In some of the adventure Film Serials, the fedora would be worn by the hero, usually as a means of hiding his face when played by a Stunt Double. When Indiana Jones came along, it solidified the hat as a sign of the adventurer (at least to modern audiences). It can also become an Iconic Item. Another function the fedora serves is that it gives the hero a distinctive silhouette.
Just be careful not to confuse a trilby (a hat with a similar arc, but a short, curled brim around the perimeter and made from sewn fabric rather than shaped felt) for a fedora.
A fedora is also one of the most common hats used in a Coat, Hat, Mask outfit.
Important: This is not just any protagonist wearing a fedora. There has to be an action element.
Action Heroes Wearing This Hat
- Firo of Baccano! wears his hat, even when singlehandedly beating up a group of thugs. And the hat stays on the whole time.
- In Hellsing, all powerful vampire Alucard wears a nice-looking fedora as part of his suit when he slays his enemies. He got it from Abraham Van Helsing.
- Daisuke Jigen of Lupin III wears a dark fedora, with the brim usually pulled down, covering the top half of his face. Combined with his slouch, it looks like he's always taking a nap. Which makes it all the more surprising when he suddenly springs into action, guns blazing and nailing every target in sight.
- Sera of Detective Conan has one, although she only wears it in her first few appearances. She's definitely badass...one of the reasons is that she beat Ran at her own game (asskicking) with Jeet Kune Do.
- Joseph Joestar from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure wears one of these during his stint as part of the main cast of Part Three, which involves traveling to Egypt and fighting Stand-user assassins.
- The Spirit, as part of his Coat, Hat, Mask. The Spirit is intelligent, very strong, an excellent athlete with hand-to-hand combat.
- Midnight was a Captain Ersatz of The Spirit created by Quality Comics when Spirit creator Will Eisner was in the army. He wore an almost identical costume to the Spirit, and exhibited similar skill at fisticuffs (a later origin story established that he had been a bare knuckle boxer during the Depression).
- The Question, as part of his Coat, Hat, Mask. Starting as a brawler, he later became an expert martial artist inder the tutelage of Richard Dragon.
- Rorschach in Watchmen, who is an Expy of the Question. He is in excellent physical condition, and is a skilled gymnast and acrobat. He is a pragmatic and efficient hand-to-hand combatant, with extensive training and experience in boxing and street combat. With the possible exception of the Comedian, he is the most violent vigilante in Watchmen.
- The Phantom Stranger, although he doesn't really get into traditional fights.
- The Sandman, the original Gas Mask, Longcoat hero, and founding member of Justice Society of America. Later adopted by his former Kid Sidekick Sandy the Golden Boy, when he became Sand. He took on the underworld armed with nothing more that a gas gun and a sharp mind.
- Borsalino: The title of the film comes from the headgear of its male characters, who are all mobsters.
- Indiana Jones wears this hat in all his films when he fights cultists, Nazis, and communists in his Adventure Archaeologist escapades. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade even begins with how he got his hat, and it was also at the end of a wild adventure.
- Firo from Baccano! wears a classy green fedora, and is an expert in unarmed combat and knife fighting.
- Pythagoras from The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids wears a fedora as part of his habit of dressing up like a Hardboiled Detective, and as for the rear-kicking, he is the man (or, as it were, droid) who managed to stare down an Eldritch Abomination and make it work at a post office.
- In Doctor Who, the Fourth Doctor would often wear a fedora. He wasn't particularly aggressive in terms of combat, but could fight evil in many ways.
- In The Green Hornet, the titular character wears one as part of his Coat, Hat, Mask as he fought crime.
- Wannabe Hardboiled Detective Shotaro Hidari, half of Kamen Rider Double, wears fedoras. He inherited them from his mentor, actual Hardboiled Detective Sokichi Narumi aka Kamen Rider Skull, and he was so badass he wore a white fedora even as Skull. Sokichi's damaged hat becomes a Tragic Keepsake for Shotaro until the penultimate episode, where he finally pulls it off the wall and wears it when he confronts the Big Bad Jun Kazu and defeats him without transforming into Double, including an epic moment where he uses the hat to block Kazu's powers.
- Goes without comment in the indie game Gunpoint, that is, until the final fight:
Gessler: Well, look at that. Shit Hat Conway packs a piece.
Conway: For your own safety, Fritz, do not insult the hat.
- Gennojo Hyuga from the Castle of Shikigami Bullet Hell series of games is an investigator who flies around firing arcing fireballs and transforming into a werewolf when enraged, due to having the blood of an ancient wolfgod in his veins. He wears a black suit and fedora-style hat.
- Hazama/Terumi Yuuki is one of the brawlers from BlazBlue.
- In Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny, one of Jubei's alternate costumes is an anachronistic gangster outfit with fedora and shades as he cuts up demons as usual. This outfit only appears in a brief minigame, The Man in Black.
- La-Mulana's Lemeza Kosugi rocks a green fedora as he explores dangerous caverns and ruins. He has to hold it on while falling or riding some fast vehicles.
- Baek Doo San is one of the brawlers from the Tekken series. Although his default costume is a Taekwondo uniform, he has an alternate costume which features him in a suit complete with a fedora.
- The Spy from Team Fortress 2 has his original hat, The Fancy Fedora. He has other hats but the Fedora was his first. Many players who wear it are quite experienced, so expect some asskicking, especially if it's unusual.
- The remake of Resident Evil 2 has Mr. X sport quite the cap on top of his evil head. For a Tyrant model, he's quite fond of it; for if you shoot it off of his head, he'll stop with the Unflinching Walk and just charge at you at full speed.
- Although Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall didn't start out as an action hero, the plotlines eventually made him one.
- Inverted with Demo Reel's Donnie DuPre. When he's with the fedora, the only thing he seems to know how to do well is flirt to get what he wants. When he loses it, he becomes a Damsel out of Distress and gives the family holding him hostage a blistering "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Graeme in Mr Plastimime wears a fedora, and climbs the side of an apartment building to save Betsy from a fire that broke out in hers.
- Also inverted on The Paul Powers Show. Paul's never seen without his trademark fedora, but instead of kicking ass, he gets his own ass kicked repeatedly by Batman.
- Carmen Sandiego: The eponymous character is upgraded to a full action character (when it was merely implied in the rest of the franchise), and she often wears her wide-brimmed fedora while doing car chases, Roof Hopping or doing one-on-one fights.
- Chip of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, wears one with a bomber jacket, as he and his friends go off to thwart evil.
- Perry the Platypus in Phineas and Ferb is a member of a secret agency where all field agents are action pets who wear fedoras.
- In Darkwing Duck, the egotistical eponymous superhero wears one with a particularly wide brim as part of his costume.
- In one episode of Kaeloo where the gang is roleplaying (the episode is a parody of Indiana Jones), Kaeloo has to pick between Stumpy and Quack Quack as to who should play the hero of the story. She picks Quack Quack just because he has a fedora.