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No Badass to His Valet

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"Save your glowering for the criminals, Master Bruce."

Frozone: You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good!
Honey: "Greater good?!" I am your wife! I am the greatest good you're ever gonna get!

Archetypical tough guys and anti-heroes often give off an aura of authority and attitude around them, a countenance that gives even the most courageous individuals feelings of doubt and fear; a warning to all to treat the character with caution. As a result, these characters are apt to intimidate anyone they meet into doing what they want, whether it be doing their bidding or merely just leaving them alone.

But for every intimidating loner, there's one person on whom their gruff exterior will have no effect. It could be because this person knows who they're dealing with personally, and, thus, doesn't really take their glares and threats seriously. It could also be because they're so innocent and upbeat that they don't even consider the loner's threatening exterior to be threatening. Whatever the case, they refuse (knowingly or otherwise) to be intimidated.

Sister Trope to No Hero to His Valet. Compare Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond, and Familial Chiding.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Most people are terrified of Ninokuru for his Face of a Thug, but Matsuri fawned over how "cool" he is the instant they met, and Suzu being able to see his familiar Ponosuke made them come off as "cute" to her—massively intimidating Ninokuru, because he Cannot Talk to Women. Soga's Childhood Friend Reo isn't just unafraid of him, using him as a guinea pig for her inventions is the main reason he's afraid of girls. This is one reason Ninokuru ends up falling in love with Suzu and Matsuri, and bystanders tend to assume Matsuri or Reo are in love with him.
  • At the beginning of the Conviction Arc in Berserk, when Guts returns to Godo's house only to find his insane lover Casca gone and goes into a rage because of it, the only one not to be intimidated by Guts is Godo, and is therefore able to deliver an effective hands-down-barrier-what-the-hell-hero lecture to him.
  • In Black Butler, Ciel is not afraid of his demon butler Sebastian, unlike pretty much everyone else, most notably Prince Soma. Likewise, Sebastian is unaffected by Ciel's 'I hate the world' aura. Elizabeth also seems to be immune to all badass auras. This becomes obvious when she places a pink bonnet on Sebastian.
  • In Bleach, Yachiru Kusajishi was not afraid of Kenpachi Zaraki even when she was a baby and he was covered in blood.
  • DNA² has a romantic example, with Ami immune to the Mega Playboy's Pornomancer powers because she was Junta's Victorious Childhood Friend for the longest time before they ever activated.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Despite being a Muggle, Bulma is perfectly willing to push around anyone; even Vegeta, to the point of getting him into wearing a pink shirt. Naturally, they wind up married and having two children together.
    • Bulma also becomes much more informal in her interactions to Beerus and Whis, the God of Destruction and his attendant, through the course of Dragon Ball Super. So much so that she can complain to them (usually for good reason) and treat them relatively rudely with impunity, despite Beerus having a notoriously short temper and Bulma having been afraid of him initially.
    • Speaking of Whis, he has absolutely no trouble needling his boss and being brutally honest about his poor decisions. It helps that he's actually stronger than Beerus and part of his job is keeping Beerus in line.
    • Goku may be the greatest fighter in the universe, but he's a Henpecked Husband to his wife Chi-Chi. Lampshaded by Master Roshi:
      Bulma: But why wouldn't Goku want to come back to Earth?
      Master Roshi: I'll tell you why! Because of the one more powerful than a Super Saiyan! His wife!
      • Lampshaded again in Dragon Ball Super when Goten notes his mom must be the most powerful woman in the world to be able to make his dad get a job.
    • Somewhat explained that both of these ladies have strong personalities on their own. Both Chichi and Bulma may not be strong fighters (well, Chichi compared to the Z-Fighters, but she is a martial artist), but they have such strong force of will, Goku and Vegeta pretty much listen to them always. Vegeta explains that Saiyans are naturally attracted to strong people. Piccolo's reaction to this revelation is This Explains So Much.
  • In Durarara!!, the typical reaction most people have to encountering Shizuo Heiwajima is to either run away in terror or to pick a fight with him in order to (fail to) prove their badassery. Tom Tanaka's response, on the other hand, was to go, "Yeah, those guys are dicks. Want to hang out?"
