, closer-than-normal ranged marksman. All of the sudden, Riot suddenly removed the cigar to not offend some certain group of people. Thus a meme was born: "[X] can happen, but Graves can't have his cigar."

    Visual Novels 
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Inga Karkhuul Khura'in has a large stamp that he puts in his mouth to give off the appearance of smoking a cigar. As Minister of Justice of Khura'in, he uses it primarily to stamp piles of execution orders.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Anything featuring Winston Churchill. That famous scowly photo? The photographer took away his cigar.
    • Another famous photo has Churchill inspecting a Thompson Submachine Gun, complete with a drum magazine, while wearing a pinstripe suit, bowler hat, and smoking his cigar. The Germans attempted to use the photo to drum up an image of him as a mafioso, but gave up when they realized it wasn't doing anything to hinder his Memetic Badass status.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Real Life. Note that Arnold is so devoted to his cigars that when he was Governor of California, it being illegal to smoke inside office buildings, he had a tent with his desk placed on the grounds outside the Governor's Mansion so he could smoke while conducting business.
  • George Burns never did a routine without one. Tough? Depended on your point of view and the type of movie he was in, but the guy was a Living Legend of his time.
  • Rush Limbaugh. Aggressive? Hell yes. Tough? Well, that depends on which side of the political spectrum you fall.
  • British TV executive Lew Grade. A producer working for him once allegedly complained that his salary was less than Grade's cigar budget. Grade replied that the producer didn't give him as much satisfaction as his cigars. Roger Moore once quipped that you should never wear a brown suit around Grade, as he might try to smoke you.
  • Notorious outlaw Bonnie Parker was a rare female example. Newspapers called her a "cigar smoking gun moll", and she was often photographed with one.
    • Despite which, she and Clyde once released a police chief they'd kidnapped (unusual since they hated cops), with instructions to go tell the world she did not smoke cigars.
  • Fidel Castro, who certainly liked to be seen as a tough military leader. One of the CIA's attempts to kill him involved sneaking in an exploding cigar.
  • Che Guevara is quoted as saying, "A smoke in times of rest is a great companion to the solitary soldier." Unfortunately for him, he also had terrible asthma, which became a liability during his disastrous Bolivian campaign.
  • John F. Kennedy. Kennedy sent his Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger, to acquire 1,200 Cuban-made H. Upmann cigars for himself, prior to signing off on the US embargo against Cuba - which made it illegal for US citizens to purchase Cuban cigars.
    • As for being a tough leader, this gets a bit tricky. On one hand, it was under Kennedy's administration that the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion took place. On the other hand, he also had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his generals' push for an airstrike on Cuban territory - which would have quite possibly plunged the world into nuclear war. It takes nerves of steel to sit through that tension with a cool enough head to not pull the trigger.
  • Clive Barker's cigars got bigger as he got more rich and famous.
  • Groucho Marx. Not physically tough, but woe betide anyone who dared spar with him verbally.
  • Fidel V. Ramos, a Filipino general and later the President of the Philippines. While he no longer smokes, he remains known by the nickname "Tabako," and occasionally chomps on a cigar for photo ops.
  • General Isreal Putnam of the American Revolutionary War may be the Ur-Example of this trope. He discovered cigars in Cuba and introduced badass cigar chomping to the Colonies. note 
  • General Ulysses S. Grant usually smoked a clay pipe until newspapermen caught him smoking a victory cigar handed to him by another officer after his 1862 capture of Fort Donelson, and he was subsequently flooded with boxes of them as presents for the rest of his life. He later died of throat cancer—probably brought about by his cigar habit.
  • King Edward VII of the United Kingdom smoked twelve cigars a day, plus a full pack's worth (20) of cigarettes. Such was his love of cigars that he once lit up from a candle during a church service. The habit got him in the end; he died of COPD.
  • General Jean Victor Moreau, one of Napoleon's most serious Republican opponents, was not particularly aggressive, either as a man or as a commander, but he did seem to smoke cigars in all circumstances. Case in point: during the battle of Novi, he had one horse killed under him; as General Thiébault puts it, "he kept smoking as his soldiers helped him back on his feet, without a single disruption in the smoke puffs’ pattern". Fourteen years later, at Dresden, where a cannonball shattered both his legs and he had to be amputated, he smoked a cigar during the operation, which he bore without so much as a wince.
  • Quite unexpectedly, Catherine the Great is another female example. While she's more famous for her (alleged) love life, and wasn't known to be particularly aggressive, during her reign Russia grew at least twice in territory, and she's recorded to have said that without her knowledge no gun fired in Europe.

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