  • Food Wars!:
    • To most of the world, Jouichirou Saiba/Yukihira is "The Wandering Chef" or "The Asura of Cooking", a chef whose grasp of cuisine is such that it can restore the will to live to the terminally ill and cause priests to abandon their religion. The people who know him, and his son in particular, know that while his skills are pretty much head and shoulders above anyone else, he is also moody, whimsical, ill-disciplined, prone to goofing off and has a bizarre fascination for food combinations that Man Was Not Meant To Know.
    • Soma is often the Valet in this scenario. He is not one to be intimidated by his opponent's reputation or the shame of losing, and will happily battle anyone.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Mei is shown to have absolutely no fear of Scar.
    • Roy Mustang is respected by all of his subordinates. But while he's usually respected by his Number Two/bodyguard Riza Hawkeye, she has no problem calling him an idiot, mocking him, calling him useless, or threatening to shoot him. This is pretty much the reason that Roy picked Riza to be his second in command.
  • Kyon does something like this for Haruhi Suzumiya. The latter is a Reality Warper (though she doesn't know it) and, as a result, incredibly self-centered and obnoxious. Hyper-advanced aliens and entire organizations of time-travellers/psychics are afraid to provoke her or not fulfill her every whim, lest she destroy the universe. Kyon, a stubborn but otherwise Ridiculously Average Guy, increasingly refuses to put up with Haruhi's bullshit...and it works. She actually listens to him and becomes much less of a danger to the universe thanks to his influence, partly because she has a crush on him.
  • Supplementary material and flashbacks reveal that in K Tatara Totsuka, the one Non-Action Guy and Actual Pacifist of HOMRA, was this to the Red King Mikoto. He had absolutely no fear of him and it's heavily implied that it was because he had no fear he was able to reign in Mikoto from losing himself to his power. Needless to say, him dying really sucked for Mikoto and HOMRA. To the point that Mikoto only lived 12 days after Totsuka was killed before finally dying by Suicide by Cop after getting revenge by killing Totsuka's murderer.
  • One Piece
    • Shanks is one of the Four Emperors, one of the four most powerful pirates in the world, and widely feared across the seas. Yet there is one man not afraid of him. That Buggy the Clown. Despite the huge gap between their abilities, it's just like old times when they were apprentice pirates together as far as he's concerned.
    • Luffy's entire crew is this to him. The world sees Luffy as a dangerous pirate with massive amounts of potential and one of the frontrunners to become Pirate King. His crew sees him as their idiot captain who wouldn't last five minutes in the Grand Line, let alone the New World, without them because of his recklessness and outright stupidity.
    • Zoro is of a similar standing. To the world: an insane Blood Knight with a dangerous amount of potential who is second to one of the most powerful pirates on the Grand Line. To his crew? A complete meathead who is capable of getting lost in a straight hallway and is only marginally smarter than their reckless idiot of a captain.
  • In The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World, Tougo is officially hired by Idola to help her, and despite being vastly more powerful than her, his quirks and Hot-Blooded personality gets her to pull her hair out and insult him when he's driving her nuts. She can also boss him around when needed, particularly when conversations require a more delicate touch. For the most part, Tougo takes this in stride, only showing mild confusion when she calls his uniform weird.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: Most people would think twice about teasing or otherwise messing with Kurogane, with good reason. The select few people who gleefully ignore his gruff (and sometimes terrifying) demeanor include Fai, Mokona, Princess Tomoyo, Amaterasu, and Yuuko Ichihara.note 
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Keiko Yukimura is one of the few people who knows Yusuke Urameshi and isn't scared of him, and she doesn't even allow his attitude to affect her. As a result, she often acts as his conscience and isn't afraid to knock him on his ass if he crosses the line.
    • Perhaps the very reason for the entire series. Yusuke's Yokai ancestor Raizen was successfully seduced during his visit to Earth centuries ago by a sexy witch doctor who had absolutely no fear of him whatsoever. She later dies giving birth to their child. When he returned to Makai, sans offspring (who remains on Earth and continues the Urameshi bloodline) his heartfelt memory of her became his Morality Chain as Love Redeems him into a Noble Demon who refrains from eating humans (despite that being the only food his specific species can consume), and inspires him to establish a Proud Warrior Race kingdom of fighting monks who also refrain from eating humans as well and who seek to spread that philosophy across the demon world.
    • Also from YuYu Hakusho, Kurama is pretty much the only one who can make fun of Hiei with no fear of vengeance whatsoever. Both because he knows well what Kurama can do and because he is the closest thing Hiei has to a best friend.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman is The Dreaded to the Wretched Hive of Gotham City, but there are a couple people who can personally revoke this status.
    • The Trope Codifier is Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's faithful retainer, friend, and one-man support system. As the man who was given custody of Bruce Wayne after his parents were murdered, he is absolutely immune to Batman's intimidation, one of the few who can unflinchingly confront him to his face if need be, and is the first to deflate him when he gets too obsessive. Alfred is one of the few people Batman has complete faith in, and, in fact, he doesn't even try (or even desire to try) to control Alfred (beyond the whole butler/employer relationship they have, which is... complicated) the way he keeps absolute control over the rest of his world. Alfred Pennyworth is afraid of no one. Being a former SAS commando can do that to you.
      • He is the only Batfamily member with the balls to confront Batman about his poor treatment of family members. His manipulation of Stephanie Brown, his abandonment of Cassandra Cain, his terrible fathering of Damian; three of the most badass heroes there are, who rarely even stand up for themselves to Bruce. Alfred does it regularly. Dick Grayson is unafraid of Batman and this is pointed out in a couple of issues but even he had to "go his own way" as Nightwing. Alfred sticks around.
    • Oracle/Barbara Gordon does particularly regarding his poor treatment of Cassandra. See Dylan Horrocks' run on Batgirl, particularly #47-50, and the end/aftermath of War Games.
    • Green Lantern Hal Jordan doesn't take any fear-mongering from Batman. While Batman wields fear as a weapon the Green Lanterns are all about defying it (the requirement for being selected as a Lantern is literally being "one without fear").
  • The Ultimates: If there's someone who is always unfazed by the antics of Tony Stark, that's Edwin Jarvis. Tony usually directs some light insults at him, and Jarvis reacts as a Servile Snarker. This, however, was just a buddy game between them, and Jarvis' death in Ultimates 2 issue 9 confirms that Stark genuinely cared about him.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): A lot of humans who encounter Monster X are justifiably unnerved when they see the Two Beings, One Body Titan get angry or upset, not helped by the fact that one half of Monster X was Beware the Nice Ones when she was human and the other half is a former Ghidorah head. Susan Graham has no such fear when she's on the receiving end of Monster X's agitation, because she's that hellbent on seeing her transformed daughter again.

    Films — Animated 
  • This trope is succinctly exemplified in this exchange between the Dark Knight and Alfred from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm:
    Batman: You think you know everything about me, don't you?
    Alfred Pennyworth: I diapered your bottom; I bloody well ought to... sir!
  • This relationship develops between Belle and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Out of a whole castle full of servants who alternately cringe in terror of his rages, and try to bring him up like he's still a child, Belle is the only one who talks to him like an equal. This is what starts him back on his road to recovery.
  • In The Incredibles as seen above, Frozone's wife doesn't take his hero crap seriously compared to their normal everyday life, though he eventually does seem to end up ditching the evening party regardless. Interestingly, while he used to date a lot of superheroines casually, he ended up going for what appears to be a completely ordinary woman and telling her his secret identity, which he didn't tell the superheroines.
  • In Justice League: Doom, Alfred makes this quite clear. Batman shrugs off any advice the Justice League give him on getting healed and rested after their last battle. After getting back to the cave, Alfred makes it clear he won't let Batman get back to work until he has rested and healed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman in quite a few movies:
    • Christopher Nolan's trilogy has Alfred acting as a confrontational mentor to Bruce, even if Alfred Pennyworth in those films can hardly be described as a badass.
    • Despite Batsy being beloved by Gotham and The Dreaded to its villains, in the The LEGO Batman Movie, Alfred has the gall to put Bruce in time out like a petulant child. Barbara Gordon is not cowed by him and wants to work with the Caped Crusader as an equal; after all, she went to Harvard For Police.
  • Django Unchained: It's revealed that Stephen is MUCH smarter than Candie, and is more than willing to call him a dipshit when he's making a mistake.
  • In The Hobbit, while Thorin Oakenshield is idolized and king to his dwarven Company, Bilbo Baggins couldn't care less about his royal status and regularly scolds him for acting rashly or being rude to others. When he descends into gold madness, it's Bilbo who continues to stand at Thorin's side and speak sense when he can, even telling Gandalf that he doesn't fear Thorin and will do everything in his power to save him.
  • Pepper Potts vs. Tony Stark from Iron Man. Not only is she unimpressed by his wealth and power (including his shiny iron suit), she's also immune to his Pornomancer powers.
  • A lot of James Bond's former lovers:
  • Bond in Skyfall is one of Britain's most skilled agents and assassins. When he tells Kincade, his family's gamekeeper, to get himself out of danger before The Siege, Kincade refuses and calls him a "jumped up little shit."
    • Played With. While testing out the guns, he is visibly surprised at James' skill with the gun before asking "What did you say you did for a living again?"; while he does view James like he always has, he seems unaware that James has become one of the most valuable and dangerous agents of Britain.
  • Also applies to Q from Skyfall onward. He has no problem chewing Bond out for not returning gadgets in one piece and doesn't think twice about snatching said weapons out of Bond's very deadly hands. Meanwhile, Professional Killer Bond doesn't give him more than a raised eyebrow and grin of mild amusement. This was often the case in the original series as well from Goldfinger onwards.
  • At the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope, an Imperial officer appears in one scene, where he argues with Darth Vader about taking Princess Leia prisoner and Vader listens to him. The Expanded Universe gave this guy a name and elaborated on his Backstory, confirming that he was one of the few Imperial officers to ever question Vader while still being loyal, and had earned Vader's respect for this.
    • And let's not forget Grand Moff Tarkin, who at one point actually commands Darth Vader to stop force-strangling an insubordinate Imperial Officer, and Vader promptly obeys. This seems to imply that Darth Vader has no actual authority on the Death Star — not even in practice, despite how easy it would be to be intimidated by him. Of course, Vader also doesn't try to use intimidation or outright violence to usurp Tarkin's position as commanding officer of the Death Star because he truly respects the man.
  • The Sting. Floyd has this kind of relationship to his boss Doyle Lonnegan. He's unafraid to disagree with Lonnegan, and even mildly argue with him, even though he knows that Lonnegan is not reluctant to have people killed.

  • In 1632, nearly everyone is careful of Emperor Gustav's well-known volatile temper (his valets carry around extra chairs when he's campaigning, because they know he likes to smash chairs when he's angry) and his touchy nature when it comes to insults. Julie Simms isn't intimidated at all and even once called him a fathead to his face. And got away with it, if only because of a Tactful Translation by Alex MacKay.
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series: Every demigod, even his own sister Hazel, views Nico di Angelo as frighteningly powerful and at least somewhat creepy—every demigod, that is, except his boyfriend Will Solace, who's more apt to bicker with him. When Nico passes out from shadow-traveling in The Hidden Oracle, Will merely snarks that he's "going to get the Lord of Darkness here some Gatorade."
  • In the Conan the Barbarian story The Phoenix on the Sword, there is a scene where King Conan of Aquilonia and General Prospero are discussing the state of the kingdom. Prospero speaks to Conan as he would an old friend rather than his king, and the story even mentions the "easy familiarity" that exists between Conan and Prospero.
  • Discworld:
    • Reformed Gentleman Thief Moist Von Lipwig has his Love Interest Adora Bell "Spike" Dearhart. Part of the reason he was attracted to her in the first place was because she wasn't fooled by him. In his second book, he's taken up needlessly dangerous pastimes to make up for the normality of his life, while she's away on an archaeological dig; Lord Veternari notes that it seems he doesn't need to do that when his fiancée is around.
    • Having grown up as Death's adopted daughter, Ysabell was utterly unintimidated BY HIS VOICE.
    • His granddaughter, Susan, acts much the same way, as does his actual valet Albert. Albert is a bit of an odd case, though, in that he is terrified of death; he just doesn't find the anthropomorphic personification of it all that worrisome.
      • In fairness to Albert, he's been living on about three months of life for the past 2,000 years and is now downnote  to about ten seconds.
      • According to his own words, Albert isn't afraid of death itself but the fact that once he dies all the supernatural contracts he made in life will be due for payment, and he will suffer a nameless fate in the Dungeon Dimensions.
  • Ginny Weasley shows signs of this in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Everyone, even Ron and Hermione, has no idea how to deal with Harry when his temper gets the better of him (namely, due to reaching his limit at everything that's going on). Ginny though coolly and calmly defuses him. Certainly adds a good depth to when they end up together.
    • Similarly, one of the reasons why Harry Potter keeps Luna Lovegood in such regard is that she treats him as Harry, the person, and not Harry, the hero, and always tells him the truth as she sees it.
  • Honor Harrington: Aivars Terekhov can only be cowed into submission by two people. One of them is his wife. The other is his steward, Joanna Agnelli.
  • Horus Heresy: The World Eaters are, to the last, unstoppable, raging Super Soldiers. Lotara Sarrin, the perfectly human captain of their flagship The Conqueror, takes shit from precisely none of them. At one point during the Shadow Crusade, a group of World Eaters disobeyed her orders to go on a murder spree on the Ultramarines: when they returned, Lotara pulled out her laspistol and blasted the insubordinate captain right in the face. When he survived and moved to attack her in a rage, she stared him down and chewed him out even harder for daring to threaten her on her own ship.
  • Eve and Roarke are both intimidating people in the In Death series. Eve's used to bullying her way around, and Roarke is a badass who owns everything. The only people to consistently and calmly deflect their spite whenever they rage or angst are Mira and Summerset, their respective parental figures.
  • Tom Bombadil shows this somewhat in The Lord of the Rings. He isn't intimidated by ghostly Barrow Wights, he isn't affected by the One Ring, and he seems completely unaware of Sauron's impending assault on Middle-Earth. Even Tolkien himself didn't quite know who or what Tom was.
    • In The Silmarillion, Melkor is the most powerful being ever created; of all the Valar, however, Tulkas has absolutely no fear of him and is the only one of them who can defeat Melkor one-on-one.
  • A milder example is Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes. Watson is still incredibly impressed with Holmes' deductive abilities and ruefully admits that Holmes can easily wrap him around his finger when he really wants to, but in other fields (particularly his personal life and habits), Watson will cheerfully deflect Holmes's eccentricities and imperious personality to challenge his theories, pester him into explaining his cases better, or strong-arm him into taking care of his heath, cleaning the house, being nice to other people, etc. He's also completely unfazed by Holmes's more anti-social (or downright insane) actions — simply referring to Holmes's dangerous chemical experiments as "malodorous" and responding to Holmes shooting bullets at the living-room wall in boredom with an amused remark that he thinks target practice should be "strictly an open-air pastime."
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Cersei Lannister and her twin brother Jaime learned everything they know about how to be scary and intimidating from their father, Lord Tywin Lannister. All three of them manage to successfully browbeat and intimidate scores of other characters. But none of them scare or intimidate their younger brother, Tyrion Lannister, who always seems to know just what to say to utterly gobstop his family and cause their intimidation techniques to look like childish tantrums.
    • This trope also applies to the relationship between Stannis Baratheon and Davos Seaworth. While Stannis' other subjects kiss up to him and flatter, Davos speaks honestly to Stannis even if it means telling Stannis something he doesn't want to hear. Rather than punishing Davos, Stannis promotes him to higher positions in his court.
  • Spenser, Robert B. Parker's Hardboiled Detective, is intimidating to just about everyone he meets. But not Rachel Wallace, an author he worked with at one point. Nor his constant companion Susan Silverman. Of course, Spenser doesn't intimidate Hawk, either, but that's because Hawk is just as much of a badass as Spenser.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe, Federation President Bacco and Bajoran First Minister Asarem both have secretaries who embody this trope, as did Worf during his stretch as Klingon ambassador.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All Creatures Great & Small (2020): Siegfried Farnon intimidates just about everybody -— except his housekeeper Audrey Hall, who is totally unfazed by even his most bombastic and mercurial moods and is the only person he will always listen to.
  • The Boys (2019): Vought International CEO Stan Edgar is one of the only people who Homelander can't scare, cow or intimidate like he can damn near everyone else, best illustrated in an early Season 2 scene where Edgar, even when Homelander gets threatening, gives him a soft-spoken and positively scathing speech about his failings, and the evil Superman can do nothing but storm out in a huff.
  • Buffyverse: Cordelia is probably the only person Angel can't intimidate.
  • House: Wilson is often impressed by House, but never intimidated by him.
    • Ditto Cuddy. "What am I supposed to be afraid of? More yelling?"note 
  • Protagonists of Kamen Rider series usually have someone, who is at most a Badass Normal and won't hesitate to give them a reality check if needed. Every rider is a monster killing Person of Mass Destruction that can often be countered only by other riders or by throwing even more monsters on the battlefield. Sometimes secondary or tertiary riders are also given that sort of attention.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Taiga Hanaya is a disgraced former doctor whose selfishness cost a patient their life after he got way ahead of himself as the story's (chronologically) first rider. His reputation of a lone, hardened criminal goes well with the nickname Doctor of Darkness. Unfortunately, Nico Saiba mostly lacks self preservation instict, so his antics fail to intimidated her in the slightest. Also, nothing can stop her from revealing that he is actually a pigheaded edgelord and getting him to knock that attitude off.
  • Merlin is most definitely this to Prince Arthur in Merlin (2008). He is almost completely immune to Arthur's royal demands and complaining, largely due to the fact that Arthur cannot intimidate him. He's also totally willing to knock the royal prat down a notch or twenty whenever he becomes too unbearable, punishment be damned.
    • It helps that, while Arthur is a Badass Normal and Master Swordsman, Merlin could still kill him without lifting a finger. Arthur may not be aware of this, but Merlin definitely is.
      Arthur: I could take you apart with one blow.
      Merlin: I could take you apart with less than that.
    • There's an element of this with Gaius and Uther as well. He's one of the few who isn't afraid to call Uther out from time to time.
  • Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso are like this to each other in Scrubs. While, at first, Dr. Kelso often tries to get rid of Cox or somehow get him out of his hair, he eventually says that he needs someone like Cox, a constant opposing force who will not back down, to make sure that the best decisions are made for the hospital.
  • On SeaQuest DSV, there was a fun scene where the Regulator, an apparent tough guy who has everybody either impressed and/or a little scared, has his bubble pierced when Captain Bridger, who knows him, says, "Hello, Leslie." The guy had faked his own death, but Bridger knew he was alive because at one point, he'd happened to run into him in a grocery store.
  • On The West Wing, the President's personal secretary (and Old Retainer) Mrs. Landingham is the only member of the White House staff who isn't even a little bit intimidated by him. Her replacement, Deborah Fiderer is intimidated by him at first (she screws up her job interview so badly that the President thinks it must be a prank), but eventually becomes acclimated to the point where she's able to make rather biting jokes at his expense to his face.
    • The president's "Body Man", Charlie Young, was also quite immune to the president when the Chief Executive tried to be intimidating... except when it came to Charlie's dating the president's daughter. Of course, during those occasions he wasn't dealing with the president per se; during those occasions, he was dealing with a father who didn't want his daughters to date until they were comfortably in their 30s.
    • Various subordinates of the frequently bad-tempered Josh Lyman fill this role at one time or another. It's usually Donna, but communications director Lou is the one who yells at him and gets him to stand down when he's freaking out on Election Day, and Sam Seaborn marches into the lion's den to force him to back down when he's been berating his new assistant Otto. (The first two work for him, and Sam threatens Josh that he won't come work for him unless Josh chills out and takes a vacation.)

    Video Games 
  • This is a recurring theme in the Disgaea games; no matter how powerful the main character becomes, everybody in their party is willing to joke about or make fun of them. Etna in particular has no problem dissing Laharl or taking advantage of him whenever she can get away with it.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Ike is like this to anyone he meets, though once they join the player party, people learn he really isn't that mean.
      Sothe: Stop scowling at me like that. You're making me uncomfortable.
      Nasir: It's not just you. Ike always looks like that. Don't mind him, just keep talking.
    • Raven the Perpetual Frowner in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade actually shows up as an enemy unit. His supports often note his mean looks and terse demeanor... except for his sister Priscilla, who's required to get him to make a Heel–Face Turn, and his childhood friend Lucius, who's a religious monk.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has Elise, the cheerful youngest royal of Nohr who not only brings out the softer sides of her badass older siblings but manages to talk Ryoma into making cute flower crowns with her in their supports. In the Revelation route, she manages to persuade Benny and Charlotte to join the Avatar's side by telling them how much she admires their positive qualities.
  • Genshin Impact: The Raiden Shogun is the Electro Archon and Inazuma's patron deity, worshipped, respected and sometimes feared alike by everyone in the island... except for the head priestess Yae Miko, who is perhaps the only person who will happily and openly disparage or tease the Shogun without fear of punishment. In fact, on one instance, Miko does this in front of the Tenryou Commission (which includes the Shogun's Number Two, Kujou Sara). Miko additionally criticizes the real Raiden Shogun, Ei herself, over her self-imposed exile and the damaging national policies she set forth before locking herself from the outside world. It helps that she is Ei's Only Friend.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, nearly all of Trevor Phillips's associates are either incredibly terrified of him (Nervous Ron, Floyd) or too stupid to realize just how exploited and oppressed they are (Wade), or at the most respectful and keep a distance (Oscar). Even Michael knows not to mess with him. However, Trevor's meth cook, Chef, is a certified badass in his own right, and in his first mission, even orders Trevor about.
  • Chizuru Kagura, the cool-headed Miko from The King of Fighters, cannot make Iori Yagami completely bend to her will, but she can make him team-work with none other than his sworn enemy and longtime rival Kyo Kusanagi. Twice. And later, she is personally visited by Iori himself before XIII, promising to return her Magic Mirror and restore her stolen powers in due time.
    • Similarly, the KOF: KYO manga implies that this is the reason why Yuki and Kyo are together. Almost everyone at school feared him and can't even talk to him, but Yuki treated him like a normal person.
      Yuki: He's just a guy who gets flaming mad at times.
      Sanae: That's why everyone's afraid of him. They're just too scared to speak to him!
      Yuki: But I guess Kyo has a cute side... even when he's a bit narcissistic and his attitude is annoying...
  • Rean Schwarzer in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel at the end of the second game and beyond is referred to as the national hero of the Erebonian empire, "Ashen Chevalier". His friends, however, know that he's their dork, their teacher and school's gofer, and a very overprotective big brother to his sister.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Hal and Sunny are this to One-Man Army and Blood Knight Solid Snake. Neither hesitate to call Snake out on his bad habits, and Sunny is perfectly willing to snatch cigarettes right out of his hand. Or feed him barely edible eggs.
    Snake: I'm gonna be spewing out poison soon enough anyways. What's one more smoke gonna hurt?
    Sunny: Uh uh! (grabs cigarette) This is a no-smoking flight!
  • Under Night In-Birth: Phonon, having freshly gained her abilities as an In-Birth, is attempting to style herself as a domineering S&M queen with a ruthless tendency to whip. After defeating Hilda in her Arcade Mode, the worst person for her enters the scene: Nanase, her junior student who knows her from school. She knows Phonon's real name, can chat to her like a friend, and freely talks to her about things like the manga they used to read together when they first joined the same class. Phonon internally states that this is her worst nightmare — someone who knows her as just a normal person when she's trying to be something special.
  • Bloody Mary in The Wolf Among Us is completely immune to any of Bigby's badassery. In fact, she's more amused by him, even in his werewolf form, than she is intimidated.

  • One-Punch Man: When Saitama meets Blizzard, he's unfazed by her introduction:
    Fubuki: Nice to meet you, freshman. I am Blizzard of Hell... You know what that means, right?
    Saitama: Uh, nope. Who're you?
    Eyelashes: She is the B-class hero ranked 1st!
    Saitama: Oh, okay, good job. So?
    Eyelashes: [thinking] Argh... This guy's got some balls...

    Western Animation 
  • Mr. Gar in OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes is the subject of fearful respect around Lakewood Plaza Turbo. However, to Carol, he's still the same Nervous Wreck he was back when they were teens. In fact, throughout most of the first season, whenever he tried interacting with Carol, he always reverted back to that babbling wreck who can barely speak in front of his crush.